Brains brains brains the Zombie Hoard slot moans
Zombies eh? They seem to be all the rage at the moment with the success of TV shows such as the Walking Dead. Add to that the success of the Zombie-themed slot Lost Vegas, one of Microgaming's most innovative games of recent years, and it is unsurprising that Zombies have once again been used as the basis for a new slot theme.
This time it is Slingshot Studios, as part of their exclusive deal with Microgaming, that have put together the slot. It is called Zombie Hoard and as always tends to happen in these things, the Zombies are running amok in the city and you need to keep out of their way otherwise they'll fancy snacking on your brains.
Quite why Zombie's food of choice is the crucial component of the central nervous system has never been explained to me but it seems to be the natural order of things that Zombie's like to eat brains. And the good news in the Zombie Hoard slot is that if you can do a little brain-collecting yourself, you could well end up with up to 30 Free Spins to play through.
So how does this new slot game from Microgaming shape up? Is this the Zombie apocalypse for slots, or can we use our brains to eke a profit out of the five-reel slot? Let's take a closer look and find out.
- Game: Zombie Hoard
- Developer: Slingshot Studios (for Microgaming)
- Reels: 5
- Pay Lines: 9 (non-selectable)
- Minimum Bet: 0.09
- Maximum Bet: 45.00
- Jackpot: 107,500 coins
- Free Spins Bonus: Yes
- Other Bonuses: No
- Progressive: No
- Volatility: Medium
The presentation for the Zombie Hoard slot is somewhat basic. The backdrop to the slots is a city silhouette which is presumably now inhabited only by the denizens of the dark. The reels sit in the middle of the screen and a nice touch is the Zombie arms reaching around the sides, just as if they are trying to come out of the screen and grab you. As such, I feel this is a game that could have worked very well in 3D!
Rather than a truly scary approach, Slingshot have wisely adopted a more cheerful approach to the impending zombie invasion with cheery, quirky music and Zombies that are not particularly terrifying and who, should you land a decent sized win in the base game, will use the hands at the edge of the reels to give you a clap, which is a nice touch.
The main controls are to the right of the reel and Slingshot provide all the information about the slot in their information section, which is extremely useful if you want to find out more about the different aspects of the game and the size of the wins on this 5-reel slot with just the nine pay lines.
What is on the reels?
There are nine standard symbols on the reels as well as the Wild and Scatter symbols. The standard symbols are split into two distinct groups. The lower value symbols are the playing card symbols which run from the ten through to the Ace and which offer a range of wins. All wins start at three symbols or more.
The four higher value symbols are the four different zombies, there's the blue zombie, the green zombie, the orange zombie and the red zombie and these offer a wide range of wins with the five symbol wins of course being the most valuable.
One thing to note is that in addition to these symbols, you may find that you land a small brain symbol overlaid on any symbol on the reels on any spin. These form part of the Free Spins bonus game, which we will explore in more detail below.
The Zombie Hoard logo is the in game Wild and this appears on all of the five reels of the slot and it is the only symbol that is stacked on the reels. You can land the biggest value single line win by landing five of these Wilds across the reels, but with the symbols being stacked, it is possible that you can trigger multiple line wins when you land more than one stack on the reels in particular. Wilds are super-stacked on the third and fourth reels in the base game.
The jackpot of over 107,000 coins is triggered if you can land all five reels completely covered by the Zombie Hoard Wild during Free Spins. The Wild plays a prominent role in the base game and in particular during the Free Spins bonus too.
Free Spins features
One of the nice aspects of the Zombie Hoard slot is that Slingshot Gaming have decided to move away from the somewhat standard mode of Free Spins and instead offer us something slightly different. In Zombie Hoard, at the start of the game you have a Free Spins counter, which starts with 5 Free Spins.
As you play the base game, you can land those overlay brain symbols on any other symbol on the reels on any spin. You can collect these symbols each time they are landed and for every one you land your number of Free Spins increases by one.
You can trigger the Free Spins bonus round in two ways. Firstly, if at any point in the game you land three or more Scatter symbols (which is the larger brain symbol), then you will trigger the amount of Free Spins collected in your counter. Alternatively, if you manage to collect 30 Free Spins in your counter, then the Free Spins bonus triggers automatically when you land that number of Free Spins.
When you play Free Spins a slightly different reel set will load up and each winning spin comes with a 2x multiplier as standard. The main difference in these reels is that the Wild symbol is super-stacked on all five reels during Free Spins, not just the third and fourth reels as in the base game.
Once you play through your Free Spins, your Free Spins counter then resets back to 5 Free Spins and you then restart the base game.
Best feature of the Zombie Hoard slot
There's no doubt that the Free Spins bonus and the fact you can increase the number of Free Spins to play, as well as having two different ways to trigger Free Spins, is the most enjoyable aspect of the game. That said, I also feel that Slingshot Studios should be commended for how they have priced up the different payouts in the game.
Zombie Hoard is a rare slot in that even the lowest value payout, which comes for two Scatter symbols landed, will offer you at least your money back on the spin. Any win other than that will guarantee you a profit on your spin. That really does make the game very appealing and does away with those annoying 'wins' where you still lose money on the spin.
I have to hand it to Slingshot Studios as when I saw the name of their new release, I felt they were going to struggle when compared to the Lost Vegas slot Microgaming produced a few years back, but with Zombie Hoard they have produced a very different game which has its own selling points and a very generous rate of paying out compared to other games.
Add to that stacked Wilds, a sizeable jackpot and a Free Spins element that is certainly one of the best I have seen on a modern slot and I think Microgaming and its customers will be thrilled at this new release.
You can play this fantastic new slot at any of our Mega Moolah casinos.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.