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Space Invaders Evolution Slot Machine

This is a review I have been super excited to write, but seem to have had to wait forever to get around to having the game available, but today, I finally got to play the prospective new skill-based casino slot from WMS, based on the iconic space invaders arcade game of the same name.

Unless you were asleep through the 80's and 90's, have never played video games or simply have no popular culture knowledge at all, the chances are you will be familiar with legendary arcade games such as Pac-man and Space invaders. Many a childhood (and adult if we are honest) hour has been whiled away on these cult classics, they are mostly available free to play these days and many an old school gamer such as myself will have a title or two saved on their web browser for the quiet moments (Writers block, it's a real thing you know!).

For their first venture into a skills based slot gaming experience, WMS chose a masterpiece to work with, ensuring that slots players of all ages would be familiar with the layout and play style. Getting approval for skill based slots has been a long haul, developing a game engine that works with gambling rather than simple fun has been harder still. Finally, we have a partially finished game to play with, to see how WMS have tackled what many see as the next big revolution in slot gaming, both for new casino slots and new online slot games alike.

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Space Invaders Evolution

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The Legend

In February 1978, video gaming was changed forever and a legend was born when a programmer called Toshihiro Nishikado finished his spaceship shoot-em-up game. The original plan was for it to be soldiers attacking, but this was considered a political problem in Japan at the time and an alien invasion became the theme. 

Months later, video game company Taito launched its first Space Invaders coin operated casino cabinet. The game became so popular in Japan that it caused an actual crisis shortfall of the 100-Yen coins needed to play and production had to be quadrupled. Arcades had to have multiple Space Invader machines to stop queues, and the game was soon as present as cigarette machines in hotels, cafe's bars, and even dry cleaners! 

In 1980 Midway licensed the game for use in the United States, it was another huge hit and the same year, it became an Atari 2600 game, thousands of Atari consoles were sold just because people wanted to play this new game at home. It wasn't all positive, the game manifested "repetitive motion injuries" and made people aware of seizure risk, and many wanted it banned.

Over half a million physical machines were sold worldwide in the arcade games initial production run, billions of dollars coins were pumped into the machine, making it, even now, one of the most profitable and successful games of all time. Since then it has been licensed on other platforms including mobile phones, generation after generation has played this incredible game. 

The Slot

The game isn't finished, not even close, the 6x4 any ways win base game round may or may not make it to final release, right now it's more of a vehicle to trigger the bonus skill round which is the games big draw. The symbols are likely to remain, you can find all four types of space invader, 8 Bit rendered A-10 playing card symbols and a wild in the form of the Space invader logo, whilst always searching, for the key icon, a visual rendering of the old arcade cabinet which is the scatter trigger for free spins.

The number of scatters you receive will dictate how many 'shots' you get in the bonus game, or if you choose to play in standard slot mode (Why would you?) how many free spins you get. You will always only get one life, so slip up and it could be game over immediately, a skill based game was always going to introduce a much higher level of game variance than has been seen before on the casino floor.

Starting the bonus round you essentially get to play the classic space invaders slot game for real cash credits, each of the three alien craft gets a credit value whilst the alien mothership offers an immediate payout of a local area progressive jackpot. Your shots will be limited by the number of scatters you engaged on the reels, so you need to make them count, you have the same time constraints as in the original arcade game also as the alien craft move quicker as time goes on and they drop down the screen.

Summary

I had an absolute hoot playing this game, we don't know how lucrative it will be yet as the game mechanics need to be worked out, but as a skill based slot goes, this was everything we hoped for and more. I can't think of a theme which lends itself to skill play and the introduction of it on the casino floor more than this title. It surely has to be a matter of time before a free to play or cash-based game is seen in online casinos also.

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