Bally loves to convert popular TV shows into slot machines. During the 20th anniversary of Friends, this long-running comedy series was added to their list of available land-based slots.
For fans of the show, the game offers plenty of clips and theme-appropriate symbols, while those more interested in gambling should love the multiple bonus rounds. There’s also a massive progressive jackpot to be had, with winnings frequently surging past the one-million mark.
And, yes, the show’s iconic theme song is present. In fact, it plays during each spin, so you’d better learn to love it.
Considered one of the most popular television sitcoms of all time, Friends was created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane (who also happened to be longtime buddies). Airing on NBC, it lasted 10 seasons and told the story of a group of fresh-faced adults living in Manhattan.
While numerous supporting characters were introduced over the years, the show focused on the following six individuals:
Friends first aired on September 22, 1994, and it managed to keep its momentum throughout the ten seasons of the series (earning more than 60 Emmy nominations along the way). The finale came on May 6, 2004, which was watched by 52.5 million viewers in the United States. This number earned it the honor of being the highest rated TV program in the 2000s.
While the show has been off the air for more than a decade, it continues to live on in the United States through reruns. It has also enjoyed a significant following in the international market, with fans in nations such as India, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
All the game symbols have something to do with the show, and I’m happy to report that no playing card icons are used. A number of symbols feature the actual characters, while others include the Central Perk logo, coffee cup, and a guitar.
Wheel Bonus – The Wheel Bonus is triggered when the corresponding icons fill the second, third, and fourth reels. Once the bonus wheel is activated, the player is asked to touch the screen and start it spinning. In addition to straight cash values, wedges can activate a total of four bonus rounds. These include the following:
Thanksgiving Bonus – When this bonus is activated, the player receives 10 free games with a 3x multiplier. As the spins begin, a clip from the show plays in the game’s upper screen. In addition to the multiplier, the round features mega stacks for plenty of opportunities to land a payout.
The Bamboozled Bonus – The player is presented with 20 cards labeled “Wicked Wango” and asked to select them one by one. When a card is picked, it flips over to reveal either Hungry Monkey, Golden Mud Hut, or Paradise Pond. Each of these has an associated bonus payment, with Paradise Pond being the most valuable.
Selections continue until a trio of matching icons have been revealed. At that point, the player is awarded the corresponding bonus amount and returned to the base game.
Wedding Bonus – During this bonus phase, the player is awarded 10 free games with locking wilds. A short clip kicks off the round, and any wild symbols remain for the duration. Once the player has received their credits, they’re returned to the base game.
Party Bonus – This final wheel bonus awards 11 free games with walking wilds. It starts with a clip from the show, then quickly launches into the bonus spins.
Reels one and two are comprised entirely of walking wilds, and they move one reel to the right at the beginning of each spin. Once they reach the edge of the screen, they move back in the opposite direction.
Each reel contains mystery symbol positions that are randomly replaced from among a selection of icons at the beginning of each spin. Mystery symbol positions are replaced by the same icon on each spin, although it should be noted that the Wheel Bonus and Progressive are only available on reels two, three, and four.
Plenty of slots offer a progressive jackpot, but most can’t match the huge awards found on this Bally machine. For example, on a recent trip to the Aria in Las Vegas, I played a Friends slot that featured a top progressive payout of $1,396,319.23. Any way you slice it, that’s a life-changing sum of money.
In order to capture this jackpot, you’ll need to entirely cover reels two, three, and four with the Progressive symbol. If you manage to accomplish this feat, get ready to move to a whole different tax bracket.
The Friends slot machine from Bally is a perfect example of a licensed gambling property. It features a large range of betting options, as well as multiple bonus rounds, authentic clips, and an epic progressive jackpot. If you watched television at any point from 1994 to 2004, there’s a strong chance that you’ll beat a path straight to this game during your next casino visit.