Contact (Play'n GO): Review
It's been a busy year so far for the Aztecs - Temple Treasure Megaways (Blueprint Gaming), Temple Tumble Megaways (Relax Gaming), Phoenix Reborn (Play'n GO) as well as the recently released Ecuador Gold (ELK Studios), are all slots that touch upon the subject. Most of us would agree that the trend started with the release of NetEnt's smash hit Gonzo's Quest, however, a slot so iconic that tumbling reels became synonymous with the Aztec theme.
We first became aware of Contact during the London iGaming conference where Play'n GO showcased the game. With no actual hands-on testing and without a game sheet available to us, we knew nothing of the variance or potential on offer. We do now, however.
Contact is played on a 5x7 grid that makes use of cluster mechanics, requiring you to land a cluster of 5 matching symbols to create a winning combination. As opposed to most other cluster slots, winning combinations are not removed here. Instead, they cascade down and lock into position while non-winning symbols are removed as new symbols cascade in to fill the grid. Furthermore, Contact includes win multipliers of up to 30x as well as two types of Bonus Rounds with reel modifiers. You can play it across all devices from between 0.20 to 100 Eur per spin.
The design is rather typical and more or less what you've come to expect from Aztec-themed slots, although the towering reel set makes quite an impression we have to say. The background music stands out as well, a powerful indigenous soundtrack of epic proportions. Flanked by two burning skulls and set within a temple, on the 5x7 grid you'll see Aztec-style stone carved symbols in the form of turtles, snakes, birds, monkeys and jaguars. Significantly more valuable are the 4 Aztec face masks out of which the purple is the most valuable, giving you 7.5 times your stake for 5 across a payline.
Contact (Play'n GO): Features
The main game is not particularly rich in features but multipliers will help boost payouts if you fill the entire 2nd, 4th, or 6th row with a winning combination - this will award a total win multiplier of x2, x3 or x4 respectively.
Contact does not include a traditional scatter symbol. Instead, the Bonus Round activates when winning symbols reach all the way to the top. Starting with 3 free spins, the Bonus Round is essentially a streak spins feature where winning clusters remain on the grid throughout the bonus and keep growing as matching symbols connect to the cluster. Now, filling rows 2, 3, 5 or 6 with winning symbols will boost your payouts by x2, x3, x4 or x5 respectively. Filling rows 1, 4 or 7, on the other hand, awards one of the following 3 modifiers:
- Block Destroyer: 1 of the multiplier blocks to the left of the grid is destroyed, allowing the remaining multiplier blocks to cascade down, potentially allowing for additional increasing multiplier blocks to fall into place.
- Symbol Upgrade: 1 of the winning clusters receives a symbol upgrade to the next best symbol.
- Extra Free Spins: 1 additional free spin is awarded.
If during the main game you manage to fill the whole grid with winning symbols, you'll activate the more generous Super Bonus Round. Starting with 6 free spins, not only will you get a total win multiplier AND a modifier by filling ANY row with winning clusters, the modifiers are also significantly more powerful:
- Block Destroyer: 3 of the multiplier blocks to the left of the grid is destroyed, allowing the remaining multiplier blocks to cascade down, potentially allowing for additional increasing multiplier blocks to fall into place.
- Symbol Upgrade: all of the winning clusters receives a symbol upgrade to the next best symbol.
- Extra Free Spins: 3 additional free spin is awarded.
With help from the Block Destroyer modifier, it is possible to boost your payouts by up to 30x. The most you can win in the bonus, however, is 1517.5 times your stake in total.
Contact (Play'n GO): Verdict
With the naive conviction that the fancy international casinos exhibition in London is an opportunity for game developers to hype their top upcoming products, we wrongfully assumed that Contact would turn out to be some kind of game changer that, without losing any of the oppressive tension, would transplant the grid slot formula to expansive, sandbox-like levels.
Unfortunately, the point of Contact got lost somewhere in the dense Central American jungle and with low potential, a rather tedious main game and seemingly mundane features, there's little to come back to. Play'n GO are known to have produced some of the best grid slots out there but this is not their proudest moment.
Contact’s towering aspirations end up being little more than lipstick on a pig.