Many years before Game of Thrones and binge-watching were a thing, Friends topped the TV ratings. This sitcom, set in New York, made stars of the actors involved – with millions of people tuning in to the weekly scheduled show. There is now an entertaining Bally pokie based on Friends. This includes clips from the shows, plus bonus games themed on some of the iconic episodes.
While Friends is an entertaining pokie, I’m not sure whether it would appeal to those too young to remember the show. For those of us of a ‘certain age’, this is close to a must-play. Read on to find out what Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Monica and Chandler get up to on the reels. Here are the highlights:
Most of the symbols show characters or references to the show. This makes the brightly coloured wheel bonus symbols stand out. To kick off the all-important wheel spin, you need these to land on reels 2, 3 and 4 in the same spin.
A familiar theme from the show appears alongside the wheel, which you swipe the screen to spin. The wheel shows a mix of credit prizes (based on your coin size) and bonus features. There are 4 features in total, 4 free spins games and 1 picks / jackpot bonus.
The free spins bonuses are based on some of the best loved episodes of the sitcom. You’ll get to watch short clips which set the scene, and see the decoration and wilds change to match each setting.
In the ‘Party’ bonus game the wilds walk (move) over the screen while you spin before disappearing off the edge. This bonus gives you 11 free spins.
The ‘Wedding’ bonus has my favourite types of wild symbol – sticky ones. You get 10 free spins and all the wilds which appear while you spin will stick to the reels until the spins end.
Thanksgiving is the setting for the final bonus game. You get 10 free spins to go with your turkey, and any wins you get have a multiplier you’ll be thankful for – 3x the prize listed on the pay table.
The final bonus game again references the show. You’ll be more interested in the possibility of a life-changing 6 or 7 figure progressive jackpot. This is a simple game, you pick tiles, which show one of the progressives – the first one you fill is the prize you are awarded.
When there is so much multimedia activity involved, it is easy to forget that you have a solid base game setup at the heart of a pokie. This one uses 40 win-lines, over a 5×4 grid. You will immediately notice that the symbols are super-stacked. This means long strips of the same picture go past, giving you the possibility of covering the reels completely with one symbol. Each time you spin a randomly chosen symbol will fill the stacked positions on the reels.
All of the winning symbols are on-theme. The highest paying ones show characters in iconic poses from different episodes. Think Rachel and Ross embracing and Joey with a turkey on his head and you’ll get the idea. There are also references including the ‘Central Perk’ sign, ducks and guitars.
For those of us that remember the show, playing the Friends pokies from Bally will be a trip down memory lane. The use of surround sound with a big HD screen gives this poker machine an immersive feel. It is not just the liberal use of clips which make this pokie entertaining. Sound clips, with familiar tunes, give the audio a polished feel too.
All the bonus rounds are introduced with short clips, if you have not seen these for a few years, then the memories of the first time you saw them could well come flooding back!
This is a must play for anyone that was a fan of the TV shows when they first aired. While younger players might be slightly baffled by the character’s quirky humour, this will bring memories flooding back. There is plenty to like about the game play. Super-stacked symbols in the base game, 3 different free spins games (based on iconic scenes) and a jackpot picks round that might leave you bamboozled!