Vault Cracker: Slot Overview
Proving that fun things can come in small packages is Vault Cracker from developer Red Tiger. If you didn't know, you might not automatically guess who was behind this game as it doesn't feel like one of their typical releases. Vault Cracker sees Red Tiger take an unexpected break from the mythological, Asian-themed, uber-polished slots we've come to expect from them. It isn't a hugely thrilling slot, but Vault Cracker is quite an enjoyable wee game to play despite possessing major statistical drawbacks.
In some ways, Vault Cracker harkens back to Red Tiger's earlier releases like say, Piggy Pirates or Reel Heist for example. It shares their humorous, cartoon character-driven approach, yet in an updated form. In fact, the graphical quality (which provides a significant amount of the charm) comes across like an older NetEnt slot before the demand for highly volatile massive potential gaming set in. That last sentence should serve as a clue about what you can expect to find here. However, despite not being a slot you can push gambling limits with, Vault Cracker manages to be quite amusing all the same.
Vault Cracker is a basic affair, played using 5 reels along with 10 paylines to land winners on. The grid has been laid out on a desk next to various safe cracking tools of the trade such as listening devices and blueprints. A low key swing track accompanied by entertaining animations rounds off the experience, adding a touch of class to the simple design. Low to medium variance and offering a default RTP of 95.66%, players can get in on the heist by selecting bets from 10 p/c to £/€200 per spin. Wins land pretty frequently, as do features. During testing, Vault Cracker fell into a pattern of draining the balance for a bit, followed by a feature drop to bring things back to baseline. Naturally, everyone's fortune is different, though if lady luck is smiling you're better off taking advantage of another game, because Vault Cracker's potential is rather underwhelming.
As for the paytable, 10 to Ace icons make up the low pay side, while toy pistols, piggy banks, necklaces, and cash sacks are used to represent the premiums. Scoring a full line of five high pays is worth a payout of 2.5 to 10 times your stake. There is no wild, but there are a few special symbols supplying the main thrills.
Vault Cracker: Slot Features
A debonair thief and his less sophisticated sidekick are the pathways to best results when playing Vault Cracker. The chap holding a pistol and swag bag is the hold-up artist symbol, appearing on the last reel only. When he lands at the same time as safe symbols, he cracks them open, awarding whatever prize they're storing inside - gold, bronze, and silver safes reveal cash prizes worth up to 30x, 15x or 5x, respectively.
When a non-paying 1x2 sized Heist Master symbol lands on the middle reel, the Heist feature is triggered. This shifts the game to a streak respin bonus round, where only safe symbols may land and one respin is awarded. When new safes land, they award another respin. If no new safe lands, all currently locked safes open to reveal their rewards.
The bonus game might not be over though, since players then get a spin of the Second Chance Wheel which is split into a green and a red segment. Landing on green means the Heist feature continues. Each time this occurs, the red segment gets larger the next time the Second Chance Wheel triggers. Triggering the Second Chance Wheel a fourth time instantly ends the Heist feature.
If players manage to fill all possible positions with safe symbols during the Heist feature, a locked diamond position is opened. Unlocked diamonds award a multiplier of the total Heist win.
Lastly, Vault Cracker may also ship with an additional gamble feature. Here players can improve a payout by landing on the green segment of a Gamble Wheel following a win.
Vault Cracker: Slot Verdict
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can't help but enjoy something you technically know you're not supposed to. Like singing Taylor Swift songs into a hairbrush or flipping on The Vampire Diaries when no one's home, there is just something about Vault Cracker which makes it easy to play. There’s an entertaining mix of visual quality, playful theme, and the fact it doesn't take itself seriously going on. Vault Cracker isn't like the games we've seen from Red Tiger recently, so there's a surprise factor as well. Who knows, after the two studios merged, maybe Vault Cracker was a half-finished NetEnt project that Red Tiger completed for them? This is just out loud thinking, of course.
Now on to the less exciting news, which is winning potential. It doesn't take long to work out a full grid of the top premium is worth 100x, or that 13 Gold Safes during the Heist feature, at most, add up to just 390 times your stake. Even in a dream scenario of popping a diamond multiplier, the best you can hope for is 1,410x the stake. It is what it is.
There's little chance of Vault Cracker starring in big win clips any time soon - the limited potential precludes that from ever happening. Yet, if you're okay with the fact you're not playing a high powered gambling machine, Vault Cracker is a neat diversion for wiling away a few spins on. For casual, Saturday morning cartoon style shenanigans, Vault Cracker might be an okay choice provided you have no desire to go large.
Vault Cracker’s charming presentation makes it easier to focus on the positives aspects while overlooking its statistical shortcomings – to a point.