Rock Pile

By Paul Lear

Originally published in EUG #70

Rock Pile is a sophisticated fruit machine simulator featuring the traditional three wheels of fun with the feature of building up piles of rocks for bonus payouts. The aim of the game is to come away having banked the most money possible.

You start the game with ten credits, and one credit is equal to 10p. Each spin of the wheels will deduct one credit from those available, and if you run out of credits, the game is over. Remember to keep an eye on your winnings and to bank or credit the machine accordingly.

The screen is divided into four parts. At the top is the status bar, showing your credits, how much you've put into the bank and the meter, showing how much money has been paid out in 10ps in relation to the 10p winning combinations.

Below this are the reels, below these the four piles of rocks and, at the bottom of the screen, the Gamble/Collect bar.

You will notice that each pile of rocks has its own title (Super Series, Nudge, Golden Award and Match Play) and its own colour (Red, Green, Yellow and Blue). The colours correspond to the number icons displayed next to the fruit on the reels.

To build up rocks on each of the four piles, it is necessary to spin the reels to create combinations. Winning combinations of fruit gain fixed payouts. However, non-winning combinations may add rocks to the appropriate piles if number icons are displayed next to the fruits.

Retaining the rocks on each pile is dependent upon chance. On spinning the reels, you have a 50/50 chance of losing or retaining the rocks on each pile. The icon 'Feature Held' is lit if the rock piles will be retained, and unlit if not.

Winning Combinations

Winning combinations of fruits are as follows:

3 x Rock Pile=£3.00
3 x Melon=£2.00
3 x Bell=£1.50
3 x Pound=£1.00
3 x Strawberry=80p
3 x Grapes=60p
3 x Pear=50p
3 x Lemon=40p
3 x Cherry=30p
2 x Any in formation XX-=20p

Spinning a winning combination of these guarantees the amount specified. However, you may choose to Gamble this amount in the hope of gaining more. For more information, please see the section below on the Gamble/Collect Bar.

You will also sometimes spin the 10p symbol, which pays out winnings of 10p directly. The reels operate as follows in relation to this:

1 x 10p in any position=10p
2 x 10p in any position=20p
3 x 10p in any position=£1

Rock Piles

Winning combinations are considered before rock piles - so if you get a winning combination of two reels, the number icon on the third, non-matching reel is disregarded.

However, should you not spin a winning combination, you may instead spin fruits featuring number icons. The number indicates how many rocks will be added to a pile, and the colour of the icon determines which pile the rocks will be added to. For example, if you have a green number 2 icon, two rocks will be placed on the Nudge pile.

Occasionally you will spin a question mark icon. This has the effect of sending a cursor whizzing across the rock piles and you must press RETURN to stop it. A random number of rocks will then be added to the pile you select.

Remember that whether the rocks on each pile are retained is determined by a 50:50 chance between spins (the status of the 'Feature Held' icon).

However, if any of the four rock piles are completed (that is, you add six rocks or more to one of them) then the cursor will spin over the six rocks in the pile and you must tap RETURN to choose a number from 1 to 6. Whichever pile you have completed determines what happens next:

If you have completed the Super Series (red) pile, you will be given a number of free spins equal to the number of the rock you chose (i.e. 4 will give four free spins). Each winning combination on each spin will be added to the winnings in the Gamble/Collect bar.

If you have completed the Golden Award (yellow) pile, you will win 20p multiplied by the number of the rock you chose (i.e. 4 will give 4 x 20p = 80p winnings).

If you have completed the Nudge (green) pile, you will be given the same number of nudges as the rock you chose (i.e. 4 will give four free nudges). Be careful how you use these as if you create a winning combination this, will cancel any remaining nudges and operate the Gamble/Collect bar in relation to that winning combination.

If you have completed the Match Play (blue) pile, this will trigger a "reel rotate feature" game. You need to watch the reel carefully and hit RETURN when it displays a fruit worth a high value. You will then automatically match that fruit with the left and right reels.

If you are lucky enough to complete a rock pile when the yellow Golden Award icon is lit, there is a 50:50 chance that the rock pile will be repeated. This has the potential to net you big money.


Sometimes you will be offered the opportunity to hold reels. You can select the reels you wish to hold with the 1, 2 and 3 keys or C to cancel holds if you change your mind.

If offered Holds you are usually also offered the Exchange option (Press E). This has the effect of exchanging the 'Feature Held' status. If you have a large pile of rocks, and an unlit 'Feature Held' status you may choose to forgo Holding any of the reels and to 'Exchange' them for a chance at spinning an extra rock or two to add.

The Gamble/Collect Bar

This bar at the bottom of the screen gives you, after spinning a winning combination, the potential to increase your winnings. Press G to operate the feature and the cursor will dance between the current winnings and the next winnings step up the scale. You must tap RETURN at random hoping to land on the bigger number. If you fail, the gamble is over and you will collect the lower amount (or zero if you gambled on 20p).

At any time, you can press T to take the winnings on offer.

The winning amount is shown to the left of the Gamble/Collect bar. The bar also operates when Rock Piles are completed and launch their special features.

The winning amount must be either 'banked' (press B) or 'credited' (press C). This is done in steps of 10p. Tap the appropriate key to either bank 10p or credit 10p to the fruit machine - bearing in mind how many credits you currently have remaining.

Game Controls

To start a game, press S.

To spin the reels, press RETURN.

Press keys 0 and 9 during the game to turn the sound off and on.

When the Holds are operational:
1 2 3 - Hold A Reel
C - Cancel All Holds
E - Exchange Holds for Holding the status of the rock piles

When the nudge is operational (after building a pile of rocks on the Nudge rock pile):
1 2 3 - Nudge A Reel

When the Gamble/Collect bar is operational:
T - Take Win
G - Gamble Win
C - Credit 10p
B - Bank 10p


If you press RETURN and the reels do not respond, you have probably forgotten to allocate your winnings to either the bank (Press B) or into further credits (Press C).