Review of Man of Steel Slots
Normally I despise films that are remakes of earlier classics – why can’t Hollywood find new stories to tell? Whether it’s Psycho, Tron, or The Karate Kid, it just feels like screenwriters are all out of ideas and simply looking backwards to see what movies they can re-write and re-release.
Enter Man of Steel, an ambitious reboot of the origin story of Superman from the time he is born until the time he is working at the Daily Planet. At first I didn’t understand the need to re-make this film (other than a cash grab) since the original still holds up today and even inspired its own game, Superman The Movie Slots which was released shortly before this one. Fans weren’t exactly begging for this story to be retold.
That said, I watched the movie when it was released on Netflix a little while ago and I have to admit that it was surprisingly good, which of course gave me high hopes going into this review. Sadly the game is very disappointing and I think that it will have most fans of the new Superman film running for the exits faster than a speeding bullet.
Just like every other superhero slot game that’s been released over the last couple of years, this one has Super HD quality images and fluid animations, but it’s still not enough to draw you into this corner of the DC Universe. It’s really only giving you nice visuals from the movie to look at while you spin – there’s absolutely no new ground being broken here. Click on each image to enlarge it and see for yourself.
Most of you are already going to know the story by now, but here’s a quick recap for anyone who’s just becoming acquainted with the “Man of Steel”. Superman was born as “Kal-El” on the planet Krypton to parents Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, but unfortunately this was at exactly the same time as the planet was about to explode due to aggressive mineral extraction. Jor-El decided to rescue his infant son by putting him in an emergency shuttle, with his only travelling companion being the genetic codes that the evil General Zod was trying to steal during his army’s failed uprising.
Zod and his goons are banished to the Phantom Zone right before Krypton blows up, strangely saving their lives while everyone else on the planet is left to suffer a horrible death. Kal-El lands on Earth and is adopted by loving foster parents Jonathan and Martha, and given the name “Clark Kent”. While growing up, Clark realizes that he is different from everyone else around him and possesses superhuman powers, and he eventually moves to the big city of Metropolis to protect its citizens and work at the Daily Planet newspaper as a reporter.
The world is then threatened as Zod arrives with his band of miscreants and they start to reveal their plans to turn Earth into a new Krypton. Battles ensue as Superman struggles to save the planet from tyranny.
This game from Playtech only focuses on the main battle between Superman and Zod, and unfortunately doesn’t touch on any of the other plot lines. There’s not even a proper bonus round in which to tell more of the story and remind players of the original movie. The only thing we have in this slot to help with a storyline are the tons of images from the film, which I suppose could technically jog your memory as to what happened. Whatever.
Before we go any further, please ask yourself a question: do you really like an abundance of different symbols in an online slot machine? If your answer was “yes”, prepare to be very happy. This title probably breaks the record for “most unique symbols in a game”, and you won’t believe the number of big Hollywood stars from the movie who showed up. In short, every major character is here.
The two sets of symbols are actually quite different – the Krytpon ones are super cool while the earth ones are lame. A school bus? Really? Oh well – there are 26 unique symbols in here so I guess I can’t be too hard on them.
- Kal-El’s Starcraft
- Silver Superman S
- Krypton Moons
- Codex Skull
- General Zod in Armor (Side View)
- Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer)
- Gold Superman S
- Jor-El Wild (Russel Crowe)
- Kent Mailbox
- Clark Kent’s Glasses
- Daily Planet Newspaper
- Yellow Smallville School Bus
- F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
- Superman S
- Perry White (Laurence Fishburne)
- Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner)
- Martha Kent (Diane Lane)
- Black Globe Wild
- Faora Wild (Antje Traue)
- General Zod in Armor Wild
- General Zod Wild (Michael Shannon)
- Superman Wild (Henry Cavill)
- World Engine (Bonus)
Whether you’re on Earth or on Krypton, Wild symbols will be your strongest ally as they all pay 1,000 coins each for 5 of a Kind. When on Earth you’ll want to bump into Martha Kent, Jonathan Kent, or Perry White because they dish out 250, 200, and 150 coins respectively for five in a spin. As you fight your way through Krypton keep an eye open for the Gold S Logo, Lara Lor-Van, and General Zod in Armor since they give you 500, 200, and 150 coins for 5 in a payline.
Playtech decided to include a Man of Steel Slots Jackpot, which is the DC Comics network jackpot that offers four unique cash prizes. It’s triggered randomly and can be awarded even on a losing spin, and it will guarantee you a win of at least 1 of the 4 amounts available. The prizes begin with “Mini” and move up to “Minor”, “Major”, and “Grand”.
Once in the jackpot area you will be presented with 20 tiles that you will flip over one at a time to reveal 1 of the 4 prizes, and when you fill all of the sections underneath a certain prize you will win the corresponding amount.
This DC Super Heroes Jackpot is available on all of the newer DC games made by Playtech, and as per usual it claims that the more you wager, the better your chances of triggering it are. Show us the math, please!
Online slot machines that don’t have bonus rounds are always leaving a lot of fun on the table, but in the case of Man of Steel, the lack of a unique bonus area really hurts it badly. There’s never a break from the spinning reels and as a result, the game gets boring after a while.
There is a cool little reel feature called the “World Engine Bonus” that will blow anywhere from 1 to 7 Wild symbols onto the reels when it lands on reel #5. This usually results in a nice payday so it’s always a welcome sight.
There is another small bonus feature of “Shifting Wilds” that sees the Superman Wild sticking around and shifting to the right on each subsequent spin until he’s flown off of the board. In addition, The General Zod Wild will do the same, except he moves to the left each time.
Since there aren’t any proper bonus rounds in this game you’d better believe that there are tons of free spins. There are actually two unique free games areas that are crammed with action and they do seem to pay out quite a lot when you trigger them.
First we have the Krypton Free Games which only awards you with 7 free spins, but this is balanced out by it having unique symbols that pay out more than the ones in the regular game. There’s also extra payline combinations added to the board which pump up the total number to 50, and the Jor-El Wilds will lock into place for the duration of the round, so there is definitely an opportunity to do some damage and pad your balance. This feature is triggered by a Krypton Bonus symbol landing on reel #5, and you can re-trigger the feature during your freeroll.
Next we have the Battle for Earth Free Games where Superman will battle General Zod and his minions, and you’d better believe that you’re backing the Man of Steel in this fight. That’s because the free spins mode will continue indefinitely until Superman is defeated and you are returned to the regular game. This is absolutely one of the best parts of the game and it’s always a nail-bitter as you watch to see how long you can freeroll for.
This free spins mode gets even crazier because whenever a Superman Wild lands on the same row as a General Zod Wild, a General Zod in Armor Wild, or a Faora Wild, the two symbols will battle for supremacy of the game board. You’ll want to see as many confrontations as possible because each one will blast extra Wild symbols across the reels.
This free games mode is triggered by the “Big Blue Boy Scout” and Zod landing on the same row together during the regular game. Buckle up!
The graphics are only “good” by today’s standards, and if you’ve played a comic book themed slot in the last few years there’s nothing here that’s going to blow you away. In fact, some might even argue that the graphics are actually “underwhelming”, because I think that player expectations are going to be pretty high for this title.
That said, there’s certainly nothing clunky about the visual effects – the reels spin fluidly, the Roaming Wilds crawl across the screen fine, and all of the images of the actors from the movie look great. The best animations occur when the Wilds are battling for supremacy during free spins, but everything else is pretty basic.
Audio & Soundtrack
The main soundtrack of the game is quite aggressive and dramatic, and it does tire you out after a while. It’s always intense and never gives you a break from the foreboding string sections playing wildly. The ferocity is driven even higher with the “bah bah bah” audio that hammers every payline win, not to mention when the two Wild symbols collide and smash together obnoxiously, the sparks really fly and you can hear the electric currents pulsate.
There just always seems to be loud booms or unwanted crashes coming out of the computer speakers while you’re spinning, and I think that most of you will find the audios really annoying. It’s just too loud.
There’s definitely enough going on in Man of Steel Slots for fans of the movie to enjoy themselves for a while, but eventually they’ll lose interest and start looking for a phone booth to change in. Unless you are a free spins junkie that hates bonus rounds, this game won’t be one that you come back to often.
The Battling Wild Feature was a great addition, but it feels like Playtech spent a long time creating this one thing and then thought that they were done – and this couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Superman fans want action (and plenty of it), but with this game you feel like you’re just spinning in a circle chasing your cape.
The film was really good but this slot doesn’t do it justice – terrible soundtrack, annoying audios, and a crippling lack of reel features all add up to make this title a sub-par effort.
Hey wait – maybe they can just reboot the game like they rebooted the movie? This looks like a job for Superman!
Bonus Video of Man of Steel
Well I had to dig for it, but here’s a video on the Man of Steel that’s kind of worth watching. It’s a full two hours of coverage of the red carpet from the official world premier in 2013. Pour a drink and get comfortable…