5 Families: Overview
’As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster‘, so said tough guy Henry Hill in the film Goodfellas. In Red Tiger’s mafia themed slot 5 Families, players get a chance to live out some of those mob fantasies. Despite all the violent crime, The Mafia is one of those topics that has a perennial hold on our imagination repeatedly showing up in books, tv shows, and films. Red Tiger has captured some of the spirit, yet 5 Families turns out to be a sparse experience, lacking much in the way of depth, excitement, or potential.
The game starts quite well, thanks to the smoky, opulent setting, all plush chairs and candlelight. This is a place for those who have worked their way up the crime ladder to relax and play a few hands of high stakes card games. The laid back music is cosy at first, nicely complementing the lux environment. After a while, the soundtrack does drag on the eyelids though. It turns into an assault on your concentration and motivation levels, not helped by the low key gameplay. Still, from a visual standpoint, Red Tiger slots are typically lookers and 5 Families is no exception to the rule.
Playable from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin, the action takes place on a classic 5-reel, 10-payline grid. Not uncommon from Red Tiger nowadays, RTP is down slightly on 95.69%, which doesn’t help the cause, while volatility sits in the medium range. Hardcore gamblers will find little to get excited about over the math model. Indeed, there is little about the whole game to get too enthused over.
Like the rest of the game, the symbols are well-drawn, capturing the dapper side of the Mafia theme. There are nine symbols used in 5 Families, period. All are pay symbols, there are no wilds or scatters around here.
The four low pays are mob paraphernalia such as pistols and papers, bullets and liquor, casino chips, and a suitcase full of dollar bills. In the base game, five of the low pays on a line are worth 1 to 2.5 times the stake. On to the high pays which are a who’s who of real and fictional mob characters. There are five of them in total, including a Junior Soprano and an Al Capone lookalike. This lot of toughs are worth from 6 to 20 times the total bet for a line of five.
5 Families: Features
The name of the game around here is simplicity, meaning the base game is uncluttered by many features. In fact, there is just one extra to be aware of – the VIP Room feature.
Whenever a winner lands, a bullet is added to a revolver’s chamber sitting above the reels. When a non-winning spin hits, the bullets are removed. However, if you get 5 consecutive wins and fill the chamber with bullets, then the VIP Room feature is activated.
When spinning in the VIP room, all winning combinations have their values multiplied by 5. This means the premium symbols are now worth 30 to 100x for a line of five. The feature does not come with a set number of spins. Instead, if 5 non-winning spins occur, players are ejected from the VIP Room back to the main game.
5 Families: Verdict
5 Families comes off as one of those filler slots that rolls easily from the Red Tiger production line in between their more superior gambling machines. During testing, there were times when 5 Families felt a little half-finished. What it does do is alright, there just isn’t enough of it to hold much long term interest.
5 Families looks good, there no doubts in that regard. Red Tiger can’t help but make an attractive game, but it’s all a bit thin. No wilds or scatters, plus a so-so bonus game makes 5 Families feel incomplete. It’s as if Tony Soprano was the project manager who didn’t like the way the game was heading so he whacked the team and sent the game out half baked.
Other than players who simply cannot get enough of Mob movies, it’s hard to think who else to recommend 5 Families to. Okay, the aim is straight forward gaming, but the snail’s pace can be a real killer, not to mention tediously repetitive. After a while, even the music doesn’t help.
The track would go down well in a speakeasy while taking your time over an expensive whisky or savouring the smoke from a hundred dollar chubby. But because there is little other excitement, the plinking piano piece is in constant danger of sending players off to sleep. Don’t count on the potential to stay motivated either. The game maxes out at 1,000 times the stake per spin during the bonus, which isn’t terrible, but probably won’t get too many hearts racing as it’s more of a ‘win collector’ game rather than one which hits fast and hard.
Initially, fans of Red Tiger will be drawn in by the good looks and interesting theme. Unfortunately, there is little beyond that to hold any long term attention. If 5 Families worked for the Mob, it’d be an associate who hasn’t been made yet. A grunt who smashes open parking meters for small change to help make up their captain’s quota.