Electric Avenue: Overview
Another day, another slot from All41Studios and the first question that springs to mind is ‘what have they copied this time?’ It feels bad to say that, but with their track record of ripping off features and gameplay from other well-known slots, it’s kind of hard not to.
Partnered with Microgaming, All41Studios has seemingly fallen into a rut, a writer’s block if you will. The last few releases have been built around elements that are strangely familiar and that trend continues with Electric Avenue, a neon powered trip back to the 80s that borrows more than just inspiration from another popular neon slot. We’ll get to that bit shortly, but first, wrap on some pastel shades, and prepare to be dazzled by more brazen replication from one of the most desperate developers in town.
Let’s start on a positive note with a setting that feels like Miami’s South Beach with all the Art Deco styling and palm trees. The time of day is late afternoon going into evening, and the town is coming to life as party people head out onto the streets to make merry. It’s an enticing setup and gets things going on the right foot.
Utilising a 6-reel, 4-row layout, the game makes use of a popular 4,096 win-all-ways system which means you don’t need to keep track of any paylines as such. Neon reigns supreme here and lights up the low pay symbols – spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds. The rest of the paytable keeps the 80s theme rolling with a soda can, pink shutter shades, a Rubik’s cube, hi-top shoes, and a polaroid camera. The top symbol is the ghetto blaster which blasts out wins of 50 times the stake for a line of six.
Other key stats and figures start with selecting bets which range from 20 p/c on the lower end, up to £/€30 for the higher rollers. Other gnarly figures include an RTP on the sunny side of average at 96.37% and volatility set on high. The hit rate is also rather good at 25.7%. All looking quite good so far.
As mentioned, there are no paylines as such. Symbols can land in any row which produces 4,096 ways to win. Wilds come in handy here and appear on the middle four reels to substitute for any other pay symbol. Wilds take up the full reel and may come attached with a multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x respectively.
One thing to keep in mind is that despite covering a full reel, an expanded wild acts as a single symbol. Also, more than one wild can land at once, but a maximum of 2 can have multipliers at the same time. That wraps up the main game – now for the familiar features to do their thing.
Electric Avenue: Features
In the developer’s words, things heat up with the free spins selection. The DeLorean is the scatter and when 3, 4, 5, or 6 land they award 2x, 5x, 10x, and 20x the stake. They also trigger the Free Spins selection where players get to pick one of two options – Electric Free Spins or Neon Free Spins.
Electric Free Spins start with 7 spins and includes Power Wilds. Before kicking off, one symbol is selected at random. If it lands on the central four reels it’s transformed into a Power Wild and becomes locked in place for the duration of the feature. If a reel becomes filled with Power Wilds, then 3 more free spins are awarded.
Neon Free Spins, meanwhile, comes with 10 free spins to begin with and is all about the Wild Wheel. The Wild Wheel can appear on reels 2, 3, 4 or 5. When it does, it spins to reveal a random multiplier of 11x, 22x, 33x, 44x, or 55x. On average, the Wild Wheel should drop every 2 free spins or so. Scatters are part of this bonus option too, and 3 or more in view retrigger the feature.
Electric Avenue: Verdict
Once again, All41Studios has reached into another developer’s bag of tricks and pulled out the features they liked to power up one of their games. This time, they’ve shamelessly violated Big Time Gaming’s iconic Danger! High Voltage slot. Fair dues, imitating ideas is nothing new in slots; it happens fairly regularly to greater and lesser extents.
The weird thing about All41Studios is how often and how blatant it is. Once or twice and you could kind of look the other way, maybe. But this seems to happen with every release now and it has passed from being funny to concerning.
Despite the pillaging, is the game worth playing? Well, it has its finer points to be sure. Obviously, features are good since they’ve been cloned from a popular game. Though the Neon Free Spins option has 5 fewer spins than the High Voltage option does and the multiplier maxes out at 55x rather than 66x. Both the volatility and potential is lower than the original. And there is the paradox that lies at the heart of Electric Avenue. If you are going to copy another game, surely you’d want it to offer more, rather than less?
Ah well, Electric Avenue is a decent looking slot that is heavy on the 80s atmosphere and quite well made. Once again, All41Studios prove they’ve got the technical and visual skills to put together a decent game, so why they feel the need to systematically rip-off other ideas continues to baffle.