The Sopranos slot machine is something of a departure for Aristocrat in several ways. First of all, tie-ins with a big TV show franchise is something more commonly associated with rivals IGT. Second, the use of video and audio clips from the TV series is unusual for Aristocrat – whose slots are known for being simple and playable. This game includes several bonus rounds, and is based on the 25 line format – rather than the newer reel power system. I should note that this article covers the video slot found in live casinos. There is also a version with mechanical reels, and an online version by PlayTech, which is a completely separate game.
Graphically, this slot is better than most Aristocrat games. The symbols are the characters from the show. The logo and some associated items like a case full of cash and a VIP room logo are also included. Even with the up to date extras, the old Aristocrat favorites are all here. These are hallmarks like the distinctive clicks of the reels, playing card symbols and circus type music with a fountain of coins for big wins.
The first thing you’ll need to do is select the number or lines to play. This can be done in increments of 5, though it is possible to play a single line. You then select your bet per line, and the denomination (coin) used. I recommend the full 25 lines for the best experience. Some casinos will allow you to spin for 1c per line (25c per spin), while others set this at a 50c or $1 minimum. High rollers can spin 10c x 10 bets per line – making a top spin amount of $250. I always recommend double checking the total spin (under ‘Bet’ at the top of the screen in this game) before you start when there are potentially confusing options to choose from.
As you might expect, Tony is the top symbol in this game, and also acts as the wild – substituting for everything except the scatter (logo). The other characters will also net you decent payouts, especially for 5 of a kind, these include Paulie, Artie and Johnny. The classic Aristocrat playing card symbols make up the bulk of the winning symbols. There are also VIP room symbols and Soprano’s logos, which both trigger bonus features. The logos are also the scatters, which give you a payout for 3, 4 or 5 anywhere on the screen.
There are several bonus features on this slot, which are triggered randomly while you play. These are mostly based on free spins, with smaller variations based on each of the characters in terms of the wilds and the multipliers for each win.
The Bada Bing bonus is interesting. This one has a pole appear over the reels, with a (sillouette) of a dancer pole-dancing on it. As she dances, wilds appear on adjacent reels. With a few extra wilds, you can easily turn an average win into 4 or 5 of a kind.
The Capo bonus is a casino game simulation, with Capo and the boss playing. This involves choosing numbers on a mockup of a casino table, where stacks of chips reveal different prizes. These then appear on a wheel of fortune type reel, which spins to show you how much you have won. The prize can be cash or free spins with a multiplier.
I like the variation in bonus rounds, and the fact that each one comes with audio and video from the TV series. This keeps the game fresh and interesting, a real step up from many of the previous Aristocrat games, which were just reels with the occasional free spins round.
With so much competition, the accolade of ‘Best TV series ever’ is not one given lightly. The Sopranos has been voted the best multiple times – both within the TV industry and outside of it. The first series aired in 1999, and in all 6 series were shot.
While the New Jersey mafia was the backdrop, the appeal of this series was much more personal. The main protagonist, Tony Soprano, battled to balance his Mafia responsibilities and family life throughout. This role was brilliantly played by James Gandolfini. The masterstroke which really bought the series to life was the therapy sessions between Tony and psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi. Of course, two actors cannot carry a series alone, and awards were won for screenplay and writing. Livia Sporano (played by Nancy Marchland) deserves special mention as Tony’s often disapproving mother.
If you missed the Sopranos first time around, then what are you waiting for – you can easily find all the series in many formats – and they have definitely stood the test of time.
For me this is very different to most Aristocrat slots, and hopefully the sign of many things to come from this company. It is a shame that this slot has not yet made it online, though I suspect that the PlayTech slot with the same name might have something to do with this (maybe they have the online rights?). The inclusion of video clips has only been done in one other Aristocrat slot to my knowledge – the excellent Walking Dead game.
I’ll be giving this one a spin the next time I am in Vegas (though reportedly it can be hard to find). There are many great slots around at the moment, though for me very few makers combine playability and the potential for big wins like Aristocrat do. I recommend you check out the Sopranos slot for yourself soon.