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Planet Rocks Slots

Deep in space a lonely alien touches down on a mysterious planet, his flying saucer passing by strange red plants and shiny crystals on its way to the surface. This animation sets the scene for the Planet Rocks video slot from Felix Gaming and plays out while the game is loading up. Once we see the main reels, the alien and crystals are seen in a 5x3 matrix of symbols, set against a starry blue sky, where planets that appear to be melting are in a low orbit around the reels. It’s certainly a striking looking game that’s filled with colourful symbols, but is the gameplay out of this world, or does it bring you back down to Earth with a bump? Read on to find out.

Before we get to the nitty gritty of what you can expect from Planet Rocks, we’ll have a quick look at Felix Gaming, because they’re not very well known, and some gamblers are put off when they see a game but don’t know who developed it. Fear not, as this small operation is based in the UK, where local licensing regulations ensure that all of their portfolio can be trusted to deliver fair results, with high returns and reliable software.

Although they haven’t released many games, the Felix Gaming company has focused on quality rather than quantity and clearly spent a lot of time and effort in making their slots look as appealing as possible. The dragon-themed Dark Mystic, and the classic Egyptian-style reels of Pharoah’s Temple are good examples of what a small design studio is capable of, and the fact that their games are all fully mobile optimised should help to bring them all to a wider audience.

Flying high

Most of the symbols are simply colourful gems and we need 3 of a kind to stop across any of the 10 paylines from the left side to get paid for a win. Those wins vary from just 5 coins when the yellow, green or red gemstones land on the first 3 reels, with any 4 or 5 of each paying out 30 or 100 coins. Purple and blue gems are valued at 30, 100, or 750 coins and the best prizes are claimed when a big white diamond stops across a payline, with 50, 750 and a massive 3,000 coins returned.

A somewhat sad-looking alien is the games’ wild symbol and this big-eyed guy in what looks like a superhero suit is able to act as others to plug any gaps in winning combinations or extend wins across to the right-side reels for higher prizes. This can be a stacked wild symbol that gets randomly beamed onto the reels by the flying saucer as it moves around at the top of the game, or he can turn up on his own, where he gives a little shout out when he completes a winning line.

He’s not worth anything on his own though, nor can he substitute for the bonus symbol and maybe that’s why he looks so depressed.

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Planet Rocks

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Collecting free Games

He has lots of reasons to be cheerful though, as this game comes with a special Free Spins symbol that works in a different way to those found in many other slot machines. Most games will treat you to a free spins feature when a trigger symbols appears in any 3 or more places, but not here, as every time the Free Spins icon turns up, you earn a single bonus game.

Rather than have this single game play out right away, players collect them in a meter at the top right corner of the reels and can decide when they want to activate the free games. There’s a maximum of 25 to collect before the spins start automatically, and if you change the bet level, they will also play out before any new spins begin.

It’s a unique concept and like many of the best ideas, it’s really simple, so congratulations to Felix Gaming for coming up with something that we hadn’t seen before.

Galactic Gambles

It’s possible to activate any number of paylines, or even play free Planet rocks video slots, but unless you have a stake on all 10 lines, which can cost as little as 0.10 per spin, you won’t be able to claim for all wins that land on the reels. That low limit wager can be raised to 10.00, which isn’t much and puts this slot firmly in the category of casual games that high rollers will probably ignore.

It’s a pity, because this is one of the few downsides that we could find with Planet Rocks, but even so, 10.00 should be enough for the majority of players. There’s a couple of other functions controlled by the strange alien-type control buttons below the reels, with an Auto option spinning the reels without any need to click each time and a red button to the side turns the space-invaders type soundtrack on and off.

Similar Space-Based Slots

There’s plenty of outer space themed online slot machines to choose from, most of which take a humorous view on the sci-fi subject. Alien Spinvasion, from Rival Gaming is a fun way to blast some winnings your way, as a green creature and his flying saucer attack the Earth. A hapless General defends the planet, awarding 11 free games when he’s seen in any 3 or more places, and cascading reels during these games can lead to more winning lines being landed. The alien is a sticky wild who stays around for a free reels respin whenever he completes a combination across any of the 50 paylines of this fun, 5-reel game.

For a more serious take on the subject, Battlestar Galactica, from Microgaming, is themed around the newer incarnation of the classic TV space adventure that ran from 2004 to 2009. Players have 5 reels and 243 ways to win across them to collect prizes, as Apollo, Starbuck, Baltar and Colonel Tigh appear.

Bonus features in this realistic game include 15 free spins in the Ion Storm games, and a Run Mode that creates extra winning lines from the playing card symbols, or you could choose Fight mode where random symbols turn in to extra wilds as Cylons and Colonials clash. It’s a fantastic-looking game that uses actual images from the series to create many of the symbols and has that orchestral theme tune playing along in the background.

Filling a Vacuum?

What appears to be a fairly standard online and mobile optimised slot machine hides a couple of extra treats within the reels. We particularly liked the alien, with neat animations beaming him on to the reels when he’s stacked 3 high, and he has a nice way of celebrating with a shout when he completes a win-line for you.

The unusual way that free games are collected is another highlight that’s sure to make it on to other slots although the reels are standard throughout the bonus games, with no richer reels to boost the win rate. Of course, they can’t be retriggered, but there’s still Free Spin symbols in play during these games, so you could collect a few more before the round is over.

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