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Best of Pam Droog

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Whee Doggies! It's Beverly Hillbillies Bubblin' Crude!

25 March 2005

By Pam Droog

It wasn't long ago that I was in a casino and every 30 seconds or so I could swear I heard Jed Clampett shout, "Whee doggies!" from the back corner. Finally I had to go investigate. It wasn't old Jed but his TV show's namesake slot machine! I was dying to play it! The only problem was all three machines were occupied and standing behind the players were people lined up waiting for their turns.

Recently I was back at that same casino. The "Whee doggies!" game was gone--but in its place was the latest in the Beverly Hillbillies video slot series, Bubblin' Crude. Like The Twilight Zone slot, it's one of IGT's TV Hits progressive games.

I love the cabinet, featuring Jethro and his dawg in an old jalopy above the glass, plus pictures of Jethro, Ellie Mae, Granny and Jed and seven oil wells. The symbols have a definite "Ozarks" attitude: a pig in mud, a drunk squirrel guzzling moonshine, a gray squirrel, Ellie Mae snuggling with a critter, a possum, Granny guzzling moonshine, Jed scratching his face with a corncob pipe, a coon and a dawg, who's the scatter pay symbol and howls when he makes an appearance. Twangy banjo music plays in the background with every spin.

With a name like Bubblin' Crude, you know sooner or later you're going to hit oil and strike it rich, or at least get a bonus or two. To start the Bubblin' Crude bonus, you need three, four or five Bubblin' Crude bonus symbols to land on consecutive reels on a played line. Then the whole machine starts to shake as Jethro announces, "This here's where it all began!" On the upper screen, the clip of the beginning of every "Beverly Hillbillies" episode plays--the part where Jed shoots at a critter and oil starts bubbling out of the ground.

Then the screen switches to a cartoon version of Jethro "hunting." You pick critters like a pig or a scarecrow or even a still. "Maybe you'll scare up some oil!" Jethro says. And sure enough, when you touch certain critters, oil wells do get scared up (while Jethro tells you, "This here's your lucky day!") and overflow with bonus credits. Then the screen switches back to the rest of the immortal scene where Jed rushes into the hovel, tells Granny the news and they all drive out to Beverly Hills in their junk-packed jalopy.

The second bonus, Jethro's Vittles, starts when the Jethro's Vittles bonus symbol lands in the middle position of the third reel. Cartoon Jethro shows up in the top screen eating a sausage. You get to pick up to five critters that can turn into down-home delicacies. For example, when I chose a pig, Jethro informed me I could make "sow belly with hand-slung chitlins," for 15 credits; Southern Fried Muskrat earned 30 credits; and the Raccoon Cobbler's "meat just falls off the bone!" for 45 credits.

For the top MegaJackpots Instant Winner prize you need five Beverly Hillbillies symbols to land on the 15th payline with max credits on all lines.

IGT threw in every hillbilly cliché they could think of into this game. But that's how the original TV show was too, completely over the top, and that's what makes it so much fun to play. Plus it's a penny game so you can stay with it for quite a while. In fact I had so much fun playing Beverly Hillbillies Bubblin' Crude, I almost shouted "Whee doggies!" myself a few times!

Until next time, enjoy Life Among the Slots!