Review of Elvis: The King Lives Slots
Women wanted to marry him and men wanted to be him. From the very first time that he took the stage, Elvis Presley has been the undisputed “King of Rock N’ Roll” for millions of fans around the world. Growing up I adored Elvis and I still listen to him today because it always gets my hips swinging and they just don’t make good music like that anymore.
I choose to ignore most of the “peanut butter, jelly, and bacon sandwich” stories that float around about Elvis, most of which were just started by bitter people who couldn’t control their jealousy towards one of the greatest entertainers of all time. And no, he didn’t fake his own death – although I would certainly be happy to be proved wrong on that one.
It’s absolutely impossible for anyone over 50 years old to review anything Elvis-related without bias, so let’s not pretend that it is. Unfortunately, not even my deep love for the King could make me give this game high grades but there is juuust enough to warrant you spending a few bucks on this machine.
This expert review of Elvis: The King Lives Slots will clearly explain what went wrong in this highly-anticipated release from Williams Gaming.
As you can easily see in the screenshots below, this release is starting to look a little dated…and it was only released a few years ago! At least The King looks more youthful than ever with his pompadour perfectly greased. Click the images below to enlarge them and see exactly what an eleven reel slot game looks like.
We certainly don’t need to explain who Elvis Presley is and what he and his music mean to countless people around the globe. However, like many celebrities who have had slot games made in their image, Elvis left us far too soon (at the young age of 42) and has been considered a musical legend ever since.
Even though his legacy was tarnished towards the end of his career due to his escalating drug addiction he was still cranking out hit songs…albeit on the country and gospel charts. However, by the time of his death in the summer of 1977 his concerts had become unwatchable as he couldn’t remember the lyrics to his songs and would go on extended incoherent rants. It was an absolute shame.
The storyline is pretty much what you would imagine from a release that states “The King Lives”. It’s simply Elvis in his glory without any of the bad times and his hit songs are referenced by numerous photos and animations, which will probably be just enough of a plot to get fans interested.
The unique symbols in this game get a passing grade because they give us enough Elvis and the rest of them are pretty adorable. A pink teddy bear? That’s cute and relevant! Of course we’re half-joking and some players will feel that they could have done a lot better by including say, covers of Elvis’ albums or what have you.
Here’s what’s included:
- J (Jack)
- Q (Queen)
- K (King)
- A (Ace)
- Pink Teddy Bear
- Blue Suede Shoes
- Hound Dog with Top Hat
- Acoustic Guitar
- Elvis in Pink Blazer
- Elvis in Yellow Blazer
- Elvis in Gold Blazer
- Elvis Sneering (Wild)
- Elvis Record Album (Scatter)
Elvis is The freakin’ King so it only makes sense that all of his symbols pay the most in this game, and the best of them all is the Elvis Sneering Wild which pays 250 coins for 5 of a Kind. Next is Elvis in a Gold Blazer, Yellow Blazer, and Pink Blazer, which pay 250, 150, and 150 coins respectively for five in a payline.
Please note that we’ve documented the fixed coins per line as “0.5” because each wager covers 2 lines, up to the maximum of 80, due to this being a crazy 11 reel machine. Don’t worry, most of you will get used to this betting pattern fairly quickly.
That said, others should be warned beforehand that the 11 reels might be kind of confusing to some. There are technically 2 different types of reels: two 2x2s and a 3×6, which definitely takes some time to wrap your head around. For example, to complete certain combinations you will have to get 2 of the same symbol on the first 2 mini reels and then adjacent symbols on the bigger ones. It’s recommend to just jump in and play it because that’s the quickest way to figure out how it works.
The main rule to remember is that all of the paylines have to start from the far left of the game board, which means that the big reels of #9, #10, and #11 are useless if the 2×2 reels haven’t given you anything to work with. Ultimately, it’s another strangely designed game from WMS, similar to the bizarre KISS online slots that they released a few years after this one.
Elvis has left the building and so has any hope for a King Lives Jackpot – come on now, don’t be cruel! There are no big cash prizes in this game whatsoever so you can take your request and return to sender…and then clean up your own backyard. (Sorry for the terrible puns.)
Sadly, there isn’t a true bonus round in The King Lives Slots so players might be left hankering for a hunk o’ more after a while. Sure there are some great tunes and whatnot but without a proper special feature you never really get a break from the spinning reels.
There is a smaller prize area called the “Jukebox Feature” which is basically your entrance into the free games mode. The jukebox has cash prizes that are 1x, 2x, or 5x your bet amount, mixed in with 4 of Elvis’ best songs and the warm glowing lights will then tell you what has been triggered. You’ll definitely have your fingers crossed to hear specific records because each comes with different prizes:
- Big Hunk O’ Love: 8x multiplier on total wager
- Blue Suede Shoes: 12x multiplier on total wager + 5 free games
- Teddy Bear: 12x multiplier on total wager + 5 free games
- Hound Dog: 25x multiplier on total wager + 10 free games
As you can plainly see, being high-classed and catching rabbits certainly pays dividends in this game, so channel your inner hound dog to reap maximum rewards.
There are tons of different free spins options in Elvis: The King Lives, all of which are accessed through the jukebox bonus area described above and it’s triggered in two different ways. Firstly, if you hit 4 of the same symbol on reels #1 to #4 and/or #5 to #8 you make a “square” of the same symbol and get 5 free spins with no multiplier. You can also get this prize by having 3 Scatters fall across reels #9, #10, and #11.
However, if you’re lucky you can get the same square of symbols on the lefthand reels with the Scatters in the same spin, which will trigger 20 free games that come with a whopping 100x multiplier on your total wager.
Remember that the symbol that triggers the feature will also dictate the theme of your free games. For example, hitting 4 Hound Dog symbols in all 4 sections of the smaller reels will trigger a a trip to the jukebox and the classic song from Elvis.
The game gives you a unique set of reels during freerolls with the feature only showing up on reels #9, #10, and #11. In addition, it offers something that we have never heard of before in all our days of playing: “clumped symbols”. These occur when the “square” reels of #1 to #4 and/or #5 to #8 don’t have any matching symbols fall in all 4 positions, so then it’s changed to one big symbol that is 2×2 and behaves as if it were “4 clumped symbols”. Magnificent.
Finally, you can re-trigger free games while you freeroll if you hit 3 Scatter symbols on reel #9, #10, and #11, which will give you an extra 5 free spins each time.
The intro video in this machine will definitely stir your emotions as it flashes through candid polaroids of Elvis at various stages of his life. They are crisp black and white photos and they convey how Elvis was just a mere human like the rest of us…but the glint in his eye tells us that he’s destined for stardom.
Sadly, after the intro is finished we only get one other video of Elvis that isn’t a symbol on the reels, (although the graphic of Elvis dancing on the record symbol is pretty sweet). It’s a clip from his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show that gets you really pumped up but it quickly mixes into the studio version of the song as your freeroll starts. Greedier players will make a fuss that there’s not more clips like that and it’s absolutely a legitimate complaint to have.
Since there’s no full live performances of Elvis in the game it was nice of WMS to include some still images of The King that flash on the screen when certain free spins modes are triggered. They’re always nice to see and they provide a nice little break from the spinning of the eleven reels.
Design-wise there are a few nice touches like the purple background for the Teddy Bear free spins and the betting controls built into the front of a jukebox. The main jukebox in the bonus features looks great too – prepare for flashbacks of Happy Days.
Audio & Soundtrack
Anyone playing an Elvis-themed slot is going to want to know one thing: how good is the soundtrack? Well, in The King Lives we get a bit of a mixed bag of tunes that spans the entirety of his career but some of you will probably be disappointed in the length of the audio clips. We don’t get to hear any songs in their entirety, which definitely takes away from the overall experience.
However, Williams Gaming made the excellent choice of not playing an Elvis record during the regular game, although it is definitely reminiscent of that era with a rock n’ roll beat, (it actually sounds like it could have been based on “Teddy Bear”). This choice actually makes the Elvis songs that are included in the game much more special and enjoyable when they’re triggered because you don’t get sick of hearing them.
The crowd screaming randomly throughout the spinning charges you with excitement and reminds you of just how crazy the audience was at Elvis concerts. As mentioned above, the specific audio clip was probably taken from an Ed Sullivan appearance.
The most powerful effect in this game is when “Viva Las Vegas” kicks in for big wins during the regular mode. It is the perfect explosion of music and fun, and it really takes the excitement to the next level. Also, when a song is triggered for a freeroll things really get taken up a notch, with “Teddy Bear” being a personal favorite.
It must be noted that WMS has continued their ridiculous tradition of having imposters say lines throughout their slot games; for example, “Man that bonus is one for the money.” It’s clearly not Elvis himself speaking but let’s just hope that it’s one of Las Vegas’ best Elvis impersonators, (it’s highly doubtful that it is – it’s probably a WMS intern in a broom closet).
Also, “Time for the bonus. Hang up that tambourine and go,” is just plain weird because again, it is so obviously not the King. WMS could have tried a little harder with these, although in fairness, when Fake Elvis proclaims,”That bonus had me all shook up, how ’bout you?” it does kind of feel like you’re chatting with him…kind of. “Elvis has left the bonus”.
In total, the classic Elvis songs included are:
- Viva Las Vegas
- Blue Suede Shoes
- Hound Dog
- A Big Hunk O’ Love
- (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
All in all, that’s a nice sampling of Elvis’ work and for a music-themed online slot it’s the perfect amount of songs. Especially when you consider that this was released a few years ago when expectations weren’t as high.
As a great philosopher once said – you ain’t nothing but a hound dog! Well, we’re happy to report that there’s definitely enough going on in Elvis: The King Lives Slots to keep his fans entertained…for a while. However, this game is ultimately starting to show both its age and its limitations: the design is looking dated and it could really use a freshening up.
Also, players today usually demand that their machines have special bonus rounds and features, so many will have suspicious minds when they see that this title only has a few different free spins modes on offer. That doesn’t mean that they should check into the Heartbreak Hotel and be lonesome tonight, it just means that they’re probably only going to enjoy playing this release for short periods of time.
The King Lives Slots will get you all shook up for a while but eventually you’ll want a little less conversation and a lot more action. Ok, ok – we’ve gone too far with the song references – sorry!
This review has now left the building…(and jumped the shark)…
Bonus Video of The King
Here’s a hilarious montage of bloopers from Elvis’ amazing ’68 Comeback Special and he even jokes around with the crowd about his trademark sneer. Looking back, it’s clear that The King knew that his time had come and gone, and it was time to step aside for the “Flower Power” generation that was taking over society with their music and messages.
Oh well, true fans know that The King still rules…