Top Dawg$: Slot Overview
There is a touch of déjà vu when playing Relax Gaming's hip hop-themed slot Top Dawg$. It is just too soon after Nolimit City wowed the crowd with their rap sensation, East Coast vs West Coast, to not draw comparisons. Aside from the theme, which both studios have utilised nicely, the features you'll come across in Top Dawg$ bear no resemblance to ECvWC - though they aren't exactly new concepts either. However, while Top Dawg$ individual parts have a familiarity about them, Relax has brought them together in a way that can be super fun regardless.
The palm-lined, cracked tar-sealed roads of what is presumably South Central LA is where Top Dawg$ plays out. The high rises of downtown can be made out in the distance through a semi-transparent 5-reel, 15-payline game grid, as jet planes lazily drift across a purple cloud-filled sky. You can practically smell the gin, juice, ganja, and hot asphalt rising from the screen as you play. The audio brings it all together as a sweet 80s, early 90s beat bobs up and down in the background like a hydraulic lowrider. Top Dawg$ might not be the detonation of colour East Coast vs West Coast was, but it's thoroughly enjoyable and has you doing the Dougie when no one's watching.
Getting all street is possible on any device, where stake selection ranges from 10 p/c to £/€40 per spin. Being highly volatile, the game flips from chilled in the base to sharp bursts of intensity via mystery respins, saving its best moments for a sticky wild filled bonus game. The fixed RTP is more respectable than some of those dawg characters look, with a default value of 96.10%, rising to 96.71% when buying the bonus.
A relatively simple game rules-wise, winning combinations of three to five of a kind are possible over 15 fixed paylines. Low pays are graffiti-inspired J-A royals, while 4 dawgs make up the higher value symbols. Landing a line of five premiums is worth a payout of 15 to 30 times your stake. Wilds are the star of the show in many ways, worth up to 30x the bet for five of a kind. They also substitute for all other pay symbols and really come into their own during free spins.
Top Dawg$: Slot Features
There aren't a heck of a lot of features in Top Dawg$, and to be honest, they aren't super original either, but they can certainly be effective nonetheless. The base game is broken up by frequent mystery respins, while best returns are possible during a Dead or Alive-ish style round of free spins.
Mystery respins are triggered when a question mark symbol lands on the last reel. A respin is awarded where only dead tire symbols or more mystery symbols may land. Respins continue until no new mystery symbols land, then they all reveal the same pay symbol for a win evaluation.
Purple Oldsmobiles are the scatter symbols, and 3, 4, or 5 in view award 8, 10, or 12 free spins. During free spins, when wilds hit, they turn sticky and are locked in position for the rest of the feature. Wilds also have multipliers starting at x1. When scatters land, they add +1 free spin and increase the win multiplier on all sticky wilds by 1 up to x7 at the most. Sticky wilds multiply each other if they are present on the same win line, making the highest multiplier on a line x16,807.
Where possible, players can fast-track free spins by buying them from the base game. The cost is 90x the total bet to land at least 3 scatter symbols on the next spin.
Top Dawg$: Slot Verdict
If we're going to compare Top Dawg$ to the similarly themed East Coast vs West Coast, it doesn't quite have the same audiovisual impact. While East Coast vs West Coast comes off like one of those OG New York rappers, releasing records from their cell block based on the life they've lived, Top Dawg$, by contrast, feels like a made for MTV track that thinks it's gangster because it wears a hat backwards.
Okay, we're jesting since Top Dawg$ gets too many things right to be written off. Not only is it far more straightforward and straight to the point which many gamers may prefer, but you also can't help enjoying the theme, even if hip hop isn't your thing. It's a genre that tends to be serious a lot of the time, yet as Top Dawg$ shows, injecting a bit of humour to lighten the mood can be hugely beneficial. The game looks good, the soundtrack is even better, making Top Dawg$' cracked pavement street a straight-up entertaining place to be.
The gaming side of things are positive too, despite not being super original. Mystery respins were a regular occurrence, several hitting over the course of 100 spins. They didn't tend to produce much more than regular line wins, though they mix up the pace while you're waiting for the real action to trigger in free spins. Also, it's technically possible to collect wins of up to 450x from them, provided the screen is full of the jowly bulldog character.
If you've played games like Dead or Alive 2, you'll have a good idea of how blazingly good free spins with sticky wilds can be (hence their popularity). Factor in a few multipliers, multiplying each other in the right positions, and you'll be landing 'Epic Wins' on each spin – up to a win cap of 25,000x the bet. Hit this amount during a bonus round, and it will instantly come to an end.
Ultimately, it's Top Dawg$ theme treatment and slick execution that prevent it from attaining stale imitation status. Certain elements might smack of trying to cash in on someone else's success, but to Relax Gaming's credit, they are one of the most innovative studios around. The music's great, the vibe enjoyably immersive, and there's no lack of personality. In all, Top Dawg$ is a fun game to play, with relatively simple features that can produce some really nice moments.
If you’re looking for a fun and fast-paced multiplier action game with great potential on top of it all, Top Dawg$ is for you.