Review of American Dad! Slots
Some fans of Family Guy consider American Dad! to be nothing more than a silly spinoff that isn’s as funny, but I certainly don’t agree with that sentiment. This show has done a fantastic job of carving out its own niche and releasing season after season of quality episodes and storylines: in short, I’m a fan. Therefore, I was extremely excited to play American Dad! Slots, especially after seeing the great job that casino software company IGT had done with Family Guy Slots, since that game is filled with awesome, non-stop action.
Unfortunately, shortly after the game loaded and I began to spin the reels I got a sinking feeling that this game wouldn’t be nearly as much fun, and I was quickly proven right. That’s not to say that this game lacks excitement, it’s just that Family Guy is much better. Perhaps Fuzzy Door Productions should have gone back to IGT to see if they could replicate their previous success with cartoon-themed games.
You can bet that my love of the show is going to make me go lighter on this slot than I should be, and that my preexisting bias will stop me from really dropping the hammer on Playtech for screwing up what should have been an easy slam dunk. Hard core fans of American Dad! are probably going to be ecstatic with what they find, but casual viewers might be a little disappointed.
The game’s design is beautiful and clear, with all of the illustrations of the characters looking like they were taken directly from the HD television show. There are a lot of different times when members of the Smith family wander around the reels or throw something at them, so there’s definitely a lot to look at while you spin.
There is no American patriot greater than Stan Smith: he embodies the strict morals of Ronald Regan, George W. Bush, and every other staunch conservative of past generations. He is a straight-laced Republican who works for the CIA and is constantly annoyed by his wimpy son Steve, and liberal daughter Hayley, but mostly seems to love his wife, Francine. The family lives in fictional Langley Falls, Virginia, along with rescued alien Roger and goldfish Klaus, who is actually a German man trapped in the body of a fish.
The show follows the group as they stumble upon the most ridiculous of situations, usually culminating in hilarious and outrageous results, with the ability to wrap things up in 22 minutes each time. The group has participated in such terrible things as murders, drug trafficking, and global espionage without punishment or consequence, and seem to be untouchable in this cartoon universe.
In their day to day lives, Steve can often be found hanging out with his friends Toshi Yoshida, Schmuley “Snot” Lonstein, and Barry Robinson at Pearl Bailey High School or other haunts around Langley Falls, while Hayley usually has her hands full with her immature husband Jeff Fischer, who does not make an appearance in this game. Roger is a paranoid schizophrenic who opened a bar in the family’s attic to get hammered in and mingle with strangers, and there’s no way to sum up his existence in only a few sentences.
Although Playtech had over 13 seasons worth of fantastic storylines at their disposal, they chose not to use any of them in favor of simply having the main characters star in their own Free Spins Modes. I think that most fans of the show are going to be looking for a little bit more meat on the plot-bone than that, and are going to be left feeling hungry for more stories to chew on.
Well the good news with the unique symbols is that we got every main character from the show, (as would be expected), however, there aren’t any secondary characters in the game. Not even Patrick Stewart’s character of Deputy Director Avery Bullock showed up to make an appearance. From a practical standpoint this is actually ok though because the reels look full just the way they are, and any more character symbols would probably have been too much. That said, there’s always room for more characters in the bonus features.
Oddly, this game has the fewest number of symbols of any television-themed slot released in years, with a minuscule 10. When you spin it feels like they could have added another 1 or 2, even if it was just the Jack and the 10.
- White Q (Queen)
- Blue K (King)
- Red A (Ace)
- Klaus Heissler
- Steve Smith
- Hayley Smith
- Francine Smith
- Stan Smith
- Roger “Wogir” (Wild)
- American Dad Logo (Bonus)
The Roger Wild is the highest paying with 750 coins for five in a spin. This is followed by Stan, Francine, Hayley, and Steve who pay 250, 150, 100, and 75 coins respectively for 5 of a Kind. Klaus then swims in with an embarrassing 50 coins for five across the reels.
Sadly, there aren’t any huge cash prizes to be won in this game because there isn’t an American Dad! Slots Jackpot available. This really is a shame since it wouldn’t have taken them too long to add an in-game progressive jackpot or something like that. I guess Roger really is a “douche with a capital bag” – it’s 67 degrees outside and I hate you!
Now we get to the biggest problem with this game – it doesn’t have a proper bonus round. This omission really hurts since you know that Playtech could have done some fun and exciting things based on the source material at hand. However, I feel bad complaining when there are a ridiculous five different free spins modes available, but I think that most fans of the show would have gladly traded one of the freerolling features for a real bonus round that didn’t involve spinning reels and provided a fun break from the regular game.
At the very least, I’m sure the minds at Playtech could have come up with a great Pick Em’ style game or a “levelling-up” type of bonus feature that would have made the game more interactive and gave players the feeling that they had a bit more control over their wins and loses. It’s a shame that with all of those hilarious characters and stories that they didn’t pull something out of the bag to raise this game to the level it should be at.
The free spins in American Dad! Slots are triggered by the “Schmooblydong Wheel”, which of course is the word that Roger uses to describe Barbara Streisand singing the music of Celine Dion. If a wheel falls on reels #1 and #3 you will get a re-spin with whatever character feature the first wheel stops on, but if the wheel falls on reels #1, #3, and #5 it will trigger the proper free games mode with more spins and action.
The wheel on reel #1 will show you which character’s feature will be triggered, the one on reel #3 will give the mode its level of payout potential, and the wheel on reel #5 awards the number of free spins, which will be between 3 and 25.
First we have the “Stacking Stan” reel feature which gives you Stacked Stans that are added underneath his normal symbol onto the reels. The “Power Up” Schmooblydong Wheel will spin on reel #3 to reveal exactly how many Stans will be in the stack.
Next we have “Roger’s Random Wilds” which occur when he arrives back home after a big night out on the town getting hammered. We all know that this alien can’t handle his booze, so it’s no surprise when he vomits all over the reels leaving green puke mixed with random Wilds that will be scattered over the board. The Schmooblydong Wheel on reel #3 decides your fate again as it will give you the number of Wilds you’ll get each spin.
There’s also the “Francine’s Holy Grail” feature which will transport you to the Smith household for some wholesome fun. Once triggered, Klaus will appear on random spots on the reels as a little button and if Francine lands in that spot she’ll become an Expanding Wild that does a little curtsy while Klaus looks on in admiration. The Schmooblydong Wheel on reel #3 will decide how many Klaus buttons you get across the board. Needless to say, it’s quite interesting that they have a bonus feature that involves a goldfish peeping up a lady’s skirt to stare at her “Holy Grail”.
Next we have “Hayley’s Progressive Multiplier” which will keep jacking up your bonus multiplier for the entire number of free games that you receive. Hayley is trying to save the whales so she’s gathering signatures on a petition, and every one she gets will increase your win multiplier by a random amount. Hopefully The Schmooblydong Wheel on reel #3 is good to you because that’s what will establish your starting multiplier amount. The round ends when a competing activists confronts Hayley on the street and they begin to brawl.
Finally, we have the “Wheels and the Legman” free games bonus which has Roger wheeling Steve around the reels, with both of them wearing terrible costumes and dropping Wild symbols in their wake. The good ol’ Schmooblydong will of course give you the number of Wilds that they’ll be dropping each spin.
Due to its red and white striped background and few number of symbols, this game is deceptively plain during regular mode until a feature is triggered. Once in a bonus area you’ll find that every one of the free spins modes is totally unique with different animations, backgrounds, and reel features, so the graphics really come out to shine.
For example, the “Wheels and the Legman” bonus has them lumbering across the reels smoothly with HD cartoon quality. Not to mention that the disguises that Roger’s Wild symbols comes up with are fully detailed and ridiculous. Stan’s dance moves in the “Stacking Stan” feature are beautifully fluid, and you will be delighted to find that he’s dressed only in his socks and underwear.
I feel that I need to warn you that when Roger stumbles onto the reels drinking a martini and vomiting all over the place it looks surprisingly realistic, so those of you who have a weak stomach will probably want to look away until he’s done binge drinking. Also, the light that shines down on Klaus from Francine’s “Schmootzplatschen” is absolutely heavenly and Klaus’ reaction to the event is priceless. It’s small animations like this that will keep you chuckling and interested in continuing to play until you’ve seen everything that the game has to offer.
Finally, there’s a nice graphic display that shows you exactly how much you win each spin, and on which line. If you win on more than one line it will continue to rotate between each winning payline showing you the totals until you hit the spin button again.
Audio & Soundtrack
One of the biggest criticisms I have of American Dad! Slots is that the main soundtrack is extremely annoying and sounds like it was created by a demented circus of misfits. Not to mention that it stops at the conclusion of each spin so there’s no flow to the game. It’s so erratic and hurried that it’s impossible to play with the game audios on, especially when auto-spinning on Turbo. The terrible jingle starts and stops haphazardly until you think that you’re going crazy, so it’s easily one of the worst slot soundtracks I’ve heard in years.
The bizarre songs continue when Francine’s bonus feature brings in a new track that is like an awkward polka melody that is more “comical” than “cool”. Then we’re treated to the whimsical tune in “Hayley’s Progressive Multiplier” which is frantic and rushed, sounding like a sped-up version of a twisted circus jingle.
The soundtrack finally delivers something decent in the “Wheels and the Legman” bonus with a funky jam that’s led by a Flea-esque bass line and wah wah guitar, with horn blasts coming over the top of it all to punctuate the rhythm. This bonus round is also notable because it is the only time in the game where we hear voices from the characters. It’s just a super small snippet of Roger and Steve saying the name of the bonus round, and I’m still in shock that this was the only audio clip that Playtech included.
Lastly, this slot holds the title for “grossest audio I’ve ever heard in a game”, which is Roger barfing during his free games mode. I honestly have to warn you about it and I’m not joking at all – it’s so realistic and detailed that is sounds like it could be happening right next to you. I have a strong stomach and even I have to mute it when this feature is triggered because it makes me gag, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s sad because it ruins the best song in the game, the funky jam that plays in the background with a ridiculously sassy bongo beat laid over it.
Unfortunately, I think that American Dad! Slots might fall into the category of games that “you’re just happy to see they made into a slot”, and will play for a little while, regardless of the amount of fun you’re having. Therefore, it’s pretty much only going to be for diehard viewers of the television show.
It’s kind of frustrating because there are tons of bonus features, but there isn’t a true bonus round. I feel greedy suggesting that there should have been more things included in this game, but I think that most fans would have traded one of the free games modes for any kind of unique bonus area. Of course, if you’re a player who doesn’t like bonus rounds and prefers free spins, American Dad is definitely going to be right in your wheelhouse.
I love the “cringe comedy” in the television show just as much as the next person, but sadly this game is all cringe and no comedy. Since Playtech only included one line of dialogue, it’s safe to say that they left a ton of humor on the table. For example, there should have been more Klaus since he usually has the funniest lines, (mostly at the expense of ze Germans, of course).
Ultimately, I think how much you like this slot is going to directly correlate with how much you enjoy the original show. If you’ve never missed an episode you’re going to be in for a treat, but if you only watch it semi-regularly you’ll probably only want to stick around until you’ve seen all of the different bonus areas.
All of that said, I suppose many players will want to give it at least a few spins since it’s the only online slot machine that features a drunken alien power-puking on the reels. Thanks, Roger!
Remember: you’ve already been warned about the noises he makes…enjoy responsibly.
Bonus Video of American Dad!
Here’s an interesting video with all of the voice talents from the show at the Paley Center for Media a few years ago. It really is strange hearing the voices coming out of humans instead of the cartoon characters…