The Big Bang Theory Slots
The Big Bang Theory is an iconic situation comedy that celebrates all things geeky in the most ubergeeky way. There is no aspect of science fiction, fantasy, comic book, science, nerd, geekdom fan visualization that is sacred on this show. They make fun of everything while elevating those once hidden weird people to the status of Ubercool. In this world the Mundanes are the outsiders peeking in at the adventures and misadventures of ordinary people who are not so ordinary in their own special ways. The show is really about how geniuses learn to connect with their friends, families, and the world around them after having been raised in isolated or demanding lifestyles.
The show's name celebrates one of the most important and highly debated scientific theories. In 1927 Belgian physicist Father Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître of the Catholic University of Leuven published a paper in which he used Einstein's theoretical work on relativity to show that the universe was probably expanded from a "primordial atom". Einstein purportedly said, "Your math is correct but your physics is abominable."; Only two years later astronomical observations by Sir Edwin Hubble confirmed Lemaître's physics, setting into motion a debate that continues to this day.
The television show mirrors that long-running debate in many ways through its frequent clash of friendships and relationships. The lead characters are constantly debating principles of science and engineering even as they form tighter bonds and explore new relationships. The world of the characters is ever expanding, and your experience with this slot game gives you a taste of that constant expansion.
Aristocrat Gaming announced The Big Bang Theory slot machine game in 2014. Demonstration machines and videos reveal a staggering 10 bonus feature games, three mechanical wheels for bonus features, 4 video slot displays, and progressive value prizes. You'll spend hours just exploring the game's many features.
Game Design Features for the Big Bang Theory Slots
The Big Bang Theory is a Generation 7 game from Aristocrat Gaming, running on the company's exclusive Helix Slant cabinet, a programmable slot machine game that can run any Generation 7 slot from Aristocrat's inventory. Helix cabinets offer two high definition video displays in addition to the mechanical wheels and custom game graphics displays. The infinity edge video displays project animation toward the players, who realize a near-holographic experience.
The game offers 200 pay lines but the way Aristocrat set this up is that you get four sets of reels, 5 reels each, that have 25 pay lines per set. You bet anywhere from 50 to 200 pay lines at a penny per pay line. You also have the option of multiplying your bet by up to 5 times for a maximum of $10 per spin. This may be confusing to some players at first since other game designs have no problem offering 200, 300, even 700 ways to win or pay lines via a single set of reels.
On the other hand, each set of reels produces its own results. The game alerts you to which reel sets pay a prize per any spin. Character tiles can be small or large and the game's logo (which is the Wild symbol) may appear in stacks on multiple reels. Other symbols include game controllers, DvDs, flags, Chinese takeout food, and Soft Kitties.
Jim Parsons' voice clips from the show are used for much of the ambient commentary, such as "Oh look! There's Howard!" while show character Howard Wolowitz (played by Simon Helberg) flits across the bottom of the screen on a scooter to reveal a random prize or "Let's get this wheel spinning" to announce an Atomic Wheel prize (you get an exact credit amount or random credits count up as a video plays). He'll also speak fondly of M.O.N.T.E., the show's battle bot, when it appears in front of the reels to award random prizes.
A random Penny multiplier may be awarded if Sheldon (Parsons) knocks on her apartment door three times. She'll appear and say, "What's the word, hummingbird?" and a X10 multiplier flies out to all four reel sets. Sheldon may also demand to know who touched his white board as Wilds are awarded.
You may win a free spin of one of the two Atomic Wheels, which award credits or an Atomic Prize. Or you may get three Bazinga scatter symbols to trigger the Bazinga bonus round, where the main wheel o top of the machine spins. You could win credits, one of five bonus games based on the show's lead characters (Penny, Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj), or the Big Bang Theory Progressive Feature.
Each of the character-themed games begins with a clip from the show featuring that character. The Penny Friendship Paradigm fills the screen with pictures of Penny and the guys together or a Soft Kitty symbol, but you collect "Penny Friendship Paradigm" symbols for scatter pays. The values of the prizes awarded may increase during the feature as well.
- The Large Hofstader Collision
This feature is a Free Spins plus Multiplier feature where you do the math and choose one of four combinations of spins and multipliers for your bonus.
- (Raj) Koothrappali's Scavenger Vortex
This feature prompts you to pick a puzzle piece or "other people's dirty laundry". You either win a fixed number of credits or all of the prizes.
- The Cooper Roommate Agreement
This feature replaces the game reels with a new set. There are 432 ways to win. Sheldon is the Wild symbol. The reels look like columns in a PDF formatted magazine. Pictures of the characters, computers, chess pieces, and other incidental objects are display in-between blocks of (unreadable) text from the agreement.
- Howard's Mystic Warlords of Ka'a
This is Sheldon's favorite game (according to the voice over). You pick a Hero card to find out what multiplier you win for the next phase of the game. Choices are The Amazing Rajesh, The Wolowizard, Sheldor the Conqueror, Princess Penelope, and Leonard the Brave. Then you are presented with a choice of eight cards. You pick several cards and as you turn over a card your Hero applies his multiplier. You might turn over a card that boosts the Hero's multiplier an awards additional picks.
- The Electron Progressive
This feature prompts you to click on three atom symbols. You could win credits or the low (local) progressive bonus prize.
This game is loaded with surprises and clips from the show. You'll be reliving your favorite moments and smiling as Sheldon's running commentary gives the game a surrealistic touch reminiscent of the show's most awkward or funniest moments.
There is nothing spectacular about the ambient sounds or music. The Big Bang Theory's one real song is the theme song ("The History of Everything") performed by Barenaked Ladies and it would be tiring to have to listen to that through hours of play so the game designers opted for the usual bells and whistles, which while making the game sound exciting are almost like (really loud) white noise in a casino environment.
Players also note the game's similarity in some bonus features to Aristocrat Gaming's "Batman" slots game, which is a consequence of using a standard programming platform.
You will play this game because it has its own character, not because it's a completely unique experience. Sheldon's witty, sometimes poignant commentary almost makes you feel like he is sitting right there next to you helping you spin the buttons. The video clips also serve another purpose in breaking up the gaming experience. Research shows that your brain needs a break from a constant stream of the same experience, a fact that was exploited by the Muzak company in the 1970s and 1980s. They inserted timed silent periods into their constant music streams.
Although it's hard to say that the Big Bang Theory slots game is scientifically designed (any more than any other slots game) it is definitely a game based on math and physics, exploiting nearly every available optical feature in the slot game design book. The show's imprint on all these tricks and marvels of casino entertainment reduce that slightly disappointing feeling of familiarity.
You don't have to love soft kitties to want to take this game for a ride but you'll get more out of the experience if you are a fan of the show and know all the punch lines and clever tropes that are associated with each character. The only thing really missing is a time travel joke in the roommate agreement. That was one of the best lines of the show.