The Big Lebowski was released in 1998. It has gone on to become a popular cultural icon, with many people instantly recognizing ‘The Dude’ (Jeff Bridges) and his nuances. This 888 Games slot is not the newest game in their range. The setting is a bowling alley, and many of the symbols are balls. You’ll see all the main characters from the movie on the reels – with short clips when they win.
Highlights include a progressive jackpot – which can grow large. There is also a second screen picks game based on the famous scene where they scatter ashes. You’ll also find expanding wilds on the 3rd reel, and ‘Spare’ respin feature after every non-winning spin.
You’ll find the reels pushed over to the left, with the two key characters from the movie staring at you from behind the console of a bowling alley to the right. There are 5 reels, each with 3 rows of symbols. There are 25 win-lines, which are non-adjustable. You can bet from just 1x a line and up. Underneath the big blue bowling ball which is the spin button is a ‘turbo’ option. This speeds up the spins and resolution of the line wins.
Unusually, every time you spin with no winning combinations, you’ll get another spin for free. A red message appears saying ‘Spare’ and the reels spin again. This is a regular spin, the only difference being that it is not possible to trigger the progressive jackpot during a spare.
The characters from the movie are the top paying symbols. These all appear inside colored circles. The Dude is top, worth 1000 coins for 5 of a kind, next comes Walter (700 for 5), Donny (400), Theodore (300) and Maude (200).
Playing card symbols ace down to ten are in use. These have been put inside brightly colored bowling balls.
There are no special symbols in play for the progressive jackpot. Instead this will drop randomly. You can win this while betting any stake.
The Dude’s yellow car, which appears at a strange angle, is the wild symbol. This can appear on any reel, and will substitute for regular symbols to create extra wins. When this symbol lands on reel 3 it can expand to cover all 3 of the rows there. This will only happen if wins are possible.
Red tins containing the ashes of Donny are the bonus symbols. Instead of the usual 3 in view system, you need to hit these on the middle row of reel 1 and 5 in the same spin. You will then see a movie clip, where Donny’s ashes are scattered (mostly over the Dude). Next you see 5 identical tins in a row, and get to pick one of them. Each tin contains a multiplier, with the highest being 10x your total bet amount. You will see the multipliers in the remaining tins after you make your choice.
This slot is showing signs of age in terms of the design. While there are clips and short quotes from the characters, these are always the same ones. The brightly colored bowling alley view does work in the context of the movie – though there is nothing that stands out from the design. The main symbols are simply photos of the stars. The animations when you win with these only last a few seconds, and are repeated several times.
Underneath the reels you get ‘jokey’ messages, again, I can see what they are trying to do here – though it comes across as not quite hitting the mark.
When the second screen picks games start, you do get a real clip from the movie. This shows the iconic ash=scattering scene. The game itself is basic.
Should You Hang Out with the Dude on the Big Lebowski Slot?
This is an entertaining enough game, though the appeal will be limited to those who know and love this movie. Even if you were a fan, there is not enough depth in the tie-in to keep you engaged for too long. Positives include the expanding wild, progressive jackpot and second screen bonus game.
It is strange to think that the Big Lebowski was a box office flop when it was released in 1998. This movie has since become a cult-classic. The characters and ideas from the movie, especially those of the main character ‘the dude’ are familiar to millions of people.
The Big Lebowski was written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The cast included some big names. Jeff Bridges taking the lead and John Goodman, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi also involved.
While the plot was complex, many of the details later turned out not to be important. It involved mistaken identity, which led the Dude to become involved in delivering the ransom for the kidnapped daughter of a rich family. The story takes some entertaining twists, including a severed toe, the death (and ash scattering scene) of Donny, and a group of German nihilists. There are some classic bowling scenes too.
In 2014, the Big Lebowski was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the national film registry.