AGS has augmented its Coin Bonanza series, which now oﬀers three diﬀerent game themes with the same wealth of coins
By Frank Legato
Slot-maker AGS knows when to give players more of a good thing. That’s why this year, the supplier launched the third game in its popular “Coin Bonanza” series.
Called Pyramid Party, the new game applies an ancient Egypt theme to an already-winning game formula— the increasingly popular feature that is known in the trade as “cash-on-reels.” Features such as these are ingenious for their simplicity, and the ability of players to see instantly what they have won on a given spin.
It’s also called “what you see is what you get.” Reel symbols—in this case, coins—display credit amounts, and you win what you see. In the Coin Bonanza series, you’re looking for groups of coins on adjacent reels. If any of the coins on one reel touch any of the coins on the adjacent reel, you win the accumulated amount of credits. If the cluster of coin symbols is large, you are looking at huge wins. And the Coin Bonanza games employ a few surprising ways to form those big clusters of coins.
The 50-line primary games are unique in themselves, featuring an oversized ﬁve-by-ﬁve reel array—ﬁve reels, ﬁve rows of symbols, as opposed to the normal ﬁve-by-three setup. Along with the colorful top display, it makes for beautiful imagery on one of the two AGS portrait-style cabinet setups, the Orion Portrait and the Orion Curve.
Those cabinets are made to showcase high-resolution graphics on oversized monitors—a 42-inch screen on the Orion Portrait and a 49-inch curved display on the Orion Curve—with 4K resolution, game-controlled LED lighting and a great sound system. The game features really pop on these cabinets.
Pyramid Party joins the ﬁrst two Coin Bonanza games, the Irish/leprechaun-themed Lucky O’Reilly and the Asian-themed God of Gold. On the top of each game is the image of the game’s main character. Lucky O’Reilly, the ﬁrst and still most popular of the Coin Bonanza games, features the well-known image of the happy, dancing leprechaun. The follow-up to that, God of Gold, features a Chinese emperor character. On Pyramid Party, it’s a pharaoh.
On each game, the main character is perched atop a pile of gold coins, and is standing next to a large pot of the same gold coins. At the other end of the screen is the character’s dog, dressed up just like his master. All during the reel-spinning, the character and the dog dance around, the dog barks, and the animation is generally fun and enter-taining.
What’s even more entertaining are the surprises those characters have in store in random actions that win you money. Whether or not you land any of the magic coin symbols, on any given spin, the character or his little dog will randomly throw coins down onto the reel set more often than not triggering a coin award.
“Where maybe you didn’t have a connection as a reel result, the character can throw down coins and create a connection, or expand on existing connections,” explains AGS Product Manager Will Foster.
Not only is this potentially lucrative; it’s fun to watch. “The character will do antics, like the leprechaun ﬂipping over his cane, or doing a little golf shot to knock coins onto the reels,” Foster says. “They also do a lot of pre-tell. When something exciting is going to happen, they’re jumping around. It keeps the player engaged, just watching the characters interact with the reels and waiting for them to do something.”
The characters also appear on the reels to do a little dance and increase the amounts on the coins, or to boost the win.
Once in a while, you’ll land the big win—the leprechaun, pharaoh or emperor will pick up the whole pot of coins and throw it down on the reels.
That’s not all that’s good about the random coin throwing. It can also include the character throwing down multipliers for winning spins, or a symbol corresponding to one or two of three progressive jackpots—the Minor, which resets at $100, or the Major, starting at $800—as a way to win those jackpots in addition to lining up the symbols on a payline. The Grand progressive, resetting at $10,000, is won only through a payline combination.
The animated characters also can boost wins on the reels. “They can reach back and grab a jackpot coin and drop it down,” says Foster, “but also, they can grab a feature coin, like free spins, and drop it down onto the interface, and then deliver a free game to the player. And then every once in a while, they’ll come down and race across the screen interface and randomly increase the values of those cash-on-reels symbols that are connected as well.
“So, maybe it shows that you’ve won 1,000 credits, and the little companion dog comes down and races across to juice that up to 10,000 credits.”
There also is a free-spin bonus, during which all of these features are available. Three, four or ﬁve scattered bonus symbols trigger eight, 12 or 20 free games, respectively. The free games can be retriggered within the feature.
Foster says players will ﬁnd entertainment at every level on the Coin Bonanza games. “Speaking as a player, and not just as a product manager of a gaming company, what’s great is the ability to see those cash-on-reels symbols and the values of them,” he says.
“It’s another chase. [Before these games,] you were chasing three simple triggers for free spins, and looking for symbol combinations, but now, you’ve expanded that with the cash-on-reels feature. You’ve expanded a little bit with the cash-on-reels, but you see these values associated with them. Trying to get ﬁve or six of those symbols is the chase and the game shows you the opportunity of 1,000 credits or a $1,000 cash-on-reels symbol, and landing that is pretty lucrative.”
For AGS, though, what is typical is not only the lucrative propositions of the games themselves, but that the games are dominated by thoroughly entertaining characters. Coin Bonanza is no exception.
“For players, what really resonates is the interaction [between] the main characters and their companions,” Foster says, “because they’re constantly jumping around and teasing as though they’re going to interact with the reels in some way. This really keeps players on the edge of their seat, anticipating that to happen. There are a lot of smiles watching the characters jump around throughout the game.
“In all, the balance of entertainment and the strong math behind the game is what resonates the most with the players. They can have fun, they can laugh, they can smile and enjoy the entertainment value of the game.”
Lucky O’Reilly God of Gold Pyramid Party
Slot Type: Five-reel, 50-line video slot;
accumulating cash-on-reels symbols; frees-pin bonus event;
multiple progressive jackpots; .01 through 10.00 denominations
Payback % Range: 85.98%–96.67%
Average Hit Frequency: 31.9%
Top Jackpot: Progressive; $10,000 reset