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Best of Pam Droog

Gaming Guru

 

In a Texas State of Mind

11 July 2004

Not long ago I had the privilege to visit the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum, which recently relocated to beautiful Branson, Missouri. Well, actually I visited the gift shop, since the museum cost about $18 and I had already blown a small fortune at Silver Dollar City. However, I did come home with a great t-shirt and numerous Christmas gifts, and a renewed interest in cowboys and the Old West. As a result I've been watching John Wayne movies and playing Jackpot Stampede and Texas Tea video slots.

Bonuses galore

WMS Gaming's Jackpot Stampede features action on two screens--video reels on the bottom and bonuses on the top. It also has a lot of funny sound effects including ol' lonesome cowboy tunes in the background. The colorful cartoon symbols include spurs, a gloved hand holding a rope, cacti, horseshoes, a befuddled looking Old Cowpoke and cows and cash cows (they are green with dollar signs).

If a lasso-toting cowboy lands in any position on the first reel, you've hit the Cowboy Bonus. If there are any regular cows or cash cows on any sequential reels, the cowboy comes to life and lassos all the cows for bonus credits.

Three or more horseshoes on a payline trigger the Horseshoe Bonus. Pick a horseshoe to reveal the bonus credits you win.

The Stampede Bonus starts when three Old Cowpoke symbols land anywhere on the reels. The screen actually vibrates as if the ground is being pounded by crazed cattle on the loose! Another lasso-twirling cowboy and corral appear on the top box. You get five free spins during which the cowboy has to round up all the stampeding cows or cash cows that land on any of the reels. You are awarded the total of all the various cattle point values. All the while in the background you hear gunshots and dramatic Wild West music. It's a hoot!

Black gold

"Wanna be rich? Really rich?" asks Texas Ted, the smarmy oil man who stars in IGT's Texas Tea slot. Well, sure I do! That didn't happen playing Texas Tea but I had fun anyway, especially when three armadillos land on a payline, then stand up and stick out their tongues.

Besides these armadillos with an attitude, Texas Tea's symbols include Texas Ted on an airplane and on a Texas map, a goofy bull with a ring in his nose, Texas Ted in a convertible, oil wells, a yellow rose, cacti and Texas Ted smoking a cigar, which also is the scatter pay symbol.

When you hit three or more oil wells on a played line and consecutive reels, that's the Big Oil Bonus. The screen starts to shake as Texas Ted says, "Don't come a knockin if the wells aren't rockin!" Cowboy music and whip sounds a la "Rawhide" kick in as you place oil wells on the various regions of the Texas map that pops up. As the wells gush black gold, Texas Ted digs into his pockets and throws dollar bills around yelling "Yippee!" The values the oil wells are totaled and added to your credits.

If three or more Texas Ted symbols land you get the Oil Dividend Bonus. "Well burn my biscuits, I guess we're partners now," says Ted as he writes you a dividend check for bonus credits, signed Theodore T. Texas.

Jackpot Stampede and Texas Tea aren't the newest games on the ranch, but they sure have added a lot of whoopin' and hollerin' to my casino visits lately. They're both great examples of the amazing animation, sound effects and theme lines that slot manufacturers are constantly coming up with. Rope in some fun and maybe a big fat jackpot too on these fun and funny slots.