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By Travel Tunica on Thursday September 3, 2015
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Sometimes, you just can’t keep a good idea down. And blending slot machine excitement with tests of knowledge plays right to my taste.
For those of us who like to mix our reel spins with the occasional trivia round, American Gaming Systems has three slots in its “It Pays to Know lineup”. Games in the series are Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, and Family Feud, and they started to hit casino floors last year.
The ideas came to AGS from Olaf Vancura, who served as vice president of game development from 2010-2014. Blends of chance and knowledge are specialties for Vancura, who also developed the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not slot, along with the strategy games Battleship and Yahtzee, when he was at Mikohn Gaming at the beginning of the 2000s.
Trivia answers for Believe It or Not were verified by the Ripley’s staff and 5th Grader uses questions from the TV game show.
The newest of the three is Family Feud, which like the TV show is a game of judging how other people surveyed during game development have answered a question. The Survey Says bonus plays like the larger portion of the TV show. You’re given a question and several possible answers. You need to guess which answers were given by participants in a survey. If you choose an answer that wasn’t given, you get a buzzer and a big red “X.” The object is to pick the answers that were given and collect bonus credits before you collect three X’s.
There’s also a Fast Money bonus, and that plays like the TV show’s final round. You’re given five questions and six possible answers for each. You want to collect the highest-paying answer to each question.
All three are good fun for the trivia inclined. I’m right in that target audience, so while these are games designed for a specific niche of slot players, I’m hoping they enjoy a good, long run.