Beast Mode: Slot Overview
A year and a bit has passed since developer Relax Gaming teamed up with the Casinogrounds community to produce Iron Bank, which was filled to breaking point with features and streamer references such as 'Printing' when coins were pouring forth. Now we're back for more in a follow-up collab between the studio and community titled Beast Mode. In some ways, the two games are similar. They both use a pastel heavy palette featuring anthropomorphic animals and pack plenty of features, to name three. However, Beast Mode is definitely its own game; let's see how it measures up.
Beast Mode is set around the hazy late 80s, early 90s where being 'cool' was everything, and big muscles were a ticket to bitchin status. Due to the LA inferences, there is an East Coast vs West Coast feel to the bright, fluro infused visuals, and the soundtrack is pure retro wave that is so hot right now. Adding to an already highly pleasing package are small details such as the way symbols are sliced off the reels when they form winning combinations, and their accompanying sound effects produce an all-around feeling of satisfaction. The concept is just as creative as Iron Bank's was, while its off the chart feel-good vibes are highly contagious.
Beast Mode comes with three distinct bonus games, and all of them, as well as the base game, are conducted on a 6x4 arranged game panel, with 4,096 ways to win. Due to the Casinogrounds connection, it'll be no surprise to know that Beast Mode is highly volatile and generate a theoretical return to player value of 96.32% - slightly more at 97% when buying any of the bonus rounds.
Part of what gives Beast Mode its great flow is the use of cascading win mechanic. Wins occur when at least three of a kind land left to right from the left side of the board. Then, they are removed to allow new ones to cascade into the gaps, firing off consecutive payouts until no new win appears. As for the symbols, graffiti-style 10-A card ranks lead off as the low pays, worth 1x the bet for six of a kind, followed by kettlebells, roller-skates, dumbbells, ghetto blasters, and lions as the premium lot. Landing a line of 6 high pay symbols slings a win worth 2.5 to 25 times the stake your way. Bling necklace wilds land on reels 2-6 to replace all regular symbols and contribute to the bonus games in a number of ways.
Beast Mode: Slot Features
Cascades are joined in the base game with a Random Mystery Spin feature and capped by three bonus rounds players can choose from when activated. There's a lot of features to go through, so hold on to your hat.
Random Mystery Spin
Random Mystery Spins trigger randomly in the main game, guaranteeing at least 1 mystery symbol will land. Mystery symbols reveal the same symbol type and are not destroyed but always stay in view for the next cascade, where they change to a new symbol type. This continues as long as you get wins on any symbol, excluding pure mystery symbol wins.
Free spins are triggered by collecting 3 or 4 bonus symbols during a sequence of cascades. If 3 bonus symbols trigger the feature, players have the chance to gamble for upgraded free spins by spinning a wheel with 50/50 odds - landing on a skull segment results in loss of free spins. If 4 scatters trigger the feature, players simply win the upgraded version right away. Next, players pick one of the three options noted below. In all of them, landing +1, +2, or +3 Spins symbols adds the applicable number of free spins.
Mystery Symbols Free Spins
This one starts with 6 free spins in normal mode (10 when upgraded). When mystery symbols land, they drop to the lowest available position where they remain for the rest of the feature. Mystery symbols reveal the same random symbol, which changes between cascades or spins. Landing a bomb symbol expands the reel height by +1 row for the four middle reels, up to a maximum of 7 rows high, and awards +3 free spins.
Multiplier Ladder Free Spins
Players start with 8 free spins and an x1 win multiplier (9 spins when upgraded). After every win or in between spins, the multiplier increases to the next value on the meter. At certain points on the meter, additional free spins are also awarded. The maximum multiplier possible in the round is x500.
Expanding Wild Free Spins
The round starts with 7 free spins and an x1 win multiplier (x10 when upgraded) where wild symbols expand downwards when they land. In addition, each wild symbol in view adds +1 to a global win multiplier.
Buy Free Spins
Players also have the option of cutting straight to the chase by hitting the bonus buy button. The cost for doing so is 80x the bet, directly taking players to the free spins selection screen to pick one of the three features.
Beast Mode: Slot Verdict
Beast Mode is one of those games that might have wallowed in its own weirdness if it had been made by less capable hands. The game steps away from Iron Bank while still being recognisably related in terms of general look, atmosphere, and list of features. If anything, Beast Mode is a bigger and significantly better game, holistically speaking, even if potential has taken a whack by comparison. Beast Mode nevertheless holds its own in terms of payout possibilities, not to mention packing in loads of thrilling action during its finer moments.
These moments will no doubt take place while one of the bonus games is in play. Having three means a bit of experimentation to find a personal preference, or just throw caution to the wind to pick at random. None was a clear winner over the other, as each comes with a variety of specific benefits. The only real caveat is the gamble option which often led to runs of failed attempts. Not so bad when demoing, but that could really hurt in a live setting. Still, it's totally optional and one for players who like to push everything to the limit. Speaking of limits, Beast Mode taps out when it reaches 25,000x the bet, which is around half of Iron Bank, though still 'printing' (sorry) by most peoples' definition.
Beast Mode was a slot that enticed from the first moment it loaded and managed to improve as time went on. Using animals rather than human characters was a wise move, not only adding to the playful nature but preventing Beast Mode from coming off like the slot version of the movie Pain & Gain. This and the superbly rose-tinted recreation of the era results in a higher fun factor than Iron Bank, and with a bit of imagination, you can picture yourself rollerblading along Santa Monica as the sun sets, past palm trees and Lamborghinis for a workout at Muscle Beach, with a lion.
Tempting features and a bright sunny disposition combine to give Beast Mode a massive feel-good factor.