Review of Battlestar Galactica Slots
I should admit that I wasn’t exactly overjoyed in 2003 when I learned that the Sci-Fi Channel was going to be rebooting my beloved childhood television series, Battlestar Galactica. At the time I assumed that this was going to be another terrible remake like Starsky and Hutch or The Dukes of Hazard. Boy was I ever wrong.
From the very beginning I was hooked on the new series thanks to the interesting characters, awesome special effects, and the deep storylines. Everything about the show was top-shelf, and me and my friends would gather to binge watch episodes, before binge watching was cool.
Therefore, this review is definitely being written by a fan of the series, and presumably for other fans of the series. Although technically the graphics and features in this game are so amazing, I honestly think that even people who have never seen the show would love it. So let’s blast off and go over everything that matters with this futuristic slot.
Here are some screenshots that show just how much work went into the game’s design. Check out the smaller details like the the game board, symbols, and the control area with the game buttons. Everything looks absolutely perfect and I don’t think that fans would change a thing.
Unfortunately these images are just stills, and cannot show the insanely cool spaceships that are constantly flying around in the background, or the video clips that play on the symbols during payline wins. Trust me when I say that they’re outstanding, and Microgaming should be applauded for their efforts.
The Twelve Colonies exist many star systems away from us, and were almost blasted into extinction by the man-made Cylon robots who decided that humans were a scourge in need of cleansing. Now only few Colonials remain to fight off the Cylons with their old, trusty spaceship the Battlestar Galactica. With their small intergalactic fleet they search for a new home – a rumored planet oasis called “Earth”.
The 75 episode television series chronicles the battles between humans and robots, and the struggle for mankind to survive. They try to find refuge in space and destroy the Cylon-making technology, but has Man’s future already been written?
This slot game follows their journey for salvation through clips from the original show, tons of characters, and detailed bonus rounds. Needless to you will be battling a nonstop barrage of Cylons, so make sure you’re ready for combat.
Ok, lets get right to it – where the heck is the Cylon symbol!? I understand that Microgaming probably wanted to save any Cylon imagery for the bonus rounds or whatnot, but come on…a lot of fans are going to be disappointed with this omission. Not making them more prominent in the regular game is perplexing to say the least.
A general lack of Cylons is pretty much the only thing the game’s creators can be criticized for, and really it’s made up for by the fact that the game has “Splitting Wilds”. These are Wild symbols that can randomly split into two, creating more winning paylines in the same spin.
Those familiar with the show will be happy to know that all of your favorite human characters got their own symbols, and all of them become animated with dialogue when involved in payline wins.
- J (Jack)
- Q (Queen)
- K (King)
- A (Ace)
- Kara “Starbuck” Thrace
- Lee “Apollo” Adama
- Dr. Gaius Baltar
- Number Six (Cylon)
- Ellen Tigh
- Colonel Saul Tigh
- Karl “Helo” Agathon
- Cally Henderson Tyrol
- Colonial Viper (Scatter)
- Battlestar Galactica Logo (Wild)
Hopefully you will have five Colonial Vipers swoop onto your game board because that will award you with a whopping 1,500x your wager. You will also want to keep your eyes open for Starbuck and Apollo symbols because these characters pay 400 coins a piece for 5 of a Kind. Next we have Baltar and Six who each pay 300 coins for five across the board, with Colonel Tigh and Helo rounding things off with 200 coins for the same.
There is no Battlestar Galactica Slots jackpot in this game, so as they would say on the Colony, “go rust yourself!” Seriously though, it is kind of a shame that there’s not a jackpot in this game because they could have linked the prize amount to whatever rank you have achieved – the higher you go, the more cash you can win. It would have been fun to chase a jackpot like this and it would have made total sense in the context of the game. Oh well, maybe next time.
There is an awesome reel feature in Battlestar Galactica that is basically a “mini-bonus round”, which can occur randomly at any time. This is when the “Ion Storm” arrives and turns entire reels into Wild symbols. The Storm can actually turn all five reels into Wilds, so when you see it coming you’d better be ready for excitement.
There is also a special feature during the “Run Mode” which features the FTL Symbol, which stands for “Faster Than Light”. If this FTL symbol appears on reel 3 it will blow up all of the lesser-paying symbols around it, (10, J, Q, K, A), changing them into the same matching symbol. This of course leads to more profits and can often result in you getting five of a kind, or some other big cash win due to the feature paying the line from left to right, as well as right to left.
Once in Run Mode there is another game area you can access called “Fight Mode” where you can experience game symbols randomly turning into Wilds. Furthermore, Wild symbols can be split into 2 separate symbols, which will result in more winning paylines among the 243 that the game offers.
Finally, as referred to in the jackpot section above, there is also a game feature that allows you to “rank up” as you play. Every spin adds to the experience bar that determines your rank, so the longer you play the game, the higher your rank will become. Each time you move up a level you will unlock new video clips and cool features. Unsurprisingly, the experience bar is also tied to your wager size and moves up faster with larger bets.
You will enter Free Spins Mode whenever you hit three or more of the Colonial Viper Scatter symbol anywhere across the reels. The game awards 15 free spins for three Scatters, with four or five Scatters giving you an extra five free spins each. You will automatically be given a respectable 3x multiplier on all of your bonus wins for the duration of the round.
Unfortunately you cannot re-trigger free spins while freerolling unless you have won them while in Fight Mode…and re-triggering spins has never been more fun. While playing free games here you will have two turret laser guns appear above your game controls that will blast away at Cylon spaceships that fly onto the screen as you spin. If you hit them they will blow up and take a few symbols on the game board with them, which changes them into Wilds. Or if you’re really lucky they will explode to reveal extra free spins that will be added to your total – and this whole experience is just as much fun as it sounds.
Let me be clear, the graphics in this slot game are absolutely outstanding and I have never played a game with such an intricate background. There are tons of space ships flying around while you spin the reels, and I swear that it’s so detailed that you can almost see people walking past the portholes of each ship.
Also, the Wild symbols become animated when used in a payline win, and slide open to reveal the beautiful old warship Galactica flying through space. When Stacked Wilds appear in the Ion Storm area the reels play video clips from the show that are of the highest quality.
Sometimes during the game Colonial Vipers will swoop in at random to shoot the reels and turn a few symbols into Wilds, thereby giving you bigger cash wins for the spin. Add this to the constantly changing background images and game borders, and you will have to agree that this game gets almost perfect marks when it comes to graphics.
Lastly, a subtle inclusion for diehard fans is the game shooting Colonial Cubit Coins at the screen for big wins, instead of the usual generic gold coins that all other slot games use. Again, just another small detail that shows how much work went into creating this game.
Audio & Soundtrack
The soundtrack that plays when first beginning to play the game is quite intense. It sounds like it is preformed by a Middle Eastern symphony and has a very serious tone, with almost an Arabian theme. It only plays for a while in the beginning to psych you up for space battle, but it also returns during dramatic points in the game.
The tune that plays often throughout is the soft symphonic song from the television show. It is quite relaxing and never gets old or annoying when playing for long periods of time. However, the song that plays during Run Mode is the same Arabian-themed banger from the game’s intro, and the drum beat that pounds is hard enough to make your ceiling fall down. Good times.
Lastly, when you hit 5 of a kind of a specific character, video clips from them on the show will play. I’m not a huge fan of random audio clips but they usually make me laugh and add to the general ambiance of the game. So brace yourself for such memorable phrases as, “All right people! This is what we do!“, and “Come on! Lets go!“, and “I’m in love with a woman who isn’t a woman!” To be honest, these audio clips are probably the lamest part of the game, but those obsessed with the show will probably welcome them with a smile.
It’s quite rare to find a branded slot game that should appeal to all slots players, and not just fans of that particular musician, comic book, movie, or television program. Battlestar Galactica is one of these unique games that many people will enjoy playing regardless of their level of knowledge of the original show. Sure they won’t get a lot of the references or understand the context of the video clips, but I don’t think that matters much – the game looks too darn good, and is too much fun to play.
Obviously this game is going to appeal more to those who are interested in space and science fiction, but that’s to be expected. However, with tons of game features, cool bonus rounds, and the opportunity to level up and unlock new stuff, this game will also appeal to those who are just looking for a fun new game.
Of course the real winners here will be the longtime fans of the show (like me) who will simply be blown away by the fact that Microgaming chose to release this game, and also invest the time to make it highly enjoyable.
This game is an absolute winner. It’s as clear as the Nubian sun. So say we all.
Bonus Video of Battlestar Galactica
Here is a fantastic five minute trailer from the original launch of the series. If you never had an opportunity to watch this show, (I’m not sure why you’re reading this review if you haven’t), please watch this video clip to find out exactly what you’ve been missing…