The Wii has sold brilliantly, more than even Mr. Iwata dreamt, due partly to its let's-get-up-and-have-fun image. Here comes Fantasy Slots: Adventure Slots and Games to prove that sitting down and pressing one button just isn't as much fun as it used to be.
With eight variations of the slot machine on offer, each with a theme ranging from pirates to ancient Greece, Fantasy Slots seems adequate enough on the surface. Including three-reel and five-reel variants offering different payouts and odds of winning, there seems to be a small amount of skill involved at first, judging how large a bet to place and on which lines. Then, after a few games of trying to be crafty and predict what will land where, you'll find the "Bet Max" button and press that repeatedly until you get bored and stop.
Each machine is all but identical to the rest, with only the pictures on the reels really changing much – until you unlock a bonus game, that is. The first, which asks you to pick one of three detonators to uncover gold, is as much fun as having your fingers fed through a shredder, and they don't get much better. The mini-game that asks you to click on monkeys as they appear is as thrilling as it sounds, but will allow any gamer with rudimentary hand-eye coordination to rack up huge amounts of cash very quickly. The motion controls in the vaguely Greek-themed bowling stage are laughable, your ball veering wildly left or right with no sense of subtlety, and the rest are similarly poor. You can revisit these at any time, but the payouts are much smaller when accessed from the menu, making them even more pointless than in the first place.
What can you do with all your virtual earnings though, short of using them as some form of measurement of how much you hate yourself? To buy and decorate three swanky apartments of course, with a grid-based system letting you purchase and place sofas, lamps, billiard tables, masks and more. As you progress through the game, you unlock trophies for performing well, such as hitting $2000 in lifetime earnings, but your only interaction with each suite is to view it from one of eight camera angles. The fact that decorating a room and then looking at it is the most exciting part of Fantasy Slots should speak volumes.
Aurally the game's not much better either, a clanging cacophony of falling coins and swirling buzzers accompanying whichever machine you choose and some irritating tunes for the mini-games. Mostly static screens with scrolling reels, the graphics fail to impress as well, though at least the images on the reels are clear, right? That's got to count for something.
Fantasy Slots: Adventure Slots and Games is a turkey: pointless beyond measure, joyless without equal, it's at least consistent in offering dull, unappealing slot machines. If you really, really like the idea of virtual gambling, then the eight stations here may entertain, but be warned: like Vegas, there are no real winners here.