AWP machines came from Great Britain, where they replaced classic British fruit slots with the rapid advance of electronic science. You probably remember that fruit machines (with three reels and one payline) give you additional controlling features on a random basis, including:
- nudge function, with the reel moving on icon down. There are options where you can keep the nudges and use them in later rounds, get more nudges in the ensuing rounds or risk and decrease/increase the number of nudges.
- hold function, where only those reels spin that you haven’t put on hold.
AWP machines add one more nicety – the prize game. The basis of the game is still the same: one slot machine with a single payout line and randomly appearing nudge and hold functions. On top of some of the symbols, however, a certain number (from 1 to 5) or some symbol is indicated in small size in order not to cover the main icon. It is these symbols that activate the bonus game. If numbers occur, you need to accumulate no less than 7 or 8 points; if symbols, three symbols on any of the nine reels you see on screen. After that, the bonus game begins with a number of opportunities. The first one is Hi/Low, where you are given one or sometimes several numbers from 1 to 12 and need to guess which the next number will be – hi or low. If you have guessed – welcome to the higher step of the prize chart; if not – the game is over. Any time you are free to stop and take away your prize. It is understandable that the higher you climb, the more is at stake. In some instances, a player can choose the bonus type (money, nudges or other bonus features). Another type of bonus sees a playing field covered with squares, each one offering a game of its own. You push the Spin button, get the number, and move from square one to the point which corresponds to the number you hit upon. At that point, the choosing game begins, where you see different prize amounts flashing on the screen, one of which you need to capture by pressing the Stop button. If you are satisfied – take it with you with the Collect button; otherwise, continue the game by pressing ‘Spin’. As a winning you stand a chance of receiving money, free spins or any other bonus feature imaginable. You can lose here, too, if you stumble upon the ‘mysterious’ sector marked with an interrogation mark – it has the highest losing rate.
AWP, bonus games, and less often – main games feature one of the bonus features, among which you’ll find:
- Shifta (Spin a Win) – random winning combination in a slot;
- Boost – giving additional points;
- Stoppa fruit (Cash Blaster, Reel Roulette, Pick a Win) – winning combinations start blinking on a slot, you stop the blinking and get away with a winning combination;
- Win Series – initiates a series of winning combinations;
- Exclusive bonus games – share the name with the game and allow you to win max
On the whole, it is desirable to read the rules and descriptions of bonuses. It is sometimes barely possible to make head or tale of the game after playing it for quite a while!
Another make of AWP machines are built on another principle. They are based on a conventional slot, but if you collect three identical symbols on a payline, you’ll get a number of bonus spins (unlike a monetary satisfaction). Mind that these spins could be used not in the main game, but in the prize round.
At present, MicroGaming is a leading developer of AWP slot machines. Besides, Cryptologic gives some choices, too. To conclude, here’s our opinion. We can’t be sure which payout rate is set in MicroGaming, but I doubt it is high enough. In one game, we couldn’t win a penny during the whole 50 spins, although this was our first go and we still had no knowledge of some of the features. We believe that AWP machines with prize games are curious enough, provided that the prize games occur not too rarely. On the whole, however, bonus games are hard to find and the winnings are scarce; you’d better not hope for a fat prize at all. Besides, as we see it, AWP prize games are not obligatorily random. It was made clear in one of Hi/Low games, when the prize game occurred after 3, 4, and 11 appeared as initial numbers (unlike 6, 7, 8). Nevertheless, we recommend that you have a go at such games. Personally, we liked Apocalypses Cow for the abundance or rounds and quite handsome winnings. Watch out – and you’ll find the AWP to your taste.