Empty the Bank: Slot Overview
Join a charismatic Cockney burglar as he attempts to clean out valuables from as many vaults as possible in Pragmatic Play's slot Empty the Bank. This guy has always got something to say and gets particularly vocal when the bonus round is triggered, which is a hold & win style feature full of special symbols. They say banks are insured against this sort of thing, in movies at least, and rewards are higher than we've seen from Pragmatic for a while, so grab your safe-cracking kit if you're up for a heist.
Empty the Bank is played on a 5-reel, 4-row game panel, providing 20 ways to land winning combinations across. Pragmatic has set the game in a downtown location that doesn't instantly bring London to mind. Either we're in Canary Wharf, or our Cockney robber has relocated somewhere like New York. He isn't exactly inconspicuous either, always mouthing off about something or other, wearing a getup that screams bank robber, with a mask and swag bag tossed over a shoulder. Swinging 60s bank raid music provides the finishing touch, giving Empty the Bank a classic Guy Ritchie film atmosphere.
Any device may be used to get the safe cracking started, where stakes from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin can be set. Depending on your territory, players may elect to buy the feature, engage the Ante Bet, or play in the default mode. RTP varies ever so slightly between buying free spins at 96.44% or 96.48% for the other two approaches. Either way, there are no concerns about the theoretical return value - the default one, that is. There are also lower RTP versions, so beware. Players up for some highly volatile action won't be complaining either, as Pragmatic Play has rated this aspect of the math model as 5 out of 5.
All symbols, bar one, pay when three or more land left to right on adjacent reels starting from the leftmost reel. The exception is the crown symbol which needs only two or more to do so. Five crowns are worth 20x the bet, dropping to 4-10x for the remaining premium symbols – coins, banknotes, gold bars, and sacks of jewels. On the lower side of the paytable are metallic designed J-A card symbols. The robber's mug has been used on the wild symbol, appearing on all five reels. The wild symbol replaces any other in the game, except for the bonus tile.
Empty the Bank: Slot Features
Decent potential is possible in Empty the Bank's hold & win feature, while the only other extra is the optional Ante Bet. When engaged, the Ante Bet increases the stake by 25%, so extra bonus symbols appear on the reels, increasing the chance of winning the feature.
Triggering the respin feature occurs when 3 bank vault scatters land simultaneously on reels 1, 3, and 5 during the base game. The feature moves to a new location and uses a completely different grid set. It starts in a 4x5 configuration, with locked positions on the borders. At most, the grid can be opened up to 7x7 in size. Players get 3 money symbols and 3 respins, which reset whenever a new symbol lands on the board. Money symbols take a random value of 1 to 10 times the total bet. The other symbols perform specific tasks, such as:
- Walkie talkie – takes a value of 1-2x the bet and adds it to all money symbols on the current spin plus every subsequent respin.
- Computer – awards 1x the bet and doubles the value of all money symbols on the screen.
- Burglar – collects the value of all money symbols and other burglar symbols on the screen, freeing up space for new symbols to land.
- Alarm – increases the number of possible respins to 4 instead of 3, and awards 1x the bet.
- Drill – unlocks spaces on reel 1, and awards 1x the bet.
- Hammer – unlocks spaces on reel 7, and awards 1x the bet.
- Ladder – unlocks row 6 then 7 on the first and second time it hits, plus you win 1x the bet.
- Safe door – hit one for 1x the bet, hit three to win the game's max win.
The round ends when there are no more respins, or the screen has been filled with symbols. On a final note, if you don't want to bother waiting for the respin round to drop organically, forking out 80 times your bet will instantly trigger it.
Empty the Bank: Slot Verdict
As they say in sports, Empty the Bank is a game of two halves. Its base game doesn't do a lot, preferring to pour the vast majority of entertainment and money into the respins feature. What kept tedium at bay during testing were the jolly burglar antics, and the fact respins were an extraordinarily frequent occurrence.
Thoughts on the Jason Statham(ish) voice over? He does tend to repeat the same things over again, and the constant 'moolahs' or 'cash 'n carrys' threaten to get on your nerves. But, it's all in jest and matches the happy go lucky attitude of a thief who's just out to empty vaults on a clear moonlit night after all. He gets plenty of chances, too, at least, he did during the review where the bonus round seemed to hit at extremely regular intervals, though maybe we just got lucky.
Few produced stunning results, yet Empty the Bank doesn't lag in the potential department, where wins as high as 10,000x the bet is awarded when three safe doors land in the bonus round - 10k is the win cap, by the way. Outside the jackpot max win trigger, it's going to be tricky to build impressive totals. Money symbols start out at just 10x for starters, and the special symbols aren't as effective as, say, persistent modifiers found in other games.
Aside from the top prize, wins didn't tend to be all that impressive. Certainly not as impressive as games like Money Train 2 or Fire in the Hole, but Empty the Bank feels angled at a different sort of gambler. Pragmatic Plays target demographic is more general, so Empty the Bank is not as all or nothing as some. Instead, it's a bit breezier, a bit more of a laugh, going for a character-rich gaming experience to casually enjoy rather than take on as a personal challenge.
Empty the Bank serves up some humorous gaming, with a decent hold-and-win feature but ends up playing in a lower division than the heavyweights in its category.