Man vs Gator

(ELK Studios) Slot Review

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ELK Studios

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Man Vs Gator: Slot Overview

In this day and age, put humankind up against any of the critters walking, flying, swinging, swimming, or slithering on the Earth, and we will have the entire species wiped out by lunchtime. No problem. One-on-one, though, fighting bare knuckles to paws, it's a different story, and there are plenty of dangerous creatures out there that we upright bipeds have to be on the lookout for. One such beasty is the alligator, of which there are two kinds - the Chinese alligator and the American alligator. It's a fictionalised kind of alligator that players are up against when taking on ELK Studios' online slot Man Vs Gator.

Man Vs Gator was a game that brought to mind several previously played slots, of which AvatarUX's Floridaman was one, with that similarly pastel-coloured Floridian blaze to it, as if the sun always shines during the day, and the temperatures are forever on the comfortable side of balmy. Boxy TV sets provide a faint retro touch, while laid-back music leaps into wub-wub Skrillex mode at points to make sure players aren't drifting too deeply into their virtual hammocks. Little chance of falling asleep when the features are firing, especially free spins, even more so during big win counts where Man Vs Gator slips a thrash metal record on the turntable for a sonic blast.

Man Vs Gator slot
Man Vs Gator slot - base game

Man Vs Gator's gaming area utilises a 5x5 reel matrix with connecting paylines to evaluate wins, which is a system that sits between pure paylines and pure ways. A highly volatile machine, Man Vs Gator takes wagers of 20 c to $/€100 and comes shipped with one single fixed RTP that clocks in at 94%.

Three card royals, Q, K, and A, are Man Vs Gator's low-pay symbols, a boxing glove and a gas can are the mids, while the highs are two gator characters. Hitting a 5 OAK pays 0.25x-0.35x for the lows, 0.5x-0.6x for the mids, or 1x-5x the bet for the highs. The Man vs Gator, Man Up wild, and Gator Down wild substitute for any symbol except scatters. A payline of wilds is worth the same as the highest-value symbol.

Man Vs Gator: Slot Features

Man Vs Gator slot
Man Vs Gator slot - free spins

Man Vs Gator features three different wild symbols, 1 with multipliers, all with the ability to trigger respins. A free spins bonus round is also available, plus 5 options from the X-iter bonus buy menu.

Man vs Gator Wild

The Man vs Gator wild is a 5-position high symbol with two multiplier values. It nudges onto the screen so it covers the whole reel. When reels stop spinning, one of the multiplier values is chosen and applied to the wild, showing either the Man or the Gator as the victor. Landing a Man vs Gator symbol awards a respin where all Man vs Gator symbols in view are sticky. When more than one Man vs Gator hits simultaneously, respins stack and play one by one.

Man Up Wild & Gator Down Wild

The Man Up wild is a 2-position high symbol without a multiplier. It nudges upwards, granting respins till it goes off the screen. Each nudge upgrades the multiplier shown on Man vs Gator, where the Man is the victor and currently in view. The Gator Down wild, meanwhile, is a 2-position high symbol without a multiplier. It nudges downwards, granting respins till it goes off the screen. Each nudge upgrades the multiplier shown on Man vs Gator, where the Gator is the victor and currently in view.

Bonus Game

Landing 3 or more scatter symbols awards 5 free spins. If triggered by 4 scatters, a Man vs Gator wild lands on the first spin. If triggered by 5 scatters, then you get 2 Man vs Gator wilds landing on the first spin. During the round, all Man vs Gator symbols are sticky throughout free spins and respins do not consume free spins. It is possible to trigger free spins from a respin. When this happens, after the bonus completes, play resets to the triggered state, continuing the base game respins. Man vs Gator symbols do not transfer from the base game to the bonus round. It is possible to enter the bonus round multiple times in a game round. Lastly, landing 3 or more scatter symbols awards +5 free spins; 4 scatters also award a Man vs Gator wild on the next spin, and 5 scatters award 2 Man vs Gator wilds on the next spin.

X-iter

Clicking the X-iter bonus buy button presents these choices for players to activate:

  • Bonus Hunt - 2x the bet to buy a game round with more than 3 times the chance of triggering the bonus game.
  • Man vs Gator - 10x the bet to buy a game round where a Man vs Gator symbol lands.
  • Tag Team - 25x the bet to buy a game round where 2 Man vs Gator symbols land.
  • Bonus - 100x the bet to enter the bonus round triggered by at least 3 scatters.
  • Super Bonus - 500x the bet to buy the bonus round triggered by 5 scatters.
Man Vs Gator slot
Man Vs Gator slot - free spins

Man Vs Gator: Slot Verdict

As well as the Floridaman déjà vu, other slots which Man Vs Gator triggered memories of were those that Nolimit City has injected xNudge wilds into and, even more so, Hacksaw Gaming's VS slots like Gladiator Legends, where wilds nudge to cover the whole reel if doing so will create a win, then have two combatants fight, awarding the winner's multiplier value. Slayer INC is another good example of this sort of effect. The Man vs Gator feature looks very familiar, in other words, and appears to be a case of ELK Studios seeing something it liked and thought it could go one better.

The 'better' in this instance involves respins, which who would complain about since, you know, they're free and potentially make extra use of the Man vs Gator symbols on the grid. Especially if more than one Man vs Gator symbol lands and you get to plough through respins one by one, hopefully chalking up repeat payouts. Stirring the mix further are Gator Down and Man Up wilds, which add to the respin count while also increasing multiplier values - provided the relevant Man or Gator are the displayed victors on the Man vs Gator symbol. It's not a bad combination of features, aided by the way Man vs Gator symbols are sticky in free spins. Five free spins might not seem like a lot, but if you can squeeze respins in there, they could possibly end up lasting longer than you think.

So is Man Vs Gator an improvement over what Hacksaw Gaming has been doing with its duelling full reel multiplier wilds? Not necessarily, but ELK Studios' contribution is certainly no worse, and there is definite entertainment to be had here, as well as winning potential of 10,000x the bet. The sweetener on the deal is the high production levels, which is an ELK Studios trademark, really, making the pastelled wub-wub journey to gator country a sensorially pleasing one.

Great

Man Vs Gator offers familiar but engaging gameplay with its respin mechanics and wild multipliers, blending high production values and solid winning potential for an entertaining slot experience.

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