Earlier this year we could report that both Microgaming and NetEnt had plans to release Phantom of the Opera themed slots. But something went wrong for one of them…
Back in September we wrote an article asking what happened to these games that were announced and then just seemed to disappear into slience. Microgaming’s version was eventually released not too long ago, but NetEnt’s game has been missing, despite launching a promotion video on Youtube.
Nothing has been said officially about it, but we’re starting to understand what must have went down. Since Microgaming was the only provider that ended up actually launching a licensed and official version of Phantom of the Opera it seems NetEnt must have forgotten to acquire a license, or thought they didn’t need one. How it’s possible both of these giants had the exact same plans at the same time is quite fascinating and it just goes to show how close an eye they keep on one another.
But then today we got the news of an upcoming slot release from NetEnt and what do you know! It turns out to be their Phantom of the Opera slot rebranded and turned into something else. And they even acquiered a license this time – from Universal!
Universal Monsters™ The Phantom’s Curse Video Slot Touch is a 5-reel, 4-row video slot featuring Wild Substitutions, a Scatter symbol, 3 Bonus Symbols that also act as Wilds, a Pick and Click Bonus game, Free Spins and a sticky Wild Re-spin feature. The game is played with 40 bet lines (fixed), 1-10 bet levels (20 coins per level) and different coin values. Wild symbols substitute for all symbols except Scatter and Bonus symbols. Bet line wins pay when in succession from both leftmost to right and rightmost to left.
- Both the first and last reel can contain Stacked Bonus Symbols (not present during Free Spins).
- There are 3 different types of Stacked Bonus Symbols. The Stacked Phantom appears only on the first reel, while the Stacked Mask and Stacked Christine symbols appear only on the last reel.
- Scatter symbols appear on reels 1, 3 and 5 only.
- Free Spins and Bonus Features cannot be triggered at the same time.
- Stacked Bonus symbols also act as Wild symbols.
Pick and Click
- The Pick and Click bonus game is triggered when the Stacked Phantom symbol lands fully on reel 1 and the Stacked Christine symbol lands fully on reel 5.
- A Stacked Bonus Symbol is considered to have fully landed on the reels when the block of 2 symbols appears on 2 of the 4 places on the reels.
- A Stacked Bonus Symbols consists of a block of 2 symbols.
- The bonus game has 2 stages.
- In stage 1, a player has 8 roses to choose from. Some roses reveal coin wins while others reveal blocker symbols.
- The player picks roses until a blocker symbol is displayed on the screen.
- After a player chooses a blocker symbol in stage 1, they move to stage 2.
- In stage 2 of the bonus game, the player has to choose 1 of 3 mirrors. The mirrors represent a multiplier of either 1x, 2x or 3x the coin win from stage 1.
- The coin win from stage 1 is multiplied by the chosen multiplier value and payed out.
- The first pick in stage 1 always results in a coin win.
- At the end of the Pick and Click, the total win from the Pick and Click is added to any wins from the round that activated the Pick and Click.
- The coin wins that can be won during Stage 1 of the Pick and Click are: 20, 40 or 100 coins (multiplied by the bet level).
- The maximum coin win in the Pick and Click game is 7200 coins.
Masked Phantom Re-spin
- The Masked Phantom Re-spin is triggered when a Stacked Phantom symbol lands fully on reel 1 and a Stacked Mask symbol lands fully on reel 5.
- The Bonus Stacked Symbols, as well as Mask symbols and Phantom symbols visible during the spin that activated the Re-spin, turn into Wilds and stick on the reels for one free Re-spin.
- No bonus symbols or Scatters appear on the reels during the Re-spin.
- The Pick and Click, Free Spins and additional Re-spins cannot be triggered during the Re-spin.
- At the end of the Masked Phantom Re-spin, the total win from the Masked Phantom Re-spin is added to any wins from the round that activated the Masked Phantom Re-spin.
- Before the Re-spin, all winnings from the main game will first be calculated and then the reels will re-spin.
- 3 Scatter symbols appearing on reels 1, 3 and 5 respectively trigger Free Spins.
- During Free Spins, a chandelier hangs by ropes, appearing next to the five reels with each rope connected to a certain reel.
- Landing a Masked Phantom symbol on a reel cuts that section of rope and highlights the reel connected with that section.
- After the rope has been cut for a reel, subsequent Masked Phantom symbols appearing on that reel will not lead to another rope being cut on a different reel.
- When all five ropes next to the reels are cut, the chandelier falls and Free Spins ends.
- The Masked Phantom symbol acts as a Wild during Free Spins.
- When a Masked Phantom symbol has landed on a reel and cut the rope, all Masked Phantom symbols on that reel become fully stacked Masked Phantom symbols from the next spin, and remain stacked for the remainder of the Free Spins session. A fully stacked set of Masked Phantom symbols is a block of 4 Masked Phantom symbols.
- During Free Spins, the total win from Free Spins is added to any wins from the round that activated Free Spins.
- Additional Free Spins cannot be won during Free Spins.
- Scatter symbols, Mask symbols and normal Phantom symbols do not appear on the reels during Free Spins.
The theoretical return to player for this game is 96.57% and variance seem to be more in the medium range, definately not one of the slots from NetEnt with the greatest potential. It looks and sounds very much like a typical NetEnt slot, which is not a bad thing. In fact, the slot looks amazing!
The game is action packed with many features in ways that reminds us a lot of Microgaming’s version of Phantom of the Opera. However, we must say that Microgaming will come out as a winner in this battle because of the better potential. Production wise NetEnt is the winner, hands down.