It’s no coincidence that NextGen set the launch of its Top Strike Championship Slot to release in time for the Russia World Cup 2018. This isn’t the only slot to come out around that time, of course. NetEnt zhuzhed up its Football Champions Cup slot while Eyecon Games stormed two-footed into the challenge with Striker Goes Wild. With five reels, 20 paylines and a tiered bonus round that can see us progress through our very own mini championship, NextGen ensures that there is only one piece of silverware we will be caring about.

Gameplay

Like the best games of football, this action unfolds over a floodlit pitch. A vast, packed-out stadium stretches out behind the reels, flood lights twinkling down to highlight the stars on the pitch. Our five reels are decorated with a a Goalkeeper and two outfield Players, plus the Top Strike Championship slot’s Logo as our top-paying symbol. Score a five-of-a-kind win with the Logo and we will bag a win of 1,500 coins, which translates as 7,500 from a max bet. It’s not quite Premier League salaries, but it will sure do for a start. Multi-flagged Wilds perform super substitution duties.

Our low-paying game symbols during the base game are made up of far more standard 10s through Aces, though when we trigger the Top Strike Championship Free Games bonus round all our symbols switcheroo. The players change into their away kits and Whistle, Boots and Gloves replace the lower-payers in a nice game-play twist.

Bonuses

Like any good football championship the Top Strike Championship online slot promises scores of twists and turns, not only in the base game but also in its bonus features. Landing three, four or five World Cup Scatters triggers the Free Games feature, which sees us win 10, 15 or 20 free games, respectively. With that many free attempts on goal, we’ll have to score!

But it’s not just from the free games from which we will look to pocket serious coins. When we land Golden Tickets on reel 5, we proceed to the Treble Bet feature. We now have to pick the winners of three matches to proceed to the Knockout Stage. We must choose the winners to go through to the final and to win the World Cup, bringing with it serious coin wins in the process.

Summary

International footballers might be all about the glory, but it is the mega coin wins that we will look to bag from the triple stage bonus game in NextGen’s Top Strike Championship slot. NextGen put the three-stage feature concept to excellent use in its Aladdin’s Legacy online slot, and it works a treat again here. There’s enough in the base game to keep us interested but, as with any football tournament, it’s only during the knockout stages that we really get to test our mettle against the best.