The Cage

(Nolimit City) Slot Review

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Nolimit City

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The Cage: Slot Overview

Let's take a moment to spare a thought for the brave (or crazy) men and women who spend countless hours in the gym pounding weights, getting up before dawn to pound the pavement, then leaping into caged rings to pound opponents – or get pounded by their opponents. Basically, there's a lot of pounding going on, and it takes a certain type of person to want to put themselves through all that agony for the chance to attain glory. A lot of people want to watch it, though. MMA Facts website mentions research which shows 300 million people worldwide are fans, and the sport, if you consider it one, has a 'broadcast reach of over a billion households in 165 countries'. Put simply, a lot of people want to watch other people beat the snot out of each other.

Into the ring steps The Cage, an online slot from controversial software house Nolimit City. The Cage is a game that gives players a chance to go toe to toe with five beefy opponents as they compete for glory and maybe collect a few coins along the way. Hopefully, you're oiled up for the base game, which takes place inside the ring from a birds-eye view, where spectators cheer their favourites from the outside. A couple of Nolimit City slots bubbled up from the consciousness when The Cage activated. First, you've got the cartoonish bad boy look of a game like San Quentin xWays; then there's the grid layout which appeared in Dead Canary. With a pulsating soundtrack punctuated by crowd noises, the base game simmers menacingly, occasionally launching into big hit celebrations depicting devastating blows and devastating musical blasts, or tantalising with a scatter tease, all while operating in its unusually slanted, cascading way.

The base game grid is arranged in a 3-4-3-4-3-4-3 formation with 5,184 ways to win. Wins are formed when identical symbols land on adjacent reels from the leftmost side in the base game from both sides in the bonus round. Winning symbols are removed by the cascade mechanism, which then lets symbols slide into the gaps to replace them. When no new win appears, the cascade sequence ends. Highly volatile (8 out of 10), The Cage comes with a hit frequency of 31.98% and three RTP options – 96.05% being the highest. When buying features, the return values change, and this info can be found below. When picking a bet, players may choose stakes of 20 p/c to $/€100.

Symbols are where players find out who they are going into battle with, as the high pays are Big Fatty, Ironjaw, One Glove Man, The Constrictor, and Little Dragon. The low pays aren't as interesting, being made up of 10-A card ranks. In the base game, a 7 OAK win awards 1.5 to 2 times the bet for the low pays and 2.25 to 3 times the bet for the highs. Trigger free spins, where the grid becomes 9 reels wide, and a 9 OAK win awards 2.5-3x the bet for lows and 3.25-4x the bet for the premiums. Time to glove up for the features.

The Cage: Slot Features

The Cage slot
The Cage slot - bonus tease

Modern cage fighting comes with a sizable number of regulations, and so does The Cage. Its list of features includes Wild Knockout xBombs, Roundhouse Kicks, Title Fight Freespins, and the Nolimit Bonus.

Wild Knockout xBombs

Wild Knockout xBombs substitute for all symbols except scatters. A Knockout symbol explodes symbols in a cross pattern, except scatters and other Knockout symbols, increasing the win multiplier for the next collapse by +1. All Knockout symbols explode before the next collapse.

Roundhouse Kick

When 3, 4, 5, or 6 identical symbols align diagonally in the base game, and there is no winning combination, a Roundhouse Kick is triggered. The triggering symbols are removed, and they create 1 or more wild symbols in the middle positions of the alignment – 3, 4, 5, or 6 removed symbols award 1, 2, 3, or 4 Wild Knockout xBombs, respectively. Wild Knockout xBombs then increase the win multiplier by +1 for the next collapse. All other symbols explode except Knockout or scatter symbols.

The Cage slot
The Cage slot - Big Fatty Fight feature

Title Fight Freespins

Here's where The Cage gets a bit Street Fighter 2-ish. Scatter symbols can hit anywhere, and landing 3 of them triggers Title Fight Freespins. The grid becomes 3-3-3-2-2-2-3-3-3 in layout, with 4 special title belt booster positions in the middle of the reel. The 4 title belt boosters are inactive in the first fight but activate one by one as fights progress. Wins pay both ways during Title Fight Freespins. Now, each fight is won by landing enough blows on the opponent. When the Uppercut symbol lands, it deducts 1 hit point from an opponent. After an opponent is knocked out, the round moves to the next fight:

  • Fight 1 - Jim "Big Fatty" Johnson: 3 hit points, +3 spins awarded when beat.
  • Fight 2 - Kenny "Ironjaw" Shambles: 3 hit points, +3 spins awarded when beat.
  • Fight 3 - Artie "One Glove Man" Jefferson: 4 hit points, +3 spins awarded when beat.
  • Fight 4 - Grayson "The Constrictor" Royce: 5 hit points, +5 spins awarded when beat.
  • Fight 5 - Wai "Little Dragon" Le: Unlimited hit points.

A title belt activates only once per spin. However, if it's not used on the initial spin, it can do so on the following cascades. Uppercut symbols do not land in fight 5, so to beat Wai Le, you will have to become the Greatest of All Time (achieve the max win, in other words). But wait, when defeating fighters, modifiers are awarded:

  • Title Belt 1 - when Big Fatty is defeated, a symbol multiplier is awarded in a special position for the next upcoming fights. Instances of low-pay symbols landing there are boosted by x2.
  • Title Belt 2 – when Ironjaw is defeated, a symbol transform booster is awarded in a special position for the next upcoming fights. Low-paying symbols landing here are transformed into the symbol of the opponent.
  • Title Belt 3 – when One Glove Man is defeated, an additional symbol transform booster is awarded in a special position for the next upcoming fights. Low symbols landing in this position are transformed into the symbols of the opponent.
  • Title Belt 4 – when The Constrictor is defeated, the final level awards all previous boosters plus an extra sticky Wild at a special position.

Nolimit Bonus

The Nolimit Bonus lets players skip the training sessions, so to speak, by buying a fight with Big Fatty for 68x the bet (max RTP 96.13%), One Glove Man for 198x the bet (max RTP 96.15%), or Little Dragon Title fight for 498x the bet (max RTP 96.33%). Or, the Lucky Draw will trigger one of those 3 Title Fights for 279x the bet (max RTP 96.27%).

The Cage slot
The Cage slot - Little Dragon big win

The Cage: Slot Verdict

Following on from the intro, watching grown men and women beating the daylights out of each other isn't everyone's cup of tea, and neither will be diving into the arena to take on The Cage. Like its distant cousin Dead Canary, The Cage is by no means a traditional slot experience where you hit the play button, five reels spin, and if matching symbols land in the right spot on a payline, cha-ching, some coins are yours. To put it into fight terms, The Cage ain't no wild swinging of fists till someone goes down. It's more sophisticated than that. First off is the set-up, which like the Cygnus range of slots from ELK Studios, uses a sort of gravity effect to drop symbols into place. Factoring that in with the unique pay system means time may be needed to get your head around everything. It'll help if you're familiar with Dead Canary, yet the grid expansion in Title Fight Freespins throws another spanner in the works, and having pay both ways there is a nice expansion.

There's a good chance Title Fight Freespins are where the bigger adrenaline rushes are going to occur, but the base game isn't bad. The aforementioned grid set-up and pay system, working in tandem with xBombs and Roundhouse Kicks, helps keep the tempo up, and, for our test sessions, organically triggered free spins were a fairly regular occurrence, relatively speaking. Naturally, don't take this as the way The Cage will always operate, of course. Nolimit City slots are notorious for being tough at times. Though, with the 8 out of 10 for volatility, The Cage isn't technically as brutal as some slots the team has put out. Other stats might not be quite so encouraging, though. For example, should players go all the way to become the GOAT, the max win here is less than half of what it is in Dead Canary at 25,000x the bet. Another numerical consideration is the max win probably is 1 in 35 million, compared to Dead Canary's 1 in 7 million.

When moving away from the numbers, The Cage put up a darned good roundhouse kick to the chops. Its features and reel arrangement made for an eventful session, plus the graphics and music are top tier. Nolimit City has once again taken on unorthodox subject matter, then executed everything to its typically high standard. The result might not be the GOAT, but The Cage provides a one-off gambling experience like no other out there.

Great

The Cage reinforces Nolimit City’s reputation for providing some of the most unique gambling experiences on the market.

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