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Comic book-styled slots are relatively rare. Arguably the most famous of this type of slot was the Jack Hammer series of games which combined the comic elements of the storytelling narrative with a hugely enjoyable slot to play. Now NetEnt has come up with their own game in a similar style called Wild Wild West The Great Train Heist.
Available on mobile, tablet and desktop, this is a game that has all the usual high production values you have come to expect with a NetEnt slot, combined with a host of exciting features to ensure that you get more than you bargained for when you get the reels spinning. So is this a comic book slot that is a (awful pun alert) ‘reel page turner’ or does this Wild West-themed slot suffer from damp gunpowder and a lack of spark? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Overview: Wild Wild West The Great Train Heist
The basic set up of the Wild Wild West slot (as I’ll refer to it now rather than it’s cumbersome full name) is that it is a 5×3 reel game with just 10 paylines in operation. Like most NetEnt slots, the number of paylines is not selectable. You can increase the Coin Value and the Level Number to increase the value of your bet from a minimum bet of $.10 up to $100 per spin.
In general, the premise behind the slot is that you are one of a team of Wild West railroad hustlers who want to hold up a train and steal its loot. The slot is set against a typical Wild West backdrop. It’s a desert with cacti in the foreground and in the distance you can occasionally see your target train running along the railroad tracks. The game also boasts a number of exciting features. These include free spins, a pick-me game and a number of different Wild bonuses available during the free spins round.
Who will the Wild Wild West slot appeal to?
If you liked the style of the Jack Hammer series of slots, then there’s no doubt that this comic book-style works very well with slots. The Wild Wild West is, if anything, even more polished than the Jack Hammer game. It offers equally as enticing a game and a number of excellent bonus features which will certainly help encourage slot players who enjoy these features alongside a solid base game to play.
The Wild West theme is also a good one. And the fact that it has been so well presented means that fans of this genre of film will also be interested. The music has undertones of classic Sergio Leoni spaghetti Westerns of the past but also some of Quentin Tarantino’s films based on the same era. In truth though, Wild Wild West packs so much in that almost any type of slot player will find plenty to enjoy.
Gameplay: Wild Wild West
Once you’ve selected the size of your wager using the Coin Value (from $0.01 up to $1.00 per coin) and the Level selector (from 1x to 10x the number of coins wagered on a usual spin). Then you are ready to get your teeth into the slot. The first thing that will strike you is the presentation of the slot. It’s in the comic book style but perhaps one of its best features is the animated background and a genuinely iconic sounding soundtrack which captures the mood and atmosphere of the slot perfectly.
The Spin button is the rotating gun barrel in the center of the screen. Clicking on this gets the reels spinning. You have a selection of lower value symbols on the reels. These are the four playing card symbols, clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds. These offer wins of up to 100 coins when landed five on one of the paylines.
There are also four higher value symbols on the reels. These are the members of the gang who will attempt to rob the train. They are the young kid, the knifeman, the cowboy with the eyepatch and lastly, the sizzling sexy cowgirl. She’s the highest paying standard symbol, offering 500 coins for five on a payline.
During the base game there are also a number of different colored Wilds on the reels. In this phase of the slot these symbols serve as standard Wild symbols substituting for high and low value symbols to create additional paylines. You can also land five of the purple standard Wilds on a payline and you’ll earn 500 coins for that.
The base game rattles along quite nicely and there are a nice mix of wins you can trigger with some lower value and the occasional bigger win. However, it’s once you start to trigger the two main feature bonus games of the slot that things start to get more interesting and some of the higher value wins are possible.
The first bonus is the Pick and Click feature. This is triggered when you land one of the three bonus symbols, the Golden Safe, on the first, third and fifth reels. When you do the reels will freeze in place. You then get to select one of the three safes to crack open. Once you select a safe, a cash prize is revealed (and the other cash prizes from the other two safes are revealed too). You can win from 5x up to 50x your total stake on this bonus feature.
For better value the Free Spins bonus round is your best option. While it does take a little patience to trigger, it’s worth it. Land three or more of the ‘7’ Scatter symbols anywhere across the reels and you trigger 10 free spins (for three scatters), 20 free spins for four or 30 free spins for five.
During Free Spins another bonus kicks in, which is four wild features. These are the regular Wild, Expanding Wilds, 2x Multiplier Wilds and Spreading Wilds. On each spin one of these features is randomly activated to give you a greater chance of landing a bigger value win.
Special Features: Wild Wild West
Pick and Click bonus
Land three safes on the 1st, 3rd and 5th reels on any spin and you activate the Pick and Click bonus where you select a safe from the three shown to reveal a cash prize of between 5x and 50 times your total stake.
Land three to five scatters on the reels to land between 10 and 30 free spins in the bonus round. You can retrigger respins from within the bonus once. During Free Spins you will also have the benefit of one Wild bonus guaranteed on the reels.
The base game has a standard Wild which operates in the usual fashion, however during free spins there are four different Wilds possible and on each free spin at least one of these Wilds will be activated on the spin and will land on the reels to trigger that feature and potentially lead to bigger wins.
The presentation on the Wild Wild West The Great Train Heist slot is absolutely first class. The comic-book styling works very well with slot games. Add to that a fantastic soundtrack that is perfectly suited to the game and clever use of symbols and animations on the reels and background and you get a fabulous all-around experience.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the slot is that you do tend to win relatively frequently when playing. While most of these wins tend to be small and around the same amount as your total stake, you can hit some bigger value wins which boosts the play value of the slot considerably. The Bonus features are where it is easier to hit some of the bigger value wins.
Pick and Click bonus
This bonus is relatively easy to trigger and you can win up to 50 times your stake playing it. That is a decent amount of money if you are playing for say $1 per spin, but it offers a fabulous return for higher rollers playing at the higher amounts.
The main issue with the Wild Wild West slot is that there are only 10 paylines in operation and if you are used to playing slots with more paylines then there are a number of times the symbols will line up and you think you have triggered a win, only to find out that the symbols although matching are not on one of the paylines.
Free Spins hard to hit
The Free Spins round is the most lucrative in the game but it can be fiendishly difficult to hit even with just a relatively small number of symbols on the reels and playing the base game constantly to trigger it can be frustrating at times. Especially when the slot starts to play a little more tightly.
Five of a Kind wins
There’s a massive step up in value from three and four of a kind wins to the five of a kind and really, you are only going to make money in the base game by hitting five of a kind across the reels and that is a rare event sadly.
Graphics & soundtrack 5/5
I love how the Wild Wild West The Great Train Heist slot looks and plays. The animations and graphics are superb and the musical background is absolutely bang on the money. This is a great example of how to present a modern-styled slot game, even if it is based on an older theme.
Originality & creativity 3/5
There are creative aspects to the slot. I think the two bonus games are good fun and the way you use the Wilds in the free spins round is great. However, there’s nothing truly groundbreaking in the slot and while everything performs well, there isn’t anything startlingly original.
Play value 4/5
This is a slot that offers decent play value. I’ve played several sessions now and almost every time I have come out about even, or just with a small loss, or a small profit. Over time, I think this is one of the more beneficent slots that you can play.
Jackpot potential 2/5
The jackpot is only around 500 times your stake, which isn’t a huge amount but it still offers a decent amount to be won. The Wild Wild West slot isn’t about massive jackpots, but a solid and enjoyable base game that offers consistent rewards.
Repeat play 5/5
This is certainly one of the most enjoyable slots I’ve played in a while with a great mix of win sizes, superb gameplay and fantastic presentation. This will go straight to the top of your must play list once you’ve tried it.
Total score: 19/25
Wild Wild West The Great Train Heist is a fantastic slot. It would have been lovely to have had a few more paylines and perhaps a bigger jackpot but don’t let that spoil your enjoyment of a fantastically presented slot with some outstanding bonus features to play through and a great mix of wins.