Diamond Force Slot: Overview
Based in Reno, Nevada, that 'biggest little city in the world', Crazy Tooth Studio goes about the business of creating games that are memorable for their singular strangeness. Produced exclusively for Microgaming, Diamond Force is less wacky then previous releases such as The Incredible Balloon Machine perhaps, but it has its share of 'what the?' moments. You really cannot predict what the Crazy Tooth team will do next, and this time they have selected a comic book themed slot and populated it with a bunch of nondescript superheroes that work together to trigger features.
It's certainly a brightly coloured slot, with a cartoon look that uses an unusual colour palette. The 5 reel, 4 row grid hovers in the air, like a man in tights above a city. No clue is given about what the city is, nor the name of the 4 superheroes which is a bit of a let-down. If you want to inject personality into a game by filling it with characters, it pays to at least give them names. Ah well, the city is full of skyscrapers giving it a Metropolis vibe and moves around as if the reels are literally flying over them. The good thing is that players can turn off that animation, and it pays to do so on a mobile as it seemed to drain battery life much faster than when it was turned off.
The overall look is okay, but because this is an independent title, without tie-ins to famous comic book heroes, it does have a sort of knock off feel to it. Like those imitation Asian toys you find in 99p stores with names like ‘The Incredible Fella’ or ‘Spaderman’. Still, Diamond Force is bright and has a certain charm, so on to selecting bets which start at 10 p/c and go as high as £/€10 per spin. Those options might be great for those stretching a bankroll, not so enticing for the high roller crowd. Although when put in perspective, those numbers do make sense as the game is carried by a high variance math model along with high potential and an above-average RTP of 96.53%. In other words, stats that should please superheroes in training.
Three or more matching symbols create a winning combination as usual but they payout no matter where they land. So that could be reels 1,2,3, or 2,3,4 or 3,4,5 for instance - all in all this can allow up to 1,024 win ways. Another surprise occurs when browsing the paytable, and not a good one. Payouts are the same no matter how many symbols land in a combo. What we mean is that 3, 4, or 5 high pay symbols are all worth 0.2 times the stake. The same goes for the low pays which are all worth 0.1 times the stake, no matter how many line up. When it comes to the symbols, the low pays are bright, metallic-looking J-A tiles, while the high pays are the unimaginatively named Purple Hero, Red Hero, Green Hero, and Blue Hero. Finally, there is a diamond wild which can substitute for any pay symbol and appears only on reels 1 and 5.
Diamond Force Slot: Features
Additional thrills and wins are made possible by the in-house developed and trademarked Team-Up Reels™ engine which comes in two forms. The first, and most common, is the standard Team-Up feature. The superhero symbols are 3x1 in size and when 3 or more land fully in view they launch the Team-Up feature. This could be 3 of the same character, or a mix of any 3 or more. During the Team-Up feature, the symbols that triggered the round create a new game board with reels that contain prize values and special modifiers. Each character has their own modifier – the blue, red, purple, and green provide x5, x3, x2, and high value prizes respectively. The Team-Up feature lasts for one spin and whatever lands on the new reels is paid out before returning players to the base game.
The second game is the Team-Up Bonus Spins. This is triggered by landing 2 or more stacked superheroes, and the 3x1 Full Stack Bonus Symbol on the fifth reel. The rules are similar to the standard Team-Up round, except this one starts with 3 free spins, and the Bonus Symbol reel can add additional spins up to 20 in total. The round ends when spins run out, then the total win amount is paid, and players return to the base game.
Diamond Force Slot: Verdict
Diamond Force is a slot that feels like it's not quite finished. Some of the features are rather intriguing, but they aren't super effective and some elements feel glossed over. Not least is the paytable with just two different reward values. In a way it's like there are just two symbols spinning on the reels. To its credit, the bonus features let the superheroes display a modicum of individuality. Again though, the values that turn up on the superhero reels are low as well. For example, the green guy has those 'high value' diamonds, which are worth 3 times the stake, so not all that high. It's possible to build up some okay returns if the bonus symbol piles on extra spins, but it's quite hard to get epic wins from them.
For a slot based on superheroes, more time developing the game world would have been appreciated. They look pretty cool, but again, a name and some back story would have gone a long way to boosting their appeal. Comic book enthusiasts go for things like origin stories, backgrounds, and getting to know a hero's special abilities and the weaknesses that make them more accessibly human. For a slot that has taken the comic book angle, Diamond Force is glaringly lacking in that area.
Another area that is glaringly lacking, and one more applicable to the general slots playing audience, is its rewards. The max win value has been noted at a respectable 13,175 times the max bet, but with such low symbol values and rewards during features, it's hard to see how it could be possible to get near that figure.
In some ways, Diamond Force is a classic Crazy Tooth title. A little different, a little weird and quirky. It certainly has its moments, but it's not a slot you'd rush to insert credits into unless you really love superheroes.
Crazy Tooth Studio pulls off another oddball slot with Diamond Force where almost every aspect is unconventional.