3 Devils Pinball: Slot Overview
It might be strange to know that Pinball machines – those seemingly innocuous devices which nowadays darken the corners of hipster cafes or retro bars – were once forbidden to play. In the past, pinball machines weren’t seen as so innocent, and were illegal in much of the USA. For instance, New York banned the devices in 1940, resulting in a posse of policemen smashing them with sledgehammers then tossing them in the river.
In 1976, the ban was lifted after they were shown to be games of skill as much as chance. After their heyday in the late 70s/80s, pinball machines were cast aside in favour of arcade games, proving much more profitable for business owners. Now, thanks to Microgaming partner Crazy Tooth Studio, players get a hybrid of all of these things. A pinball themed slot with a video game element which is completely chance-based.
3 Devils Pinball, as its been named, is a 6-reel, 25-payline slot full of paddles, flames, devils, and panning camera views. It might sound a little dark, but the studio has gone for a lighter look, inspired by the run & gun action game Cuphead’s 1930s vibe. Visuals are interesting, and the animated transition from base to bonus game reinforces the feel of playing a physical pinball machine. The music’s nice too, a jazzy number to get you wiggling while hoping for the balls to run your way.
Players can be pinball wizards on any device by selecting bets from 20 p/c to £/€50 per spin. Mathematically, the game is slanted towards a laid back gambling mind-set, offering medium volatility and relatively modest potential. It’s the kind of game where the bonus features trigger often, yet are limited in what they achieve. In saying so, a generous RTP of 96.7% rounds the experience off in the long run, but it’s not a game with a high thrill factor.
Wins occur when three or more matching symbols land adjacently to each other. Combinations can start on any reel, as long as they line up on one of the 25 paylines in the base game. The symbols are a little annoying, mainly because they have similar values and worthless bumper tiles keep getting in the way of making wins. On the low side are pink, blue, orange, and green flames worth 0.75x the bet, then a pitchfork plus a green and a blue devil as the mids worth 1x the stake for six of a kind. The most lucrative is the big-eyed smiling devil worth 2.5x the bet for a line of six.
Lastly in this section is the wild symbols which substitute for regular pays to complete a win. There is standard wild as well as x2 multiplier wilds; the latter lot appear on reels 2, 3, or 4. If more than one multiplier is used in a win, each one multiplies the value by x2.
3 Devils Pinball: Slot Features
There might be 3 devils in the title, but just two extra features padding out the game. One is a random Pinball feature; the other is the triggered 3 Devils Bonus round – both using Crazy Tooth’s Power Path mechanic.
Any spin can trigger the Pinball feature. After a short animation, the grid is expanded up to 8 rows in height, using 50 paylines instead of the normal 25. Then, balls are fired into the game arena, rolling around the top of the table and knocked onto the reels. The ball’s path across them turns symbols into wilds or x2 wilds. When no more balls appear, whatever remains on the grid is evaluated.
The second feature, the 3 Devil’s Bonus, is triggered when 3 scatter symbols are in view. The bonus comes with 4 rounds, serving up 4, 3, 2, and then 1 Power Path. At the start of each round, the 6×8 game board is covered in cash prizes or bumpers. A random Power Path is selected, and a ball travels along it across collecting prizes. Hitting a bumper may multiply the collected prizes by up to x5.
3 Devils Pinball: Slot Verdict
We’ve come to expect something a little different with each Crazy Tooth release, and 3 Devils Pinball doesn’t disappoint in that regard. It’s not quite so out there or original as others they’ve released though. The game blurb describing 3 Devils Pinball as a ‘red hot slot gaming experience like none other‘ is a little misleading since it’s simply a clone of one of their earlier games called Queen of the Crystal Rays. Every feature, symbol value, and stat is bang on the same. The difference is the decorative layer, which okay, is a bit unusual.
3 Devils Pinball isn’t exactly an intense emotionally charged monster of a game aimed at dedicated gamblers, quite the opposite. It’s more of a chilled, atmospheric mix of old cartoons like Steamboat Willy or Silly Symphonies Skeleton Dance with a Betty Boop devil sort of thing. In short, it has character, so those who enjoy the oddball factor Crazy Tooth brings won’t be let down.
What it doesn’t bring is a whole lot of potential or big thrilling wins. Potential tops out at 2,597 times the bet, yet even that seems a bit of stretch. The problem is payouts aren’t worth much. For example, most of the prizes on the grid during the 3 Devil’s Bonus are 5c each (betting €1), so you might get a Power Path adding up to 0.5x the bet, or less. It is possible to find bigger prizes on there, plus multipliers, yet the bonus games failed to produce anything noteworthy.
To sum up, 3 Devil’s Pinball is another oddity that some niche segment of the market will lap up. Other players might be curious to see what the studio has rolled out of left field this time, but what it does probably won’t keep them hanging around for long.