Slots Craze is a new Facebook casino game, and the first release from bwin.party’s new social gaming arm Win. It’s available now to be played by anyone, but is yet to see any significant promotion via Facebook’s App Center or sidebar modules.
Slots Craze is a very conventional multi-line slot machine simulator. As usual for the genre, the game does not waste time with tutorials, instead assuming the player knows (or can figure out) how a slot machine works. The game allows betting on up to 30 lines on one of six currently-available machines, with the player’s maximum bet and number of accessible machines increasing as they level up simply through playing. Each slot machine plays fundamentally identically, but has a different audio-visual theme and bonus game. Some slot machines also have minor adjustments to the mechanics, too — for example, the pirate-themed Peg Leg Greg machine features wild card symbols that can expand to fill other rows and columns on the reels, making it possible to create a huge number of matches and a big win with a single spin.
These tweaks to the mechanics aren’t always particularly well thought-out, though. By default, all of the games stop any time the player wins a “five-in-a-row” match on any of their win lines, reviews all their winning lines very slowly one at a time and then invites them to share their good fortune with their friends. This is fair enough, as scoring five in a row on a slot machine is (or should be) a relatively rare occurrence. But this mechanic doesn’t take into account some of the adjustments to the game balance that different machines make. For example, in the case of the screenshot above, in which the wild card has expanded to fill the middle three columns of the machine, this meant that every single one of the 30 lines I had bet on was a winner, causing the game to become completely non-interactive for several minutes while it very slowly showed me every single one of those 30 winning lines one at a time, and there was no apparent means of skipping this sequence.
In terms of social features, the game allows players to track their performance against friends on a simple leaderboard that shows the maximum bankroll they have ever had on hand. Given that you can just purchase in-game currency, however, this is a largely meaningless measure, since whoever pays the most into the game will inevitably rise to the top of the leaderboard. Friends may also exchange free gifts with one another, but these are nothing more than free spins or packages of coins. There’s no real interaction or competition with other players, and the only other nod towards “social” play in the game is the ability to make brag posts upon leveling up or scoring a big win with a five-in-a-row match.
Slots Craze suffers from the same problem that most other Facebook slots games do — a complete lack of creativity in gameplay. Real-life slot machines have diverse mechanics and often feature skill-based gimmicks to entice players into giving them a try, whereas Facebook-based slot machines all follow the exact same formula, which involves nothing more than repeatedly clicking the “Spin” button over and over again. Slots Craze even offers the option to eliminate all that tedious clicking altogether via a helpful “Autospin” function — this allows players to set the machine spinning up to 20 times in succession without any input required. This simply isn’t fun, and the diverse audio-visual themes offered by Slots Craze’s machines don’t provide a compelling reason to pick this game over and above any of the other slots experiences on Facebook. In fact, with games such as Zynga Elite Slots and Product Madness’ Team Slots at least attempting to do something a little different with the stagnant slot machine formula, it’s even more disappointing to see developers falling back on the same old well-worn format.
As a brand new release, we do not yet have any detailed user metrics on Slots Craze, but Facebook reports the game already has 10,000+ monthly users. Check back shortly to follow its progress in more detail with AppData, our tracking service for social games and developers.
Yet another unimaginative slots game that adds very little to an already overcrowded genre.