When it comes to televised science-fiction programming in the last decade, nothing has gained the kind of critical acclaim and love from fans as Battlestar Galactica. The 2004 re-imagining of the original 1978 television show had a gritty, realistic feel, compelling storylines, and incredible production values – not to mention a great cast, including Edward James Olmos as Commander Bill Adama and Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin.
With such a dynamic and well-regarded property as Battlestar Galactica, it was only a matter of time before someone developed an online slot game based on the franchise. Sure enough, Microgaming landed the contract to produce such a game, and the Battlestar Galactica pokie is the result.
With an incredible number of special features, game modes, and rich media content lifted directly from the television series, the Battlestar Galactica poker machine is one that every fan of the show must play – and one that even those who have never seen it should enjoy as well.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? This is a 243 ways slot game, which means there are no traditional paylines. Symbols simply have to fall on adjacent reels to form a winning combination – they don’t have to join up in specific patterns. Thus, with five reels and three rows, we get 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 243 possible wins.
This setup also means we don’t need to select how many bet lines to cover per spin, as we automatically play for every possible payout on the board. We can still choose the coin size and how many to bet per turn, however, with denominations ranging from 0.01 to 0.05 and a maximum wager of 10 coins.
In cash terms, real money betting on the Battlestar Galactica online pokie ranges from $0.30 up to $15.00. This makes it suitable for most appetites, with the exception of hi-stakes slot players who are looking to bet upwards of $100 per spin. But even high limit bettors may be tempted by the phenomenal spread of gameplay features on offer here.
We can’t think of many online slot machines that come close to Battlestar Galactica for innovation and feature-rich intensity. Many of the special modes and rewards here are completely unique, harnessing the superb graphic quality and sci-fi motifs of the 2004 television series for a dazzling interactive gaming experience.
There are three states of play that can occur in the base game:
Normal – As you may have surmised, this is the default setting. Wilds appear only on the first reel, and three or more Viper scatters gets you 15 free spins with a 3x multiplier.
Run – This is where things get interesting. Run Mode is activated at random and allows you to make paying combinations not only from left to right, but from right to left as well. Look out for the FTL symbol on the centre reel, as it will transform all standard poker symbols into mystery panels with big bonus payouts.
Fight – This feature occurs only during Run Mode and can turn any random symbol into a wild at any time. It also introduces split wilds, which can separate into two panels to create more winning combos. Land three or more scatter symbols in Fight Mode to activate five free spins.
This is really cool. The more money you wager on the Battlestar Galactica slot game, the more ranking points you earn. Once the blue Experience Bar at the bottom of the screen has extended all the way to the right, you jump up another military rank. Every time you level up, you unlock new media content and gameplay perks – including video clips from the TV show, which will play whenever you hit a winner with the character symbols.
What’s great about Career Mode is that it saves your progress every time you log out. So whenever you are playing real cash pokies online at Royal Vegas and you load up Battlestar, you pick up exactly where you left off last time. This feature brings a level of interactivity and incentive that we have rarely seen before in Internet pokie games – and we love it.
This is another randomly activated sequence which can crop up at any time in Normal Mode. Ion Storm turns up to five reels wild, whereas usually the stacked wild feature only appears in the first column. Because wilds substitute for any other symbol (except the scatter), spreading them across every reel creates a plethora of new payout possibilities.
There are four types of paying symbols in the Battlestar real cash slot game: wilds, scatters, characters, and standard poker icons. Each unique symbol can produce payouts when you land three or more on consecutive reels – except the wild feature, which pays when you get two or more. The graphics below correspond to a maximum bet of $15 per spin.
|Viper scatter symbol – pays from any position||Wild symbol – substitutes for all others except Viper|
There’s not much we can say against the Battlestar Galactica virtual pokie game. The onscreen animation is flawless, the media sequences add a real sense of narrative to the gameplay, and the special features are astounding in their innovation and execution.
There is always room for improvement, of course. As with many licensed slot games, the payouts and bet sizes are rather modest compared to the richest video pokies out there. Also, it is a shame that you cannot retrigger the free spins, and it would have been nice to see an increasing multiplier in the bonus round.
But we are grasping at straws here. On the whole, Microgaming has knocked this one out of the park. It doesn’t matter if you have never seen the cult TV show, or if you don’t have much time for science fiction in general – the Battlestar Galactica real money slot machine is a must-play for all Australian pokies lovers.