When you’ve played so many different slots that they all start to blend into one, it’s always nice to be taken by surprise. And the first thing you’ll notice about Midnight Madness is that it doesn’t look like anything you would expect. It’s breaking all the usual slot rules, with the game designers at GiG Games appearing to be making up their own as they go along.
The grid is made up of a stack of up to 15 different 3×1 slot machines. It’s also a special feature-free game, which I know will have a lot of you slot fans shaking your fists in outrage. But bear with me for a little and then make up your mind. With medium to high variance and a potential max win of 15,000 times your bet, I’d say it’s worth hearing me out.
When Midnight Madness loaded on my screen my first thought was that there’s something very 1980s and Top Gun about the theme. This was largely created by the sound of zooming cars and the echoey electronic music set against a hazy background with a huge orange setting sun (it’s definitely not midnight) and silhouetted palm trees. I was transported to balmy summer evenings, to a place where crime is as high as the humidity.
Once you get past the intro page everything gets very ‘locked and loaded’. The music ups tempo to something altogether buzzier, and the continuous sound of zooming cars and some cop radio talk keeps you riveted. The game design is an interesting clash of old and new, with a retro neon color scheme and classic digitized version of the traditional fruit symbols. My only complaint would be that the grid is a little small set against the backdrop.
The slot’s animations are very jerky and mechanical, reminiscent of the first slot machines which were rife with lasers and flashing lights. Across the reels (which are laid out quite unconventionally) the symbols are pretty much what you’d expect from a first-generation slot. Watermelons, lemons, limes, grapes, sunglasses, dice, hearts and even a saxophone.
And because Midnight Madness insists on being so different, there’s no use hunting about for wilds and scatters here — there are none.
As we’ve already discussed above, Midnight Madness does without all of the special features players usually go mad for. So without bonus rounds or free spins, what’s there to know?
With no wild, bonus or scatter symbols the slot runs ahead with a total of 12 pay symbols. Each reel in Midnight Madness is actually an independent slot machine made up of a single reel. There are 15 individual and numbered reels. That means you basically get to decide how many paylines you want to play. However, depending on what you choose a part of the grid will be deactivated.
The multiple slot machines in play spin independently of each other, rolling one after the other in sequence in hopes of creating matching combinations. Before the game kicks off players will be asked to make a choice as to whether they want to play with 5, 10 or all 15 slots activated. It’s an important decision because the more slots you engage, the more the total bet will increase.
Once you spin, reel one on each slot will stop on a symbol that will determine what you can win on that spin. If two matching symbols appear on reel two and three of the same slot, you’ll win the amount displayed on the right-hand side of the screen.
Although there’s no wild symbol or other features in this game, Midnight Madness is all about allowing players to make several single-ranked bets at once. There are also multiple laser beams that can light across the grid and change some symbols at random. This means that even after a completed spin, new combinations are still possible. However, ultimately the only influence you have over your winnings comes from the number of rows you set before starting the game.
Payouts and Wagering Limits
The lack of special features means that ways to get paid out in this slot are very straightforward. Wins are awarded when 3 matching symbols land on the same line from left to right. Each symbol carries its own value. In ascending order, or from low to high, these are lemons, limes, bananas, grapes, melons, hearts, saxophones, sunglasses, dice, bars, stars and sevens. Making up three of a kind combinations will see you get paid anything from 1x your bet all the way up to 15,000x your bet.
Your bet range includes several possibilities between 0.02 and 1.00. Since you have to play with at least five rows, it means that you have to bet at least C$0.10 per spin. And at a maximum of 15 rows in play, your top bet sits at C$15 per spin.
Midnight Madness is a game dedicated to the fun of the original slot machines, a tribute to that 80s magic. I understand the ‘madness’ due to the unusual game layout, but the ‘midnight’ eluded me somewhat. I won’t hold it against them.
I’m sure that the game designers were well aware that Midnight Madness wouldn’t float everyone’s boat. Today slot players are spoilt by games riddled with all the bells and whistles necessary to lure you in and keep you spinning for longer. Quite frankly I enjoyed taking a step away from all the groovy animations and complex storylines.
With the potential of a 15,000x win and that rockin’ soundtrack, I think I’ll stick around for a bit, but I understand fully if some players won’t.
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