Zynga Slots on iPhone: Zynga's spin on a tired if necessary genre

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Zynga Slots reviewCheck it out, slots fans: Zynga now has not one, but two slots games in its stable with Zynga Slots. If that sentence sounded a tad uninspired, our apologies. Honestly, I don't get slots games, and I probably never will. I don't get them for the same reason that going to a casino isn't my idea of a good time: I'm not a fan of watching money--regardless of whether it's my own--evaporate into nothing. Alas, there's a reason why every game maker out there is hot on casino games these days.

They must make a ton of dough. When you think about it, this recent sea change in social and mobile games that has every developer and its mother going after slots, blackjack and the like almost distills the social game experience. That feedback loop that ultimately drives a small percentage of players to pay on Facebook is what slot machines mastered years ago. And, for whatever reason, its charms are lost on folks like this writer--whatever that means.

Zynga Slots is, at its core, like any other slots game on mobile devices or Facebook. The core gameplay is largely the same, and frankly, it would be a fool's errand to change that up. (To our knowledge, the only attempt at that in recent memory was Slingo, and Zynga is already all over that.) However, Zynga has found clever ways to keep Zynga Slots' claws in its players for a long, long time.
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Each of the game's digital slot machines unlock over time as players level up existing slot machines, the first of which being a wonderland-themed reel. When a player is introduced to a new slots game, they must play with that particular machine until it levels up to unlock the ability to play with more lines or bet higher amounts of coins. Of course, more lines and higher bets means potentially more lucrative payouts ... potentially.

Zynga Slots screensPlayers are only provided with a few hundred coins at the offset, and can score tiny amounts of bonus coins every five minutes. Outside of that (and a Facebook friend system that rewards players with coins when their friends win), you'll have to pay up. As of this writing, the game has four stars on the App Store, based on over 560 ratings. So, it has to be doing something right.

Maybe it's the adorable visuals. Maybe it's the fact that every spin takes a cutesy character running across the top of the machine one step closer to Fever Mode, a 30-second spin-fest for primo payouts. Or maybe it's that Zynga Slots is almost like a showcase of Zynga's beloved game characters, much like PopCap's Lucky Gem Casino on Facebook. It just might be those mini jigsaw puzzle games that pop up between spins at times.

As far as digital slots go, Zynga Slots seems to do a lot of things right, actually. We know that, with its 3,000-some employees, Zynga is capable of far more than a slots game on iPhone and iPad. But my naive, romantic self likes to think that it takes games like Zynga Slots to help fund the real ground-breakers. We're waiting.

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