Game Review: Vegas Jackpot (Vic 20, Mastertronic)

Mastertronic - Vegas Jackpot - Vic 20
Vegas Jackpot, Vic 20, Mastertronic - Number IV0002
  • 6.5/10
    Score - 6.5/10
6.5/10

Summary

Even though it lacked the obvious lure of winning real cash, Vegas Jackpot is a surprisingly fun game. The bold, colourful graphics, and varied options make this one of the best slot games released for the Vic 20.

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Slot machines and video games have gone hand-in-hand for as long as the industry has been around. Whether its computers or consoles, it’s safe to say that almost every system available has had at least one game released in its lifetime, if not many more. So it’s no surprise that Mastertronic cashed in with the release of Vegas Jackpot…

Mastertronic - Vegas Jackpot - Vic 20
Mastertronic – Vegas Jackpot – Vic 20

Holidays Long Ago

Growing up as a kid, I can always remember our annual family holidays to North Wales. I’m sure my parents were looking forward to getting away from home and a change of scenery and my dad a well-deserved break from work. Me? I couldn’t wait to dive into the arcades and see what games were on offer. It helped that the holiday site we always stayed at had an on-site arcade so within 30 minutes of arriving I’d be in there!

As well as the likes of Space Invaders, Galaxian and Star Force (a personal favourite of mine), I couldn’t resist the 2p slot machines. Back then there were no big jackpots from slot machines in typical arcades and they were generally integrated with regular arcade games. Kids played alongside adults, and the whole point of them was to use up some leftover change and have fun. Winning the top jackpot prize of £1 was a big deal so you weren’t likely to obsess over playing.

Mastertronic - Vegas Jackpot - Vic 20
Mastertronic – Vegas Jackpot – Vic 20

Bringing The Excitement Home – Vegas Jackpot

Vegas Jackpot wasn’t the first home game, nor the first to be released for the Vic 20. But I remember loading this up and seeing a whole massive £10 available to play. I know it sounds crazy now, but the idea of winning those sorts of amounts on a fruit machine as a kid at the start of the 80s just wouldn’t have happened. And I think that’s what added to the initial appeal of games like this at the time. It allowed a lot of players to indulge in a little fantasy role-play without the risk of breaking the bank!

The Game

But I digress… Vegas Jackpot is in essence a slot machine simulator. The game is based on the old-school slot machines we used to find in arcades in the late 70s and early 80s and is played across four reels with a single winning line in the middle. Kicking off with an opening pot of £10, it costs £0.10 per spin. The reels themselves are quite well animated and contain quite a varied range of fruit symbols, well defined as well as the traditional “BAR” logo that you’d expect to see on old machines.

Mastertronic - Vegas Jackpot - Vic 20
Mastertronic – Vegas Jackpot – Vic 20

Match enough up and instead of an automatic win, you get to gamble your winnings. You see a rapidly changing pointer between two amounts, one higher than your prize, one lower. It’s a matter of timing to which you collect to try to get the best prize possible… but keep hitting the low one too many times and you’ll end up with nothing.

At random times before spinning, just like a real machine, you’ll get the chance to hold reels instead of spinning them. And finally, you’ll also get random chances to collect nudges or bonus spins to try to push the reels into place to try to win.

Mastertronic - Vegas Jackpot - Vic 20
Mastertronic – Vegas Jackpot – Vic 20

Gameplay

Even though this is “just” a slot machine, there’s quite a lot going on with Vegas Jackpot. The random element to the hold, nudges, and the skill element to the prizes adds an extra layer to what is essentially just a game of luck. Usually you can just sit down to a game like this and press a single button repeatedly and just watch it play out, but there’s a lot more to do than you’d expect. Certainly there’s quite a lot going on for an unexpanded Vic 20 title.

That variety helps keep you entertained and makes Vegas Jackpot a lot more fun than you’d think it would be. It definitely gives it far more longevity than you’d expect and despite it’s age I still found it appealing and it was easy to lose track of how long I’d been playing it for.

Overall

Even though there’s no real “end” to the game (other than losing all your virtual money), Vegas Jackpot provided plenty of short term fun. It brought back plenty of memories of arcades of old, without the empty pockets at the end of it. While not the flashiest of slot machines, it looked the part and played a solid smooth game. For the price it didn’t disappoint and deserved to do well to and helped to get the Vic releases off to a good start.

Mastertronic - Vegas Jackpot - Vic 20

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Vic 20 Mastertronic Checklist - Mastertronic Collectors Archive
  2. Mastertronic Best Sellers - Mastertronic Collectors Archive

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