Night Trax: Slot Overview
Known for their love of the inert monatomic gas, Swedish developer ELK Studios turns up the neon for their hot 80s styled game, Night Trax. They've also turned up the creativity to do a few things not normally seen in an online slot. Perhaps not the hold & win bonus game, though the team has added a new dimension there as well. Where Night Trax deviates is in its all arrow pay symbols and the way they link up across the grid to form paylines which can take a while to get used to.
The action is held on a 6x4, 72-payline game grid, located in a futuristic urban setting, though one not anywhere near as dystopic as the world of Nitropolis. This one brought to mind the film In Time, a world divided between the haves and the have nots, where the former live gilded immortal lives, free to indulge whatever whim or leisure activity takes their fancy. It's a little unclear what prompted that flashback. Perhaps it's the feeling of freedom induced by the wide-open streets, the brightly optimistic colour scheme, and the excellent retro-electro soundtrack recorded with Vocoders, Linn Drums, and an Arp 2600 according to the producer himself.
Night Trax may be played on any device, offering stakes from 20 p/c to €/£100 per spin. Max win is high at 10,000x, but the volatility surprisingly not so much; a medium level ELK has rated 6 out of 10. Hit rate felt less than the stated 23.3% which almost puts it in the fruit slot spectrum, yet each win triggers a respins feature, while the game has an overall return value of 95%.
Paylines can land anywhere on the reels, left to right, and do not have to start or end on the first or sixth reel. As well as horizontal paylines, they may also be diagonal, depending on the symbol type. The paytable starts with two diagonal arrows followed by single, double, and triple horizontal arrows worth 3 to 25 times the stake for six of a kind. Wilds appear on all rows to substitute for any arrow symbol. A payline of all wilds is worth the same as the highest value symbol.
Night Trax: Slot Features
When arrows line up to create a win, they trigger the Trax Respins feature, which holds them and respins all other symbols. Respins continue until no new symbols are added to paylines or no new paylines are created. The diagonal arrows function a little bit differently to the horizontal ones. Diagonal arrows connect through their endpoints in multiple directions. When diagonal arrows create a split in two different directions, a multiplier of x2-x32 is added for those paylines.
Night Trax is a game with a solid max win, and getting near it is possible in the bonus game, triggered when 3 bonus symbols land in the base game. These 3 bonus symbols are converted to random multiplier values when the feature starts.
The bonus game starts with 3 free spins, and the reels contain only sticky multipliers, arrows, or blank spaces. Landing a multiplier resets the free spins counter back to 3. Arrows connect multipliers, so let's say there is an x10 multiplier on reel one and an x1 on reel three (in the same row). If an arrow lands between them, it transforms into an x10 symbol and adds 10 to the value on reel three.
If the grid fills with symbols, then the values are summarised, and the counter resets. Then, on each countdown, it adds the summed multipliers for an overall total to be awarded.
Lastly, the X-iter offers players the chance to switch the game into 5 different modes, these are:
- 5x the bet guarantees a winning spin.
- 25x the bet guarantees three spins with at least one wild symbol.
- 100x the bet guarantees a game round with entry to the bonus game.
- 250x the bet guarantees three spins with only diagonal arrow symbols.
- 500x the bet guarantees a game round with entry to the bonus game with boosted multipliers.
Night Trax: Slot Verdict
From the massive ways of Nitropolis or its follow-up, the reel dynamics of the Gold series, or oddballs like Dream Diver, ELK has proven to be a studio unafraid to push boundaries, try new themes, or experiment with traditional slot configurations. Night Trax is one of the most experimental to date and takes a thorough demo to work out if you actually like the game or not. Going in without absorbing the rules first is pretty confusing.
Once you've got the gist, Night Trax is quite straightforward, for the most part, though it can take time to figure out why some diagonal symbols link up and others don't. It might be fun for players who like to mentally calculate where they'd like new symbols to land on respins, as there are more possibilities than usual. Others might find it all a bit fiddly.
Moving on to the bonus round, which is a simple hold & win game at heart. However, the upgrading arrow element is a new twist. Just be aware, arrows link one multiplier to another; they don't apply their values to all other multipliers in the same row. The multipliers can add up, however, and buying the Super Bonus during testing tended to work out fairly well. Some burned, some rewarded, and it is possible to win as much as 10,000x the bet from Night Trax, so there's plenty to play for.
As mentioned, the only way to know if you'll like Night Trax is by trying it out. It's fantastic ELK keeps its foot on the creative gas, but there is a question mark over how Night Trax will be received. It is very niche; in fact, it's almost a niche within a niche, maybe even three levels, so it's hard to see Night Trax becoming a hit. Then again, some may love it. Those into the whole neon, futuristic, wub wub, Miami nights experience might be keen as anything to strap on shades and fingerless leather gloves to blast through Night Trax.
Those into the whole neon, futuristic, wub wub, Miami nights experience might be keen as anything to strap on shades and fingerless leather gloves to blast through Night Trax.