WWE Legends Link & Win: Slot Overview
Pro wrestling is one of those activities that gets stranger the more you think about it. Get a bunch of oiled up men in tights grappling with each other, throwing each other around a ring, leaping off the top rope, with the aim of three counting their opponents on the mat. By the way, it's all fake, the outcomes of each fight planned and choreographed. A lot of people just don't get it. However, many do, and pro wrestling is huge. Few leagues are bigger than the WWE, or World Wrestling Entertainment, headed by showman extraordinaire Vince McMahon, who at last count was worth $3 billion. WWE is a big business, full of even bigger personalities. Four of the most memorable wrestlers of all time have made their way into a slot from Microgaming partner All41 Studios titled WWE Legends Link & Win. As well as wrestling stars, the game comes with features such as free spins, Link&Win, and HyperSpins.
Set in the middle of a stadium full of spotlights and cheering crowds is the game's 5-reel, 3-row, 20 payline game grid. It sits upon the wrestling ring next to a list of prizes winnable from the Link&Win game while lining the bottom of the reels is the HyperSpins respin buttons. It's a busy scene, and the voiceover commentary builds on the WWE atmosphere, but could it have been even more overblown? Perhaps, yet there are loads of video clips at various points as well, so the game is well steeped in WWE-ness.
WWE Legends Link & Win is a highly volatile slot, which pays out when three or more matching symbols land across a payline. This occurs a little better than 1 spin in 4, where the hit frequency has been measured at 28.49%. The RTP comes in several forms, depending on the operator, and the version with the most generous theoretical return has a value of 96.4%. Potential is an eye-catcher and can be attempted by setting bets from 10 p/c to £/€20 per spin.
The paytable is divided between a bunch of plain J-A card royals and four stars of the wrestling ring. Legends include Booker T 'Can you dig it, sucker!?', Macho Man Randy Savage 'Ooh, yeah!', Eddie Guerrero 'Viva La Raza', plus Steve Austin 'And That's The Bottom Line.' Landing winning combinations of five superstars results in a payout worth 7.5 to 20 times the stake. Appearing in any position is the 'W' wild, worth the same as Steve Austin while also substituting any regular pay symbol.
WWE Legends Link & Win: Slot Features
Up to 4 features are on hand in WWE Legends Link & Win. These are HyperSpins, the Link&Win, free spins, and a bonus buy. HyperSpins is a common Microgaming family feature, showing up in a handful of games by now. With it, players can choose to respin any individual reel for a chance to complete wins or get scatters to trigger either free spins or the Link&Win. It is available in the base game, has no limit to the number of times it can be used, and each respin is offered at a calculated cost. Also, only wins involving the respun reels result in a payout.
Landing 3 scatters in view trigger free spins and a 1x the bet payout - 5 spins are awarded where reels 2, 3, and 4 merge into a single reel displaying big symbols, which count as 9 individual symbols (except for big scatters, they count as 1). This feature can be extended by landing 3 scatters, awarding +3 additional free spins.
The Link&Win is triggered when 6 or more coin symbols land in the base game. All other regular symbols are removed from the reels, and 3 spins are awarded. If new coin symbols land, they lock in place, and the counter resets. Coins display a cash prize, the Mini, Minor, or Major Jackpot, or one of the following:
- Collector – adds the values of other coins to its own.
- Multiplier – increases the win multiplied by +1. This multiplier is applied to the coins in view when the feature ends.
- Payer – adds its value to the other coins.
The round ends when spins run out, or all positions are filled. If the screen is filled, then the Champion Jackpot is awarded. The jackpots are worth 50, 100, 1,000, or 5,000x the bet for the Mini, Minor, Major, or Champion.
Where available, players can buy the Link&Win feature for the cost of 60x the stake. This lands at least 6 Coin symbols on the next spin.
WWE Legends Link & Win: Slot Verdict
WWE is famous for its over-the-top entertainment, all fireworks, muscle, bravado, colossal egos, and potentially life-threatening moves. WWE Legends Link & Win taps into this for sure, though there's a feeling it could have been more excessive. Nevertheless, what it has to offer is likely to put a smile on wrestling fans who also enjoy a punt. There's commentary, crowd effects, some neat animations, plus several actual WWE legends on the paytable. What's good is there's a mix of old and newish heroes. From the earlier WWF days of the Macho Man Randy Savage to later day champs like Eddie Guerrero. Shame those two champs have passed on.
As for the actual gaming, it isn't nearly as flamboyant as its subject matter most of the time. The base game is like two titans of the ring cautiously sizing each other up before committing. Occasionally, they'll lock arms, maybe throw a couple of sucker punches, or whatever, but the main game is just the warmup fight amongst a couple of no-namers before the main events. Unless that is, players like to toy with the HyperSpins feature, which can be tempting to do when you just need one more money symbol or scatter to launch the bonus games.
WWE Legends Link & Win is a relatively basic streak respin feature. There are a couple of special symbols to enhance win values, yet there is nothing sophisticated about it. Hit symbols, win cash, that's it. Sometimes you'll get a multiplier or two, or extraordinarily rarely a jackpot. It was difficult to get a positive return when buying the feature, though - maybe our moves were no good that night. Free spins didn't fare much better, and the five awarded were over in a flash, though you can retrigger them. Despite huge claimed potential at 25,000x the bet, it's kind of hard to see how it is possible. For example, full-screen Steve Austin's would be worth 500x, so you'd need 40 of those. Or multiply the Champion Jackpot by x4 in the Link&Win, but the paytable doesn't mention whether multipliers can modify Jackpots.
In the end, if you are interested in watching growing men tussle and pretend to hit each other, you might well be down with WWE Legends Link & Win. It's got a decent 'wrastlin' atmosphere, plenty of stars, and on paper, the winning possibilities are rather good. It's just that you can't help but feel that it's sort of a missed opportunity to do more with it.
The few moments when WWE Legends shines are fairly impressive, but not nearly enough to elevate the rest of the game above the dismal plane of mediocrity.