Review of Andre the Giant Slots
I was a huge wrestling fan back in the 1980s so I was ecstatic to hear that Andre the Giant was getting his own real money online slot game that would allow him to punish opponents in the ring. Although, I was a bit confused as to how they decided on Andre and not one of the other amazing superstars from back in the day. Most would have thought that the likes of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, or even The Ultimate Warrior would have had a larger fan base to appeal to.
However, after some thought it dawned on me that Andre the Giant was indeed a massive superstar in the 1970s and his rabid fans followed his career all the way up to the early 1990s, picking up many new supporters along the way. This was due to both his abnormal size and unprecedented winning streak from 1973 to 1987, (although he did lose or draw a few matches outside of the WWF during that time).
In addition to the hordes of wrestling fans who loved him, Andre also endeared himself to a generation of young movie goers with his role of Fezzik in the 1987 film The Princess Bride. This movie cemented Andre as one of the most beloved big men of the 1980s.
As you can probably tell, this expert review of Andre the Giant Slots is going to be a little biased but why shouldn’t it be? We’re talking about one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time here!
Although, if you didn’t see The Princess Bride, Wrestlemania I, II, III, or IV, or any of his other amazing work over the years, you’ll probably be scratching your head at this point wondering what all of the fuss is about. Luckily this release has enough going for it that it should also appeal to those who have never even heard of The Giant or his many accomplishments.
The screenshots below show just how great the design is and how software developer NextGen Gaming did a fantastic job on all of the symbols and player controls. It’s clear that they put a lot of effort into creating a fun machine that looks good and that Andre The Giant himself would have definitely approved if he was still alive today.
The storyline for this release is exactly what fans would imagine. You navigate the world of a live wrestling event via images of tickets, hotdogs, and foam fingers, and every once in a while Andre stops by to kick you in the face with his “Wild Boot“, which is of course the game’s Expanding Wild.
After you’ve survived Andre’s boots, hopefully you hit a few Scatters and are taken to the bonus round where you will stack up wrestling moves to use against your opponents in the ring. If you are victorious under the bright lights you will be crowned “Champion” and receive the massive cash purse that’s up for grabs, putting you alongside Andre himself as one of the best in the world.
Thankfully, NextGen didn’t include Andre’s real-life story of him suffering from gigantism and the fact that he never stopped growing, thus turning into a “giant”. Although this is what led to his successful career in professional wrestling and him earning the title of “The Eighth Wonder of the World“. Oh – he could also drink around 130 beers in one sitting – what a legend!
The unique symbols for this machine are taken straight from the world of wrestling, with an emphasis on live wrestling matches in an arena. Most will say that they would have liked to have seen a few more of Andre himself during different phases of his career but beggars can’t be choosers so we’ll just have to take what the designers gave us.
Andre is an Expanding Wild that appears on reels #2 and #4, referred to in the game as the “Andre Goes Wild Feature“. Strangely there’s only 11 unique symbols, which does seem a little low: most would have thought that 13 would be the minimum for a 25 payline release these days. Oh well, here’s what was included:
- Hot Dog
- Lucha Libre Mask
- Lucha Libre Wrestler
- Andre’s Wrestling Boots
- Green Foam Finger
- Metal Chair
- Championship Belt
- Wrestling Tickets
- Wrestling Ring
- Andre the Giant Logo
The Masked Lucha Libre Wrestler gives you the most for 5 of a Kind with 5,000 coins. This is followed by the Referee with 1,000 coins for five across the board, and the Championship Belt and Wrestling Ring dishing out 500 for the same.
There aren’t any Andre The Giant Slots Jackpots to be won here but the fun during the special features somewhat makes up for the omission. No one will ever say “no” to a jackpot but in this case there are so many other things going on most won’t really miss it.
The bonus round here is called the “Battle Bout Bonus” and it’s exactly what you want it to be – a wrestling match in front of a huge crowd. You even get to pick the opponent that you will be facing off against. However, before you can grapple in the ring you have to hit 3 Scatters anywhere on the board to trigger the free spins mode.
After gathering specific wrestling moves you must then click on the attack icons you received to maneuver Andre as he fights in the ring. Your possible opponents are going to be one of either Voltage Van Zandt, Flame Bro, or Jimmy Iron Legs. No one’s going to remember any of these jobbers from WWF Superstars of Wrestling on Saturday mornings – where the heck are Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi?
Anyway, if you land three or more blows you will be able to select one of Andre’s two famous finishing moves: the Body Slam or the Atomic Drop. Trust us, it gets very frustrating when you use an attack move on an opponent that is successfully defended, but when you finally land three attacks it is extremely satisfying to win the bout…and the grand prize that goes along with it, of course.
Don’t worry: you will win cash bonuses as Andre executes the wrestling moves that you instruct him to, guaranteeing winnings even if you don’t have an opportunity to use one of his finishing moves.
As touched on above, the Andre slots free spins mode is awesome because you know that you’re on your way to the special feature and that you will receive wrestling moves that you can turn into cash. These are the devastating tools that you’re going to need when you’re trying to defeat your opponent to win extra money.
First of all, you should become familiar with the “attack icons” of the Bear Hug, Knife Edge Chop, Head Butt, and Choke Slam. You collect these wrestling moves for Andre to use once he gets in the ring. The icons only appear on reel 5 and attach themselves to the bottom corners of existing symbols, so you have to keep your eyes open for them.
Three, four, or five Scatters sends you into free spins mode, where you will receive exactly 12 each time, regardless of how many of them you received to trigger the round.
The graphics in this machine are excellent and they all run fluidly, even during the epic showdowns in the middle of the squared circle. The bear hug that Andre gives the Scatter when going into free spins mode stands out as a good example of the designers going above and beyond the call of duty with their efforts. Clearly a lot of work went into the whole thing.
The Andre Expanding Wild comes with a bang as his massive wrestling boot kicks through your screen and shakes your computer and it’s definitely one of the best visuals that you’ll find here. Also, NextGen did a great job of giving this title the feel of a classic wrestling arena and all of the imagery works well within the theme.
Audio & Soundtrack
The song in Info Mode is absolutely rocking: it’s like an old ’80s heavy metal song but with a prog type of synthesizer that plays throughout. Although the unfortunate thing is that the song actually “skips” as it loops to repeat and misses a beat! It’s totally shocking that this error made it past the testing phase.
In addition, the song in free spins mode also misses a beat when it reaches the point where it loops to repeat. How these obvious bugs slipped by the audio engineers is anyone’s guess and they’re definitely annoying.
In regular mode the hard-rocking guitar riff that cranks out is very heavy and it does become intrusive after a while. Sadly, there’s no way to turn off this particular audio and leave the rest on, (since the other sound effects are quite enjoyable).
Any fan of wrestling past or present will have fun with this title and older fans from the ’70s and ’80s will be absolutely thrilled with it. No matter how many times I go back to play it, it’s still kind of shocking to see Andre the Giant in a gambling game.
And don’t worry, if you only know of Andre because you’re in love with the movie Princess Bride, you should still get hours of entertainment from it. But be warned: there don’t seem to be any Fezzik or David Bowie references in there.
Ultimately, with a super fun bonus round, great design, and legendary character behind it, Andre the Giant Slots will be fun for players of all ages. Just watch out for the choke slams and head butts!
Bonus Video of Andre the Giant
We’ve all seen Andre and Hulk’s epic battle from Wrestlemania III numerous times so here’s a lesser known match between the two. It occurred at “Wrestlefest” in Milwaukee during July of 1988 and has them fighting in a steel cage with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in Andre’s corner.
This is a rare one that many of you probably haven’t seen before. Enjoy!