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A sideways twist on slot machines

John Grochowski

John Grochowski

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Updated: October 1, 2012 3:07PM

In recent weeks I’ve written about playing Triple Play Poker at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Ind., and the penny Cherry Mischief slots at Ameristar Casino in East Chicago.

There was a third stop, a detour of a couple of hours of play at the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Mich., a short hop just across the state border from Michigan City.

I was on the lookout for slot games a little outside the ordinary, and didn’t have to look very hard. A short distance from the main entrance was a bank of games from Incredible Technologies, and “different” is what Arlington Heights-based IT does. The bank included King of Bling, Mahjong Mystery and All Mixed Up games. I settled in at All Mixed Up, betting 40 cents a spin on a penny game.

All Mixed Up is from IT’s Innovation Collection of non-traditional slot games. The company has a traditional collection, too, with games that don’t stray too far from the casino norms but still put IT’s stamp on the video slot format. On this day, however, I was in a mood to try a game with a difference.

The biggest difference on All Mixed Up is that the reels rotate horizontally instead of vertically. You still wind up with five stacks, each three symbols deep, but here you’re trying to make the stacks align into people, with matched head, torso and lower body. The space alien’s head atop the football player’s middle atop the model’s high heels might give you a chuckle, but it’s not going to get you any credits.

However, there are lots of ways to win credits in this game — 355 according to IT’s website. Matching up the full character is one way. If one stack brings the football player’s head, torso and cleats, you’re going to win. But there also are smaller wins for upper body match (head and torso) and lower body match (torso and feet). There are color connect pays for matching background colors on symbols, even if they’re for different characters.

A couple of times I advanced to a Portrait Puzzler Bonus. A jigsaw puzzle of the alien appeared and I had to pick pieces to try to compete the picture. The best I got was five of the seven pieces, worth a nice payoff but not the big bonus that would have come with all seven.

I lost my $20, but I’d play it again. It was a fun game with a difference, and that’s what I look for in a penny slot.

John Grochowski is a local free-lance writer. Visit casino

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