Why We Fall Out of Love With Games

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Insert credits message on a slot machine

There are some slot machines that are must plays any time I see them. There are others that ebb and flow depending on my budget and the day. And then there’s the ones that fall into a category that I’ve heard different people have different names for:

  • The Do Not Play List
  • Must Avoid
  • The Naughty Zone

For whatever reason, a particular game treated players the wrong way, and the end result is that they simply don’t want to play it anymore.

When the Big Hot Flaming Pots game came out, I was immediately turned off by the abysmal line hits. It was instantly clear the game was all about the (open-ended, potentially very lengthy) bonuses. 

The problem with the game is if the bonus doesn’t want to come out, it can be very punishing. One session doing 88 cent spins, I wagered $130 worth of spins and lost $120. That’s brutal. Of course, one bonus and I could easily make $50-100 of that back based on how that bonus runs, but it’s a feast or famine game.

After that awful session I have largely avoided it, except one session where I got well ahead. Yet I still avoid it because of the bad taste left in my mouth from the harder sessions. I was, pardon the pun, burned by the Big Hot Flaming Pots one too many times.

Some of us are more patient with a game than others. I’ll give a game a few tries to understand how the game is structured, and if I find it’s not structured in a way I’ll enjoy, I put it aside. Some games I allow myself to play when the budget can take a hit from a bad run, whereas others, once I realize it’s not for me, don’t get played again.

It becomes even more dividing when it’s a game that has a lot of commonality with other games. Really tough hold and spin game? I might favor one that’s not as rough. Double Money Link is wickedly cruel to me – I can’t seem to ever get a bonus on it (either bonus at that), so I’ve just ultimately landed on “Do Not Play.” It’s unfortunate because I’ve seen Brian get bonuses on it, and the bonus music is incredibly good, but I’ve never heard it in person…

I spent years avoiding Lightning Link and its siblings because I had never really had much luck with it. I finally gave them some more time a couple of years ago, and I’m much more onboard now and appreciate what they offer, along with how each variation offers a little something different. It’s a good reminder that even a couple of sessions aren’t always enough to get a handle on a game’s potential.

The games that will always get my attention are the ones I played as a newer casino player in my 20s. If I see those machines floating around they’ll get my play almost every time, largely because they’re so hard to find. 

An example of one I always played when I found it is Village People Party. It was a good Jackpot Party-style game with the addition of some fun music and when you did well with the picking the bonuses could be outstanding.

Of course, every player is different – I know players who don’t like older games because they’re not as vibrant or elaborate – but we all have our various reasons for falling out of love with games. What’s always interesting to me is which games and why.


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