Following in the footsteps of Golden Nugget, competitor Pechanga Resort & Casino, the largest casino in the Western United States, is creating their own take on casino games with Pechanga Slot Wars. Inspired by the classic game Parking Wars, the game uses simple mechanics to market the brick and mortar Pechanga business.
Rather than a virtual space game like Golden Nugget Vegas Casino, Slot Wars is a combination of Parking Wars and Ubisoft’s first Facebook title, TickTock. It’s a cleanly made game and better than many branding or promotional games we’ve seen. That said, the core mechanic is purely luck-based with no opportunity for creativity or planning.
The goal of Slot Wars is to acquire the highest score possible. To do this, you play the slot machine of either a friend or another random user. You start with 100 points and use them as currency to spin the slots. Like real slots, different combinations of icons earn different points. The idea is to hit the “bomb jackpot.”
Similar to TickTock, players blow each other up to earn more points. In fact, you don’t earn points — you steal them. In order to plant a bomb, three bomb icons must land on your slots. This will arm a single explosive. Once a slot machine accumulates three bombs (from anyone), the bomb explodes and each player steal points for each bomb they planted.
You can spend a small amount of points to defuse any bombs threatening you before three are accumulated. According to the developer, the average player remains logged in for about 40 minutes to protect their score. Some players have been recorded at 15 hours straight.
Users can also purchase items with special abilities. At the moment, there is only one — the “Super Bomb.” It costs 750 points and causes its victim to lose 1,000 points. It’s a revenge item, because you don’t gain anything from their loss.
Virtually every spin earns some points and thus far, most spins have been worth more than the cost of spinning. Basically, you have to try hard to lose points unless you are successfully bombed. But if your slot lands on three sirens, an “Alarm” will go off and deduct a fair chunk of points.
It can take quite a while to plant a bomb. Eventually, you will get the three-bomb combination, but clicking a single button again and again is tedious. When there are more items, beyond the Super Bomb, there might be more strategy or creativity needed. As it stands, the only effective strategy is to outlast other players, and stay online, blocking bombs to protect your score.
Our only other complaints are minor usability issues . Players cannot directly invite friends. Currently, clicking the “Invite Friends” icon only allows players to post to their wall. There is also no legend indicating the payout values of the different slot combinations.
Pechanga Slot Wars has a charming simplicity to it. The game does lack any strategy or challenge, but so do slot machines. More purchasable items may add more complexity to the game in future. We also hope to see more prizes. But even as it is, Slot Wars is a superior promotional game.