Superheroes live forever but the actors who play them are as mortal as the rest of us. The world awoke this week to the news that Batman star Adam West had died at 88.
The 60s stalwart, famed for his straight-faced delivery, stepped into his Batsuit and made his debut in the eponymous TV show which debuted on January 12th 1966, the first instalment of a two-parter which concluded the following night.
While subsequent generations have derived amusement from the kitsch campness of it all, the show was a runaway hit at the time, earning an Emmy nomination in its first year.
The series lasted until 1968, when it was finally cancelled following three seasons. Although that was to be the last time West donned his Batsuit to rid Gotham City of evil, he didn’t relinquish his involvement in the superhero franchise. Cartoons such as The New Adventures of Batman, Legends of the Superheroes and SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show saw West reappear to voice the caped crusader.
While many readers will be too young to have experienced the original Batman series starring Adam West, they’ve likely seen some of its high points reproduced elsewhere.
In addition to a steady flow of vintage Batman memes that have populated the internet in recent years, the TV series has assumed cult status.
The Adam West Batman revival has also been bolstered by the ongoing reboot of the Batman franchise and the expansion of the superhero into the realm of casino games. In particular, there’s the trio of online slots which Playtech released inspired by the original Batman series.
Batman & The Joker Jewels
The first of a trio of caped-crusader style games. This retro slot is filled with pop-art imagery and features the man himself, Adam West.
A five-reel, 25-payline slot that game evokes much of the classic batman stylings that fans of West’s original series will remember well. Gameplay sees Batman and his famous sidekick, Robin battle it out across the five reels with the Joker.
The game features plenty of suitably Batman-themed symbols such as the Batmobile, calling cards from the Joker and – as if you’d expect anything else – a classic “Bang!” pistol.
There’s more to the title than it’s looks though. Batman & The Joker Jewels offers players access to one of four progressive jackpot titles when played at casinos such as bgo Casino. There are also a generous selection of bonus games and features including free spins, a multiplier function and more. If you’re a fan of West’s Batman, it’s the logical place to start.
Batman & The Penguin Prize
In Batman & The Penguin Prize The Penguin, dressed in purple top hat and bowtie is the villain who must be vanquished. This time the action takes place across six reels with 64 paylines but, unlike you’d expect from someone like The Penguin, the key to the game is the bonus feature he triggers.
After any win players trigger the Penguin Respins feature – or should that be, features. There are effectively three Penguin Respins features in the game, each giving more opportunities for players to win. Who knew a ‘bad guy’ could be so generous.
Much like the first game, this one looks the part too, with original characters and features throughout, coupled with some perfectly retro style.
Batman & Mr Freeze Fortune
Completing our trifecta of slots is Batman & Mr Freeze Fortune, this one dedicated to a Batman cartoon from the same era as the Adam West TV series.
Mr Freeze, another of our caped hero’s enemies, appears in four randomly triggered Mr Freeze’s Polar Prize Vault features which included multiplier wilds, symbol transformations and respins. There are also four progressive jackpots that can be triggered at random.
Legend lives on
As delightfully camp and comical as the 1960s TV series, Playtech’s Batman slots are well worth a look. Entertaining in their own right, they attain an added poignancy and sense of nostalgia in the light of Adam West’s death.
Although the actor never again hit the giddy heights of fame he attained during the Batman era, he did prosper with his voiceover work in later years. In fact, West’s many roles included voicing the mayor of Quahog from Family Guy. Better add that slot to your list while you’re at it then: IGT’s Family Guy is a 30-payline triumph that’s every bit as immature and hilarious as the cartoon it’s modelled on.
So long Adam West and thanks for all the memories. Your legend lives on through the Batman who is destined to enthral future generations just as you did yours.