There's an old saying - the best things in life come in threes. For dedicated sci-fi buffs, as well as those looking for a new and exciting slot machine experience, I can't think of a better example than the new Star Wars Trilogy. And you dont have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to play it.

Exclusively in Atlantic City at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, and soon to be installed at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, this multiplayer game features a huge top screen projecting video clips from the first three Star Wars films, cleverly incorporated into three different group bonus rounds (see below).

Getting to those bonus rounds requires play on an individual base unit where three games - each operating on a four-by-four grid - take place simultaneously on the reels. Each base game requires a 30-cent minimum bet to create a 90-cent cost-to-cover for all three base games.

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The object of the game is to match symbols on the middle four squares. If all four symbols are matched, these symbols freeze and those surrounding them continue to spin, giving players the chance to win even bigger prizes.

An Ewok Adventure Bonus initiates when an Ewok appears in the center four symbols of one, two or all three base games. Players select Ewoks for credits and additional picks.

To become eligible for one of the group bonuses, players must collect virtual tokens when the Death Star appears in the center four symbols.

During the Battle of Yavin Bonus, players collect credits while traveling down the Death Star trench.

The Battle of Hoth Bonus puts players in the seat of an AT-AT while they attempt to destroy the Rebels' shield generator in this pick bonus.

In the Emperor's Final Battle Bonus, players pick from Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker. They then watch a battle unfold on the center screen while accumulating credits during this Free Games Bonus.

Look for Star Wars Trilogy on the second floor in the North Tower at Tropicana, and soon at Bally's Atlantic City, Harrah's Resort and Trump Taj Mahal.

Ask Mr. AC Casino

Q: Recently, one of your fellow columnists, John Grochowski, wrote about a new slot machine, Paradise Fishing. It really sounds like fun and something different. When can we expect to see this in Atlantic City?

A: The game's manufacturer, Aruze Gaming America Inc., isn't licensed to provide games for the Atlantic City market, so you'll have to travel to Nevada and California where I've seen and played this unique and popular game.

Have a question specifically related to an Atlantic City casino, player's club or other promotion? Email Mr. AC Casino at He'll try to respond to you personally, and your question - without your name - may appear in a future column.

'Sprechen sie

slot machine?'

When you go to your favorite Atlantic City casino, what are you in the mood for? Chinese? French? Spanish? German? I'm not talking restaurants, but slot machines.

Recognizing the multi-cultural nation we live in, slot machine manufacturers have designed - and many Atlantic City casinos have installed - a number of bilingual (and, in one case, trilingual) slot machines.

To change the language in which not only the game is displayed, but also the instructions, look for a small button - usually at the bottom left-hand corner of the main screen.

African Diamond - At Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa you'll find this popular slot title available in three languages - English, Spanish and French. It's the only example I could find of a machine in Atlantic City offering slot play a la franaise.

Day of the Dead/Dia di Muertos - One of the first slot machines to offer players a choice of Spanish or English, this machine can be found at practically every Atlantic City casino. Fiesta Chihuahua is another example.

Golden Memories - Practice your German in this bilingual version of Golden Memories at Bally's Atlantic City. It's located near the elevators to the main hotel tower.

Lake of Love/Lago Di Amore - This popular machine can be found in several casinos, but the only Spanish/English version I found was in the Palace Court high-limit slot area over at Caesars Atlantic City.

Money Idol - Unique to Borgata's high-limit slot area, this was the only example of an English/Chinese machine I could find.

Safe word

When a previous occupant left the in-room safe locked at Showboat Casino Hotel, I asked the security guard who came to my room what the strangest thing he ever found upon opening one of these locked safes. Expecting to hear tales of thousands of dollars in cash or jewelry, instead, he said, it was a pizza. "Somebody thought the safe was a microwave oven," he replied with a chuckle.

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.

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