Visitors: Slot Overview
Developer ELK Studios has shot for the stars before, sort of, in games like Cygnus which had galactic focus going on. Okay, it had night sky full of stars, but allow us some creative license. Where Cygnus was a more serious cosmic affair, Visitors is the complete opposite. ELK has gone for the comedic approach this time, in a game that has a vaguely Rick and Morty(ish) feel to it. There's an irreverent tone produced largely by the accompanying story and the oddball alien activity.
Visitors takes the tale-telling to the next level, rolling out some spiel about unearthly guests invading a secret small town. Not many will have seen this coming, but these ET's get their kicks by playing pranks and abducting cows. No, we don't quite get it either, but it is nice to have an irreverently constructed slot with an emphasis on humour.
The game is set at UFO height looking down on a 5x5 grid and a SimCity like view of the urban area. For the most part, Visitors has strongly cartoon look about it, but its grey-skinned aliens do look pretty ominous when they appear. Their glowing eyes certainly don't make them endearing, though their specific colour directly affects some of the lesser features. The game is full of sweet animations and in-theme sound effects, that ties everything together into an enjoyably offbeat experience.
Playable from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin, Visitors might look like an episode of the Simpsons starring Kang and Kodos, but like those tentacled aliens, it has a menacing streak. This comes in the form of the volatile (8/10) math model, which goes along with the rather high potential. Tempering the experience is a hit rate roughly equating to a win every four spins (22.6%), and a slightly above average RTP of 96.1%. Sadly, the free spins frequency was unavailable which would be interesting to see since the bonus game is where things go ballistic.
Visitors uses a larger than normal number of win ways which is a relief on a grid this size. Elk brushes paylines away in favour of a 3,125 ways to win system. Starting from the first reel, as long as three or more symbols land adjacently in any row, you've got yourself a winner.
As to symbols, there are ten regulars split into low and high pay groups. The low pays are 10-A card icons, but ELK has given them a refreshing, not of this world look, like runes found in an ancient cave, or something. High pays are just as peculiar, consisting of a fountain and four buildings - another head-scratcher in a game possessing several such moments. Values are low, right across the board really, where five premiums will get you 0.7 to 15 times the stake. The flaming wild is the final symbol for this section, replacing any regular pay symbol to make a combination.
Visitors: Slot Features
Another area ELK often shines is in the development of features where their creative talents flow as freely as the storytelling. What works well here is the way the team has blended both elements.
The aliens' pranks begin when they land on reels 1 and 5 at the same time. This occurrence triggers a respin with two of the three available modifiers active. The modifiers which come into play are selected according to the aliens' eye colour. The reels respin with two of these:
- Green - Big O Beam: one regular pay symbol is selected to stay sticky, blowing up to either 2x2 or 3x3 in size for the respin.
- Yellow - Abduction: a win multiplier of up to x15 is applied to the respin outcome.
- Pink - Alien Attack: up to five sticky wilds are added to the reels in random positions for the respin.
UFO spotters, be sure to be on the lookout for the bonus game scatter as 3 or more on the reels triggers the Alien Invasion Free Spins bonus round. Once triggered, the reels are cleared to make way for 25 individual tiles displaying only silver or golden spaceships. The round starts with five free spins which cannot be retriggered as such, but it is possible to win extra spins.
Whenever a silver ship lands, it adds 1 free spin and creates a frame around the position it appeared in. This position then starts with an x2 multiplier of the total bet. If another silver spaceship lands in a framed position, it doubles the win multiplier up to a maximum of 4,096x. If framed positions touch vertically, they join, increasing the chance of getting multiple landings. If you are lucky enough to land a golden spaceship within a walled-off position, then all multipliers on the grid are doubled. The bonus continues to run until free spins run to zero or the win cap is reached.
Visitors: Slot Verdict
Visitors gets off to a good start due to some interesting world-building. The accompanying back story is amusing, full of plot holes, utterly ridiculous, though all the better for it. ELK has proved themselves to be creative in the past, the Gold series is a fine example, and Visitors continues the tradition. Of course, a story does not make a slot great, or even good, but it does help round out the experience, providing more depth, and a sense of purpose when hitting the spin button.
With that said, the quirky and highly childish visuals might be off-putting to some. We're used to seeing childish looking slots, but Visitors takes it to another level, and that's not meant in a good way. At times, you can't help but feel like you're playing an educational game for preschool kids, that's how extreme it is.
The highly volatile math model is the total opposite of the cartoonish style though, so don't let the quirky alien story mislead you. These guys aren't fooling around with their bovine flipping antics. Fortunately, the game is equally strapped when it comes to rewards. In fact, Visitors is one of the higher potential slots in the ELK catalogue. The studio usually flip-flops between 2,500x or 5,000x, but this time they've gone wild and crazy by decking Visitors out with a 10,000x win cap.
More is probably possible during the bonus game since multipliers can rack up in a healthy manner. Similar in essence to a game like Money Train 2, in some ways, though not as lethal as that one can be. Still, Visitors has more going on features wise, to accompany the bonus game so it doesn't feel quite so 'do or die'.
In short, Visitors doesn't initially feel like your typical ELK slot, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The studio has traded in seriousness for some humour which is entertaining, but belies what is actually a pretty weighty gambling machine. All in all it's an ok slot, but one that will surely divide players due to the strange graphics.
Visitors is a quirky game with some interesting nuances and a potent math model that makes for some good gaming, unless the visual appearance doesn’t put you off too much.