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Best of Pam Droog

Gaming Guru

 

Life Among the Slots: Picture Yourself A Winner With Pictionary

7 June 2004

I'm not a group-participation type of person. Maybe that explains why I like to play slot machines and work crossword puzzles. They're solitary pleasures. I've been coerced into playing Pictionary a few times, and I liked the word-game aspect of it, though not the group action. So when WMS Gaming came out with its Puzzle Pays slots series including Jumble, Scrabble and most recently, Pictionary, naturally I was intrigued to see how a party game for a group could make the leap to a casino slot machine for one.

Actually it works quite well. After reading all the "how-to's" and guidelines under Help and Pay Table, I made my wager on the 9-line, 5-coins-per-line slot, and made the acquaintance of Mr. Pictionary himself, an animated, derby-hat-wearing pencil who makes several appearances throughout the game.

He's one of the game's symbols, as well as an hourglass, a pencil drawing a snowman, Pictionary game cards and the faces of three characters who turn out to be kind of creepy pencil/marker-people: geeky, goatee-wearing Techno Ted (complete with pens in his pocket and nerdy black glasses), clueless Maxwell Marker and matronly Grammie. Although they're just cartoon characters, I couldn't help but wonder, Are Grammie and Maxwell married? Is Ted their grandson? What about his parents, are they pencil-people too? How do they all get around without legs? I guess I'll never know.

Start the Bonus Rounds

When drawings of each half of a car line up, the Picture Pay bonus round begins in which you can win two-to-four times your total bet. What you hope will happen is that Mr. Pictionary, that wacky pencil man, also shows up on the fifth reel. If he does, he'll literally jump out of the reel and run over to the multiplier to double the credits awarded.

The actual playing of Pictionary starts when the symbols PIC TION ARY on a pencil show up in any position on any reel. "Let's play Pictionary!" shouts Mr. P. (I'm guessing), who appears on the top screen ready to draw at an easel. The reel screen below switches to a cozy scene of Grammie, Maxwell and Ted lounging in a room with a fireplace.

Above each character's head are five question marks in circles. As Mr. P. starts to draw a picture on the easel, you select a question mark above one of the characters. These are their guesses as to what Mr. P. is drawing. Their guesses will be incorrect for a few bonus points, Good Guess for a few more, or Correct for a larger amount of credits. When a character guesses correctly, Mr. P. starts drawing a new word challenge, up to three words. Three incorrect guesses, one per character, ends the round.

Goofy Guesses

At first I picked Maxwell Marker, who guessed "Flying money." Obviously that was the wrong answer because off-screen a voice said, "Oh brother, come on, give me a break!" Next I picked Ted who guessed "Spilled milk." The voice said, "Come on, get the lead out!"-a pun you can appreciate. Then good old Grammie guessed, "Letter from home." Wrong, but she got to guess again and said "Love letter." Right at last! "Good show! See ya next time!" said the voice as the bonus round ended and extra credits were added to my total.

All in all, I enjoyed a fun slot session playing Pictionary. I plan to play Scrabble and Jumble soon too. Now I wonder--can a New York Times Crossword Puzzle slot be far behind?