Long before The Simpsons took over the US television airwaves, forever fixing Matt Groening’s signature deep into American pop culture itself, there were The Flintstones. Fred, Wilma and their “modern Stone Age family” first hit US prime time TV in 1960, surviving six seasons in its original incarnation before various updates, reboots (decades before we called a franchise-refresher such), specials and the like.
Originally based on Jackie Gleason’s 1950s hit show The Honeymooners with its loud and brassy blue-collar dad lead, his none-too-bright best buddy and their homebody wives, The Flintstones rapidly carved its own niche in the sitcom drama as the characters evolved – albeit slowly, this being mostly continuity-free 60s TV, after all. Fifty-plus years after their heyday, Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles, Bam Bam and Dino have solidified their presences as instantly recognizable American icons.
Naturally, all this makes the Flintstones particularly rife for use as a fun slot machine theme. WMS Gaming launched its incredible “bricks-and-mortar” slot game in Atlantic City casinos in 2014, and this huge title is reportedly scheduled for adaptation into the online casino slots format by the end of ’17.
We’ll say this first: If you want special features the next time you’re at an American casino, The Flintstones is your clear choice. Heck, even the game console is divided into three distinct parts, superficially representing those classic pinball machines WMS Gaming cranked out for decades. A 32” horizontal display shows video elements crafted from the TV show on bonus payouts and jackpots; a 42” vertical screen features the electronic reels and gameplay itself; and atop the reels sits a “wheel of fortune” type spinner used in certain bonus rounds.
The base game begins with a five-reel grid of four rows; the Flintstone and Rubble family members occupy two rows each, however, to help get some high-paying wins. The “Bamm-Bamm Feature” pops up when Barney shows up in reel one and his faithful adopted son appears in reel five. Bamm-Bamm will then start banging that club to turn up to 16 regular symbols into wilds.
The ”Dino Feature” awards thousands of coins for landing several Dino icons, and the inevitable “Yabba Dabba Doo Feature” morphs the game board to a 5 x 10 format with stacked wilds and sticky wilds aplenty. The “Beautiful Baby Contest” is based on an episode of the old show featuring that angelic red-haired little Pebbles: Here, the girlie gives the player free spins plus bonus multipliers on every freebie.
You want more? How about the “Bedrock Bowling Feature”, a pick ‘em round in which your favorite bowler(s) can win from 450 to 4,000 coins on single strike, with up to three chances to win. Finally, the wheel at the top of the game is spun when its appropriate special symbols appear on the reels for up to 10,000 coins at a bonus multiplier of 2x to 10x.
So what can we expect from the online slots version of The Flintstones? While most of the gameplay can of course be transferred to the internet milieu without problem, a straight translation would certainly give The Flintstones online slot more bonus features than nearly any slots game online – a formula that should equal instant success, at least in terms of popularity.
Of necessity, though, the double-display format will certainly be lost, probably in favor of popups during game play displaying the animation that would otherwise be running simultaneously with activity on the screen with reels. Some of the Flintstones slot machine’s uniqueness will disappear, but a fan will hardly notice if all the great cartoon clips are maintained.
As of this writing, you’ll have to actually visit a “bricks-and-mortar” casino to play the Flintstones slot. Despite some special considerations that must be given the slot machine due to its odd physical dimensions, though, most bigger casinos in the US now carry the game.
We’ll keep you informed as to a release date for the Flintstones online slot as well as internet casinos at which you may play, so watch this space!