Penalty Shootout

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One of the most intriguing aspects of online games is how they can take common daydreams and turn them into exciting opportunities to play for and earn cash. For example, what punter hasn’t dreamt of going one-on-one against a big league goalkeeper in a penalty shootout, while tens of thousands of cheering fans look on? Well, that’s exactly the thrill that software developer Playtech have brought to their arcade application called “Penalty Shootout.”

Playtech have made the background scenery for this game customisable for their online casino customers. On the Bet365 web site, for instance, the Bet365 colours and logo image appear on the fence behind the goal area of the stadium. Two tiers of fans crowd the grandstands, most of them wearing red and white. The goalie’s kit is made up of a jersey with blue and white stripes along with solid black shorts. Watch closely and she can be seen shifting his shoulders in anticipation of a shot.

The crowd noise in the background is absolutely authentic—so much so that it might seem as if the telly has been tuned into a Premier League broadcast instead of the audio coming from a computer game. That’s especially true whenever the ball finds the net and a roar goes up to celebrate.

Each game of Penalty Shootout begins with a wager, as the player is prompted, “How much would you like to bet?” Using the toggles to the left and right of the bet indicator in the middle foreground of the screen, the player selects a value from €0.10 to €100.

Next, the player must decide where to aim the kick. The goalkeeper stands directly in the middle, in front of the net, ready to leap in any direction to block the shot. The player has five options. A kick to either the lower left or lower right corner of the net will win triple the wager if successful. A shot directly at the goalies up the middle is worth a multiplier of 5X if it works, and the upper right and upper left corners of the next could yield 13X. Clicking on the corresponding arrow for each sets the trajectory.

To take the shot, the player must click on the “Kick” button next to the wagering controls. The thud of a boot meeting leather can be heard and the goalie makes his move. If the shot is blocked, a banner is displayed, stating, “Keeper saved the shot. Try Again.” Clicking on “Continue” returns the game to its original set up. However, if the ball gets by and into the net, a banner is displayed, which reads, “Goal! You Win” along with the amount won. Again, clicking on “Continue” restores the game to its original mode.

On the far right side of the display screen, there is a “Keeper History” window. It contains data on the goalie’s most recent ten results. An orange check mark signifies that the player’s shot was successful, while a red “X” shows that the ball was blocked. The placement of each kick is indicated, too, showing which of the five sections was in play for each attempt.

The pace of the game can be quite fast if shots are made in the same direction time after time and the wagered amount remains constant. Available on the “Tools” pull-down menu are various “Options” such as “Game Settings,” “Audio Settings” and “General Settings.” This is where the player can disable the game sounds, background sounds or dealer voices. It is also possible to adjust the game speed for normal play or fast play.

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