NetEntertainment and 20th Century Fox teamed up to produce Aliens, an online slot game built with the kind of cinematic realness players have come to expect from NetEnt titles. NetEntertainment is producing some of the best-looking and most-entertaining online games these days, and Aliens is no disappointment.
Just in case the cooperation with film producer 20th Century Fox was not enough of a clue – yes, this online slot is based on the movie Aliens, directed by Ridley Scott. The top prize of 570,000 coins (and the beautiful tie-in with the well-known film series) makes this one of NetEnt’s most talked about new releases. The intro scene alone is worth a look – I got sucked in like I was watching a movie trailer. It’s just that pretty.
The symbols used include five different critters familiar to fans of the movie franchise along with alien eggs in five different stages of growth, each with a different value. The game includes a Wild symbol, which is the corporate logo of the evil Weyland-Yutani Corporation. It substitutes for all other symbols to form winning combos, but take note that only the highest payout per spin is actually won. Multiple wins don’t count. Wilds only appear on reels 2 through 5 (except during the bonus game).
Coins Range:$0.10 to $150
Free Spins/Multiplier Better:No
Enough of all that, let’s get into the meat of the game. How much does it pay to play?
Essentially, Aliens is a simple 15-payline game with five reels of symbols. The bonuses and animations make it much more than that, but if you strip away all the flair, that’s what you’re left with. The idea is to line up winning combos of symbols, from left to right, on an active payline.
Players can also choose how many wagers per line to place, between 1 and 10 for each of the fifteen of them. That makes the full range of available wagers between 1 and 150 coins per spin.
Coin sizes are as follows: $0.01, $0.02, $0.05, $0.10, $0.20, $0.50, and $1. So now we’ve arrived at our true available stakes. Players can bet as low as $0.10 and as high as $150 every time the reels turn. That’s a nice wide range, allowing for players with varying bankroll sizes to participate in what has got to be one of NetEnt’s best slot releases in recent years. The replay value is high and the bonus scenes are among the best I’ve played online in years.
I couldn’t find a fully-creditable source for this number, but fan sites like this one (and longer lists of NetEnt payouts like this one) seem to think that Aliens has a theoretical payout percentage of 96.4%.
The fixed top prize is 540,000 coins, which is worth as much as $540,000. That prize is paid out for lining up a full line of the game’s most-valuable Wild symbol. Other top prizes include 1,000 coins, 500 coins, and on down. The real value in this title is with the multipliers, which are frequent and lucrative.
I played for just under half an hour and was one step away from earning enough multipliers to enter Level 1 of the Aliens bonus game. More on that below.
This title’s bonus game is probably its most attractive feature. Not only is it really lucrative (with prizes as high as 570,000 coins), but it’s also pretty player-interactive and animated with precision and beauty. I’m sorry, I just can’t rave about NetEnt and their aliens slot enough. I just wished they’d make more of them.
The bonus game is divided up into three levels. I’ll describe each below:
Level 1 – The Search
The goal here is to fill up the “Alien Activity Meter” shown across the top of the game. Players do this by accruing multipliers – the more, the better your chances of moving on to Level 2. Spin nine multipliers, and Level 2 begins.
Level 2 – The Encounter
This is where the real fun begins – the player turns into a real alien-killer, wiping out bad guys to attempt to reach Level 3, the Hive of the alien infestation. Immediately after each spin, the player earns ammunition (called Ammo Clips) with which they can kill the invading horde of beautifully-animated aliens. These act as re-spins, and credits can start to stack up pretty high at this point, as long as enough Ammo Clips are in store. Players who run out of ammo are sent back to Level 1. But if a player successfully fends off ten waves of alien attackers, they enter the final level of the bonus.
Level 3 – The Hive
Just like in the films, the goal of this level is to wipe out the evil alien queen. The player gets 5 re-spins, four Ammo Clips, and one grenade as a last-ditch weapon against the critter. If a player gets the Hive Health Meter all the way to zero, they earn a huge coin reward. If the queen and her hive are wiped out completely, the player’s most-recent spin earns a 240x bet multiplier. That’s a potential top prize of $36,000 for successfully completing the bonus game on NetEnt’s Aliens.
Oh, and the game is a ton of fun to play along the way, though most of your interaction with the mini-movie and bonus game involves, you guessed it, spinning the reels. There are some action sequences involving grenades and the like, but those are rarer than you’ll wish they were.
When you try the NetEnt Aliens slot, you’ll be shocked that they have ported it to mobile displays. It’s true – smartphones and tablets can display the awesome graphics and bonus scenes of the traditional Web-capable version, though obviously the quality suffers a bit. A few NetEnt casinos currently offer the game in both iOS and Android-friendly versions.
Aliens is one of my favorite games that I played in the past year, and I didn’t really win a ton of money on it. The reason I like it is its replay value and the thrill of the lengthy bonus scene system. The wager size is decent, and though multipliers don’t show up nearly as often as players may want them to, they do make the somewhat meager set of jackpots a lot more valuable, if you have the patience.