Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nintendo Extra 4 (エクストラ4, 1972)

Nintendo's products have long been associated with gambling. During the first fifty years of the company's existence, their hanafuda cards were frequently used for (illegal) gambling practices by the Yakuza.

When Nintendo started producing family games and party games in the 1960s, gambling remained a popular theme - but now as activity for an innocent domestic setting, involving make-believe money.

Some examples of this are the Las Vegas and Casino board games and various standard Roulette games. Another interesting gambling game is Extra 4, shown here.

Nintendo Extra 4 (1972)

Extra 4 (エクストラ4) cost ¥1.500 when it was released in 1972.

The box features the "N" logo and color stripe on the left side, as most Nintendo games from the early 1970s did.

Besides the Extra 4 itself, the set contains a number of different playing fields used to place bets, playing chips that represent money and a little plastic case with metal ball bearings.

The game is called Extra FOUR because it provides four different game variants. They are shown on the four corners of the front of the box: poker game (ポーカーゲーム), horse racing game (競馬ゲーム), roulette game (ルーレットゲーム) and slot game (スロットルゲーム).

The four game types you can play with Extra 4

Every game round, a number of the metal balls are placed inside the bowl. The number used differs per game type.

The plunger is pulled, after which the balls each move randomly - as by magic - to one of the holes on the edge of the bowl. A circle with different symbols sits around this bowl. Depending on where the balls end up, these symbols determines whose bets are successful.

Game type 1 - Slot Game

By the way, another "N" logo can be seen on the top of the game, just above the plunger.

To change game type, you simply flip the ring with symbols.

Flipping one or more of these rings reveals the other games.

Game type 2 - Horse Race Game

Game type 3 - Roulette Game

Game type 4 - Poker Game

The mechanism used by the Extra 4 is not new. Around six years earlier, Nintendo already released a simliar game based on it, called Magic Roulette. This offered only a poker game (although it was called roulette!) - one of the four game variants in Extra 4.

Nintendo Extra 4 and Magic Roulette

A demonstration video of this mechanism can be seen in the post about the Magic Roulette.

No comments:

Post a Comment