X-Men Slots

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Created by Marvel Comics’ inventive genius Stan Lee, the first X-Men comic book appeared in 1963. Stories in the series focus on a cadre of human mutants with super powers led by brilliant Professor Charles Xavier. Among the dozens of characters assembled on the X-Men team are Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and the Beast, to name a few. Their archenemy is a mutant named Magneto, who leads the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

A television cartoon series based on the comics launched in 1992, and 66 episodes were broadcast through 1997. In 2000, Twentieth Century Fox released “X-Men” on the big screen, starring Patrick Stewart as Xavier and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. It was followed in 2003 by “X2” and then “X-Men: The Last Stand” in 2006. By then, software developer Cryptologic had come out with the first X-Men slot game with five reels and nine paylines, using the original comics as its model.

Even before Playtech signed an agreement with Marvel Entertainment in 2009, production of a fourth movie in the franchise had already begun: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” It did not take long for the new partners to unveil their own X-Men game, with characters resembling the actors that appeared in the earlier films. By the time “X-Men: First Class” came to theaters in 2011, the Playtech version had already overtaken the old Cryptologic one as the standard for “mutant” slots online.

One of the attractions of the Playtech slot is its distinctive “Heroes & Villains” theme. Payouts are won by lining up the “good” symbols for Professor Xavier, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Storm and Cyclops or the “bad” symbols for Magneto, Rogue, Mystique, Sabretooth and Juggernaut. For those less familiar with mutant allegiances and alliances, the backgrounds of the symbols are the giveaway: blue for heroes and red for villains.

In this game, WILD symbols are wild, substituting for all symbols except the X-Men Logo. Five WILDS on an active payline will yield the highest award—10,000 times the amount wagered on the winning payline. Other line payouts range from 4X to 1,500X. Scatter bonuses are paid at 1X, 5X, 25X and 200X for 2, 3, 4 or 5 X-Men Logos, respectively, and free spins are awarded whenever three or more Logos appear.

The credit denominations allowed range from €0.01 to €5, and from 1 to 10 credits can be played per line up to a total of 25 paylines. That makes the maximum wager 250 credits or €1,250 in total. The credit value can be adjusted by using the pop-up menu under the first reel. Clicking on “Spin” start the game and “Stop” halts the reels. All winnings appear in the “Win” counter below the fifth reel. In the lower left corner of the screen, the current balance is displayed. Activating the Auto Start feature enables up to 99 repeat bets to be made.

The X-Men slot has three different bonus features. The first is a reel-based bonus known as the X-Feature. Whenever hero symbols form an “X” shape on the middle three reels, five times the total bet is won instantly.

The second bonus is called “Heroes vs. Villains.” It is triggered by the appearance of three or more scattered X-Men Logos. Anytime this occurs, no fewer than nine free games are awarded, but thanks to unlimited free spins in the Heroes mode, there is no maximum number of free games that can be played.

As an interesting twist, the Villains mode awards only eight free games. When they are all used up, the free games end. The bonus automatically switches back and forth between Heroes and Villains as “extra” WILD Professor Xavier and Magneto symbols appear on the middle reel. The trick is to stay in Heroes mode as long as possible.

The third bonus is provided by linkage to the Marvel Multi-Level Mystery Progressive Jackpot. It awards four tiers of progressive bonuses at random—Power, Extra Power, Super Power, and Ultimate Power. The tiers start out at €50, €500, €5,000 and €100,000, respectively.

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