Lucky Cruise is a new Facebook game published by 6waves and developed by Large Animal Games. It’s the second collaboration between the two companies following their recent Spartacus: Vengeance tie-in. The game has been showing steady growth since its launch in late January, and provides an original take on the increasingly common slot machine genre.
Lucky Cruise combines elements of slot machine sims and time management games to produce a game with an addictive quality and a strong sense of progression.
Players are placed in charge of ensuring a cruise ship gets to its destination on time. This isn’t just any cruise ship, however — it’s a cruise ship that runs on luck. As such, it’s up to the player to help earn the luck necessary to reach various worldwide destinations and, upon arrival, to acquire various rewards for their hard work through playing a chance-based tile-flipping minigame.
Luck can be acquired in several ways. The main means through which players earn luck is simply by playing the game’s slot machines, all of which are based on WMS Gaming’s various video slots products. Playing a machine earns luck every time the reels are spun, with higher-stake machines earning more luck per spin. Players must also keep track of their chips, since running out means they’ll be unable to play any more, though these are replenished every few hours and can also be topped up by spending Facebook Credits.
Players also have a number of powerups including reel nudges, holds and re-spins which can be acquired either with Facebook Credits or won during the minigame at the ship’s destination. Causing a win after using one of these powerups earns the player a certain quantity of the game’s other currency Emeralds, which are used to purchase additional machines for the cruise ship’s casino.
When not playing the slots themselves, players see a representation of the inside of the cruise ship, and avatars representing the player’s friends — even those who are not currently playing the game — show up regularly. Assigning these avatars to the available machines allows players to earn Friend points, and upon reaching a certain threshold of these points, a Friend Frenzy is triggered. During this time, players must correctly assign friends to their favorite machines, with appropriate assignments resulting in large Luck rewards, offering a degree of variety to gameplay besides simply staring at the slots. The more friends a player has actually playing the game, the greater the rewards from Friend Frenzies. Friend points can also be earned simply by winning on the slots, so Friend Frenzies become a regular — but optional — part of gameplay.
The game also features a leveling system allowing for the gradual unlocking of new machines and new destinations for the cruise ship. Higher level items result in greater rewards for the player, though those who do not wish to grind for experience may unlock these items early in exchange for Facebook Credits.
Like many video slots games, Lucky Cruise assumes that players are already familiar with how the machines work, and as such the only tutorial the game features demonstrates its own unique mechanics such as Friend Frenzies and the powerups on offer. This may prove a barrier to entry for those unfamiliar with the genre, but the machines introduced at the outset of the game are simple enough to pick up easily, and the player is rarely overwhelmed with on-screen information.
Lucky Cruise provides a user-friendly and original take on video slots that distinguishes it from its numerous competitors. If its growth continues at its current rate, 6waves and Large Animal Games look set to have a modest success on their hands.
A worthwhile take on video slots that doesn’t daunt newcomers and offers some pleasing variety to its gameplay.