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At the intersection of Joe’s Apartment and Alvin & The Chipmunks sits Ned and His Friends, a video slot game designed by Betsoft. The game’s apartment is not only home to the goony Ned, but a quintet of doo-wop singing rats that frighten the dope’s girlfriend.
Drained of all color except shades of brown, the visual design is consistent throughout and the animation during wins and features is excellent. Unfortunately the sound scheme is nearly unbearable as high-pitched singing cuts in and out abruptly over and over again on every spin. Add to that Ned’s whining and persistent hand rubbing, and a player can’t be blamed if he or she clicks away within minutes. Thus the game is recommended with its sound switched off.
Ned and His Friends slot is a five-reel slot machine online available in paid and free modes for desktop and mobile devices.
The slot’s gameplay should be familiar to anyone who has played contemporary video slots. Bets are customizable in three aspects. “Choose Coin” sets the credit value from .02 to .50. “Bet Per Line” changes the bet and win multiplier. And “Select Lines” lets one choose up to 30 paylines.
“Spin” starts individual plays, while “Max Bet Spin” sets the per line bet to five and spins the reels with one click. The “Autoplay” button, which allows between five and 100 automatic spins, is oddly stashed at the top of the screen, perhaps due to space limitations at the bottom.
“View Plays” leads to game information and paytable screens. Use of the “Sound Off” button is highly encouraged.
Five of the game’s seven regular symbols are of rats, four of which look nearly identical. Though the winning animation sets the four apart, results from spins can get confusing because the symbols look so similar. Meanwhile, the white rat symbol can be easily confused with one of the feature symbols, increasing the amount of unnecessary disorientation. The names of these rodents are only revealed for a moment during one of the feature games.
Of all the standard symbols, the apartment door pays the least. The four different brown rats pay increasing middling amounts. The white rat (Sweat Pea?) pays more than the brown ones. Ned’s symbol pays the most.
Wins are activated when a game-specified amount of consecutive matching symbols align from left to right, starting from the first reel, on a played payline.
Ned and His Friends includes three well-paying features, each triggered by its own scatter symbol.
Three or more Singing Rats symbols starts the free spin game. The five rats come out and serenade(?) the player while a minimum of five free spins play out. Additional free spins can be won during this bonus game.
Three or more Girlfriend symbols initiates the Ratty Doo-Wop game. The unnamed Girlfriend passes out on the floor when she sees a rat. Then the player is invited to choose one of the five rats to sing a solo, then the vermin warble until she wakes. A payout is rewarded to the player for suffering through it.
When three or more Rat Tail scatters appear, the Click Me feature pops up. It’s as simple as clicking one of the three symbols for a prize. (During my 300 test spins, I found this to be the most frequent and lucrative of the features.)
Setting aside the awful soundtrack and all things Ned, this slot game can be quite fun. The small regular payouts roll in frequently. Feature games are scarce but pay well once they arrive. And the mouse animation is good throughout, especially during the Big Winner screen.
The key to the game is shutting the sound off, which is silly for a game based around singing. But with the good visuals, easy play and generous feature games, slot players both new and experienced will find plenty to like about Ned and His Friends.