onami Corp. was founded in 1969 in Japan as a jukebox rental and repair business. Within four years, it was developing games of amusement for arcades, and soon thereafter it grew into the video gaming manufacturer for which it is best known.
The company has been in the slot machine sector since the early 1990s. Las Vegas-based Konami Gaming, a subsidiary of Konami of Japan, already has made its presence felt on gaming floors with a selection of video slots in such themes as African Treasure, Hot Dawgs and Scar Fish.
New technology in the reel slot category has been evident in recent years in the wake of the video technology that took the industry by storm a decade ago. But the resurgence in popularity of the games has been fueled by five-reel, multi-line devices manufactured with down-sized reels and smaller symbols.
Konami’s Advantage 5 boasts five full-size spinning reels that are reminiscent of the glory days of the once-dominant three-reel spinners. But that’s where the similarity ends. Imaginative incorporation of top-box lighting with 3-D visual effects and back-lit reels that can display up to 256 colors makes it a unique gaming experience.
The first game in the brilliant new format to be released is "Vibrant 7s." It made its national debut in Pennsylvania, followed by a Nevada rollout at Harrah’s Las Vegas. It will be available soon at state-regulated and Native American casinos around the country.
The game’s five-reel configuration has 25 pay lines with a four-level progressive. The four jackpots (mini, major, mega and maxi) are accessible by players who line five green "7s" on an active pay line. This sets off the "Numbers Bonus" that awards one of the four progressives.
Konami is releasing another new multi-tier progressive format called "Diamond Point." Its base game has no pay lines. It’s entirely a scatter-pay format in which symbols line up left to right on adjacent reels to create winning scatter-pay combinations.
The "Wizard of Oz"-themed video slot is popping up in the Chicago area, including at Harrah’s Joliet Casino and Empress Casino Joliet. The entertaining game is the second release in WMS Gaming’s Sensory Immersion line. Like "Top Gun," the special features and bonus round components are spectacular.
The Oz characters come to life on the screen, and the Bose audio-enhanced melodies from the 1939 MGM movie classic are enchanting. World Series of Poker Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker, which re-creates the excitement of the popular poker room staple in a table game format, is now available at Harrah’s Joliet.