HOG WILD! – Casino Player Magazine | Strictly Slots Magazine

HOG WILD! – Casino Player Magazine | Strictly Slots Magazine

AGS injects new features and higher jackpots into a popular theme with Rakin’ Bacon! Deluxe

By Frank Legato

 

They call him “Cornsquealius.” He’s a golden pig on the top screen of your video slot, and he gets bigger and bigger as you land wild symbols in the base game, until suddenly, he bursts to transform the screen into a picking bonus in which you can win one of four progressive prizes.

If you’re a fan of AGS video slots, chances are you’re already familiar with Cornsquealius. He was first introduced as the mascot for the original Rakin’ Bacon! video slot, which is one of the most popular games ever released by AGS.

In the original, the golden pig sported a top hat and formal shoes, and looked a little like a banker. At the start of the game, his hoofs were firmly on the ground, and as wilds landed, he grew until he was so big his hoofs floated in the air. When the piggy bank broke, it would explode in a shower of coins.

“That base game offered a lot of fun with the wilds and feature trigger symbols,” says Steve Walther, AGS vice president of product management, slots. “If you matched up feature trigger symbols and wilds in between, it actually helped trigger the feature, and in the free games, it allowed players to choose their own volatility. It gave people some choice, and it had a character that was really identifiable.

“That was very successful for us. And it still is successful. It’s still in the top 25 [games in the U.S.].” Meet Rakin’ Bacon! Deluxe. It has all those popular features of the original, plus some particularly lucrative features that super-charge the original theme.

Rakin’ Bacon! was featured on AGS’ original Orion Portrait upright cabinet, with a 42-inch vertical flat-screen monitor surrounded by 498 game-controlled LED lights. For the enhanced version, the company has rolled out the theme on its new Orion Curve format, which highlights 4K graphics on a huge 49-inch curved portrait-style monitor.

There are two base themes for Rakin’ Bacon! Deluxe. “Pirate Plunder” features buccaneer icons like anchors, doubloons and treasure chests. “Golden Blessings” offers the classic Asian theme, awash in reds and golds. AGS has even dressed up Cornsquealius to match the theme—in Pirate Plunder, he sports a pirate hat, and in Golden Blessings, it’s a Far East cap inscribed with a Chinese luck symbol.

But the real enhancements lie in the game features themselves. The base game in each title is a five-reel, 243-ways-to-win format—there are no paylines, and wins are registered by adjacent symbols. In the base configuration, there are 243 possible ways to win on each spin. The main collection feature leading to the progressive bonus is the same as the original, with wilds causing the pig to grow until, on a random spin, a wild symbol causes the pig to burst.

The basic progressive bonus feature also is like the original. Twelve Cornsquealius icons appear on the screen, and the player picks until matching three jackpot icons to award the corresponding prize. In the penny version of the game—there are versions all the way up to $1—the jackpots reset at $10 (Mini), $25 (Minor), $800 (Major) and $10,000 (Grand). If you trigger the feature, you’re guaranteed a jackpot.

Once you’ve triggered the progressive feature, you realize how the Deluxe versions improve the game. On the new versions, some of the jackpot icons bear the word “BOOST.” When you land one of those, the corresponding jackpot boosts by the amount of the reset value. This includes the two large jackpots, which can boost by $800 and $10,000 (in pennies), respectively. In fact, you can land Boost symbols on all three matching jackpot icons, which will swell the top Grand prize by $30,000 in the penny version.

“When you land those symbols, you’re actually chasing a boosted meter,” Walther says. “That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to win whatever’s boosted, but if you happen to match three of the symbol that’s boosted, you will win the larger jackpot. It actually builds for a better chase. And that’s shared between both Pirate Plunder and Golden Blessings.”

SUPER-CHARGED FREE SPINS

The free-game features in both games start out the same as in the original version, but each Deluxe version super-charges the amount of money you can win.

In the original version of the game, when the free-spin feature is triggered, the player is given a choice of volatility for the free-spin round, in relation to an expanding reel set. The player can choose 15 free spins at the base-game configuration of five reels with three rows of symbols per reel, which returns 243 possible ways to win on each spin; 10 free spins with four rows of symbols, yielding a possible 1,024 ways to win; or five spins with five rows of symbols, for 3,125 possible ways to win.

The Deluxe versions add the expanding-reel feature. In both games, three, four or five gold pot and/or gold pig symbols trigger up to 12 free games. In Pirate Plunder, each pirate harpoon symbol that lands expands that reel by one row. If you keep landing harpoons, the game adds rows and bonus free spins, up to a maximum of seven rows of symbols with all free-spin wins doubled.

In Golden Blessings, lucky red-and-gold Chinese luck symbols landing in free spins expand the entire reel array by one row. If you reach six rows, you get five bonus free spins, each with 7,776 possible ways to win. Reach the maximum seven rows, and you get eight bonus free spins. At seven rows high, there are a whopping 16,807 ways to win on each spin—and all pays are doubled, to boot.

The Rakin’ Bacon! Deluxe games have already been rolled out across the country—by the time you read this, the game will be available across the West—Nevada and all the Western Native American jurisdictions, including California. The Northeast was following closely behind.

If you liked Rakin’ Bacon, you’ll love the new versions. In addition to the money-boosting features in the game, there are fun features like an anticipation build-up before a big win, in which a bunch of golden pigs roll across the screen. “When that happens, you know something good is about to happen,” Walther says.

Another fun feature: If you reach out and touch Cornsquealius on the top screen, he reacts with a delighted “oink.” It’s hilarious.

“Players will enjoy the new adventures of Cornsquealius as he explores different themes around the world, while keeping the still-fun game play in the base that people are known to love with Rakin’ Bacon!,” says Walther.

“Players who love the thrill and excitement of the original Rakin’ Bacon! will have some new experiences that have shown to provide additional delight when playing the game.”

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Author: Ian Douglas