The War of the Worlds

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When English author H.G. Wells penned his science fiction novel entitled “The War of the Worlds” in 1898, little did he know how many different ways in which it would be adapted. One of the most memorable was the 1938 radio broadcast directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, which sent off a ripple of panic among listeners who thought an actual Martian invasion was under way.

A film version of “The War of the Worlds” starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson was released in 1958, followed by remakes in 1981 and 2005. In 2008, an unsuccessful sequel to the latter version came out on DVD, and four years later a local production called “War of the Worlds – Goliath 3D” debuted in Malaysian cinemas. Video games based upon the story appeared in 1984, 1998 and 1999.

One of the more novel adaptations of Wells work was Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, a concept album released in 1978. It was eventually staged as a live show in London, performed at Wembley Arena in 2006, and it was this version that gave Ash Gaming the idea to develop “The War of the Worlds” as a 5-reel, 100-payline slot game for online casinos in 2011.

The War of the Worlds slot game has four positions on each reel, making for 20 positions in total. The 100 paylines are always active, so at £0.01 per line, the minimum wager is £1.00. At the upper end of the betting scale, the maximum bet per line is £1, allowing for a limit of £100 on the total wager. The amount bet can be adjusted by using the “Stake Up” and “Stake Down” buttons in the middle of the control panel immediately below the reels.

The symbols on the reels are divided into three basic groups. There are four card symbols on black backgrounds, Jacks through Aces, worth line multipliers from 10X to 60X when three or more appear matched on an active payline. Symbols in circles include the Narrator, Observatory, Ray Gun and Space Ship, for which three or more of the symbols aligned pay from 20X to 120X, while the four battle scenes can fetch a bounty of 50X to 5000X, with the Fighting Machine being the ranking symbol of them all.

The game’s Logo icon is “Wild” and substitutes for any of the symbols except the Invader Bonus Scatter in order to form a winning combination. However, the Wild is not a pay icon itself, meaning there is no payout associated with getting multiple Wilds on a payline. On the other hand, whenever two Wilds appear on the same reel, they expand to fill all four positions, thus making the entire reel Wild.

Catching three Invader Bonus Scatters initiates the Fight Machines Bonus. The player must command cannons to defend mankind against the Martians. The first attack is on Horsell Common. Cannons can be operated manually or using “Auto Fire.” Each fighting Machine hit/destroyed is worth a cash bonus. Surviving the attack with all cannons intact opens up the next battle, in London, where bigger prizes can be won. Again, surviving that attack leads to a third and final battle on the Coast. Surviving all three battles wins a 500X “Survivor Bonus.”

The War of the Worlds slot game has an “Autoplay” option located at the bottom the screen below the fifth reel. Clicking on it reveals a pop-up menu with selections for 5~25 automated spins. After the desired number has been chosen, click on play to start the spins. Click on “Stop Autoplay” at any time to return to manual play mode.

Apart from the excitement of the Bonus feature, the music and audio effects for The War of the Words are nothing short of spectacular, employing a full-size orchestra and eerie Moog synthesizer sounds. The reel action is smooth and the symbols animate when involved in a winning combination, thus making every spin a delight to see.

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