There are not too many slots themed on prison escapes, and one that stands out is Hellcatraz from Relax Gaming. The slot is set in the toughest prison in the world – Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. The game’s talking points are a retro look, fantastic features and the possibility of a big payout.
The frame is literally set on the island of Alcatraz, with police launches in the foreground and the Golden Gate Bridge and the LA skyline in the background. You will also see a shark patrolling at the right, highlighting the impossibility of escape, and a pair of gulls just in front of the reel.
The retro feel to the game comes from the fantastic graphics and excellent sound track, which give you the impression of playing a video game from the 1990s. Another tribute to the retro era – and the stories of mysterious sightings in the Bay area - is the UFO hovering to the right that uses a tractor beam to airlift the shark!
The slot has 6 reels with symbols arranged on them in 6 rows. The prison guard, the prisoner, the shark, the pair of handcuffs and the guard’s badge are the high-value symbols. The low-value symbols are a star, a red heart, a diamond and a 4-leaf clover.
Hellcatraz is different from other slots in some ways. There are mystery symbols with counters attached. On a regular spin, the counters remain inactive and just appear on the screen. When you land a winning spin, the counter goes through a countdown to reveal the value of your win. The symbols may have the same or different counter values, depending on the mode you play in.
You heard it right; this game has 2 play modes for you to choose from.
This is Alcatraz by sunrise. There is the rising run in the background and the warm glow of sunlight across the reels. There are 2 independent counters for the mystery numbers in this mode. The counters may have the same number value on them during a spin, or they may have totally different values.
This is Alcatraz by night. There is a brilliant full moon, and fog drifting across the reels. In this mode, the mystery numbers have one counter value only.
When you start playing, you will be asked to choose your play mode. To change the play mode while your game is in session, click the SWITCH MODE button at the top of the post at the left of the reels.
Once you hit the Spin button the symbols cascade out of the reels and are replaced by new symbols. The counters for the mystery values will reveal the amount you won at the end of a winning spin.
At the end of each spin, a key symbol may appear randomly atop the symbols. Each of these symbols can give you anywhere from 1 to 10 keys, and they are important because they help trigger the Super Free Spins bonus. The keys from these are collected within on the post at the left, above the BUY FEATURE button.
Hellcatraz gives you the opportunity to have fun and also win some cool payouts. This game offers you 46,656 ways to win, and the automatic assumption is that wins are fairly easy to come by. That is not always the case though.
The bet range in this game starts with a minimum of 0.10 and goes up to a maximum of 25.00. This is quite a modest range compared to what you get at some of the other Relax Gaming slots, for instance the 0.10 to 100.00 range in TNT Tumble. But it is enough to give you fairly decent payouts.
The bonus game in Hellcatraz is the Super Free Spins round. You trigger it by collecting a total of 2000 keys in the base game. The Super Free Spins round is special because you get mystery symbols in each spin and they are revealed without the standard cascade that is seen in the base game.
You can trigger additional spins if you are able to land the Golden Mystery symbol during this round. If this symbol is there on the reels, you will need 2 cascades to reveal the number of additional spins.
There are different ways of triggering the Super Free Spins feature. The obvious way is to collect 2000 keys in the course of your game, which may take a while. Another option is to top up your key count at a certain cost. The price depends on the number of keys you need to buy to get to 2000.
Another way of triggering the feature quickly is to buy all the 2000 keys. The price for the entire feature is 200x your bet amount. So if you are betting 1.00 per spin, you will need to pay 200.00 to buy out the entire feature.
Hellcatraz may look retro but it is as modern as they come. It is compatible with a number of platforms and devices. If you are someone who loves playing from their smartphone this is a good game to try out, on the go.
The use of latest technology like HTML5 and Adobe Flash ensures compatibility with all the popular mobile platforms including Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It also arms the game with cool features, starting with a responsive interface that ensures all page elements fit perfectly on your screen.
Playing the game of Hellcatraz on your smartphone is easy. Just load the casino where you wish to play Hellcatraz on the browser of your mobile device and register for real money play. Once your account is funded and you are at the casino lobby, tap the Hellcatraz game icon to launch it.
We could not help loving Hellcatraz; everything about the game seemed outstanding. We loved the theme and the retro look backed by the retro sound track was a big hit, as was the ability to choose between 2 play modes.
Another great thing about this slot is that both the modes had quite high RTP values – 96.46% for the Lockdown mode and 96.30% for the Mixed mode.
The Super Free Spins was a great feature; the only thing that seemed a little over the top was the need to collect 2000 keys to trigger it. Of course, you have the option of buying the feature, but that is also a stretch, given that at most other casinos you can land the free spins by just patiently playing the game.
The way we see it, this game is going to polarize players – you will either love it or hate it. Our recommendation – don’t go by the looks alone; try it out once before deciding what you feel about it.