Mars Attacks! Introduction
Being fans of producer Tim Burton and his 1996 American comic science fiction movie Mars Attacks!, we couldn't wait to see what this slot was all about. Although it received mixed reviews and a lukewarm response from the audience at the time of its release, it is now considered a cult classic by many. As mentioned, it was created by Tim Burton, a director and producer known for his dark, eccentric horror films such as Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow and Edward Scissorhands to name a few.
In the movie, president Dale, played by Jack Nicholson, is faced with a Martian invasion. Using a translation machine, the Ambassador of Mars tries to convince the earthlings that they "come in peace", but when a hippie releases a dove as a symbol of peace, the Martian shoots it dead with a zap gun followed by a slaughter of all the people present at the event.
In Blueprint Gaming's adaptation, we get a highly volatile slot packed with features and with massive potential. It follows the same structure, however, as two of its other branded games also based on cult movies - TED and The Goonies. On the negative side of things, it does appear to be a clone of these games although its possible that changes may have been made to the variance or other mathematical elements since there are some slight differences. For example, while The Goonies has 6 random features, this game only has 5, which might mean that the RTP is distributed differently.
Mars Attacks! is a 5-reel, 3-row slot with 20 paylines. It's playable across all devices between €0.10 and €500 and comes with a theoretical RTP value of 96.44%. Visually, the transition from movie to slot has been skillfully executed, retaining the trademark characteristics of Tim Burton. Set on the grassplot of the US presidential residence, the White House can be seen in the background as well as Martian spaceships hovering in the starlit sky. As a fun little detail, the spin button has been designed to look like a radar screen.
Mars Attacks! Symbols & Paytable
Something we're not fans of is paytables displayed in coin value as it makes no sense and is confusing to players. It's an old tradition in the world of slots, however, and doesn't seem like it will ever be abandoned. For reference, using a stake of 1 EUR, just remove the last zero and divide the coin values in the paytable by 2 and you'll get the real value of the symbols.
Mars Attacks! comes with 4 low-value symbols, J, Q, K and A royals, as well as 5 premiums represented by eye-ball rings, television sets, zap guns, Martians and the Mars Attacks! logo. The latter, along with the wild symbol, which is of identical value, is the most lucrative and gives you 25 times the stake for 5 across a full pay line. As the top symbol appears fully stacked on the reels, there is a max win potential of 500x in the main game, in theory at least.
Mars Attacks! Features & Free Spin Mode
As is the case with both TED and The Goonies, this slot also comes packed with 6 bonus features as well as a random base game feature called Mars Attacks! Modifiers. When triggered, players are awarded one of the following 5 features:
- Sub-Zero Lazer - Winning symbols remain sticky as the reels go into re-spins, only stopping when no further winning symbols are added.
- Mega Shrink Ray - Reels shrink, but increases rows to 5 symbols (3125 win ways).
- Expansion Cannon - Mystery symbols are added to the reels and are then transformed into a randomly selected symbol.
- Radiation Blaster - Adds wild symbols in random positions.
- Abduction Beam - Feature is played on a different reel set.
The bonus is won by landing 3 or more scatter symbols anywhere on the reels. Players are then prompted to pick a zone on a world map which will be invaded by the Martians and subsequently award 1 of the following 5 bonus rounds available:
- Spy Hunter - A cash picking bonus.
- We Come in Peace - An improved cash picking bonus.
- D.N.A Analysis - 5 free spins on a 4x5 reel set with expanding wilds active. The wilds grow by 1 symbol in height with every subsequent spin.
- Martian Takeover - 10 free spins played on a 3x5 reel set with roaming wilds.
- Final Stand - Unlimited free spins on a 3x5 reel set. A special advance symbol can appear on any spin on reel 2 for the Humans and reel 4 for the Martian invaders. The special symbols cause their respective progress bar to fill by 1 segment. The Humans multiply wins while the Martians eliminate symbols. If the Humans win, the player is awarded an additional Big Money boost.
When a feature win is achieved, players will be presented with a gamble screen, thus giving you a chance to either collect or gamble the feature awarded in hope to achieve an even better feature.
Mars Attacks! Conclusion
The spectacular visual production aside, we can't help to feel that Mars Attacks! is being released a bit too soon following The Goonies, which appears to be more or less identical when looking at the big picture. With that said, there are some new variations introduced in the features which will likely help veteran players already familiar with both TED and The Goonies to stay motivated. The mathematical model is possibly also a bit different, even though both games share the same max win potential of 10 000 times the stake.
As usually is the case with Blueprint Gaming, the game breaths quality and offers smooth gameplay without any major hiccups. We'd say it's most definitely worth giving a shot when released. Not only are there plenty of entertaining features to explore, but it also comes packed with considerable potential.
The Mars Attacks slot gives you a fairly fun new way to experience the movie, although it does wear thin after a while.