Snake Arena Slot (Relax Gaming): Overview
Believe it or not but the original Snake game had roots back in 1976 with a title called Blockade. It was created by the brilliantly named company Gremlin and proved a hit. Fast forward a few years and many players will be familiar with Snake after it came preloaded on Nokia phones in the 90s. It is still popular, with over 300 versions for iOS users alone. Even in the world of online slots there are several versions available with Snake from Gamevy being on of the most recent.
Relax Gaming is the team behind Snake Arena. The game has a thoroughly modern vibe with little detailed symbols like Clash of Clans items and stacks of personality and charm. Snake Arena uses a 5 reel, 5 row set up which is set inside the courtyard of a sturdy looking castle. A suitably styled soundtrack plays in the background, with pleasing little effects punching over the top. At first Snake Arena could be mistaken for a grid slot with cluster pays system. However, it has 30 fixed paylines and three or more symbols need to land on one from the first reel to award a prize.
Symbols are all brand new for the game and include 4 low pays, and 4 premiums. The low pays are different coloured coins – silver, blue, bronze and gold, each with a different marking. The premiums are quirkily irreverent and include beer steins, ham and dagger, an eyeball orb, and a jeweled crown. The crown is the most valuable at 20 times the stake for five of a kind. There are two wilds - the Knight symbol which comes in standard 1x1 size, and the snake which can be a lot bigger and whose whole body substitutes for any other symbol. Driving the game is an RTP of 96.25% and a high volatility. The base game can get a little slow to be fair, with plenty of low to no value spins. A couple of fun extras have been included to pique interest and provide better returns.
Snake Arena Slot (Relax Gaming): Features
Both features in Snake Arena revolve around the snake and the Knight. The first is the Wild Chase. This feature can drop at any time during the base game completely at random. When triggered, the reels spin and the snake and the Knight peek out from opposite ends of the screen. If they peek on the same reel, the snake makes a lunge for the Knight and turns the whole reel wild. They get three chances to match, if they don’t land on the same reel in those chances there will be no more wilds and the spin comes to a stop. The Wild Chase feature awards at least one wild reel, but it can turn all reels wild.
The second feature is Free Spins round and is what makes the game stand out. It is triggered when the snake head lands on reel 1 with the Knight anywhere else in view. During the round, the Knight lands in a new position on each spin. When spins stop, the snake’s body and the Knight are wild, and wins are calculated. Then, the snake wriggles its way towards the Knight to eat it. If it has a clear path, it eats the Knight, and its body grows bigger, and the next free spin begins. If the snake goes towards the Knight and its body is in the way it eats itself and the round is over. If the snake manages to cover reels 2- 5, the eat meter above the reels is filled and the player is awarded a jackpot of 1,000 times the stake. There is no set number of free spins. The round continues until the snake bites itself or the top prize is won.
Depending on location, players may have the option of buying free spins. The cost for triggering the bonus game on the next spin is 70 times the stake.
Snake Arena Slot (Relax Gaming): Verdict
Anyone who used to play on old Nokia's, or one of the many Snake imitators, will be right at home during the bonus game. Snake Arena is a contemporary slot with solidly retro gaming roots. The concept is original, yet not, at the same time.
Despite the useful Wild Chase feature, Snake Arena is all about the bonus game. It’s what all the talk will be about, and to be honest the base game can drag. Symbol values aren’t amazing and not much seems to happen. So much so, that it is very difficult not to go straight to the good bits via the Buy button. During free spins, the snake delights and exasperates in equal measure. When he goes the way you want him to he’s your best pal. When he goes somewhere dumb and ends up biting his tail he’ll have players shouting at their monitors. And he will; the guy chooses the straightest, least logical paths to the Knight at times.
But sometimes, it works out. It is easy to become so intent on the snake getting the Knight you almost forget the payouts racking up along the way. When it comes to max wins, free spins are far and away the key. Snake Arena isn’t a massively lucrative slot, but there is that 1,000x top prize for covering 4 reels. And if you’ve made it that far, you will have picked up a fair few wins along the way.
Overall, there are mixed feelings about Snake Arena. It has its moments, well, a moment during the clever free spins round. But the rest of the game is a little flat. If you get the snake wriggling your way you’ll love it. If not, it can be super frustrating, especially if you’ve just shelled out for the feature. Either way, Snake Arena is worth a demo at least. If nothing else than for some nostalgic Snake action.