I'd like to do more of these reviews, but they always end up taking 4-5 hours to complete...
Anyway, managed to squeeze out this one during my baby-sitting duties!
The specification for this new Grand Virtual 9-line slot sounded really exciting! Based on a Pinball Game, Expanding wilds on reels 1 & 5 (normal wilds on the other reels), Free-spins with more spins for the more triggering scatters you hit, and a Play Pinball feature, again with bigger prizes for more scatters - but did it live up to my expectations... No.
The Feature Payouts:
This is where this slot falls down - hitting the features (in my 1000+ spins) seems MUCH harder than on their old style slots. I would say I hit the free-spins roughly once every 100 spins, and the Pinball feature about 1 in 150. Every time it was only 3 scatters.
But what do you get for those 3 scatters? Not a lot!
3 scatters = Total bet x 1 + 3 spins @ x2
4 scatters = Total bet x 3 + 5 spins @ x2
5 scatters = Total bet x 5 + 7 spins @ x2
This is really disappointing; The game play is pretty good, but for 3 scatters you start off with just total bet x2 and then get to play Pinball to try to increase your win to the maximum (which starts as double the minimum). The longer you keep your ball in play and score points, the higher your prize until you reach the maximum. But the maximum is terribly low compared to features on other GV slots and a huge disappointment when triggering the feature in the first place can take 100's of spins.
3 scatters = Total bet x2 to x4*
4 scatters = Total bet x4 to x8*
5 scatters = Total bet x6 to x12*
* The maximum can be greatly increased if you hit certain targets during the game.
(I got a x5 bonus once which meant the max was bet x20).
The slot runs full screen (much bigger than all their old ones), the symbols are not too bad - they do include the old 10, J, Q, K, A, but these are incorporated into pinball 'bumpers' and do fit the theme of the slot.
I rate this slot as low variance. I would estimate the return to be similar to their other slots - probably in the 94-96% range. The problem with a low variance slot like this where the features are also low variance, is that it just slowly eats away at your balance with very little opportunity of a large win to take you back into the black.
Finally, The Really Bad Bits:
This is what really peeved me about this one (in addition to the above):-
1. When I started playing it was set to 8 win-lines, not the maximum 9.
Quite a lot (if not all) of their slots are set like this... why FFS??? :what:
2. It only runs in full-screen mode no matter which of the 3 available options you select. What's the point of having these options when they don't work properly?
3. I can run most other games on my 4-year old laptop - but not this one. The graphics don't look that advanced, but it just froze up when I got the feature. This also happened once on my PC.
4. The wins are only displayed as coins – no option to show as a monetary value, even though the cost of the spin is displayed in money!
Again - this is the same on all their slots and is very disappointing.
5. It has autoplay! This is the first GV slot to have autoplay, but it is VERY basic and still leaves a lot to be desired. You can't set it to stop on a big win, and it also doesn't stop before or after free-spins, or after the pinball feature.
Overall first impression score: 4/10 – Great concept, but sadly it appears to be a damp squib.
Not a shadow on their other great slots like Atlantis, Jackhammer Jackpot or Eureka!
Expanding wilds on reels 1 and 5:-
Play Pinball (Starting max = Bet x 4):-
Ball in play - nearly reached the max...
Hitting free spins will have your balls flying in all directions!
If, despite my less than favorable review, you are still interested in finding out more about Grand Virtual slots (most of which are great), please see my slots data breakdown on them here.