WMS have a lot of film titles in their range, which include video content and interactive bonus games based on iconic scenes. Beetlejuice is an amazing example, and can be found in live casinos where it is played over two giant screens in a 3D ‘pinball’ type cabinet. This includes the funniest moments from the dark-humoured 1988 film by Tim Burton. The reels have oversized symbols with the main characters on them – giving it a different feel from most slots. It is the bonus games which really bring Beetlejuice to life. Many of these give you the opportunity for some outsized wins; making up for the relative lack of smaller wins from the main reels. Some commentators have complained about the high volatility of this game. For me the video clips, bonus features and general levels of entertainment more than make up for this.
Playing the Beetlejuice Slot
You might not be able to spot them behind the oversized icons, but this is a 40 line video slot with a quirky 9×6 array on the reels. You can play for just 1c per line, with the spin amounts set between 40c and $4 per spin. There is a progressive jackpot for this game, though you will only have the opportunity to win this if you bet the maximum amount.
Symbols are the main characters from the movie, with the Maitlands taking a starring role, along with the sandworms, Beetlejuice himself, Lydia and the Deetzes. There are some in-reel extras which are separate to the break-out bonus games. These are triggered when you get a perfect alignment of the characters across the 3 reels.
The unique setup of the reels did feel odd to me at first. Fortunately, small boxes appear showing you the winning lines – and I did get used to the setup reasonably quickly. What you are looking to do is get 3 of the bright ‘Beetlejuice’ icons anywhere on the reels, which will trigger one of the entertaining bonus rounds based on the film.
Beetlejuice Bonus Games
The bonus games are the key reason for choosing this type of slot, and they are visually a treat. Each one includes video from the movie, cleverly used to give a context to the different ways of winning money.
First, the cemetery bonus is a pick-em game, which is based on the recurring theme of referring to the ‘handbook of the recently deceased’ from the film. You pick from a lot of handbooks, some of them will win you a prize (revealing a dollar symbol), while others will win land a Beetlejuice picture. If you pick enough prizes you advance to the next ‘round’ where the pay-outs are bigger. Once you hit 3 Beetlejuice symbols your bonus ends.
Lydia free spins can be hugely profitable. Based on the Goth who could see (and befriended) the Maitlands, this free spins game comes with up to 23 wild symbols. What happens is that Lydia appears on the top screen, and fires wilds down to the main reels for each spin. Not only can you get up to 23 of these (that’s a lot of reel coverage), you can get a multiplier of up to 10x on any spin awarded at random too.
The other free spins game is based on the sandworms. A prize is shown on the top screen, and each time you get 3 sandworms, this prize is added to your total. You can collect several wins, especially when you get 3 worms on one spin – extending the bonus by 3 more spins.
Beetlejuice Slot – Conclusion
Detailed, beautiful production and includes a lot of the humour of the original film. This is an excellent slot machine and really will appeal to anyone that enjoyed the dark humour of the original. Play on the reels does take a little getting used to, with the outsized symbols making it unclear what is a winning combination. This is a minor gripe in the context of the wider game- with the interactive bonus games in particular being a stand-out feature.
This film was an instant hit when released in 1988. It was directed by Tim Burton, who is famous for exactly the type of dark humour that Beetlejuice pulls off so well. Burton went on to produce many more classics including ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, Batman titles and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The main star of Beetlejuice is Michael Keaton, with Winona Ryder also taking a prominent role. This film won an academy award (Oscar), though for best makeup, rather than one of the more prestigious titles. It also won awards around the world, including a British ‘Bafta’. While the project was a financial success, this was limited in terms of the mega-bucks that today’s films make.
A sequel has been planned (Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian), though this has yet to see release. There was an animated TV cartoon spin-off for many years. A strange side effect of this film’s popularity was to make calypso-based ‘the Banana boat song’ popular!