Our slot of the month for December is Space Invaders – a feature-packed five reel game from Inspired Gaming. There’s plenty to see and do here with no less than seven random reel modifiers, six bonus games, not to mention a well-conceived retro theme. Let’s take a close look at this medium to high volatility slot.
Space Invaders certainly isn’t the first slot based on little green men from outer space. And it won’t be the last either. We’ve had Mars Attacks, Martians Attack, Martian Miners and earlier this year, Invaders Megaways. While a lot of these games are inspired by the classic cinematic sci-fi of the 1950s, Space Invaders is all about the 8-bit eighties, specifically the iconic arcade game of the same name.
One of the challenges in designing retro-themed slots is to make dated, blocky visuals look presentable in a contemporary context – and the people at Inspired have made a pretty good fist of it. The five reel game area, set against a snowy landscape for some reason, is populated with those instantly recognisable pixel invaders of times past, as well cartoon renderings of various space craft. There’s also a bonus wheel that bears a strong resemblance to the electronic memory game, Simon.
How to Play Space Invaders
The aforementioned pixel invaders make up the regular symbols while the space craft images are premium. Apart from the game logo symbol, which pays out when you land two, each symbol must appear at least three times adjacently from left to right. Land five symbols and you’ll win up to 25x your bet.
Five random reel modifiers are available during the base game. You’ll know you’ve triggered one when a UFO flies across the reels and gets zapped by a cannon. When this occurs, the UFO will drop one of the following modifiers:
- Wild Cannon
- Monster Wild
- 5 of a Kind
- Mega Reel
- Bonus Boost
For the Wild Cannon modifier, a cannon appears as the reels spin and shoots wilds on the second, third and fourth reels. With the Monster Wild, all wilds expand to cover their respective reels. The Five of a Kind booster guarantees you at least one five symbol win, while the Bonus Boost modifier adds additional bonus symbols onto the reels.
Another two modifiers (UFO and Cannon) can also be activated during the base game following losing spins. The UFO modifier shines a beam onto the reels converting a random symbol into a Mega Symbol while the Cannon modifier blasts invader symbols which in turn allows new ones fill their vacated positions.
But that’s not all. After each base game spin, a Lock n’ Spin Invasion modifier can appear which locks all instances of a randomly-chosen symbol in position for a re-spin. Any new winning symbols that emerge also become sticky with re-spins continuing until no new instances of that symbol appear.
Space Invaders Bonus Features
Landing three or more bonus scatter symbols during the base game triggers the bonus round. You’ll then be presented with the Simon bonus wheel which is split into six segments. Within each are six bonus games that can be gambled or collected.
Should you choose to gamble, you’ll get the chance to win a higher-value bonus. Lose and you’ll be taken back to the base game and awarded a consolation mystery prize. The six bonus games are:
- Shoot Out
- UFO Climber
- Wild Cannon Free Spins
- Monster Wild Free Spins
- Space Invaders
The Shoot Out bonus game requires you to clear rows of invaders to win one of four cash prizes. You’ll need to clear an entire row to win a prize. In the UFO Climber game, you have to pick UFOs to move along a multiplier trail, hopefully winning increasing bet multipliers as you go.
Win Wild Cannon free spins and the cannon shoots sticky wilds onto the reels for the duration of the bonus. The Monster Wilds free spins awards expanding wild symbols for the while for the Mega Reel Free Spins round, a roaming 3 x 3 Mega Reel comes into play. And for the Space Invaders bonus, you get to shoot space invaders for the chance to win bet multipliers.
Clear the screen and an extra complete bonus prize is awarded. At the conclusion of each bonus round, three coins are presented, one of which you can select to determine if the bonus round ends, continues or triggers the Space Invaders feature again.
Space Invaders is certainly one of the most feature-rich slot games we’ve come across in a while. In fact one might argue that Inspired has overegged the pudding with the seven random reel modifiers and six bonus rounds. But they complement rather than complicate game-play, spicing up what amounts to a fairly simplistic five reel base game, while glossing over an underwhelming RTP.
There are plenty of neat visual flourishes throughout the game too such as the UFO, cannon and invader animations – these will likely appeal to grizzled gamers (like myself) who still get a kick out of 80s arcade nostalgia.
RTP: 95%, Minimum Stake: 0.20