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Best of Pam Droog

Gaming Guru

 

Frog Prince

17 May 2004

Once upon a time I went to the casino in search of a prince of a slot machine--one that would have colorful graphics, offer legendary amusement and grant me my wish of winning a zillion dollars or more. I wandered the aisles seeking that princely slot, when I heard the soothing croaks of happy frogs. Before I knew it I was seated at the Frog Prince video reel game, IGT's charming fairy-tale-turned-slot-machine. I put in my player's card and money and let myself be transported to a realm of wizards, witches and animated amphibians.

Pluck your magic twanger, froggy

As the classic story goes, a princess was playing with her treasured golden ball when it fell into the well. A frog offered to retrieve it for her if she'd promise to bring him home with her. She said yes, the frog brought her the ball, then she ran off, leaving poor Froggy in the lurch. But he made his way to the castle where the princess' father, the king, made her keep her promise. Yada yada yada, kiss kiss kiss, the frog turned into a handsome prince and they all lived happily ever after.

Fruit and frogs on five reels

In that spirit of prosperity and joy, the five-reel, 15-line game's symbols include juicy strawberries, cherries, apples and oranges. There also are crowns, castles, frogs with big eyes peering out from under a leaf, the Frog Prince and Magic Wish Books, funny frog princes and mystical moon-and-star scatter pay symbols.

Frog Prince has two bonus rounds. The Magic Wish bonus is triggered by any combination of five Frog Prince or Magic Wish Book symbols on a pay line. Pick a book and it opens to reveal the number of free spins you've won, from two to six. Then pick a magic wand to determine a multiplier for each bonus spin, from one to five. The free games play all 15 lines so the credits can really pile up. And if you hit five Magic Wish Book symbols during a bonus spin, you'll win even more bonus spins.

The Kiss the Frog bonus is a lot of fun. It's activated when the animated frog symbols land on reels 2, 3 or 4. Instantly you'll hear lots of "ribbit"-ing and "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night (otherwise known as "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog") and you'll see a forest scene where three adorable frogs await a kiss. Each is a real personality: One waves, one pants and one sits quietly in hopeful anticipation. There's a big, pulsating red lips graphic in a corner.

A princely bonus

On-screen instructions tell you to pick one frog, whereupon the other two jump off their rocks. Touch froggy to see how many kisses he'll get, from three to five. Touch him again to actually "kiss" him; those bright red lips appear on his face and a magical transformation occurs as the frog turns into an old lady seeping, a creepy frog-man, a jester dancing, a troll with a big stick, a sexy sword-swinging babe, a crotchety old man or the handsome prince himself (who of course hast the highest bonus value). At this point you can accept the credit amount offered or take a chance on another smooch to try for a different character with a higher credit value.

While I enjoyed Frog Prince's colorful new-age look and clever interpretation of a classic fairy tale, I did not win a zillion dollars or anything close. But I sure kissed a lot of frogs.

Until next time, enjoy life among the slots!