John Grochowski

John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski John Grochowski

On a Global Gaming Expo display floor filled with hot new themes, “Seinfeld” would have burned bright on any heat map.

Casino industry execs, buyers, vendors and practically everyone else at the expo crowded the Scientific Games booth to get an up-close look. Adding to the hoopla was an appearance by Larry Thomas, who plays the Soup Nazi in two “Seinfeld” episodes.

“This is probably the biggest new brand that’s being rolled out by any competitor,” says Steven Rosen, Scientific Games’ principal producer, with obvious relish. “There are 192 episodes of content to go through. There are characters that everyone remembers, and there are sayings that everyone remembers.”

Seinfield is on Scientific Games’ Gamescape cabinet with five video screens. At eye level, there’s a triptych, with a main screen straight ahead and smaller panels angling out on either side. Plus, there’s big bonus and video clip fun in the top box screens.

The main screen has four sets of video reels. You can play one if you like and still be eligible for all the character bonuses. Or you can bet bigger and play all four.

There are bonuses featuring Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer, of course. But secondary characters also are featured, like in the Festivus Bonus. You use a motion sensor to grab the Festivus pole while Jerry Stiller as Frank Costanza announces, “A new holiday is born: Festivus for the rest of us.” When you have the pole, it launches the Festivus free spins.

Then there’s the Soup Nazi, a fun bonus event featuring custom content Thomas recorded in a green-screen shoot at Scientific Games’ Chicago facilities.

In the Soup Nazi bonus, cartons of soup roll by on a conveyor. Some reveal bonus credits, others contain a character’s face. If you get a character, it’s worth a trip to a bonus wheel that’s superimposed on the Soup Nazi. Some wheel segments are open, so you can see Thomas beneath. Other spaces award credits, but if the wheel lands on an open space and the Soup Nazi’s face shows, it’s “No soup for you!” and the round ends.

Rosen is confident “Seinfeld” fans will love the game, and that even those who didn’t watch the show will have a great time playing.

“Even if you don’t know ‘Seinfeld,’ you know something about ‘Seinfeld,’” he says. “I think there is something for everyone.”

A year ago, I wrote about Scientific Games’ “The Simpsons,” which created a big buzz at G2E 2015. But the game was held back and returned in a new version this year.

Why?

“Last year when we showed the game, our licencor saw it and they thought it was a great product, but I think they really wanted to make it stand out a little more,” Rosen explains. “The nice thing for us is they got their hands dirty with us and they created custom content for the entire product. They did all the animation. They did voice over sessions with Hank Azaria and Dan Castellaneta to do custom content. They had a writer write scripts for the game.”

The result is gorgeous. You’re going to want to stop by the game just to see the animated introductory dream sequence with a tuxedoed Homer wafting from the craps table, to roulette, to the doughnut buffet.

“They’ve been genuinely great to work with because they’re as excited about this as we are,” Rosen says. “If you’re a fan of ‘The Simpsons’ or not, there are new things you’re going to see here.”

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

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