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Lucky players might find some shocking riches if they tinker with the Volts and Bolts slot machine. These beautiful slots from SG Interactive feature a quirky look and a few fun surprises.
The mad scientist’s experiments have mutated the reels to have chances to win loaded free spins or even one of four jackpots through the robot bonus game. Will this free online slot light up with energy or just fizzle out?
SG Interactive has done a wonderful job with the design for Volts and Bolts. It’s impressive just from a technical standpoint. Everything has a great 3D look to it and the game starts off with a fun animated short. The background is downright cool with a shocking number of little details filling out the space.
Flasks bubble, gears and dials spin and turn, and even a few small tentacles twitch as they try to escape. The reels spin across a bookshelf in the laboratory. It’s a nice effect, although the scattered papers that decorate the bookshelf can be distracting while the spin settles.
The sound design is fun, with a delightful mad science soundtrack full of sci-music, clicking gears and crackling electricity. The mad scientist also steps in to cackle maniacally for the free spin bonus.
The symbols are also well done. While the game does use generic card symbols for the lower values, the “A, K, Q and J” are at least done in a wild font. The rest of the symbols are all in theme with the game featuring a wrench, voltage meter, a notebook, a brain, a battery, the scientist, the robot and the Volts and Bolts logo.
The icing on the cake for the design is the great animations that are included for every symbol. Even the card symbols flip and dance on a winning payline as lines of electricity arc out to connect the winners. The entire robot bonus game is based around merging the robot symbols into unique, larger robot symbols with plenty of fun poses. It’s an entertaining and impressive display.
The core gameplay in Volts and Bolts is fairly standard. The game features 5 reels and 3 rows with a total of 50 paylines in play. Players do not have the option to play fewer than 50 paylines. All symbols have to start on the leftmost reel and follow a payline to the right.
Wild symbols are included in the game, but they cannot fill in for the scientist or robot bonus symbols. The wilds can also only appear on reels 2, 3, 4 and 5.
An unfortunate part of Volts and Bolts is that most of the winnings are tied into the bonus round. The jackpots can only be won in the robot bonus and there aren’t a lot of winnings waiting on the main reels.
The payouts aren’t great per line, especially since players have to pay for 50 at a time at at least a penny each, so losses really hurt. It takes a full set of 4 of the logo symbols to actually break even on a single line.
The sets of 3 are only giving back nickels and dimes which are really more for keeping morale up rather than healing the bankroll. Since 50 paylines are in play there is a chance for a lot to trigger at once for a big payout, but without any extra features on the reels, the big wins aren’t going to feel as common. There are some nice opportunities to strike it big in either of the bonus rounds though.
The Bonus Rounds
Volts and Bolts features two potential bonus rounds. As a fun aside, it’s possible to trigger both of them on the same spin. In that case, players will play the robot bonus and then the free spin round. The free games round offers a fun set of games on some loaded reels.
Any of the 5 reels can have a scientist symbol appear during a normal spin. Getting at least 3 anywhere on the reels is enough to win 12 free spins and 2x the total bet.
Getting 4 or 5 doesn’t pay out additional free spins, but it does up the immediate payout to 15x and 100x the total bet respectively.
These free spins have a minor twist to them to make them a little more interesting. The third reel is modified during all of the free spins to only have scientist symbols or wild symbols.
The wild symbols are great for setting up some big wins across multiple paylines, and putting a few extra scientists into the mix is nice since it is possible to retrigger the free spin bonus during the free spin round. Once all the free spins run out then the winnings will pay out and the bonus round will end.
The second bonus round is the robot bonus. This one is triggered by getting at least 6 robot symbols anywhere on the reels in one spin. Before the bonus round starts, these 6 symbols will be locked into their places on the reels. The bonus is fairly simple.
The reels spin but it’s not about making winning combinations. All that matters is whether any robot bonus symbols appear in the remaining empty spaces. If a bonus symbol appears, it will also lock into place and merge to form possible blocks with adjacent robot symbols.
The robot bonus uses 5 free spins and there is no way to get more. Getting a full set of 15 will automatically end the game as a blackout. Once it’s done, the robot spaces on the board will convert to their bonus value. The value depends on how big of a symbol players were able to make.
Getting just 1, 2 or 3 adjacent symbols respectively pays 1x, 3x and 5x the total bet. This means that the bonus does have a minimum payout of at least 6x the total bet. Things get interesting on the larger blocks though. Blocks that are at least 4 spaces big do not have a set payout.
After the smaller spaces pay, players will get to turn their large blocks into bonus reels that determine what they’re worth. A block between 4 and 9 spaces can trigger the mini (20x total bet) or minor (100x total bet) jackpots or award another smaller random cash payout limited by the size of the block. Blocks that are at least 10 spaces big can pay out the mini, minor or major (2,000x total bet) jackpots or up to 150x the total bet as a random cash payout.
12 Blocks pays out the minor or major jackpot or up to 250x the total bet. A full set of 15 can pay out the major or grand (5,000x total bet) jackpots or up to 750x the total bet.
A Shocking Conclusion
Volts and Bolts is a pretty great game for players who love bonus features or just players who are looking for something new. The design is great and creates a really fun and involved experience.
The bonus games are also interesting without being too complicated, and the potential rewards aren’t bad either. Veteran players or fans of just playing core online slots for real money may be a little disappointed with the lower payouts and the focus on the bonuses.
The slightly low RTP of 95.63% is also a little disappointing, but not necessarily a deal breaker. Players will have to decide for themselves whether the fun of the bonuses is worth a slightly lower return than other simpler machines.