Don't look now, but Godzilla has invaded the city! Currently, you can find him at the Borgata, Golden Nugget and Harrah's Resort.
The latest movie-themed slot machine to hit Atlantic City, Godzilla knocks down buildings, but, as each one falls, instead of mayhem ensuing, bonus credit amounts are revealed. And this is just one of three bonus games this double-tiered video slot machine offers.
The machine also features video clips from various Godzilla movies.
Officially titled "Godzilla on Monster Island," this penny machine has 40 lines, with the option of playing one or two games concurrently. Minimum bet for all lines on one screen is 30 cents, or 60 cents for both. Contrary to many machines which require an extra "side bet" to be eligible for certain bonuses, this one actually "gives" you an extra 10 lines when you play all lines on either or both games at any level from one to five times your initial bet. For example, playing one game costs from 30 cents to $1.50. (Playing two games at once costs from 60 cents to $3.)
The symbols on the main game are an assortment of monsters from various Godzilla films, as well as the weapons - tanks, helicopters, etc. - that often try to destroy them.
At random points, Mothra - a giant butterfly-like kaiju (Japanese for "strange beast") - flies on to the screen to add wild symbols. Alternatively, Godzilla appears and breathes "fire" on the base game to add wilds - up to 20 at one time.
The bonus can be activated on either screen when an erupting volcanic island appears on each of the three center reels.
The main bonus begins with Godzilla stomping out of the water to destroy the city. Spanning both the top and bottom screens, the image of Godzilla is huge compared to most other slot machines. Adding to the effect are speakers built into the chair which make you feel every rumble as the monster takes over.
And rather than just watching a bunch of additional free spins, this machine is interactive, allowing you to direct Godzilla straight ahead, back, or to the left or right. As you "help" him clear away parts of the city, when buildings fall, credit amounts appear and are added to your winnings. If the words "Bonus Tripped" appears instead of a credit amount, you move on to the Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla free spin bonus or the Godzilla vs. the Military bonus.
Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla
Screens with symbols different from the main game appear, but this is basically a free spin bonus with an added twist. Godzilla and MechaGodzilla periodically appear, respectively, on the left and right sides of the screen. At the bottom of the screen is a sectioned bar.
At the conclusion of a spin, if Godzilla shows up on the left side of the screen, he uses his atomic breath to eliminate sections of the bar from the right; if MechaGodzilla shows up on the right side of the screen, he breathes fire causing a similar deterioration to sections of the bar from the left. Whichever monster burns away all of his opponent's section of the bar first is the winner. If Godzilla wins, you get to pick your choice of three "orbs" - each with a different amount of credits. The amounts of the three credits will vary based on the initial bet.
Godzilla vs. the Military
In the Godzilla vs. the Military Bonus you can get a maximum of five screens, each featuring different types of weapons (tanks, cannons, missile launchers, etc.). You begin with five picks. Behind each weapon is a credit amount or a credit amount and a "+1 Pick" symbol. Choose the weapon with the "+1 Pick" symbol and you get the credit amount under each one of the weapons, plus an additional pick. The earlier you find the "+1 Pick" symbol, the better your chances for completing all five games within the bonus. If you get to the last screen, you win a victory bonus by selecting a helicopter for Godzilla to destroy. After Godzilla's "breath" strikes the helicopter, you win the amount revealed after the blast.
Godzilla on Monster Island offers lots of action, and, to add to the excitement, bonuses appear frequently. With all this destruction, it's a great way to take out your frustrations, and maybe win a little money at the same time.
Where You Can Play It: At the Borgata, Godzilla is located near the entrance to the Water Club; at Golden Nugget, Godzilla is in the rear of the casino on the wall that separates slots from the new Poker Room; at Harrah's, look for Godzilla near the windows and emergency exit doors by the Xhibition Bar. Locations are subject to change.
"Recreational gambler" Darryl D. McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. He is based in Wilmington, Del. His column appears every other week.