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It seems fitting that with a brand new version of the King Kong story now hitting cinemas across the world, that we renew our friendship with this rather large and perhaps misunderstood simian. This version, courtesy of NextGen Gaming, is loosely based on the 2005 version of the film that starred Jack Black.
The King Kong legend has been a part of popular culture since the original film back in the the 1930s where Fay Wray famously starred as Ann Darrow. Since then, the film has spawned several remakes. It’s also been the inspiration for a number of “monster” films, including the likes of Godzilla. Let’s now take a look at this older, yet still hugely enjoyable slot.
Overview: King Kong
NextGen gaming’s King Kong slot offers up 5×3 reels and a total of 25 paylines in play. The number of paylines is fixed and cannot be changed. You can increase the size of the bet using the up and down arrows. The minimum bet is $0.25 up to a maximum bet of $250 per spin. That is a wide enough range to ensure that both high stakes and lower stakes punters can enjoy the slot.
The setting of the slot is a New York City backdrop with searchlights scanning the sky. These are presumably looking for Kong as he famously scales the Empire State Building to fend off attacking planes. There is a single line jackpot of 7,500 coins available to be won, but you can win more (cumulatively) in the free spins bonus round.
Who will the King Kong slot appeal to?
King Kong is definitely a more medium to high variance game. Fans of these slots experience wins that are harder to come by but when you do hit a win, it tends to be a much larger one than on a low variance slot, so they won’t be disappointed. There’s some lovely presentation and a couple of exciting bonus features (which we’ll explore in more detail below). Players that enjoy unusual features on slots will find plenty to enjoy here.
There’s also the film tie-in aspect which is always a popular theme on slots. Even though this is based on a film from many years ago, it still offers decent play and some innovative bonuses. You can also play the slot across mobile devices, as well as on desktop, which is another positive as it allows players to enjoy the slot on the move as well as while they are at home.
Gameplay: King Kong
The first thing you’ll notice is the nice backdrop and dramatic music that builds the tension in between spins. Once you have selected how much you want to wager, simply click on the Play button to spin the reels and the action will begin.
There are a total of ten symbols on the reels, six of which are lower value symbols. These include the shackles, tickets, skull, movie camera, a spider and a boat. All offer payouts of between 5 and 200 coins per spin, depending on the symbol and number landed on a payline.
Four symbols are higher value symbols and include the airplane, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the hero and the heroine. These offer small payouts for 2 symbols landed on a payline up to the game jackpot of 7,500 coins, payable if you can land five of the female heroine symbols on the reels.
The base game itself is somewhat standard and the value of most of the wins are generally small. You can hit some decent-sized wins when you land four or more of the higher value symbols across the reels, or can utilize the in-game Wild symbols.
One nice touch for those lower value wins is the ability to gamble any win using the Gamble feature. This is a simple pick-me game that allows you to guess the color of the next card drawn from a random pack. Guess correctly and you can double your win and elect to keep the cash or play again. You can also guess the suit to win four times the win.
The two main features of the slot however are where you can win the biggest amounts of cash. The first of these is the King Kong Goes Ape bonus.
This feature is triggered when you land the King Kong Wild symbol (which can substitute for all low and high value symbols) on the third reel. When this occurs, King Kong will appear behind the reels and rip through the third reel turning it completely Wild for that spin. He can also reveal additional Wilds on reels two and four.
Without a doubt the greatest chance to win big money on this slot is the King Kong Smash feature. This is how the slot triggers Free Spins. When you land three or more of the King Kong Scatter symbols on the reels, you launch the bonus. It begins in dramatic fashion with King Kong scaling the Empire State building.
While he is up there, King Kong will face up to six planes attacking him. You must control King Kong and select which planes he must try to smash. For every plane he smashes you win additional free spins. Smash 1 plane and get 15 free spins, but the number increases up to Kong smashing 6 planes for which you receive a huge 150 free spins.
However, before the free spins start, you face a choice. The game will offer you a chance to take one of three mystery cash prizes instead of the free spins. You can either take one of the cash prizes or the free spins. The choice is yours, however you should factor in that all wins during the free spins round are subject to a 2x multiplier.
Special features: King Kong
The King Kong Wild is on all the reels and can substitute for higher and lower value symbols to create winning paylines and multiple winning paylines on a single spin.
King Kong Goes Ape bonus
To trigger the King Kong Goes Ape bonus, you’ll need to land one of the King Kong Wild symbols on the third reel. This turns the third reel completely Wild, potentially triggering multiple winning paylines. In addition, Kong may randomly turn other symbols on reels 2 and 4 wild.
King Kong Smash bonus
Land three or more Kong Scatters across the reels to trigger the Smash Bonus. Get Kong to Smash between 2 and 6 planes to trigger between 15 and 150 free spins. However before free spins start, you can elect to take one of three mystery bonus cash prizes, or elect to take the free spins. The choice is yours. All wins during free spins come with a 2x multiplier.
The presentation of the King Kong slot is excellent and the game has some superb sound effects and animations built into it which you can trigger when you access some of the bonus features of the game. The music also helps build the suspense while spinning in the base game which is a nice touch.
The Smash bonus is a fabulous free spins round. It is very involved and can see up to 150 free spins triggered, or you can take a mystery cash prize. It’s nice to have a bonus round that offers a greater level of player interaction.
Wild symbol & bonus
The Wild symbol helps create many wins in the base game and the King Kong Goes Ape bonus is a good way to trigger some decent-sized wins in the base game and they don’t come along too often.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks on the slot is that the vast majority of wins in the base game are very small. Often these wins don’t even cover your original bet. That means even if you win, you’ll still end up losing money on that spin. This fact does hit the play value of the slot.
Hard to hit free spins
My biggest gripe is that 150 free spins are advertised but hitting more than 15 or 25 free spins during the Smash Bonus is very tough. And that comes after the free spins bonus being very hard to hit in the base game too.
Cash prize offers
I question the value of the cash offers in the Smash Bonus. These are mystery offers and you cannot see them. I doubt you’ll be tempted to take the cash offer unless you hit just 15 free spins, since there’s a 2x multiplier applied to any free spin win.
Graphics & soundtrack 4/5
The presentation of the King Kong slot is excellent. The game works nicely and the musical touches, animations and general feel of the game captures the drama of the film very well indeed.
Originality & creativity 4/5
Although this is common 5×3 reel slot with 25 paylines, this is a relatively original slot. The way animations are used, the two bonus features, plus the gamble feature mean there’s certainly more here than you’d find in a standard five reel game.
Play value 2/5
The one downside to the slot is its high variance. Big wins take time and patience to hit, and in the meantime you have to put up with lots of low value wins, many of which don’t cover the cost of your initial stake.
Jackpot potential 3/5
An individual payline jackpot of 7,500 coins is a decent amount to be won, especially when you can gamble that up. You can win considerably more than this in a free spins round, especially if you get lucky and hit a higher number of free spins.
Repeat play 3/5
Although this can be an expensive slot to play at times, there is enough atmosphere and enough features in the bonus sections to keep players coming back for at least a few more spins.
Total score: 16/25
King Kong may be an older slot but this is one ape that packs a punch. The bonus features are enjoyable, and there’s some big rewards awaiting in free spins. Just know that patience and good bankroll management is essential to get the best out of this slot.