Slot Pennywise — Game Review
3 Clown Monty
Horror writer Stephen King has quite a lot to answer for. As well as spooking readers for decades with his best-selling novels, he also bears part of the responsibility for vilifying those painted-faced, red nose-wearing entertainers better known as clowns. Thanks to the shapeshifting monster called Pennywise in ‘It’, clowns are just as likely to provoke a frisson of dread as laughter in response to their comedic antics. Developer Play’n GO’s circus-themed slot 3 Clown Monty largely avoids evoking feelings of dread, but its characters do i12nspire a certain amount of pathos all the same.
Along with the wistful expressions, 3 Clown Monty’s back story manages to pull on a few heartstrings as well. In short, the Clown Show featured here never manages to stay in one town long before being driven away for creeping out kids. On the bright side, the motley crew’s clowning skills might not be up to scratch, but the game packs hefty winning potential. It all takes place on a 5-reel, 3-row game grid, providing 10 fixed paylines to land winning combinations across.
Right away, you can see this circus experience isn’t as extravagant a show as others Play’n GO has put on. This big top experience is a bit more run-down, a touch shabby, as if the participants would rather be at home sucking back cold ones contemplating their glory days than trying to make strangers smile. Deeper psychological emotions swirl beneath the surface of 3 Clown Monty than in similarly themed games like the Golden Ticket range.
Entrance to the show is possible on any device where bets from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin may be set. Clowning might be for kids, but 3 Clown Monty is aimed squarely at motivated gamblers looking to take on a highly volatile (9/10) math model for the chance to win big. As always, be mindful of RTP before tangling with these clowns, which varies from 96.23% at the upper end of the scale to 94.23% or lower, depending on the market.
Wins hit when three or more matching symbols land adjacent to each other from the leftmost reel. There are 9 regular symbols to work with — 4 card suits, then cream pies, clown mobiles, and 3 clown performers. The clowns are considered premium symbols, worth 10 to 50 times the stake for a five-of-a-kind combo. Not sure why you would let a 160kg gorilla in a ruff called Bite-E near kids, but the clowns have roped him in anyway. In the game, Bite-E is the wild symbol, capable of substituting any regular paying symbol, and worth the same as the topmost premium tile.
3 Clown Monty: Slot Features
Bite-E is actually central to much of the special feature action in 3 Clown Monty. The first instance is during the base game when the Multiplier Meter becomes active. When it does, wilds become Multiplier Wilds bearing values of x2 to x25. Any wins the wild is a part of are increased by this amount.
One more symbol to look out for is the scatter, which has no value of its own but lands on any of the five reels — 2 in view triggers the Dealers Choice feature, while 3 or more scatters in view trigger free spins. Dealers Choice either adds another scatter symbol to the reels, or it adds 2 to 6 wilds. If the Multiplier Meter is active, then the extra added wilds can be Multiplier Wilds.
3 or more scatters kick off the bonus round via a pick-me style bonus feature where you win 5 to 12 free spins. During free spins, the Multiplier Meter is always active, and wilds are always Multiplier Wilds.
Play’n GO has also buried another feature within free spins called Monty Spins. Once again, a pick-me feature is triggered when 2 or more scatters are in view, awarding 4 to 9 Monty Spins. In Monty Spins, the active Multiplier Meter is fixed for the duration, and all Multiplier Wilds are sticky. At the end of Monty Spins, there is a chance to win +3 extra Monty Spins or return to regular free spins.
3 Clown Monty: Slot Verdict
Play’n GO’s special free spins within regular free spins concept has been pushed to its limit in 3 Card Monty producing larger than normal results. Play’n GO has a few of these sorts of games under their belt now, with the Russian Doll effect appearing in slots like The Green Knight or Cat Wilde and the Lost Chapter. However, neither of those two games used it as effectively as 3 Clown Monty does. Needless to say, if you can make it all the way to trigger Monty Spins, then there is a good chance a solid return is coming your way.
Until reaching that level, like a few of these simply designed Play’n GO slots we’ve reviewed recently, there can be a fair amount of waiting around during the warm-up act for something to happen. The Multiplier Wild available in the base game is quite a good one though. However, if patience is paired with good fortune, then 3 Clown Monty is capable of blowing right up during free spins – especially if the sticky Multiplier Wild feature comes into play. Nesting of features has been used to good effect in previous Play’n GO slots, yet not quite as good as it can get in 3 Clown Monty, where wins as impressive as 20,000 times the stake are up for grabs.
While the features are not brand spanking new, 3 Clown Monty thrusts them to levels not typically seen from this studio. The theme is a little on the creepy side, and if you fail to get a positive financial result, the morose looks on some of the clown’s faces aren’t exactly conciliatory. However, scoring a good round of Monty Spins or even a decent Bite-E payout in the base game would make even the glummest looking clown crack a smile.
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Rotten: Slot Overview
Out of all the black swan events, one that humanity is possibly best prepared for is the zombie apocalypse. For one, there are tons of weapons lying around we could pick up and use against brain-hungry automatons. For two, thanks to the deluge of movies, books, and tv shows, people, broadly speaking, have a good idea of what tactics may work and what ones won’t. Add it all up, and humanity’s chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse would appear to rank a lot higher than, say, a catastrophic meteor strike.
It’d still be pretty spooky, though, as the shambling horde in the game Rotten from Hacksaw Gaming shows. Rotten is an online slot based around a zombie apocalypse and is located in some of the worst locations to bump into these creatures. For instance, its base game takes place in a freaky fairground; one bonus round is in a crumbling forest, while the other bonus takes place outside a haunted house. In all instances, the game looks exceptionally bleak, dingy, and dangerous, the zombie version of Wanted Dead or a Wild in some ways. On the one hand, you’ve got slots from Hacksaw Gaming like Pug Life; on the complete opposite end of the spectrum oozes a game like Rotten, meaning the studio’s Jekyll and Hyde qualities are alive and kicking, ironic given Rotten’s subject matter.
Another common Hacksaw characteristic in Rotten is its highly volatile math model and selection of RTP models. The highest return is 96.27% when betting regularly at 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin, though when activating one of the four feature buy options, the number changes. Its undead action takes place on a 6-reel, 5-row game panel supplying players with 35 paylines for landing wins along. Wins consist of three to six matching symbols left to right, from the first reel onwards, and have a hit frequency of 33.56% at the highest RTP setting.
10 to ace card ranks are used as Rotten’s low-paying symbols, while its high pays are five chaps who really don’t look overly friendly. Hitting a six-of-a-kind low pay win gets you 2.5 to 7.5 times the stake, while a six premium symbol win awards 15-40x the bet. A stretching hand is the wild symbol, present on all six reels. Wilds substitute for all pay symbols and are worth 50x the bet for a six-of-a-kind wild win.
Rotten: Slot Features
For features, Rotten introduces a mechanic called SwitchSpins, available in the base game and in its two free spins bonus rounds. As well as this, certain players have access to four modes from the feature buy menu.
Landing the Switch symbol activates this feature, awarding 1 to 10 respins. For the respins, symbols are selected and replaced by either the highest paying Pennywise-looking symbol or wilds. Landing a new Switch symbol on a respin adds more symbols to be replaced, as well as additional respins. All selected symbols and the replacing symbol are clearly marked above the game board. After the current SwitchSpins set ends, the selected symbols are reset. If free spins are triggered when SwitchSpins are active, the current set ends before the free spins begin.
Landing 3 Mad Scientist symbols in the base game awards 10 free spins in the Mad Scientist bonus. During this round, there is a greater chance of landing Switch symbols than in the base game.
Landing 3 Total Takeover symbols in the base game or in Mad Scientist awards 10 Total Takeover free spins. These play after Mad Scientist spins have finished if triggered from there. In this round, there’s a greater chance of landing Switch symbols, and selected symbols are saved progressively so they do not reset after SwitchSpins. It is possible to collect all of the symbols, filling the screen with the top paying symbol or wilds. Landing 3 Total Takeover symbols in the feature awards +4 free spins.
If the Buy Bonus button is in view, clicking it lets players pick these feature buy options:
- Bounshunt FeatureSpins – 3x the bet where each spin is 5 times more likely to trigger a bonus game. Volatility is very high, and max RTP is 96.26%.
- Switch FeatureSpins – 20x the bet to guarantee each spin lands a Switch symbol. Extremely volatile with a max RTP of 96.16%.
- Mad Scientist – buy this round for 110x the bet. Highly volatile with a max RTP of 96.26%.
- Total Takeover – buy this feature for 250x the bet. Very highly volatile with a max RTP of 96.26%.
Rotten: Slot Verdict
From the moment Rotten loaded, a heavy moodiness immediately set in, and it was pretty obvious this game was unlikely to be a straight comedy. The blurry, evocative splash screen, a sort of Willian Turner painting for the zombie apocalypse, set the tone for what was to come. And that tone wasn’t anything happy-go-lucky in the slightest. If Canny the Can happened to drop into this place, he wouldn’t last two seconds amongst this undead population. The characters in the game really don’t want to be friends, and at times that’s how Rotten as a whole felt. Hacksaw Gaming has a reputation for making brutally volatile online slots, and Rotten did tend to come across as one of those.
In just about all phases, too, from the base game to FeatureSpins, to free spins. The only time it felt like the merciless brutality would let up was during the Total Takeover round, which was far and away where the most fun occurred. There was a big, wide, deep gulf between Total Takeover and Mad Scientist. In essence, they do the same thing, but progressively collecting symbols to replace when SwitchSpins triggered made a huge difference. Hugely fun at some times too, and where the biggest wins during the review took place. As always, results may vary; just making observations here. To be sure, Total Takeover was volatile as well, from thrilling rounds when a substantial number of symbols were transformed and stacks of retriggers occurred to more punishing sequences of events. Not saying it couldn’t happen elsewhere in Rotten, yet Total Takeover was where it felt the game’s 10,000x the bet max win was most likely to occur. It would be interesting to know what the frequency of triggering that round naturally might be.
At times, Rotten might feel like a battle for survival, not totally unlike running for dear life from animated flesh sacks focused on the end of humanity. There are rewards here, though, and cracking them is just as entertaining as they can be in any Hacksaw Gaming slot, in some ways maybe more, since they’re accompanied by a sensation of not just surviving the onslaught but thriving.