NetEnt goes full-on epic with this online slot release based on 20th Century Fox’s blockbuster Planet of the Apes film franchise. There were three movies in the recent reboot of the classic sci-fi yarn, and NetEnt has taken on a serious challenge to incorporate two of those films into one slot – Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Two epic films in one slot? But how? Try 10 reels, 40 pay-lines, Stacked Wilds, two Free Spins features and two dedicated bonus games on for size. Epic doesn’t seem like it goes far enough.
Are you ready for this? 10 reels is a lot of action. Make sure you’ve readied your snacks and been to the toilet, because you aren’t going to want to get up from your seat from this one. Following on from an epic intro featuring action-packed clips from the movies, Our 10 reels are split into two sets of five – the Rise on the left and Dawn on the right. Each set of reels acts independently during the base game, with 20 pay-lines on each. But during the bonus features all sets of reels can interact. Ooh. That’s what you call a dangling cause.
As we’d expect and hope, characters from both films’ epic tales make up our game symbols, along with lower-paying 10s through Aces. When Caesar forms a winning combo, he snarls viciously, reflecting the duality of his ape personality. The contamination hazard symbol is our Wild symbol – the cause, of course, for the apes’ genetic mutation. Should we land a full reel of Stacked Wilds on either set of reels, a matching stack appears on the other set. All winning combos explode in white or red light, while the reels begin to shake when we land two Scatters in anticipation of landing the third. But it’s when the bonuses start that we really need to buckle our seatbelts.
Before every spin, there is a chance the Dual Feature will trigger. This random bonus sees a symbol chosen at random for each set of five reels. During the spins that follow, these symbols stick to their respective reel set and swap over should they land on the opposite reels. The re-spins stop when no more of these symbols appear and the payout can be made.
And then we have two dedicated bonus games for each set of reels. The Rise and Dawn Bonus Scatters occur on reel 1 of the Rise set and reel 5 of the Dawn half. The Rise Bonus pays out a cash prize for every Human and Ape symbol on the reels. The Dawn Bonus transforms all humans and ape symbols into the same matching symbol, paying out any wins as they appear.
As though that wasn’t generous enough, each set of reels has its own Free Spins feature, each triggered when three respective Scatters appear on either side of the reel sets. The Rise Free Spins awards 10 free spins, during which we will collect all Wild symbols which appear for one final major Wild payoff on our last spin. By contrast, the Dawn Free Spins awards 15 free spins in which we can win additional spins, increased multipliers and can transform Human symbols into Wilds.
With such a rich, broad scope of inspiration, it’s a wonder that NetEnt manages to fit it all into one slot. But fit it they do, and without us getting the feeling of a whole heap of mouth but no trousers. It’s not just exposition – this online slot hits the ground running with breakneck action. It’s well worthy of the blockbuster title.