Monopoly Heights (Bally): Overview
Monopoly Heights is the latest instalment in the ongoing Monopoly franchise which continues to expand. How many slots feature Mr Monopoly, aka Rich Uncle Pennybags, now? Quite a few we would wager, which is fantastic if you are a fan of the board game. If not, is there enough here to make you stick around? Maybe, just maybe, if you are in the right mood.
As soon as the slot begins to load you know exactly where you are. And that familiarity is oddly comforting, even for those not big on the board game. The slot is set downtown, with a grid framed by high rises and skyscrapers, with every sight and symbol ported directly from the physical game. It pays to have the sound turned on too, at least in the beginning. A cheerful Charleston style tune wafts around putting players in the mind of the swinging 20s. Back then, the city was the place to be, cocktails flowed, and everyone was out for a good time. The perfect backdrop then for a game all about property, investing, and money.
When it comes to stake levels, high rollers are catered for with €100 per spin while more casual gaming can be had for just 25 cents per spin. An ok win rate is provided by an RTP rating of 95.85%, which is slightly below industry standard, and several extras that expand the game’s possibilities. Symbol value is low with the community chest, J, Q, K and A pulling in 0.04x – 0.36x. The mid-range symbols are free parking, a diamond ring, and coins symbols for 0.20x – 0.60x. While the top of the table symbols, Mr Monopoly, Monopoly Heights, and Diamond only need two or more to win 0.24x – 1x the stake. Yeah, pretty low then, but the extra features manage to salvage what could have been a total wreck.
Monopoly Heights (Bally): Features
The first extra feature is the Wild Dice which don’t come into play that much. They show up on reels 2-5 and substitute for any of the pay symbols.
The most common extra is the Expanding Reels feature with Mr Monopoly himself. When he lands in a winning combo, he leaps in and bangs the roof with his cane. This adds another reel while the symbols lock into place, and if more Mr Monopoly symbols land in a positive manner, he bangs his cane for yet another level. This process maxes out at 8 reels in total and can increase the win ways from 1,024 in the base level up to a massive 32,768 ways to win.
To win one of the four Jackpots you are going to want the hotel symbols. They don’t show up much though because if just one lands it can trigger the bonus game, while two hotels guarantee it will launch. The slot turns into a picking game where players choose downturned cards that have four different icons on them. Each icon matches one of the jackpots so when enough of them land the appropriate prize is awarded. There are four fixed jackpots up for grabs - the Mini, Minor, Major, and Grand jackpots worth 10x, 25x, 125x, and 2,500x respectively.
Monopoly Heights (Bally): Verdict
For many players Monopoly Heights could easily be one of those play, enjoy, and forget type of slots. It’s a gentle game, with a payout frequency that is relatively high and that keeps the spins ticking over. If you are lucky enough to land a hotel or two all the better, but it’s not really a slot big jackpot hunters will seek out. In fact, Bally is to be commended for creating a slot that stays incredibly true to the spirit of the physical game.
What could possibly keep a player coming back for more? One thing is the win rate, which feels like it is due to a low rather volatility level. The other is the Expanding Reels Feature. Rich Uncle Pennybags lends his magical cane satisfying often and keeps you in the game. Like passing go, you never know what’s coming around the bend. With that said, there are some major downsides as well, which, for us at least, are deal-breakers; the low potential is unsatisfying, the below industry-standard RTP is unacceptable really, and the frustratingly slow animation of the Expanding Reels feature is just incredibly annoying. These drawbacks are simply too distracting and the gameplay is not fun enough to get us hooked.
If you want to experience the ultimate Monopoly video slot, we suggest you try Monopoly Megaways from Australian game developer Big Time Gaming.
Monopoly Heights admirably brings the famed board game to life, but annoying animations and poor payouts keep this outing from rolling doubles.