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Best of Pam Droog

Gaming Guru


Life Among the Slots: SPAM

8 February 2004

IGT slot designers think outside the can for SPAM

I've been anxious to play IGT's SPAM slot since I first read about it months ago. I just couldn't imagine a slot machine based on canned meat! But why not? Compared to some of the crazy slots recently introduced at the Global Gaming Expo, SPAM isn't all that outrageous.

Well, yes it is.

Start with the cabinet itself. At the top is a replica of the big, bright, blue SPAM can with flashing lights twirling around. There also are 1950s-style pastel colors and wild geometric shapes. A bank of these slots are quite a presence on the casino floor!

Music by Monty Python

Then there's the actual game. The musical theme is "The SPAM Song" by Monty Python, obscure but notable. The screen background image is meant to be an Oven King range, complete with dials.

The symbols include plays on the word SPAM: SPAMtacular, SPAMazing, SPAMtastic, you get the idea, plus hilarious 1950s type people with goofy hairdos and clothes. There's also an animated SPAM-can man who squeaks "SPAM!" whenever he shows up on a reel.

When certain men and ladies appear onscreen you hear a dialogue between them that goes, "Roast it, fry it, shred it, toast it!" or "Cube it, grate it, slice it, dice it!" or "Broil it, sear it, grill it, chill it!" and there are other combinations too. At the end of one of these routines, he will raise his eyebrow and she will flutter her eyelashes, or he will wink and her teeth will sparkle.

Pair of Bonus Rounds

The game has two bonus features. The Rings of SPAM Bonus starts when three SPAM Bonus Book symbols appear on reels 2, 3 and 4 of a played line. You select a can in a highlighted ring, and if an arrow comes up, you go to the next ring and pick a can, and so on until the round ends and you collect your total bonus points.

The SPAM Cook-off Bonus starts when three or more SPAM cans show up in any position. Then you see three SPAM cans--turkey, smoke-flavored and original--on a picnic table. Pick one and it opens up, then the hunk of SPAM spills out and turns into a "tasty" dish that wins the blue ribbon while an announcer says "SPAMazing!" and you collect bonus points.

"It's SPAM"

The first couple of times I heard the announcer say, "It's SPAM!" I got a real kick because I thought he was saying "It's PAM!" Sounds the same, right?

Another bizarre thing is I have never actually eaten SPAM. No, not ever! My mom never served it and I never had occasion to buy it. Am I missing something?

Even so, whether you eat SPAM or not, you'll love this slot machine for its sheer nuttiness and creativity. It may not be the meatiest slot on the floor, but when it comes to SPAM, IGT really thought outside the can.