Laser Escape

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Internet gaming has introduced a broad category of betting opportunities that centre upon the concept of “Hi-Lo.” In such games, the object is to forecast correctly whether the next outcome in a series will be higher (Hi) or lower (Lo) than the most recent result. Most often, the games will use decks of cards, dice, spinning wheels or other methods of generating random outcomes. Odds may be fixed or variable, depending on the structure of the game and its betting options.

In the game known as “Laser Escape” developed by Zukido, a novel twist has been given to the Hi-Lo genre, combining elements of football and laser tag against the backdrop of outer space. The game display opens to show a platform floating in the dark, starry sky. Its surface features exactly ten “Bay Doors,” which are closed and numbered from 1 through 10 from left to right. Upon one of the Bay Doors sits a metallic-looking globe, and the words “Select your stake” appear overhead.

In the upper right corner of the display is the game’s Message Box. At the start, it reads, “Pre-Launch Check.” Just below the platform in the middle of the screen are three controls identified as “Decrease,” “Confirm” and “Increase.” They are used to set the amount the player wishes to wager, from €1 to €25. Clicking on confirm will lock in the bet and display it at the lower right of the screen in the “Stake” counter. The Message Box will then read, “Launch sequence initiated.”

About the platform, the instruction will appear, “Select start position.” Using the “Left” and “Right” controls that will have appeared beneath the platform, the globe can be position atop and of the 10 Bay Doors desired. Clicking “Confirm” will lock it in position. The word “Processing” will flash upon the screen and the Message Box will read, “Prepare for ignition.” As the Processing ends, the controls below the platform will have changed once again to three betting options—“Left,” “Same” and ‘Right”—and an instruction appears to “Select your bet.”

By this time, the player will have noticed that there are two orange tipped warning lights on either end of the platform. When the game begins, they will telescope upward and secure pink nets that the globe will bounce off of as it zips back and forth across the platform before coming to rest on one of the numbered doors. The player’s objective is to correctly predict whether that new position will be to the Left (lower) or Right (higher) than the door upon which the globe presently rests. Betting on the Same door is also possible, and the corresponding odds are show directly below the choices.

The action begins as soon as the player chooses one of the three betting options. The controls disappear, yellow lights glow beneath the Bay Doors in the area of the platform selected by the player. The nets rise up and the Message board displays, “Ignition.” A field of pink energy envelopes the globe and then it shoots off toward one the nets and begins bouncing back and forth between them.

As the globe comes to a halt, the warning lights will begin glowing, an alarm will sound and the Message Box will read, “Air Lock Opening.” All of the Bay Doors in the “safe” yellow-lit area selected by the player will open simultaneously. If the globe is resting on one of them, it will “escape” through the open air lock to the next platform directly below, just as the nets drop and laser beams shoot out from both ends of current platform.

In this case, the bet has been successful. The amount won will flash across the screen and then be added to the Stake counter. At the top left of the display, a yellow button will light up containing an arrow pointing in the direction of the successful wager. The Message Box will read, “Progress to next stage.” Then, the player can choose to bet again using the increased Stake or to use the rust-coloured “Collect” button in the lower right corner of the display to gather in the winnings and begin the game anew. The Message Box will read, “Mission Success.”

However, if the globe comes to rest in an “unsafe” area, it will be stuck on a closed Bay Door when the air locks open. The lasers that shoot forth will shatter it to pieces, the Stake will be lost and the Message Box will read, “Mission Failed.”

At various points during the game, bonus winnings are awarded. These are given out on “warp stages,” which can be seen in the history trail in the top left of the screen. Rolling the mouse pointer over the stages gives details of the bonuses available. The current round glows green.

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