Prison Escape Slot (Inspired): Overview
What is it with breaking out of prison and slots? Not the most obvious theme but one that has cropped up a few times now. Perhaps it taps into that adventurous, renegade spirit that also makes a good western slot so alluring. Inspired Gaming is the latest developer to give players the chance to help bust a couple of loveable rogues out of the clink. Prison Escape is one of those slots that has a surprising amount of depth to it. A lot more than first meets the eye. It also contains more gambling opportunities than you can shake a well-polished nightstick at.
Prison Escape opens to little fanfare. A simple 5-reel, 3-row set up greets you with transparent reels and the prison grounds in the background. Spotlights scan the area and now and then a small dark figure can be spotted moving around. Given the theme, it could get a bit heavy. To keep it light-hearted, Inspired has gone for a cartoonish look, similar in style to slots like Riviera Star or Mission Cash.
Players take part in the break-out by selecting bets that start at 10 p/c and go as high as £/€25 per spin. Other options include up to 100 free spins and activating the gamble feature – more on this shortly. The gear icon opens up the paytable where there are 10 base game symbols. Four are royals J – A in a strong metal font. Mid-table icons are a prison van and a spotlight. Next up is a prison guard and two harmless-looking crooks. The most valuable symbol is the Logo which is worth 20 times the stake for five of a kind. It rewards players for landing two of a kind, while all other symbols need at least three. There are just 10 paylines on which to line up winners. Rounding off the paytable is the wild which substitutes for any pay symbol and lands on reels 2, 3, and 4 during the base game. During the Control Room Bonus, it lands on every reel.
The RTP is an interesting one. As you will see in the features section, Prison Escape is a slot with a lot of choices and player input. As such, the RTP varies wildly. Officially, the expected payback for an individual game cycle is between 31.75% and 96.3%. It depends on the strategy chosen during features and gambling wins. This will become clear shortly. Volatility, with all this going on, is in the medium-high category. At first, the base game is a little so-so. It’s not until wins start to fall, or scatters land that the game starts to get more intense.
Prison Escape Slot (Inspired): Features
Prison Escape is a surprisingly complex slot. It doesn’t seem like it at first, but wait till you get the first win. Then, you can Gamble the winnings or collect. If you gamble, the two crooks slide down a zip line. If they make it to the far side, the Blueprint Bonus round is triggered. If they fall, the win is forfeit, and it’s back to the base game. If the win is 23 times the stake or more, players can collect part of the amount and gamble the rest. Gambling for the bonus is super tempting. Players do have the option of turning gamble off. Or, it can be set to only appear on wins of 5 times the stake or higher.
The other way of triggering the Blueprint Bonus feature is by landing 3 scatters. They appear on reels 1, 3, and 4. If two land on reels 1 and 3, they trigger a respin of reel 5 for a second chance.
When the Blueprint Bonus starts, the game shifts away from the reels to a board game with rooms and a dice. Players roll the dice to move the two crooks around the board. If they land on a square with a guard two times, then the round is over, and it is back to the base game empty-handed. While the bonus game is on, players move around collecting items that boost the mini-games. There are three different rooms with three different mini-games to unlock:
- Wardens Office Bonus: Players open lockers to reveal more keys or stake multipliers. Key symbols power up this room with more picks and better prizes.
- Workshop Bonus: This game makes offers that players can reject or accept to get the best tool combination. Tools come with stake multipliers attached. Spanner symbols power up this room from 2 – 4 tools.
- Control Room Bonus: This is a free spins feature with locking wilds. Joystick symbols power up this room from 6 free spins and wilds that lock for 2 spins, up to 12 free spins and wilds that lock for 4 spins.
If the player makes it to the end of the Blueprint Bonus Trail they get to spin the Paradise Fortune Wheel for prizes of up to 1,000 times the stake.
Along the way around the Trail, a walkie-talkie rings when it is the players turn to do something. It gives advice based on what will return the highest average pay. Players can take the advice or play the game as they see fit.
The final feature is the Spin Chance which shows up if a player has a positive balance, but it is less than the cost of a spin. It’s like a gamble feature which awards one more spin at the current value if successful. Or, it clears the balance if unsuccessful.
Prison Escape Slot (Inspired): Verdict
Prison Escape is an interesting slot that invites two approaches. One is to gamble every win in hopes of cracking the bonus game. Then, to continue rolling to see how far you can get around the board. The problem with that is the odds are not on your side. The paytable is clear on this, and the low RTP reflects it. The second approach is to play it safe and never gamble, and listen to the walkie-talkie’s advice every time. This results in better odds, but is that playing it too safe?
It’s a dilemma and it is very hard not to gamble each win - the small ones at least. It’s a real gamblers game. As always, when risks pay off, it’s quite exciting. When it doesn’t, well, not so much. When it comes to potential, with all the risks involved you would expect more, to be honest. Wins of 1,000 times the stake are up for grabs if you make it to the end of the Trail with both lives, which is tough to pull off though. Alternatively, a full grid of logos is worth a modest 200 times the stake.
Prison Escape’s cheerful look has the potential to seriously sting players who aren’t ready for a volatile ride. If you are up for a solid punt, a bit of risk, where your decisions can lead to intense gaming, then it could be worth a spin. It is a brutal game and quite unconventional game though, so be prepared for that. After the initial excitement of gambling for bonuses the novelty wears off. What really hurts Prison Escape are the very low odds if you gamble wins regularly and the low value rewards for doing so.
Prison Escape crutches itself far too heavily on over-complicated and low-potential action that doesn’t so much entertain as it bewilders.