Amstrad Computer User

Fruit Machine Simulator
By Codemasters
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #44

Fruit Machine Simulator

There can be few contraptions more addictive than the modern fruit machine. Now the Oliver twins have brought those same addictive qualities to the CPC in the form of Fruit Machine Simulator. "Just like the real thing", says the hype on the box.

The features have certainly been packed in, At first sight the sheer volume of colour and information on the screen looks totally confusing.

And so it is, until you actually start playing. Then, as you spin the reels, feature lights flash and dazzle your eyes as the sound effects assault your ears. Just like the real thing, I thought.

Fruit Machine Simulator

Up to four players can play, each taking a turn at inserting up to about £1 into the machine, for which you receive credits (it's 10p a go).

Pressing the spacebar spins the reels. They really do spin very smoothly and at very realistic and different speeds. Each reel even rocks a little as it settles before stopping.

All the features you'd expect on a real fruit machine are there - hold, nudge, gamble - plus a host of extra features that can be got at by lighting up the cash-bash line.

Fruit Machine Simulator

The four extra features are Nudge Box, Cash Box, Winning Streak and Skill Climb. Each box flashes in rapid succession, and you stop it on one by hitting Return.

The Nudge Box gets you the amount of nudges it's collected. You can take what's there or gamble for more. Fruit Machine Simulator even features a Compunudge (Go for it George!).

Like the Nudge Box, lighting up the Cash Box gets you whatever is in the Cash Box. Again, you can gamble it to try and win more.

Fruit Machine Simulator

The Winning Streak assures you of a win every time you spin the wheel. After each win (or loss, if you gamble the win and lose) you gamble again to see whether the Winning Streak is to continue.

The Skill Climb is a series of gambles up a money ladder. Each rung gets faster and harder to win.

There is also a box that collects money called Party Time, One of the features of Fruit Machine Simulator is again like the real thing you are not told exactly how to play it. You know how much certain combinations of fruits will win you, and you know which buttons to press because they flash, but the features are not explained.

Part, if not all, of the fun is finding out what everything does. I never found out what Party Time does. Sounds good though.

Holds come fairly regularly, with a single keypress cancel, and there is also a Mega Hold that hits you randomly. Here the reels slowly move about a little bit, giving you a wider choice of fruits to hold.

When you run out of credits (notice I say "when" not "if" - again, just like the real thing) you are cordially invited to insert more coins. Of course, you don't insert real money says he quickly as little bruvver drops a 50p coin down the slots in the top of the monitor.

Fruit Machine Simulator also features some nice intro music, crisp voice synthesis, and a Best Wins Today table. Yes, you can walk away with your winnings, in a manner of speaking, but somehow I doubt if you will. The temptation to have just one more go is just too much.


People who pour money into fruit machines ought to have their heads examined. If computer simulations of these coin chompers stop the rot, then it's all right by me!

The Oliver twins have once again excelled themselves: whatever they do, they seem to do infuriatingly welt. I do worry, though, that maybe this will encourage a few more idiots on to the real thing - it's that good, you see.


I have got to admit that I'm a sucker for fruit machines. There have been a number of previous attempts at simulating one on the CPC, but all have failed rather miserably. This effort from CodeMasters, however, takes the biscuit.

It features all the sights and sounds of the real thing and the rock and rolling reels are unbelievable. Another game that shows exactly what can be done on an Amstrad.


A very nice simulation indeed, but a little boring. The trouble with fruit machine simulators is that the element of risk is missing you can't lose because you're not gambling with real money.

But it's very nice to look at and listen to: the flashing lights, sound FX, music and speech synthesis are all up to CodeMasters' very high standard. There's not a lot to shoot at, though.