Review of The Chronicles of Amber Slots

This is obviously not diceless, but it’s Amber related and I feel like this experience should be shared with others. And you know you’re morbidly curious about this.

What Is It?

Ukrainian game company Murka obtained the rights to make a slot machine game based on The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny, nested within their existing slot machine app Infinity Slots. Of all the things that I would like to see done with the Amber IP, a slot machine game was never on my list. But I couldn’t not check it out.

What’s It Like?

Every time you open the app, you get assailed with five to eight pop-up ads in a row, all related to the slot machine app. Most are about mini-games within the app with a couple for spending money in the app with “limited time” offers to buy coins. If you leave the app to do something else and come back later, you will often get hit with the five to eight pop-up ads again.

Once you get into the app, you don’t get access to The Chronicles of Amber slot machine game right away. It’s in a “VIP Lounge” that you can access with Status Points. You accrue Status Points by playing other (non-VIP) slot machine games or spending money. It took me a few days of playing to get access to the VIP Lounge.

When you finally get access to the game, there are a couple parts to it. You start off in “Shadow.” In other games, you play for coins for the chance to win more coins. In Shadow, you play with coins for the chance to earn blue gems. The game uses imagery cribbed from the Amber books, though some of their choices seem weird. Corwin, Dara, and the Unicorn feature prominently. There’s a big red jewel that I’m assuming is the Jewel of Judgment and Corwin’s silver gloves. But then some of the choices just seem weird, like a giant belt.

One mini-game in Shadow is that if you get a special “dude on horse” icon, you progress along “The Black Road” where you will ultimately win a giant cache of blue gems once you reach Amber.

Once you have enough blue gems, you can switch to playing in “Amber.” (Which should not be confused with the “Amber” you can reach by traveling the Black Road.) The imagery is mostly the same as in Shadow. The background image changes slightly, and you start spending blue gems to win coins instead of the opposite. In Amber, there’s a small mini-game involving getting unicorns to unlock a special unicorn effect every ten spins.

When you get three red Bonus jewels in either Shadow or Amber, you get bonus free spins and maybe some extra coins/gems.

But is it good?

“Beloved relatives,” I told them, “I’ve a confession to make,” and Random’s hand was already on the hilt of his blade. That’s how far we could trust one another. I could already hear his mind clicking: Corwin brought me here to betray me, he was saying to himself.

Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber

Prior to this game, I’d never played a slot machine game in either an app or a casino. So I have no basis for comparison. And I have no clue what the overlap is between fans of slot machine games and fans of fantasy fiction by an author that’s been dead for 25 years. At least one piece I read about the app did indicate that this was a labor of love, and I can certainly believe that.

What I can say is that the game is intrusive. I’ve counted as many as eight pop up ads in a row just to get into the app. When you’re playing it regularly urges you to share updates on Facebook or to check out one of four or five side-games. I’m no stranger to freemium mobile games, but this one takes its ads to a whole new level. And they are only ads for content within the app. Is this better or worse than other slot machine games? I don’t know. But it’s a lot compared to other mobile games.

Outside of The Chronicles of Amber, many of the slots feature portrayals of people of color that I find problematic. At first I thought I might have misunderstood what they were doing, but the more I’ve played on the app the more troubling I find the portrayals.

The Chronicles of Amber game itself is fun because games of chance are fun. I even sunk a little money early on into the game. (Don’t judge me.) I still play a little bit daily and have had generally good luck, though I suspect that they give infrequent players good luck in order to encourage them to play more (and spend more).

Is this game for you? I mean, you probably already know. If you like slot machines and Amber, then this is probably a great choice for you. If you’re just morbidly curious, then maybe keep walking.

Published by bolthy

Jeremy Zimmerman is a teller of tales who dislikes cute euphemisms for writing like “teller of tales." He is the author of the young adult superhero book, Kensei and its sequel, The Love of Danger. In his copious spare time he is the co-editor of Mad Scientist Journal. He lives in Seattle with a herd of cats and his lovely wife (and fellow author) Dawn Vogel. Contact Jeremy at bolthy@gmail.com.

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