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Best of Pam Droog

Gaming Guru

 

Rakin' It In

23 December 2004

The autumnal ritual of raking leaves has never been something I look forward to. In certain parts of the yard I can just leave them on the ground to turn themselves into mulch. But other areas demand my attention, so a-raking I will go. Now I wouldn't complain one bit if, instead of leaves, money grew on trees, just like it does in Raking' It In by WMS Gaming.

This entertaining video slot features amusing cartoon characters and impressive animation during the two bonus rounds. Symbols include an acorn, fruit, the bespectacled homeowner, a money tree, money bags, a cute squirrel and a red dachshund. When three Money Tree symbols appear on an active pay line, you've hit the Money Tree Bonus. Colorful autumn leaves and green dollar bills fill the screen as the scene shifts to the glasses-wearing homeowner and the wiener dog raking leaves under a tree--the magic Money Tree. This tree is special because it can grow coins, bills, sacks of money, even money-filled safes. However, when the bonus is first activated, it's growing coins only. Touch a coin and it's replaced by a credit amount. However, if you touch a coin and a squirrel appears, he snaps has fingers and presto change-o, all the coins turn into bills, which naturally are worth bigger credits. If you touch a bill and another squirrel shows up, the bills change to moneybags worth even more credits. Find the squirrel a third time and the money bags become safes worth six to 10 times the total bet.

Now sometimes when you're touching all that money you'll stumble upon an owl. This is not a good thing because that ornery owl will steal the money you selected and take it back into the tree, and on his way he may even remove additional bills. The bonus ends when all the money on the tree is gone.

When three golden acorn symbols land on an active pay line, the Plant A Money Tree Bonus begins. The screen changes to show the homeowner, the squirrel and the dog characters. Choose one of them to plant a magic seed, which will grow into a money tree. As it grows, it drops leaves worth credit awards. The man, dog or squirrel zooms across the screen collecting the leaves, not with an old-fashioned rake, but with a powerful leaf collector. You'll win the total value of all the leaves on the tree. Sometimes the tree grows a magic seed that plants itself in the ground and grows another Money Tree...and even another for a total of three trees, and you win credit awards from all of them.

Gee, if only life imitated a slot machine...and money really did grow on trees! Until then, I recommend a few rounds of Rakin' It In because that's probably as close as we'll ever get.