Arrival by Betsoft Gaming

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The extensive sequence preceding Arrival, a Betsoft casino game, promises B-movie science fiction excitement. Sure enough, it delivers aliens and robots, but as in many cheap sci-fi flicks, Arrival is a spill of unformed, inconsistent ideas. Players are recommended to skip the game’s big preface and get right to spinning for the best experience.

The Arrival slot game is available in free and paid modes on desktop and mobile platforms. Mobile device gameplay is preferred, while on desktops the graphics look like they’ve been down-converted to VHS and projected onto a greasy screen.


Explosions! Confusion!

The opening movie introduces two Galactic Police who get into a shootout with Zarpon, an alien. Zarpon kidnaps the policewoman, then her partner boards the alien ship to rescue her. This concludes with a cliffhanger and switches from third-person to second (“Do you have it in you…”) to make the player feel brave enough to……click “Spin” repeatedly?

The producers of this intro don’t seem to have spoken with the creators of the slot. The “Galactic Police” from the movie are called “Space Marines” in the game, while Zarpon now only goes by The Brain. Then nothing in the slot has anything to do with the movie’s plot aside from the rare Bonus Round, leaving all the work that went into the preface for naught.


On Board

The game takes place on Zarpon’s (née The Brain’s) ship. The symbols spin on a five-reel three-row slot, resulting in 30 paylines. The bet is adjustable using the large “Choose Coin”, “Bet Per Line” and “Select Lines” fields. “Spin” and “Max Bet Spin” trigger individual plays.

Overseeing the action is an animated Zarpon, who appears to have been lifted wholesale from Mars Attacks (most obvious during the Big Win animation). Zarpon’s actions don’t make much sense, as he taunts you (“Nyeh!”) during wins and stays quiet during losses. Shouldn’t it be the reverse?

The top of the screen holds the three most important buttons. First, there’s “View Pays” which leads to payline and information screens. “Autoplay” sets automatic spins up to 100. Finally, there’s “Sound Off” which mercifully dumps the auditory garbage that is Zarpon.


Symbols in Space!

Betsoft’s Arrival casino game does away with playing card symbols, using only sci-fi imagery instead. The regular symbols are, in order of increasing value:

  • Target hologram
  • Exploding robot
  • Space Marine badge
  • Ringed planet
  • UFO
  • Zarpon’s robot
  • Pink sidekick
  • Male Marine

Wins occur when corresponding symbols align consecutively from left to right, starting from the first reel, on a payline.

Though Arrival doesn’t have a wild symbol, it does include three scatters which initiate separate features.


Features!

Three or more scattered Zarpons starts the Abduction Wild Reel. A UFO zaps one of the five reels, turning it into a stacked wild for five free spins. This feature proves most lucrative when the first reel is wild.

When three or more ray guns appear, the UFO Click Me feature starts. The perfectly-named game requires the player to click UFOs for prizes.

The big Bonus Round begins when three or more Woman Marine symbols appear on the reels. Here one can free the abductee by playing a nonsense button pressing game against Zarpon. Once the correct buttons are pressed the unhurt Marine falls painfully to the floor. And though she is rescued, and the plot complete, the game continues unchanged.


Making Zarpon Pay

Despite incongruous plotting, flawed theme and ugly graphics, Arrival can be a joy to play (with the sound off). Wins are frequent, though frequently low. But when all lines are played, the payouts do add up well. The feature games are very infrequent, but are usually fruitful.

Once one ignores the sound and fury, the gameplay is easy to learn, so new players can get started without trouble. But it’s a gaming style similar to many Betsoft slots, so there are better options out there for everyone. Seasoned players may tire of the game if it takes hundreds of spins to get a feature (as it did for me), turning Arrival into a departure.

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