This older 5-reel, 9-line online slot game from MicroGaming has a certain quirky charm. The symbols are a mix of fruits and monsters. There is very little scary about these monsters, who look more cute than ferocious. There is some humour involved too. The scatter symbols are a disembodied brain (with eyes). These are the ‘scatter brains’. You will also find a colourful dragon, snake, disembodied eye and a blue, horned creature on the reels.
As with many first-generation video slots, the game play is relatively simple. You will find scatter wins and wild (substitute) symbols – though no bonus games or free spin. Monster Mania is all about lining up as many of the different creatures as possible, and enjoying the bigger line wins!
You can play this slot with just a single win-line if you wish – though the default number is 9. I recommend staying with all 9. This makes the best use of the wild symbols and gives you more winning opportunities when you spin.
You can change the coin size from just 1c per line and up from there. If you click the ‘expert’ button to the left of the coin size switch, new options will appear that include a configurable auto-play option.
As you would expect, monster symbols will bring you the bigger wins. These are topped by a curious combination of green fur, big eyes and a tongue sticking out. That monster is worth 1000 coins for 5, 500 coins for 4, 50 for 3 and 5 coins for just 2. Keep in mind this is for a 9-coin spin – making the prizes big compared to 25 or 50-line slots.
A grinning and multi-coloured lizard (chameleon) comes next at 900 coins – followed by a blue furry creature with horns at 700. The eye and then the snake / dragon complete the higher paying symbols.
One more monster can be found. This has a wide-open mouth, with the word ‘wild’ inside it. I’m not sure what type of monster this is supposed to be. I am sure that it is a welcome sight, as it substitutes for all of the other regular (non-scatter) symbols to create extra wins. You will sometimes find that strategically placed wilds create wins on more than one line on a single spin.
Fruits instead of playing card symbols make up the smaller, regular wins. These are topped by an apple which has a bite taken out of it. There is also an orange, melon, grapes and bunch of bananas.
Scatter brains pay independently of the win-lines. You collect prizes based on the total number of brain symbols anywhere in view. These are big prizes. The top one for 5 brains is 100x your total spin amount (900 coins). 4 brains get you 50x that amount, and you get 10x your spin for just 3. Unlike on many newer slot games, there is no consolation prize for just 2 scatters in view.
The overall ‘cute’ feel on this slot is increased by the use of sound effects. These are electronic type noises (which sound like they pre-date the PC era). You’ll find different noises for different wins. ‘Boing!’ sounds, laughing and other jingles are all involved.
Graphics are colourful, though basic. Each of the monsters is drawn in cartoon-like way and all of them look happy and / or confused. My favourite is the blue alien with horns. This monster has 2 big teeth and 3 green toes. The scatter brain is also nicely drawn. This one has eyes and mouth underneath.
There is not much room around the reels for extra design-work. The logo sits underneath the reels. It is worth checking out the pay table. Here you will see a montage of all of the monsters in the middle of your screen. Note that pressing ‘spin’ while the pay table is up spins the reels without minimizing the pay table.
I enjoyed this slot despite the lack of bonus features. Key here is the light a quirky feel of the game, amusing sounds and friendly monsters. There are some serious reasons to play, bigger line-wins are possible. You can also enjoy scatter wins and extra hits with the wild symbols. This is a decidedly retro slot – though one which is worth checking out.