Apes of Doom: Slot Overview
When it comes to on or offline slots, games that run on four reels aren't exactly a hugely populous category. Big Time Gaming has done a few, most noticeably Donuts and Chocolates, but otherwise, it's not a format players bump into on a regular basis. Stakelogic's partner Hurricane Games boldly goes where not many have gone before, settling on a 4-reel set up to power an online slot titled Apes of Doom. Well, we say four, yet in between the principal reels are three multiplier reels, helping boost wins, alongside respins, free spins, gamble features, and Super Stakes.
If you read the title and had fearful visions of a Planet of the Apes style takeover of Earth, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The apes in this game have set their sights far lower than world domination. Instead of enslaving the human population, these guys are out to rob a bank and get their hands on some cold hard cash. What follows is a unique, some might say odd, mixture of bank imagery, Art Deco styling, heist music and anthropomorphic simians that sort of makes you think of Relax Gaming's Iron Bank. Some may fall for it at first sight; some might have to try harder to grasp the concept.
Apes of Doom may be played on any device and lets users select bets of 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin. At least, this is the default betting level. Engaging the Super Stake option doubles the cost while doubling the chance to win free spins. The game is laid out using 4 main reels, which display regular symbols, while in between them are 3 reels that display multiplier values. Whether you consider Apes of Doom then a 4-reel or 7-reel slot, both are uncommon. Statistically, several RTP versions may be found, the most optimal having a return value of 96%. All possess volatility rated at 4/5, while hit frequency has been graded as 4.24/5.
Winning combinations are formed by landing 3 or 4 matching symbols left to right from reel number one. Ten paylines and eight regular symbols are provided on which to do so. The first four are low pay J-A card ranks, while high pays are four tough-looking ape crooks. The best value comes from the boss ape, worth 30x the bet for four of a kind, down to 8x the bet for the lowest premium. Golden banana wild symbols are worth the same as the top premium for four of a kind, though they are usually used to replace any symbol except the scatter to complete a winning line.
Apes of Doom: Slot Features
Apes of Doom keeps things relatively straightforward when it comes to features. Things to look out for here include inner reel multipliers, respins, free spins, a bonus buy, and a gamble feature.
On each of the multiplier reels is a middle hot zone position. If 3 matching multipliers appear on the 3 hot zones, their values are added together and applied to the win. When 3 matching multipliers appear on the hot zones, but there is no win present, the Respin To Win feature is triggered.
Respin To Win
For this one, the matching multiplier reels lock in place and the normal reels spin. Respins continue until a winning combination is achieved for the multiplier to be added and applied to.
Landing 3 or 4 scatter symbols awards a payout of 2x or 10x the bet, plus 10 or 15 free spins, respectively. In free spins, when a winning combination hits, the values of the 3 multipliers in the hot zones are added up and applied whether they are matching or not. If 3 matching multipliers land in the hot zones, but no win is present, they still trigger the Respin to Win feature. If 3 or 4 scatters land during the bonus round, an additional +5 or +10 free spins are awarded.
Buy Free Spins
If this option is available, players can trigger free spins at any time in the base game by paying for the feature. The cost is 100x the bet, gaining them instant access.
After any base game win, players have the option to gamble their prize money. The gamble is a regular face down card game. Correctly picking the right colour or suit of the card will 2x or 4x the amount. As usual, guess wrong, and you lose the lot.
Apes of Doom: Slot Verdict
To kick off the critique, the title is a little misleading. There's nothing particularly doom-laden about Apes of Doom. Maybe a security guy or manager received a stern word after a stack of swag was swiped from the vaults, but the simians in this game are only robbing a bank, not bringing down the human race, or doing anything especially calamitous. On the contrary, Apes of Doom is a rather cute game really, which might appeal to players with a soft spot for humanised animals. The 4-reel, or 7-reel, set up, however you want to call it, is a minor novelty in itself, and something you don't see every day.
Hurricane has programmed Apes of Doom to behave in an almost considerate manner. Respin to Win is there should three matching multipliers land but no winning combination, so it doesn't go to waste. Then, in free spins, winning lines are always multiplied, no matter what shows up in the three hot zones. Both of these factors feel like you're getting a balanced deal out of Apes of Doom. Rarely did these features lead to anything astonishing, though mid-range wins were occasionally up for grabs, should decent multipliers hit at the same time.
Despite the tough-guy name, Apes of Doom didn't come across as a game that slaps you down if you can't manage to squeeze its full potential. The game is mathematically quite volatile, though, so it might cough up the odd surprise, yet it feels better suited to players who like consistent, albeit lower value wins in an endearingly quirky environment. For players keen on some four-reel action but aren't up for a challenge from the likes of, say Donuts, it might make a suitably toned-down alternative.
Apes of Doom makes a brave attempt to stand out but somehow still ends up being middle-of-the-road in most aspects of its execution.