It was in 1981 that Barcrest launched their new MPU3 micro processing unit, which was to be used as the brains for their fruit machines that were launched throughout the 1980’s, and the very first slot launched using it back in ’81 was the Nudges Unlimited fruity.
Set on stakes of 10p per play, with a maximum jackpot per spin of £2, with all wins over £1 in value being paid out in tokens, it did prove to be a very popular fruity, albeit one which did cause some confusion at first with players, due to the start buttons being located on the left and right hand side of the cabinet.
Two features that fruit machine offered were the Auto Hold and Auto Nudge features, the first would automatically hold for players the best combination of reel symbols on the one single pay-line, and the Auto Nudge button when pressed would automatically nudge in the best winning combination based on just how many nudges a player had been awarded.
When a winning combination had been spun in, players had the chance of taking a gamble option, and when they did so they would find out whether they had won or lost that gamble, by pressing the gamble button and the watching as the reels either spun in the next highest paying combination or the next lowest valued one as displayed on the pay table.
Nudges could also be awarded to players, and it was via a reel symbol grid that nudges were awarded to players. A 3 x3 grid of different reel symbols was displayed at the right-hand side of the reels, and when a player formed a lit line of three symbols in any row nudges would then be awarded.
There were two ways that players could win Unlimited Nudges, the first was by spinning in and illuminating all 9-reel symbols of the grid or by using the gamble option when they had been awarded with any number of free spins.