Annihilator Slot: Overview
Brace your eardrums people, the 6th slot in Play’n GO's heavy metal series is poised to drop. Based around the Canadian thrash metal band of the same name, Annihilator features a full playlist for fans of the band to scroll through. For those of you who may not have heard of Annihilator, don't be too surprised. Despite being in the game for 35+ years and churning out 17 records over that time, they never quite cracked the big leagues.
Perhaps partly due to the group being more or less a one-man band in Jeff Waters who has been there since the beginning. The rest of the group has been a revolving door of musical stand-ins doing their best to rival Spinal Tap. From in and out band members to spinning reels, let's see what one of the old hands of thrash metal can bring to the table.
After the extravagance of Testament, Annihilator feels like a step-down. It's a nice-looking slot, but doesn't have the in your face, kick to the nuts, look that Testament had. It's more restrained, and comes across as quite an average slot at first glance.
That might be way off the mark, but that's the impression Annihilator gives off. Still, visually it's up to the task of entertaining musos and slots fans with its dark and spooky nature. The vibe is created by the creepy gated property in the background, as well as the blood-spattered symbols. If you're feeling brave, set stakes from 10 p/c up to £/€100 and enter the Fun Palace.
Beneath the creep, the game is straightforward. It uses 5 reels, 3 rows, and 10 paylines to line up winners on. This happens when at least three or more matching symbols hit consecutively on a payline.
It starts with the 10-A metallic royals designed in the band logo's font. The premiums pick up on the eerie theme and depict a cracked mirror, a guitar, and Alice clutching her teddy bear. Alice is worth the most from the regular symbols at 30 times the stake for a line of five. Jeff Waters pops up as the wild and can substitute for any other pay symbol. Wild Jeff also pays out 40 times the stake, should five wilds line-up.
Underneath all of the blood-soaked fanfare, the stats pouring forth from the math model are pretty standard Play’n GO fare. On the return to player side, the default RTP is 96.2%, though that can be found at 94.2% or lower depending on casino and market. When it comes to volatility, the beast isn't as wild as it could be, though at 8/10 it's still in the high range - which leads us to the features.
Annihilator Slot: Features
Two more symbols finish off the paytable and activate a couple of the extras. One is the doll bonus scatter which appears on reels 2, 3, and 4 - when 3 land, they trigger the Fun Palace pick bonus feature. Here, players pick doll symbols to reveal instant prizes. If rewards of 1x, 2x, 3x, or 5x the bet is selected, then players can choose another doll, and the win is accumulated. If it reveals rewards of 10x, 15x, 20x, 25x, or 50x the win is collected and the feature comes to an end. Alternatively, if a pick reveals the free spins scatter symbol, then the Set the World on Fire feature is launched.
The other way to access Set the World on Fire Free Spins is when 3 free spins scatters land anywhere in view during the base game. Either way, 8 free spins are awarded with an expanded Jeff Waters wild symbol in view at all times. Before each free spin, the expanded wild moves left or right a random number of reels. In doing so, the moving wild highlights certain positions in a fiery trail that can be 1 or 3 symbols in height.
If a wild symbol lands in any of the highlighted positions, it turns the whole trail wild. The bonus symbol does not land during this round, but scatters do, and each one adds 2 more free spins up to a maximum of 50.
The last extra, the In Command feature, randomly pops up at any time during the base game. When triggered, any visible wild symbol expands to cover a reel. If no wins show, then a respin occurs with the expanded wilds held in place. Respins continue until a win eventually hits.
Annihilator Slot: Verdict
Perhaps the developers at Play’n GO needed to rest their ears after the Testament onslaught. That one blew the doors off in every regard. Being one of Play'n GO's highest potential slots, Testament took the series way over the top and set expectations sky-high for the next.
Unfortunately, the foot has come off the gas for Annihilator and the result is a toned-down, more restrained game. Fans of the band will probably love it though. Their man Jeff is all over the place and the playlist will give them something to head-bang along to while spinning for glory.
How much glory? Well, not a patch on its predecessor. Annihilator's potential of up to 5,000 times the stake is a quarter of what Testament can offer. It doesn't help that single spin wins max out at 400 times the stake and without a multiplier in sight you'll definitely need a lot of luck during free spins to crack massive amounts. Worth mentioning is that the free spins frequency is low due to the inclusion of the pick bonus and base game expanding wilds.
Perhaps because Annihilator is an older band, the team felt inspired to create an older kind of slot. After the all firing, crowd surfing mayhem of Testament, it felt like the series could go anywhere next. Now, with a picking game and simple mechanics, the Annihilator slot feels like a warm-up act of a band you kind of know, but never really fell for.
All up though, Play’n GO has once again produced another decent, above-average slot. Stats are respectable, the potential is good, and the features certainly contain some promise. Annihilator the slot might be restricted to local club bookings rather than stadiums, but it has its moments.
After the previous instalment in Play’n GO’s heavy metal series, Annihilator turns the heat down a few notches for a less manic experience.