Overall Score 59%
Fruit N Loot
There are two ways in which fruit can make you money. Unless you want to become a greengrocer, your favourite method may be the slot machine. You can find such machines in arcades and casinos (and pubs) across the country, but they all have a drawback - they all cost a lot of money to play. And while you can win, you always seem to end up with less than you started with...
Fruit N Loot is a fruit machine simulator. It's got tons of extras, plus all the usual features like holds, nudges and the gamble/collect option. Start off with $500 - at $10 a go, that's fifty morsels to feed the beast - and see how much you can win (or how long you last!).
I'm not a big fan of fruit machines. They don't seem to involve any skill, instead taking your money and giving you a small fraction back just to keep you interested. I'm curious as to whether Fruit 'n' Loot deliberately does the same, or whether it is possible to 'beat' the machine.
The controls for Fruit N Loot are fairly straightforward. The spacebar spins the reels, and if you want to use holds/nudges, the numbers 1-4 select them. Gamble and Collect your winnings with G and C. Press Escape to end the game. That said, I had to look up a few of them in the menus (such as cancelling Holds).
Graphically, Fruit N Loot is good. The pictures on the reels are clear and colourful, the features active are easy to identify (if you can remember them all, at least!) - the downsides here are that there are lots of flashing lights, confusing displays and a screen crammed with so many features that it makes your head spin. In this respect it's very similar to the real thing!!!
Sounds... oh crumbs, where to start? Any fruit machine in any pub/casino/arcade is loaded with sound effects. Fruit N Loot faithfully carries on this tradition. Nice touches include the fact that the reels make mechanical 'clunk' sounds when they stop, and the voice that says 'one', 'two' etc when you select holds. I especially like the way it says 'oops' when you cancel holds!
Is it playable? As far as controls are concerned, it couldn't be much easier. Unlike many games, a fruit machine will happily sit there forever until you spin the reels or some such, so the only time reactions are important are when gambling (which is pretty random anyway). The game only loses out on this area by the typical fruit machine tactic of having so many ways to win cash or features that you have no idea what's going on. I can't penalise it much for that - it's a faithful interpretation of fruit machines generally.
My biggest con with Fruit N Loot is that I don't see it being a game played for a long time. It's great for chronic gamblers - they can play it as long as they like without spending a penny - but most will tire of playing with money they can't spend. All you can do is feed it back into the machine. But hey - at only $5, how can you possibly go wrong?
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