Stacker, Skill or Slot Machine?

I recently found an interesting arcade game.  It’s called Stacker. It’s one of those “skill” games.  The idea is to stack blocks as they move back and forth across the screen in order to reach the top.  It starts out easy on the lower levels and gets harder as the levels progress.

If you make it to the top, you get a prize.  The prizes, however, aren’t the ordinary sort of stuffed animal.  Prizes vary, but you typically get your choice of an IPod Nano, Sony PSP, $150 gift certificate, or even an Xbox 360.  It’s usually $1 or $2 to play.

I must admit.  I’m a bit hooked on it.  It’s perhaps because I had some early success.   After a few tries I won a Sony PSP (~$250 value).  Ever since, I’ve been completely shut out.  I can normally make it all the way to the last block.  However, getting that last block to fall seems almost impossible now.

I’m starting to wonder if the Stacker really isn’t a game of skill.  I wonder if the game is purely a slot machine and perhaps I just got lucky on my first few tries.  If it is, I have to question the legitimacy of the game.  It’s advertised as a game of skill not chance.  Since it’s not mechanical, but just software it’s possible that the entire game progression is purely a programmed profit algorithm.

I don’t have evidence of such, except that I’m being a poor loser perhaps.  Has anyone else played Stacker or knows of how it works?  If you have does anyone have any particular strategy?  (Mine is push the button really fast).

I’m pretty please with my PSP (when my kids let me play it!).

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One Response to Stacker, Skill or Slot Machine?

  1. Alejandro Exequiel Villegas July 29, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    I played today and won a major prize in my second try. I have some experience on this kind of game, I play usually on a machine with the same idea but gives you stuffed animals and I win every 3 or 4 games, no one else won when I was there. I think is an skill game with some limitation, I think the system only allows you win every x amount of lost games.

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