Review of Aliens Slots
Younger readers of this review won’t remember how groundbreaking the movies Alien and Aliens were for featuring a tough-as-nails lead character who also happened to be female. Yes there were movies that came before it that had strong female leads but none of them were the size, scope, and budget of the Alien franchise.
It may sound ridiculous to some but the character of Ellen Ripley really inspired me to be more assertive in the workplace and speak my mind more often. Again, this was the 1980s and sexist attitudes were still firmly entrenched in most offices. There was even a real life victory for women’s rights behind the scenes when Sigourney Weaver refused to sign her contract until the production company agreed to pay her the full amount she felt that she was owed and then successfully inked the deal for $1,000,000.
As you can plainly see, the Aliens movies will always have a special place in the hearts of many, so much so that it might bias an otherwise balanced review. However, there are some major issues with this title that we’ll have no problem ripping apart and sadly, it was pretty disappointing as a whole.
Lastly, we should state for the record that this is one of the most violent gambling games ever released so if you don’t like horrific images, you will not want to read any further because this isn’t going to be for you. It’s definitely a 10 out of 10 on the violence scale… there are some places in the universe you don’t go to alone.
The screenshots below show how extremely well-designed this machine is and it does a great job of transporting you into the dark corners of space. No detail is spared when it comes to the individual aliens and all of them have unique characteristics and markings. Unfortunately it’s hard to tell the different ones apart but we’ll get into that in more detail a little later.
Allow us to outline the vastly different storylines between this game and the movie.
First the storyline of Aliens the film:
The toughest woman in the universe, Ellen Ripley, is awoken from her cryogenic chamber 57 years after blowing up her spaceship to kill a savage alien that killed her entire crew. She then educates the employees of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation on the dangers of this new species and how they need to be annihilated in order to protect mankind. Ripley then proceeds to lead a platoon of Colonial Marines into battle against the numerous blood-thirsty creatures who have taken over the colony of Hadley’s Hope. All of this culminates in some of the coolest and most dramatic space action of the 1980s.
Now the storyline of Aliens the slot game:
Spin reels that have multiple, almost-identical-looking aliens until you go to a new level that features more aliens who also look the same. Kill all of them and you will win cash prizes. Don’t kill all of them and you have to start all over again. Repeat until bored.
So not to be harsh, but NetEnt dropped the ball big time on this one and the only plot you’ll find is one that involves shredding strange life forms to pieces with your pulse rifle. When you consider the story from the original film that they had at their disposal, this is a crying shame indeed.
Let’s get to the elephant in the room: how in the heck can you make Aliens Slots without Sigourney Weaver in it?! It really makes no sense not to include Ripley as she’s the most popular character of the entire franchise and is the one who propelled these films to the top of everyone’s Sci-Fi movie rankings.
Most fans will agree that they would have liked to have seen Paul Reiser portraying the snivelling Carter J. Burke or Lance Henriksen’s character of Bishop. Hey Bill Paxton – what do you think about the fact that there’s no images of Private Hudson?
GAME OVER, MAN!!
It’s of course understandable that contracts in those days did not include such terms as using an actor’s likeness in something like this, however, it’s hard to believe that an agreement couldn’t have been reached after the fact. Are you really trying to tell us that Paul Reiser wouldn’t let you use his face if you paid him $10,000? Of course he would. (We welcome any comment from Paul Reiser or his team to confirm or deny this claim.)
Besides the lack of a storyline, the unique symbols are the other main issue with this machine. Although every one that was included was designed with beautiful detail, they are extremely confusing because they all look pretty much the same.
They do have a tinge of color on each one so those of you with sharper eyes may have an easier time keeping track of what’s falling across the reels. Many people will probably have a problem following along, though.
Anyway, here’s a list of what’s here: sorry if it’s confusing but they all look almost identical.
- Green Alien on a Pod (Facehugger)
- Red Alien Holding a Pod (Facehugger)
- Yellow Alien (Facehugger)
- Alien Pod
- Alien Climbing Out of Pod
- Gangly Alien Walking (Blue Tinge)
- Alien in Sprint Pose (Teal Tinge)
- Alien with Big Head (Green Tinge)
- Alien with Big Spine (Yellow Tinge)
- Queen Alien Smiling (Red Tinge)
- Weyland-Yutani Corp (Wild)
The payouts for 5 of a Kind range from 1,000 coins at the top to 30 coins at the bottom, with the best colors in order being red, yellow, and then green.
Also, during “Level 1: The Search” Weyland-Yutani Corp Wilds only appear on Reels #2, #3, #4, and #5, and in “Level 2: The Encounter” they can appear anywhere. They will always replace the regular mode symbols which will result in you winning the highest possible amount for the spin.
If you’re searching for an Aliens Slots Jackpot we must tell you that you’re searching in vain. As with many titles from NetEnt, there are no network or extra big prizes to be had.
You don’t need to be a scientist to understand the payout structures and extra features in this machine but it would probably help. The bonuses and triggers are some of the most complicated and intricate ever made, so if you don’t want to think too much when you’re gambling, this isn’t going to be for you. Their level structure is very confusing and it takes quite a while to grasp what’s going on.
There are three different areas, with each one being accessed as you “level up” or “level down” as a direct result of your “Alien Activity Meter” at the top of the screen. Each level is unique and has specific ways in which it will help you win extra cash.
Level 1: The Search: Your Alien Activity Meter is added to by the symbols in your winning paylines and they increase the multiplier for that particular one by 1x each time, (with that multiplier be applied to the next spin). However, when you have a result with no winning paylines you lose one and your multiplier decreases by 1x. Don’t worry, you can always keep track of everything because the current multipliers for the symbols are displayed above the meter, as well as the ones on the board.
Once your Alien Activity Meter fills up all 9 squares you will move on to Level 2 and all of your multipliers will be taken with you. Be warned: if you change the value of your bet at any time it will reset both the Activity Meter and your multipliers to zero and you’ll have to start from scratch all over again. This will obviously be a huge turn-off for those of you who like to mix up your wager amounts while playing.
Level 2: The Encounter: This round is where you play from the point of view of a Colonial Marine in the first person, hauling butt down the corridor of a space ship blasting aliens with your M41A pulse rifle. You will see that you have a reel for your ammunition clip that features ammo symbols, as well as an ammo clip counter and a new Alien Activity Meter with 10 squares that need to be filled so you can move on to Level 3, (your symbols from Level 1 will have already filled some of the squares). This is where things get tricky.
During this level the 3 lowest-value symbols are fixed over reels #1, #2, and #3 in the center position in order to start you off with some quick payline wins. Also, the reel with the ammo clips will arrive with its counter starting at 1 but then each additional Ammo that drops in the middle section will increase it by 1 or 2 and will also trigger re-spins. As you empty your clip by shooting at the aggressive creatures charging towards you, your ammo clip counter goes down by 1 each time.
As long as you have ammunition in this round you have life and 3 new symbols will be placed over the first three reels to give you guaranteed wins. These will come in order from lowest-paying to highest and as you continue to hit new ones they’re added to your Alien Activity Meter and the square highlighter moves along the line from left to right.
If you run out of ammunition the marine you are controlling dies, along with your re-spins, and you are then returned to Level 1 to start the process all over again with an empty meter. Running out of ammunition happens when your clip counter is at zero at the beginning of a spin and then you don’t hit any Ammo symbols to fill it up.
Level 3: The Hive: If you are lucky enough to fill up your Alien Activity Meter in Level 2 you will be sent along to The Hive to try to destroy the Queen. It’s all going to come down to whether or not you have enough firepower to get the job done, so this level gives you a few new toys: a “Hive Health Meter”, a Smartgun, an Ammo Clip Counter, and dedicated reels for grenade multipliers and grenade strength.
You start off with 4 clips of ammo that give you 5 re-spins and you’ll need all the help you can get to take down the hive since there are 4 different “steps” in defeating it. (It’s normal to feel tired at this point.)
This has to be one of the only online slot games out there that has a feature with reels spinning horizontally, which actually looks pretty amazing, and it’s these that will determine your grenade strength and multiplier amount. Each time you throw a grenade at the Queen and then turn to your right to blast an attacking alien, which uses 1 of your ammo clips. As long as you have ammo clips at your disposal the round will keep going but if you hit zero you’re booted back down to Level 1 to start all over again with a fresh Alien Activity Meter. Ouch.
As you’re attacking the Hive, the damage you inflict each time is determined by the grenade strength and the 1x to 10x multiplier as they combine to remove notches off of the Hive Health Meter. Even if you’re not successful in killing the Queen in Level 3 you will still be given a prize according to the Step you completed, (1, 2, or 3). The different amounts of cash are shown on the Hive Health Meter and these of course depend on how much money you’re betting at the time.
If you’re lucky enough to bomb the heck out of the Queen and get the Hive Health Meter to zero, the aliens and Queen are dead, the level is over, and you get an extra bonus of 240x your wager. The luckiest of the lucky will be able to kill the Hive with only one grenade but that’s an extremely rare occurrence.
And if you made it to the end of this section, we applaud you for your concentration. You definitely have more brain power than we do so maybe you’ll find this game easier to follow.
In a horrifying twist, there aren’t any Aliens free spins other than the re-spins you get during the various Levels that were outlined above. Which might be a good thing considering how complicated the bonus round is – just imagine what the freeroll would have been like.
Regardless of any other complaints, the graphics are totally cutting edge and it feels like they could have been made by the special effects team from the movie. The video at the beginning is very cool: it’s crisp, creepy, and sets the tone perfectly.
Every visual detail was beautifully designed, with the backgrounds being extremely detailed and the user controls looking like they were taken straight from the U.S.S. Sulaco. “Space age” honestly doesn’t even begin to describe the look and feel of this release and the NetEnt graphics team should be proud of their accomplishments.
The imagery in the different levels can be truly frightening and is some of the most realistic footage that’s been put in a gambling game to date. As you walk down the creepy corridor of the spaceship you pass by dead soldiers laying in pools of their own blood and it’s of course going to be quite disturbing to some players. (This is why we put warnings at the beginning of reviews.) The aliens that jump at you from every angle are of movie quality and will have you recoiling from your screen with fright.
Lastly, as mentioned above, the unique symbols are both excellent and confusing. They are beautifully designed and very lifelike (for martians), but it’s way too difficult to tell them apart because they all look almost identical. Also, the tint on them is very dark so it’s hard to see what’s going on when they’re falling quickly on the reels.
Audio & Soundtrack
The soundtrack that plays during the regular mode is a soft yet intense orchestral movement that totally builds up the tension of the scene. The other audios of the reels spinning and stopping, as well as payline wins adding up, are all Sci-Fi inspired and done in the theme of the original movie.
In addition, there are tons of spoken audios throughout the action that come from the spaceship such as, “life form detected” and “communication failure – abort!”. These of course suck you further into the storyline and helps to add to the gory drama.
Our review ratings almost never need an explanation but this time we’re making an exception.
We gave this game a 7/10 for fun because fans of the movie who don’t want a lot of confusing action are going to hate it, but those who want to use aliens for constant target practice will love it. So depending on which side of the fence you fall on you’ll either give it a 10/10 or a 3/10. Therefore, it only seemed fair to rate it somewhere in the middle. Of course, if you believe that Ripley made the entire movie franchise you’re going to hate the whole thing and give it a zero anyway before you walk away.
This release will appeal to anyone who really enjoys the science fiction theme of Aliens, and/or the general battle cries of all-out space war. However, anyone who enjoyed the film for its amazing characters and destruction of gender stereotypes will be quite disappointed that no one from the movies was featured.
Instead of capitalizing on the historic achievements of this film, NetEnt decided to focus on blasting screeching creatures. Lots of them. So many you can’t even keep track of which ones or how many you’re shooting. If they wanted to capture the “fog of war” that the Colonial Marines would have had when in battle, they certainly achieved it.
Instead of trying to appeal to all Aliens fans by including a female character(s) and a space war, they decided to just target players looking for lots of violence and action. Which is totally fine, it’s just not our cup of tea. So if you love the movies for the shooting and action, you will definitely enjoy this machine: just make sure that you’re ready to pay attention when you’re blasting your way through those those crazy levels.
So what do you think we should do with this game, Ripley?
I say we take off and nuke the entire slot from orbit…it’s the only way to be sure.
Ok, sounds good to me…this time it’s war.
Random Video of Aliens
Well since we just gave this release a terrible review, some of you are probably wondering how you’re supposed to spend the next few hours. If playing this is going to be a waste of your time, what activity related to the franchise isn’t?
Well, this awesome 2003 documentary on the making of the 1986 blockbuster “Aliens” is a must-see for fans of all ages and it will definitely give you the fix that you need. Sit back and get comfortable…