Tuesday, January 8, 2013

KISS Slots Entice Music-Minded Gamblers

Melissa Ruggieri / Atlanta Music Scene

In case you thought there was one industry that KISS hadn’t cornered, well, keep looking.

Last fall, the band’s new slot machines debuted at the Borgata in New Jersey and have now made their way into the Las Vegas casinos.

This isn’t the first time the quartet has been immortalized with their own row of reels, but the visuals and multimedia elements that accompany this latest incarnation are impressive – and no doubt the timing of their release was to coincide with the band’s robust new album, “Monster.”

Since I had zero luck when I first played the game in Jersey in November, never experiencing the all-important bonus round that truly shows a slot’s entertainment value, I was wary of feeding the beast more money at the Venetian in Las Vegas last week.

But, I’m glad I did, as this machine was much more accommodating, frequently rolling into bonus rounds where players pick a “Backstage Pass” bonus that awards free spins and other incentives. A breathy-voiced female might also bring you to an “encore” round if you’re (financially) lucky and you can only hope to get a row of Gene Simmons’ snaking tongues, which turn wild and can be lucrative.

What is most engaging about the slot – as it should be for something dedicated to KISS – is the music. An innovative feature is the cassette tape (ha) at the top of the screen that allows you to choose a background song while you play. If you get tired of “Detroit Rock City” after a few minutes, just touch it again and you might land on “Rock and Roll All Nite” or “Calling Dr. Love.”

Also cool? The characters showcase the original foursome with plenty of nods to classic album covers.