Yahtzee by WMS – Slot Machine Review
The board game Yahtzee was popular enough in the real world at one point, that its fame still carries on to today. It’s been fairly popular for WMS in land-based casinos, so they’ve turned the game into an online title as well. This branded release is based on a Hasbro property, same as with Monopoly, another board game which got a lot more attention from WMS.
The online slot version of Yahtzee gets 5 reels and there are 25 paylines to populate the game area. You get the game’s jackpot as an excellent motivator to keep playing the slot, plus there are features such as the Party Bonus, wilds and Roll icons, which will keep things fresh. The ultimate win of the slot appears to be a jackpot of $40,000.
Of the 40 coins which appear to be used in each bet, 25 will be used to cover 25 active lines, while the other 15 coins are needed to cover the feature bet. A total of $0.40 is your minimum bet, the other options listed at the bottom being for $0.80, $1.20, $1.60 and a $2 maximum bet. It’s not much of a betting range, since you can expect to wager at most $0.05 per line.
For the ultimate payout of the slot, you have the Back to Back Yahtzee Jackpot as the target, with $40,000 being its maximum value. At 20,000x the stake, it’s actually an impressive return for the investment that you can make in this slot.
Most likely depending on the choice that you make in the game, the RTP will vary between 94.89% and 96%, so it has at least a decent chance of paying back the player, similar to what’s available in other slot machines.
Several of the features included in Yahtzee are built with the original game in mind, so that its fans will find the slot appealing. That’s exactly the way to go with a branded release, so WMS did pretty good in this case.
On the reels 2 through 5, you may notice symbols which are marked Wild. If you’ve played slots before, you know what this means, they’re substitutes which are to be used in combination with regular symbols. They make the average round more profitable, which is always a plus. You can’t use them in combination with the Roll or Bonus symbols.
4 to a Yahtzee Free Roll Bonus
Accessing this part of the game is possible only if you have all five scattered Roll icons visible. You also qualify to win the top jackpot, if you had the maximum bet selected that round. Luckily, you only need $2 to reach that point. If you don’t have all five Roll icons, you can still get something out of the slot, since it offers rewards for 3 or 4 symbols as well.
The game will give you access to the Yahtzee Bonus through the Bonus symbol, which you get on the 5th reel. It triggers automatically after you get five symbols, or you do it manually if you have at least one. There are several rolls of the dice, and depending on their outcome you can expect different prizes. Getting five of a kind on the first roll will pay the most, $3,500. If you don’t get even a pair after three rolls, you trigger the Chance Bonus.
The Yahtzee Jackpot is offered when a player uses the maximum bet, rolls a Yahtzee while he’s in the 4 to a Yahtzee Free Roll, and after that he gets a second Yahtzee in the next roll.
I found the Yahtzee design to be a very well done one. It’s entirely inspired by the dice game and by the pairs of players which are enjoying it. It looks like a game show almost, with the different couples competing among themselves on the reels. You also get pizza, pop corn, sodas and various Yahtzee boxes. Overall, there is plenty for the Yahtzee fan to enjoy here.
With jackpots of 20,000x the stake, good graphics and a theme that a lot of players will resonate with, Yahtzee should be one of the fun games in the WMS collection.
Spartacus Gladiator of Rome by WMS – Slot Machine Review
Stories of bravery like that of Spartacus have always been popular, and so it’s not much of a surprise that the Ancient Rome’s gladiators have gotten quite a bit of attention from slot developers over the years. Spartacus has gotten the bulk of the themed slots which have gone this route, and in this case we’re looking at the WMS version for this story. It doesn’t look like a regular slot machine, but that’s usually a good thing, since boredom is easier to combat with unique features. For this exact same type of action, but with a different design, you can also try out the KISS rock-themed slot, as Spartacus appears to be a clone.
Expect to be playing on a setup which includes two sets of reels, one called normal which has 5×4 reels, and the other called colossal, involving 5×12 reels. You get 100 active lines from the two sets, with 20 on the former and 80 lines on the latter. Transferred full reel wilds, scatter symbols and free spins are going to be your big features inside. All the while, this game can pay up to $125,000 per spin, or 500x the stake.
You have 100 active lines in play usually, though the slot allows for the reduction of that number if you feel like it’s necessary, even to just 20 lines. The bets will involve one coin for every two lines, and so you can wager 10 to 50 coins per spin. The setting that you’re going to play most is the bet per 2 lines, which varies from $0.01 to $5. That gives you a full betting range of $0.10 to $250.
The wild symbols, along with some regular stacked icons, will pay the maximum amount of 5x the stake per winning combo. Given the number of lines, you can tell that there will be the possibility of winning up to 500x the stake, or $125,000.
95.94%, the Return to Player (RTP) which has been announced in Spartacus, is a number that’s quite high, close enough to the 96% figure that many expect to see in modern games.
While many of the features included in the game are considered regulars, you can expect to find some rarer options as well, and the two sets of different sizes would definitely fall there. You have the lines spread across the two, though 80% of the combinations formed will be on the colossal set.
Stacked symbols are also part of the deal. They involve both the wild symbols and two of the highest-paying positions, with the low-paying ones landing on two or more positions at a time as well.
The wild symbols are the ones which have the Spartacus logo in them, and you will find that they land stacked on the reels, in both game areas. The difference between the two is that when a wild symbol manages to cover a full reel on the normal set, it will be transferred to the matching reel from the colossal set as well. The wilds will expand there, so they will be 12-symbols high on their new reels.
Other things to note about these wilds is that they can act as substitutes, and that in the right circumstances they will pay you directly, offering the top jackpot.
The Coliseum feature symbol, or the scatter as most games call it, is available on the same three reels, in both game areas. The 1st, 3rd and 5th columns are the culprits. To trigger a feature, the game will require that at least three Coliseum icons are present in the game. These symbols are taken into account from both areas.
3, 4 or 5 scattered Coliseum icons will get you 8, 12 or 20 free spins, along with cash rewards of 2x to 20x the stake. Expect to see Nudging Wilds present during these rounds, so getting a full stack wild and seeing it transferred to the colossal reels is going to be easier.
There are some decorations around the game area, which sort of match the Ancient Rome look, but for the most part there isn’t a lot there to work with the theme. Some lower symbols with card suits exist, along with helmets, swords and shields, lions, gladiators or the game logo. The main regular symbols will feature images of Spartacus and of a female warrior.
For WMS, it feels like a regular release, with a decent looking design. It’s not going to look good if you put it next to a release from a developer like NetEnt, Play’n GO and others which work exclusively online.
Spartacus is not your standard slot machine, which is often a plus for a game, and it has the right features and RTP to make it a good pick for a lot of players.