Rocky Reactors, by Big Time Gaming, comes bouncing onto the screen on the heads of bodiless woodland critters. And they’re happiest little heads in slotland. After descending from above, they stack on top of each other, constantly in motion, making faces. When five or more similar heads are adjacent to each other, the faces become filled with glee. Then they explode.
And the player wins money. And more heads tumble down. And more heads pop, while playful music scores the scene. To distract from (or add to) the tableau, every furry face is extra fluffy and the fish gleam in the sun.
So if you can’t stomach yet another 5×3 slot with the same old symbols and features tweaked slightly so the designer can call it “NEW!”, then head on up to the Canadian Rockies. There are some whimsical exploding animal heads waiting for you, in free or paid modes on desktop and mobile devices.
Twenty-five happy heads cascade down into five columns and five rows. The player’s balance and stake totals are displayed at the top of the screen. To the right of the stacks is the jackpot information, win totals and gameplay buttons.
There are no paylines, thus no stake per line buttons. The “Bet” field controls the stake, from 0.25 to 1000.00. “Plays” starts single spins, or drops. “Auto Play” customizes up to 25 automatic drops. The “Pays” button brings up symbol and payout screens.
When five or more heads match either horizontally or vertically they POP, disintegrating into colorful dust, not gore (thankfully?). The missing spaces are then filled with a cascade of new heads, which in turn can create new combinations.
Different Canadian critters deliver particular payouts, with the larger combinations — up to 16 — becoming very lucrative. The beaver and moose appear most frequently and pay the least. The bear and trout pay more, but result in less frequent combinations. The bearded hipster lumberjack has the rarest detonating noggin.
Rocky Reactors has a dearth of special symbols and features. The symbol that functions closest to a wild is the Big Win Cabin. It shows up once in every 50 to 100 drops. When it lands, it reads “Click Me”. A click reveals a symbol that guarantees a winning combination.
The closest thing to a scatter is the Maple Leaf. Five leaves wins the Mini Jackpot. Six leaves get the Midi Jackpot. The Maxi Jackpot requires seven leaves or more. This sounds easy for a slot with 25 fields, but the leaves are scattered sparsely.
Wins happen often in Rocky Reactors’s drops, but the payouts are usually minor. For instance, in 410 spins run for this review, wins ocurred 51% of the time, but wins greater than the bet happened 18.5% of the time. Wins worth 10x or better landed only 1.2% of the time. Winning fish combinations occurred only twice and the lumberjack lived to see another day.
The returns were slightly better compared to Winstar slot, 87.6% versus 74.9%. But Rocky Reactors has two advantages over a current 5×3 slot, like Winstar. First, is Rocky’s unique gameplay. It looks different and plays out distinctively. Its weirdness works as an antidote for the slot world’s boring sameness. Secondly, the cascade drops make the game more exciting. Win drops (or spins) last longer and build to an unknown point, increasing anticipation. If a player considers what he or she gets for his or her money, other than an opportunity to win, the answer is an experience. Rocky Reactor delivers that better than most slots.
The peculiarity and cuteness factors might be obstacles for some. Hearing a collective disembodied “Yippee!” from a collective of disembodied heads might be one kink too much for some players, or exactly enough for others. Where you sit in that debate may determine how long you’ll play Rocky Reactors.