Space Donkey

(Nolimit City) Slot Review

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Space Donkey: Slot Overview

Before we dive into the review, here's something to ponder from Michio Kaku's book The Future of Humanity. Apparently, geneticists have noticed that any two humans will have almost the exact same DNA. By way of contrast, the genetic variation between two chimpanzees can be greater than that found in the entire human population. One theory to explain this is that a cataclysmic event took place a long, long time ago, decimating the number of humans, leaving a diminished pool of genetics which is shared by the 8 billion plus of us on earth today. Who knows, with a bit more of a nudge, it might have been another species that inherited the planet instead of us?

Only bringing this up because a species-confused Monkey is the star of Nolimit City's ambitious slot Space Donkey (Fair warning, you might get more than you bargained for if you look up the title on Urban Dictionary, but if you're curious, we've thrown in a link). In this game, our Monkey hero fights back against a band of visiting aliens in an attempt not to be probed while hopefully collecting some gold along the way. Space Donkey is a real treat for fans of blocky, 8-bit-styled slots, and its base game presents a bird's eye view of a gaming area reminiscent of old shooters like Capcom's 1942. Trigger free spins and the retro gaming continues in two distinct bonus rounds where the Monkey moves around the screen, shooting baddies and collecting loot, with luck. Complimenting the spot-on graphics is equally spot-on sounds that should delight gamblers who were partial to a video game or two back in the day.

Space Donkey slot
Space Donkey slot - base game

However, while it might look like one, Space Donkey is no video game but a highly volatile video slot. It comes with a default RTP of 96.07% on which players can feed the machine 20 p/c to $/€200 per spin. No xBet style feature exists, but bonus buyers do have access to three options. The base game takes place on a 6x6 gaming panel with 46,656 ways to win and an avalanche mechanic that removes winning symbols and replaces them by dropping symbols in from above.

For symbols, Space Donkey's got 9-A card ranks, bullets, a ray gun, an alien, a fighter plane, and a monkey. Hitting a 6 OAK royal win pays 0.25 to 0.75 times the bet, whereas a 6 premium symbol win pays 1 to 4 times the bet. Abduction Wilds appear in the base game on all but the leftmost reel. When an Abduction Wild is part of a win, it remains on the screen for the next drop. It then moves downwards and abducts (removes) normal pay symbols while increasing its multiplier by +1 for each removed symbol.

Space Donkey: Slot Features

space donkey slot
Space Donkey slot - free spins

Nolimit City games have a well-deserved reputation for complexity, but few, if any, are as rule-heavy as Space Donkey. As such, a lot may not make sense without a playthrough, but no matter, let's dive in, see where we end up.


Chopper symbols may appear on reels 2 to 5 in the base game. When 3 or more Choppers are in view, they trigger the Hellfire feature. The first Chopper shoots in 1 direction, the second fires in 2 directions, and so on. Chopper's multipliers are added to all wild and regular pay symbols in the directions. Each Chopper's multiplier will be 2-10, and the multiplier counts as the number of symbols on that position.

Hide N' Seek

Landing 3 scatter symbols triggers the Hide N' Seek round. Scatters convert to Traps on a 6×6 sized grid area where the edges of the grid are connected to the opposing edges. Each turn displays 2 values - Direction and Steps, making a Monkey symbol move around to collect chest values. The Monkey stops walking once its life is taken. The Monkey starts with 3 lives. The Monkey and Alien lose a life when they encounter each other or move into a Trap. Traps are removed when the Monkey walks into them, unlike the Alien. When the Monkey walks over a position, it triggers or collects whatever ability the symbol holds. When symbols are removed, they trigger a drop on the reel, so new symbols drop in. However, Trap symbols do not drop. In this mode, the following symbols are available:

  • Traps - removes one life from the Monkey, then disappears.
  • Grey Chest - awards an extra life, a multiplier value, or an upgrade to the Seek N' Destroy, or nothing.
  • Golden Chest - awards a multiplier value.
  • Teleport - is revealed from a Grey Chest and triggers the Seek N' Destroy right away.
  • Alien - takes a life from the Monkey.
  • Magician - awards the total sum of all Golden Chests in view.
  • King - multiplies the values on the Golden Chests with a random multiplier of 2 to 10.
  • Princess - collects values from adjacent Grey and Golden chests in all directions and kills adjacent Alien.
  • Stone Monster - affects these symbols in random positions - Golden Chest multiplier gets doubled up, Grey Chests open up, and Alien is killed.

The Alien moves one step towards the Monkey after the Monkey has moved and acts like so:

  • When reaching the Monkey, the Alien takes a life and disappears.
  • When reaching a Chest, it adds the Chest multiplier to its value.
  • When reaching the Magician, King, Princess or Stone Monster, it adds ×1 to its value.
  • When reaching a Trap, it dies, leaving behind a Golden Chest on its starting position. It then spreads its value to adjacent Golden Chests or keeps the entire value. Leaves nothing if it does not have a value.
  • If killed by a Princess or Stone Monster, it reacts the same as when reaching a Trap.

When the Alien has vanished, it may respawn in future avalanches, taking the value of the symbol it appears on. When Teleport is discovered, the feature ends immediately and Seek N' Destroy is triggered. The Monkey's extra lives beyond 1 are converted to extra Monkey shield(s) for Seek N' Destroy.

Space Donkey slot
Space Donkey slot - Hide N Seek

Seek N' Destroy

Landing 4 scatters triggers the Seek N' Destroy feature. For each additional triggering scatter, the Monkey gets an extra shield. Played on a 6x5 gaming grid, random multipliers of 1-10 sit on top of columns 2-6 while Aliens move along rows towards the Monkey on each turn. The Monkey jumps to a random row on each turn and fires a weapon in an attempt to kill Aliens and destroy the Mothership. On each turn, an Alien with a multiplier comes in from all horizontal launcher tubes (rows). Once killed, its value is multiplied by the column's multiplier (if active) and collected. Aliens may have different amounts of lives. As well as Aliens, Booster symbols awarding a Shield or a weapon upgrade may appear in the launcher tube. The round ends when the Monkey has no more lives or Monkeypendence Day is triggered. On each turn, this occurs:

  • The Monkey moves to a random row.
  • Aliens/Booster symbols move one position to the left.
  • The launch tubes spawn a new wave of Aliens.
  • A random weapon is chosen and fired by the Monkey.
  • Any killed Alien's value(s) is awarded after being multiplied by the respective active column multiplier.

The different weapons available for the Monkey to fire are:

  • Link Gun - takes a life of all Aliens of the same kind. If no Alien is present, it fires at 1/2 Launch tubes. It fires twice when upgraded.
  • Laser Gun - takes a life of all Aliens in the same row, including the launcher tube. It also kills Aliens on adjacent rows when upgraded.
  • Nuke - takes a life of all Aliens in one column. If no Alien is present, it also fires at neighbouring Launch tubes. Nukes fire twice when upgraded.
  • Rail Gun - kills an Alien. Fires twice when upgraded.

The launcher tube has from top to bottom 3, 4, 5, 4 and 3 lives. Each weapon fire removes 1 life from the Launcher tube and from the Mothership. When a launcher tube is destroyed, 100x the bet is awarded for each launcher tube, all Aliens are destroyed in neighbouring rows awarding their values, and when destroyed, the launcher tube will not spawn more Aliens. When Aliens reach the left side of the Launcher tube on the same row as the Monkey, they remove a shield or life. Booster symbols, in this case, award a Shield or a weapon upgrade.

Lastly, we've got Monkeypendence Day. The Mothership has 25 lives, which drop by one every time a launcher tube is shot. When the Mothership or all Launcher tubes are destroyed, the bonus round ends and a random multiplier of 5, 10, 15, 20 is awarded, which multiplies the accumulated bonus win.

Nolimit Bonus

From the Nolimit Bonus, players can pay 79x the bet to trigger the Hide N' Seek feature (96.1% RTP), 272x the bet to buy the Seek N' Destroy round (96.26% RTP), or 143x the bet for a Lucky Draw option (96.4% RTP).

Space Donkey slot
Space Donkey slot - Seek N Destroy

Space Donkey: Slot Verdict

Video gamers from back in the day best brace for a jolt of nostalgia when Space Donkey lumbers on screen. It's got the look of a classic arcade game; just add coins and wiggle the joystick while bashing away on the buttons. Consoles and PCs might have destroyed video game arcades, which might be a heart-string tug for those who remember walking into a darkened room while bleeps and bloops emanated from rows of gaming cabinets. Where players could be transported to a totally different world alongside a crowd of fellow punters feeding pockets full of coins into machines in an attempt to clock the game. Basically, in terms of graphics and sound, Space Donkey is up there with other top 8-bit retro slots like Hellcatraz , NFT Megaways, and Flame Busters, but being Nolimit City, the studio has pushed everything to the edge, then nudged it all off into the cold dark void of space, where 'no one can hear you scream', as the tagline to the movie Alien went.

The extra nudge into the void is the complex nature of the bonus rounds. They're not confusingly complex the way the gameplay can be in some Nolimit City games, Mental for example, it's just there are a ton of rules and regulations to adhere to. Bonus rounds can make or break a slot, and Space Donkey's brought back memories of Crazy Tooth Studio's Fortress Charge. Like Fortress Charge, both rounds, Hide N' Seek and Seek N' Destroy, are so singular in design and execution that they're a sort of love-it-or-leave-it situation. On the possible negative side, some may not like their slower-than-usual pace (though this might also be seen as bang for buck), and just like getting beaten by a video game, they can be frustrating. Ever feel like the computer is actually against you? Yeah, it might get like that while battling Space Donkey. On the positive side, Nolimit City has done an outstanding job of ensuring both rounds make for an exhilarating ride into the past for veteran video gamers who can pretend they're revisiting their younger days, slamming coins into a cabinet and astounding onlookers with skills honed by countless rounds of practice. Just this time, there are wins worth up to 14,649x the bet on the line.

Few studios pick an idea for a slot then push the concept as far as Nolimit City does. In all facets, from the nailed graphics and sound to the interesting characters, the amusing storyline, and the unique features. Whether you consider Space Donkey to be your jam or a bizarre freak fest, it's hard not to concede this is a very cleverly made, unique slot, and one veteran gamers might get a bit wistfully sentimental over.


Space Donkey is a wildly creative 8-bit bonanza that should send old-school gamers scrambling for their consoles.

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