One of the numerous slots that can expect a sudden increase in popularity in light of the upcoming European football championships, Benchwarmers Football Girls aims to combine the thrill of a high-profile sporting contest with the extra incentive of having beautiful female models across its reels.
Essentially a fairly standard video slot, Benchwarmers Football Girls features 5 reels and 30 adjustable paylines, with wilds, scatters and two bonus features adding an extra layer of depth to the gameplay for those who believe a modern Playtech game should be more than just a pretty face.
As mentioned above, Benchwarmers Football Girls is a fully adjustable slot that allows players to select anywhere between 1 and 30 active paylines, but the aspect in which the game offers the most flexibility is in the selection of available bet amounts. Players can risk anywhere from £0.20 to £50 each spin, meaning the slot can be played for a staggering £1,500 each turn at the maximum levels.
For this investment, players can expect a minimum return of 10x their line bet for matching three regular symbols – with scatter symbols paying 3x the total bet amount for three-of-a-kind – but the real meat of the game lies in the regular jackpot, which pays out out 10,000x for five wild symbols.
Beyond these standard payouts, you can also bag additional cash prizes whenever the bonus symbols appears on the first and last reels, while the wild symbol can be substituted for any regular icon to complete winning paylines, which significantly improves your odds when all lines are active.
In terms of visuals, Benchwarmers Football Girls is closer to finding the corner flag than it is the back of the net. The game has a largely uninspiring aesthetic complete with dreary greys and blacks, while the tired idea of using attractive women to sell your slot is starting to feel pretty archaic these days.
The fact that the standard-issue playing card symbols ace-through-ten feature on the reels with very little artistic flourish doesn’t help the cause, while the unique symbols are all depicted by scantily-clad models holding footballs – not exactly the most original concept to ever feature in a video slot.
Additional icons include the Benchwarmer logo which activates the free spins feature plus the words “wild” and “bonus”, which do exactly what you’d expect them to. Animations and sounds are also on the minimal side, which all in all leaves Benchwarmers Football Girls feeling like a pretty stale game.
Despite the game’s underwhelming graphics and clichéd theme, Benchwarmers Football Girls does at least level the playing field somewhat with two different features. The first is triggered by finding the football bonus symbol on the first and last reels of the gameboard, which then transports players to a new screen where they’ll get to pick three footballs, each of which awards an instant cash prize.
The main draw of Benchwarmers Football Girls, however, lies in the Benchwarmer feature, which is triggered by finding three of the game’s logo scatter symbols anywhere on the gameboard. Once this happens, players will be awarded with ten free spins, but will also get to pick a girl of their choice who will expand to fill the entire first reel. With more of her symbols added to the reels during free spins, this creates many more winning combinations and significantly raises the value of the feature.
Free spins can also be re-triggered during the Benchwarmer bonus whenever you find three or more scatter symbols, meaning the feature can potentially last indefinitely and award some pretty decent cumulative prizes. The presence of this bonus and the instant win feature go some way to salvaging the slot’s dated feel, but just like the theme, neither game is anything we haven’t seen before.
Given the astronomical rise in online slot activity among women in the past few years, we feel like you’re always taking a big risk when designing a slot with an all-girl theme. Given you’re going to potentially alienate a large section of your target market, your game really needs to offer something unique to compensate – and Benchwarmers Football Girls simply doesn’t do that in terms of its aesthetic or bonus features.
While games like Playboy have managed to strike the right balance between sex appeal and playability, this is one slot that has blazed its effort wildly off target.