Kaiser: Slot Overview
Developer Peter & Sons gives players a stylised view of life in the trenches during World War One in their video slot titled Kaiser. Kaiser is the German word for Emperor, and back when the game is set, this was Wilhelm II, who abdicated at the end of the war, thereby ending three hundred years of rule by the House of Hohenzollern. In Kaiser the slot, those events are four years down the track, and here we meet lonely soldier Hans Schultz, in 1914, as ‘the world is shaken by the rolling thunder of marching boots and waves of unstoppable tanks‘ – Peter & Sons’ words there.
Sounds like a bleak theme for a slot, but Peter & Sons have brought their cartoon drawing talents to help lift the mood. Kaiser is a more sanitised recreation of the Great War, though it still paints a fairly sombre picture. Herr Schultz finds himself in a sandbagged trench next to a no man’s land full of shot out dead trees, in various tones of grey and brown. By the way, we’re assuming this isn’t the same Hans Schultz that appeared in Hogan’s Heroes, though who knows, because he jigs around in a playful fashion depending on what is happening on the game panel. In the middle of the trench lies the grid, made up of a 5×5 game area with 40 fixed paylines.
For a Peter & Sons game, Kaiser is quite tame compared to previous releases, aimed at gamblers who will be as entertained by Hans’ antics as they are by the math model/potential combo. On the subject of maths, the game produces an impressive 97% RTP while offering medium/high volatility. Players can enjoy a win roughly every five spins, or 19.92%, and potential is about the lowest we’ve seen from this studio, which is interesting considering all the wild, multiplier action involved. Kaiser may be played on any device, allowing stakes of 20 p/c to £/€40 per spin to be selected.
Winning combinations occur in Kaiser when three to five matching symbols land adjacently from the leftmost reel. The lower part of the paytable begins with 10-A card symbols before moving on to cheese, pretzels, German officers, and smiling nurses. The latter two characters are the two premium symbols worth 10-15 times the stake for a winning combination made up of five tiles. During the base game, wild symbols are represented by Pilsner beer labels, which transform into Eagle emblems for free spins. In both forms, wilds are worth up to 20x the bet for a line of five and replace regular pay symbols to complete win lines.
Kaiser: Slot Features
Features in Kaiser are based around wilds and multipliers in the base game as well as a round of triggered free spins. Called the Wild Multiplier feature, in the base game, 3 to 10 wild symbols can randomly be placed in any position, activating a win multiplier in the process. The Multiplier Signal, as it is known, starts at x1 the first time Wild Multipliers are triggered. Each time it triggers again, the multiplier increases to x2, then x3. If it triggers after that, the cycle begins anew, starting at x1.
The golden box, with what could well be the Kaiser emblazoned on it, is the scatter, appearing on the middle three reels. Landing 3 of them at once awards 7 Kaiser Free Spins. The bonus game begins by placing 3-10 Roaming Wild Multiplier symbols on the grid in random positions. In between spins, these symbols switch to new arbitrary positions. Scatters remain on the reels for the bonus game and are collected when they hit. Collected scatters increase the wild symbols’ multiplier level from x1 up to x5. Each time the multipliers are upgraded, +2 additional free spins are awarded.
Kaiser: Slot Verdict
Well, it’s not every day you get to play a slot that uses World War 1 as its subject matter. It might have been more controversial if Peter & Sons hadn’t used such a slapstick approach. Then again, some might find it disrespectful? It certainly looks a lot more pleasant than the filth, frostbite, and rats that trench warfare is often depicted as being. This being the case, we’ll keep our hat out of the political arena and concentrate on the gaming side of things.
As usual, Peter & Sons have crafted a slot that is instantly recognisable as one of these – their classic cartoon presentation and animations are as entertaining as ever. Kaiser’s style actually brought to mind ELK‘s Dream Diver and Blueprint‘s Tivoli, yet with a more juvenile feel than those other two. Actually, is it almost too cartoonish? At times, there is a danger Kaiser verges on being a little childish for some tastes, like a Saturday morning cartoon or a kid’s book on life in the trenches.
The features aren’t quite as inspired as the theme choice. Random multipliers can perform when they land in greater numbers, and increasing multipliers provide something to play for. Free spins are where the game steps it up naturally, though it seems Peter & Sons has shot for a different audience than usual with Kaiser. While previous releases have aimed more at high volatility/high potential crowd, Kaiser packing a less exciting max win figure of 2,333 times the bet.
In the end, Kaiser comes across as a unique game, which puts an unusual theme choice to work via pleasing visual effects. The features are alright, simple yet effective at times, but they have been leashed to prevent the action from really cutting loose. Casual gamblers after a WW1 game, or players who have seen it all and are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary might be able to draw a level of entertainment from Kaiser.
Peter & Sons keeps the production line flowing with another uniquely designed slot, though one that runs a lot lighter than their usual fare.