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Best of Pam Droog

Gaming Guru

 

Three Stooges Slot Offers Lots O' Laffs

27 December 2004

Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. If you're not a Three Stooges fan you might think I'm writing in an obscure Eskimo dialect. But if you know Moe and Larry and Curly, you'll be delighted to learn Shuffle Master Gaming has created a slot machine based on the loony trio.

I never cease to be amazed at how slot manufacturers can transform any TV show, movie, cartoon character, sport, animal or food product into an entertaining game. The Three Stooges slot is a perfect example, ingeniously capturing their voices, antics and distinguishing characteristics.

I played the Curly slot (there's a Larry and a Moe out there too), a 9-line, 5-coin game on which you can win up to 50,000 credits. When you put in your money, tokens or credit voucher, you'll hear Moe ask, "Are you ready?" Curly responds, "Yeah! I'm ready!" and off you go. The action takes place on the "Stooge-O-Vision" screen that resembles a TV screen. The symbols include Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp in various costumes (with an occasional wrench twisting one or more of their noses), the Bonus Seltzer bottle, and the words NYUCK NYUCK, HEY MOE, KNUCKLE HEADS, WISE GUY and of course SOITENLY.

As the reels spin, the Stooges comment on the proceedings while familiar Stooge music plays, including "Pop Goes the Weasel" and "Three Blind Mice." The game has three bonus rounds, one funnier than the next. The Stooge in the Middle bonus triggers when images of Moe, Larry and Curly line up side by side on any row. Stooge voices prompt you to "Pick on of these knuckleheads" as a box flashes around your choices. I picked Moe, who got drenched by Larry with a fire hose while my points added up.

After a while I hit the TV Bonus when three TV symbols appeared. A larger TV screen image appears and plays a short Stooges clip, complete with the original soundtrack and theme song. At the end, bonus points are added to the total.

But all the while I was hoping to hit Curly's In Yer Face Bonus and finally I did, when three Bonus Seltzer Bottles landed on reels 2, 3 and 4. What an experience! Curly's giant moon face fills the screen. Touch a punching bag in the upper right corner to determine you r"shots," from two to 10. I got seven chances to whack Curly, choosing from head shot, eye poke, nose tweak, ear twist, face slap and sock in the jaw. Depending on what you pick, an amusing assortment of objects applies the stated action to Curly: pie in the face, hammer on the forehead, horn in the ear, paint brush on the jaw, fish on the head, wrench on the nose. All the while "The Curly Shuffle" accompanies the action and curly taunts, "Is that all you've got?" You see the credits you've won, plus the others you could have picked up.

When you've used up all your shots, Curly sticks his tongue out at you, gets sprayed with seltzer the keels over, still Nyucking, his heels shaking in the air.

I always felt a little Three Stooges goes a long way--but not when it comes to their namesake slot machine. In fact I can't wait to try out the other editions. Til next time, enjoy Life Among the Slots!