Review of Judge Dredd Slots
One of the main things that most people know about Judge Dredd is that a lot of fans of the comic book were horrified when they found out that Sylvester Stallone was playing the legendary lawman in the 1995 film adaptation. I’ve still never seen that movie and the only comics featuring him that I’ve read were a few random ones that my friends left at my house during the ’90s. The story seemed interesting to me but as a big fan of RoboCop, I felt like it would be cheating if I started regularly reading Dredd.
Fast-forward 20 years and there I was playing Judge Dredd Slots online and actually having a bit of fun for a while. Surprisingly, not being familiar with the comic didn’t take away from the game too much because there’s not much of a storyline in the machine. So sadly the whole thing gets boring rather quickly and many casual fans will wander away after a short period of time. Don’t worry super fans, there might be just enough to keep you interested for a while.
Finally, we should warn anyone who does not like violence that this release is quite graphic and has many shooting guns in it. So if that’s not your cup of tea you’d best stop reading this now and move on to another review…but with a name like “Judge Dredd”, what the heck were you expecting?
This machine will probably seem a little dated to most players but that’s ultimately part of the game’s charm. It doesn’t do a good job of “transporting you to another universe” but the designers didn’t really attempt to do that. The visuals might actually take you back to playing old Sega Genesis games in the 1990s so if you’re over 35 you might get a kick out of these old school graphics.
Judge Dredd is one of the first and last names in the legal system of Mega-City One, North America’s crime-ridden, post-apocalyptic city of the future. He is a “Street Judge” who can actually convict someone on the spot and then immediately execute them. Annnnd we hear that he’s single, ladies!!
Dredd was actually cloned from the DNA of an ancient judge so technically law enforcement runs in his family. For over 50 years he has been patrolling the streets protecting innocent citizens from criminals, politicians, and aliens, and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in his old age. His biggest battles throughout the years have been when he directly challenges the character, morality, or decisions of the chief judges of the city and they then attempt to silence him.
This release loosely follows Judge Dredd’s patrols through Mega-City One and has all of the imagery that you will be familiar with from the graphic novels. Unfortunately, the game’s storyline pretty much ends there.
NextGen made the unfortunate decision to include the most useless symbol in the world, the “9”. Why they just didn’t add a character from the comic book instead is astounding. They also relied quite heavily on Judge Dredd’s wardrobe for some bizarre reason, so in terms of variety, the unique symbols in this machine should be sentenced to 50 years of hard labor.
- J (Jack)
- Q (Queen)
- K (King)
- A (Ace)
- Judge Death
- Judge Dredd’s Glove
- Lawmaster Motorcycle
- Lawgiver Pistol
- Judge Dredd’s Badge (Scatter)
- Judge Dredd (Wild)
The highest-paying symbol is Judge Dredd’s badge, which gives you a very impressive 2,500 coins for hitting five in one spin. This is followed by the Judge Death symbol which pays 1,000 coins for 5 of a Kind, Judge Dredd’s Motorcycle which pays 500 coins, and then his Gun and Glove which each pay 250.
This machine is actually somewhat unique because you can physically add Wild symbols to the board by increasing the Super Bet amount, which is displayed in the form of Judge Dredd’s gun on the right of the screen. If you play cautiously and bet 25 coins you will only have Wilds on reel #3, (Yellow Level). If you get frisky and play 35 coins you get Wilds on reels #2, #3, and #4, (Orange Level). And if you want to go for the Full Monty and play 50 extra coins per spin you will have Wilds on all 5 reels, (Red Level).
Increasing the Super Bet also improves the average Return to Player (RTP) with normal mode paying 95.22%, 10 Credit Super Bet paying 95.33%, and 25 Credit Super Bet paying 95.61%. We only mention this for those who are interested in RTP statistics because as we state numerous times throughout this website, our reviewers only really care about how much fun it is and don’t get bogged down in the numbers. What’s the point of playing a machine that gives you an extra 3% RTP if you’re not having fun while you spin, right?
Judge Dredd does not have a jackpot, progressive or otherwise, which is a shame because it would have definitely gone a long way to raise the level of excitement. We can agree that this is yet another reason why this title is probably only going to be for the most diehard fans.
As explained above, activating the Super Bet button will enable the free spins mode, which is the closest thing that Judge Dredd has to a special feature. The omission of a proper bonus round was a huge error and only helps to bring on the boredom quicker due to the repetitive action.
For those of you who like to be shot in the face by your online gambling games, Judge Dredd also appears from the side of the screen and shoots at you as he awards random cash prizes that are based on your wager amount. Don’t question why this happens – he just has to be cruel to be kind. The machine refers to this bizarre occurrence as the “I AM THE LAW” feature.
You can also choose to risk your winnings after any spin by pressing the “Gamble” button at the bottom of the screen. You can guess the color of the next card flipped and win double your wager amount, or you can guess the exact suit of the next card flipped and win quadruple. You can only double up a maximum of five times in total but if you successfully win 5 double ups in a row, you should want to cash out anyway!
The free spins in Judge Dredd Slots are pretty much its only highlight. You get a straight 10 each time and your win amounts are doubled for each one, also you can win more spins if the feature is re-triggered during the freeroll.
In addition, it adds more Wild symbols to the reels during the round, the amount of which is of course dependent on what level of the Super Bet you are wagering on. They refer to this as an “enhanced” set of reels with the higher wagers courtesy of the Super Bet leading to more Wilds, and therefore bigger cash payouts.
During the normal mode there isn’t an abundance of moving graphics or animated action, except for the Wild Judge Dredd symbol. When he is used in a payline win he shoots open the symbol and then re-emerges in it slapping his baton in his hand menacingly. Also, the Badge symbols spin and shine when they land on the board.
Although it’s violent and somewhat offensive, the graphics when Judge Dredd shoots you in the face during the I AM THE LAW special feature really do look good. He saunters in front of the reels and bullets start flying until they break your screen – it’s actually one of the better visuals that you’ll find in action-style releases like this.
Audio & Soundtrack
The audio in this machine is very cheesy but also quite excellent. It’s that classic synthesizer and heavy ’80s rock guitar combination that usually makes the soundtracks for titles by NextGen so enjoyable. For those unaware, their series of DC Comics slot games all have these types of crazy songs that play throughout and most of them are really fun.
The sound effect for wins being added to your balance is pretty annoying: it kind of sounds like a robotic turkey gobbling – and it goes on and on and on, so you’ll probably want to familiarize yourself with the mute buttons before starting to play.
In fairness, it should be mentioned that the music when you enter the free spins mode is absolutely fantastic and kind of indescribable. You’ll just have to hear it for yourself and be the “judge” of what it sounds like to you. *rimshot*
When you first start playing this release you might feel torn on whether you like it or not but many will find themselves enjoying it for at least a short while. However, the lack of interesting symbols, the annoying payline audios, and the absence of a fun and proper bonus round will ultimately make you close the window and look elsewhere for something fun.
The graphics are dated and the soundtrack will only be for freaks like me who enjoy reliving the worst parts of the 1990s at every opportunity. Also, having to activate the Super Bet to the maximum setting to access the cool features of the game can quickly eat through your bankroll if you go on a prolonged cold streak. Therefore, in the long run, Judge Dredd Slots will only appeal to the select few of you who are diehard fans of the original graphic novels.
Who would have thought that a dystopian future could be so bleak?
Bonus Video of Judge Dredd
There’s really only one video that we could end this review with and that of course is Anthrax performing “I Am The Law” – their thrash metal tribute to their favorite comic book executioner, Judge Dredd. The video is a live performance in London from their 1987 tour and it’s fantastic. Crank it up!