Lobstermania Slots is a 5-reel, 20-payline slot machine from IGT. It is a nautical-themed game about animated lobster characters. Many websites refer to this gaming machine as "Lobster Mania", which makes it hard to find on some sites. A 5-reel, 25-payline game from IGT called "Lucky Larry's Lobster Mania" complicates those searches.
In 2016, Lobstermania 2 is found more often than the original, so I'll give that title more attention on this page as its predecessor (or maybe more). The second edition certainly has much better animated graphics and sounds. It is a bit more complex of a game, so it takes some explanation.
Complicating matters even further, IGT released the third game in this series in October 2015. The third edition is called "Lucky Larry's Lobster Mania 2", which might cause confusion. Lucky Larry's Lobstermania 2 is a 5-reel, 40-line game. The 40-payline slot machine has a smaller fixed jackpot and better graphics.
Players can make up their own minds which of the two versions they would rather play, but the 2015 variant appears to be an inferior product (from a player's perspective) released to take advantage of the Lucky Larry's Lobstermania's popularity.
Over the course of this article, we'll discuss all three gaming machines, which use the same funny animal characters. Let's start with the original lobster-themed slot machine.
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Lobster Mania Slots: The Original
The original Lobstermania debuted along with IGT's Texas Tea Slots and Money Storm Slots. All three became famous for their uses wild symbols and a bonus round to entertain players. Because it has a good expected return, this game has become a gambler's favorite, despite not being tied to a famous licensed product. The big jackpot is unlocked by 5 wild lobster systems.
This was one of the most popular games when it was released, but online slots players are not likely to find it in many casinos. The more popular version of the game in 2016 is its sequel, which has a bigger jackpot, more bonuses, more paylines, and better graphics. In fact, the sequel now has a sequel and both of those games receive more buzz than "Lobstermania 1". Here in 2016, the games to research and compare against one another are those games, which each start with the name "Lucky Larry".
Lucky Larry's Lobstermania Review
Lobster Mania 2 is a 5-reel, 25-payline slot machine which continues the story of our animated lobster. Lucky Larry's was released by IGT in October 2015 to a lot of fanfare. This game has a bit of confusion. Some people seem to think the lobster is named Larry and they call him "Larry the Lobster". Others believe the fisherman in the yellow raincoat is named "Lucky Larry". In either case, the lobster from the original game is trying to help his buddies escape the fisherman. That fisherman is trying to catch as many lobsters as he can. You're caught in-between, helping one or the other succeed.
For those who need a comparison in the way of animations and game play, you should look to similar games like Frog Prince Slots, Fortune Cookie Slots, or Wild Taxi Slots. Some gamblers compare this EGM to WMS's Wizard of Oz: Wicked Riches Slots or Microgaming's The Dark Knight Rises Slots in terms of fan interest towards new releases. Those games combined world class animations with a world famous licensed brand, so I put both of those electronic gaming machines a step above in terms of entertainment value. In terms of pure animated cartoon renderings and payout schedule, Lucky Larry's Lobstermania absolutely measures up.
Here are some key details about the game you should know.
The Lobstermania gaming machine offers a 1-cent, 2-cent, 4-cent, 5-cent, $0.10, $0.20, $0.50, $1.00, $2.00, $5.00, $10.00, and $20.00 bet denominations. High rollers therefore can wager $500 per spin, making this a favorite for VIP players. Larry's Lobster Mania Slots has a 50-spin autospin feature, meaning a high stakes gambler can set the machine to automatic re-spin and wager $25,000 in a row without hitting a single button.
Reel symbols on this machine include a sun tanning lobster, a lighthouse, a small boat, a buoy, and a "Lobster Mania" wild icon. Other icons include the 10, jack, queen, king, and ace.
The wild symbol substitutes for any other symbol on the game, except the scatter symbol and the bonus symbol. If you receive 5 wilds at one time, this activates the fixed jackpot of 10,000 coins. This means the jackpot is 10000x your initial wager on the triggering spin.
In the main game, Larry has left clues amidst the rocks near the lighthouse. Five clue symbols unlock a payout worth 200x the initial stake. Five lighthouse icons are worth 300x the initial stake. Five ships are worth 500x the stake. Five buoys are worth 500x the stake, too. If five Lobster Mania Wild symbols appear at once, the payout is 1000x the original stake.
Collect enough bonus symbols on the main game and it activates one of two bonus rounds: The Great Lobster Escape or the Buoy Bonus.
Obviously, a game about a crustacean can be a bit gruesome, given the human love for eating high-priced dishes of shellfish. "The Great Lobster Escape Bonus Round" gives a nod to the grim subject matter by letting the player help lobsters escape their fate. The premise is Larry the Lobster wants to help his fellow shellfish escape. The animations on this game are excellent. If you can call an animated character lifelike, then this game has them.
On the other hand, the Buoy Bonus Round involves just the opposite. A fisherman in his yellow raincoat is on his boat, The Lobster Magnet, checking out his lobster traps. The player chooses which traps to open. The fisherman talks in his thick accent as he checks for lobsters. When he pulls out the sea life, the bigger the lobster, the more money you win.
When you receive 3 bonus symbols, this game triggers. Players are allowed to choose 1 to 4 buoys, depending on the bonus symbols. Each buoy offers a minimum of 2 items to the trap. Players receive between 20 and 2000 bonus coins, which are multiplied by your initial bet. If you have 3 buoys, the multiplier is between 30 and 3000. If you have 4 buoys, the multiplier is between 40 and 4000 coins. This bonus game has a low volatility, so it's a good game for someone playing out a casino bonus.
Lucky Larry's Lobstermania 2 Review
The third game in this series is called "Lucky Larry's Lobster Mania 2". It's easy to get this game confused with the second game in this series. The easiest way to tell the two apart is the number of paylines offered. While the original Lucky Larry's Slots had 25 paylines, this version is a 5-reel, 40-payline slot machine. To make it easier to differentiate these games, I'll continue to compare and contrast the two in this short review.
As you might imagine for a game which was released late in 2015, Lucky Larry's Lobstermania has all the features you would expect to find: wild symbol, scatter symbol, free spins, bonus round, and an expanding wild. It also comes with the best technical features, including instant play capability, autoplay options, and advanced video slots elements. It is a state-of-the-art interactive slot machine.
While Lucky Larry's Lobstermania had a top jackpot of 10,000 coins, Lucky Larry's Lobstermania 2 has a top fixed jackpot of 8,000 coins. That means the jackpot is the original stake multiplied by 8,000.
The payouts on the main game tend to be the same or lesser in several instances. A comparison should suffice. The 5-coin payouts on the second Lobstermania are as follows.
The 5-coin payouts on the third and latest Lobstermania are as follows.
That means 9 paying symbols for a total of 13,000 coins in payouts, against 12 paying symbols for a total of 11,100 coins in payouts.
Lucky Larry's Lobstermania 2 is therefore going to be less volatile and is going to have more payouts. The overall payout rate is unlikely to be as good. Given the better graphics, the confusing title, and the lesser payout schedule, I get the notion that this "refreshing" of the Lobstermania series is meant to offer a lesser product in a similar package. This is much in keeping with other redone video slots of the last couple of years.
IGT was bought by the Italian lottery company GTECH in 2014. People wondered at the time what the result of a lottery company running the operation might be. Lotto companies are used to offering a lower expected return to its customers. One wonders whether the GTECH influence isn't being felt. For our money, we recommend playing Lobstermania 2, which is known as "Lucky Larry's Lobstermania". If it has "2" in the title, avoid it.