Motorhead was a British rock and roll band. Their fans associated their music with sub-genres like heavy, speed, and thrash metal. But founder Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister always insisted they were a rock band with punk roots.
The band's sound was full, powerful, and energetic. They recorded dozens of albums and EPs across a 40-year history. The band's line up changed every now and then but Kilmister was there from start to finish, until the day he died. Surviving band members decided not to go on without him.
The best known Motorhead song may be "Ace of Spades", the title track from an album released in 1980. The song became an instant favorite with the fans. And every book and article mentioning the group ever after had to talk about "Ace of Spades".
Lemmy once mentioned in an interview that he had grown sick of the song. He claimed he'd sung "Eight of Spades" for two years and no one ever noticed the change in lyric. He preferred playing slots to playing cards, "but you can't really sing about spinning fruit" he noted.
Motorhead now have a slot game named and styled for the band. But Lemmy might have been disappointed to see "Ace of Spades" featured as the main song in the game's soundtrack.
The credits page lists four songs from the game:
- "Ace of Spades"
- "Iron Fist"
- "Killed by Death"
The last song may be the second best known song in the group's repertoire. Only "Killed by Death" is performed by a lineup other than "classic Motorhead". (Classic Motorhead consisted of Kilmister, Philip John Taylor, and Edward Alan Clarke.
The game's ambient graphics and sounds put the player in a concert hall setting. The five reels form an unusual pattern, though, because reel 1 only has three slots and reel 5 has five slots. Besides the unusual layout, the game also comes with a serious warning when it loads. People prone to photosensitive epilectic seizures are cautioned that the game features flashing lights.
The intro video is longer than it needs to be for this reason. There's a second screen features a scrolling marquee with the game's special features. Anyone moving past the second screen accepts responsibility for how the game's visual effects may affect them.
And there is an Easter egg in the user interface, albeit a small one. After you click the Spin button you can click anywhere on the screen to halt the spinning reels. A quick flash like a camera going off signals that you are stopping the spin animation. But the real flashing lights start popping when you win a prize.
Rules for Playing Motorhead Slots
Motorhead is a 5 reel, 76 fixed pay line video slot game. It features free spins, wild substitutions, a Bomber feature, and a Mystery reel. All wins pay from left to right. Only the highest possible winning combination on any pay line awards a prize. Reels 1 and 2 have three slots, reels 3 and 4 have four slots, and reel 5 has five slots.
The Ace of Spades logo is the game's Wild symbol. The logo substitutes for all other symbols in the game except the Scatter symbol.
The Bomber Scatter symbol triggers the free spins bonus game (see below for details). The Scatter symbols only appear on reels 3, 4, and 5.
Other Symbols in the Motorhead Slot Game
All prize amounts are in credits ("coins") unless otherwise noted. As there are ten bet levels, the prize amounts are only in "level 1" amounts. Multiply the number of credits by the bet level for the full prize value of any winning combination).
Lemmy's portrait is the game's highest value symbol. He pays 150 credits for five of a kind, 30 credits for four of a kind, 8 credits for three of a kind, and 1 credit for 1 of a kind.
The Gold Star from Lemmy's stylized cavalry coat pays 50 credits for five of a kind. It pays 15 credits for four of a kind and 5 credits for three of a kind.
The Bell pays 30 credits for five of a kind, 10 credits for four of a kind, and 3 credits for three of a kind.
The Lucky 7 pays 30 credits for five of a kind, 10 credits for four of a kind, and 3 credits for three of a kind.
The Horseshoe pays 12 credits for five of a kind, 5 credits for four of a kind, and 2 credits for three of a kind.
The Double Cherry pays 12 credits for five of a kind, 5 credits for four of a kind, and 2 credits for three of a kind.
The Four Leaf Clover pays 12 credits for five of a kind, 5 credits for four of a kind, and 2 credits for three of a kind.
How to Play Motorhead Slot Machines
All the game controls are below the playing reels area. The main control panel resembles a row of speakers and amplifiers on a stage. A status ribbon running at the bottom of the game screen contains a few incidental controls.
The Information button resembles a speaker panel in the far left corner. It's next to a golden-brown Stratocaster guitar. The speaker has a faint "I" in the center. Click on this button to activate the help screen system.
There are nine screens in all. Use the left and right arrows to navigate through the screens. Or click on the dots below the information displays. The screens wrap around so you can scroll left or right. To exit the help screen system locate the "x" in the upper right hand corner and click on that.
The Bet and Level widgets work together. The Bet widget displays the current number of coins you wager per spin. The Level widget contains left and right arrows. Use these to decrease or increase the bet level. There are ten bet levels. Each level multiplies your wager by 20 coins. You can wager a maximum of 200 coins.
The Auto Play button activates the control dialog for choosing how many spins the game will play for you at the current Bet and Level settings. Click on "Advanced Settings" to choose exit options. You can set thresholds for some of the options.
Use the left and right arrows in the "Number of Spins" widget to scroll through all your choices. You can set from 10 to 1000 spins.
The automatic spins will continue until:
- The game meets one of your conditions,
- You exit the game,
- Your available balance drops below the total bet amount.
Click on the minus button in the upper right hand corner of the dialog to exit the Auto Play screen.
The round Spin button looks like two half circular arrows. Click on this button to start one paid spin at the current Bet and Level settings. You can also click on the Spin button to end the spin animation.
Click on the Max Bet button to adjust the Level widget to the value of "10". You can click on the Max Bet button a second time to start a spin at that level. If the maximum bet is already set then the Max Bet button acts like a second Spin button.
The Coin Value widget allows you to scroll from 0.01 to 1.00 using the left and right arrows. The Coins widget's value changes as you change the value of your coins.
The Music button in the far right corner toggles on and off the band's soundtrack. You can listen to four songs play while the reels are either in motion or stationary.
How the Motorhead Mystery Reel and Bomber Features Work
The golden Motorhead symbol is a special symbol. It appears anywhere on the screen in what some game designers call "superstack" mode. where the entire reel fills up with the same symbol and they may scroll for a few spins.
Sometimes the symbol comes to a rest in the visible playing reels area. When it does, all the golden mystery symbols transform into a random symbol.
It's possible to earn a Big Win from the Mystery reels because the entire screen could fill up with mystery symbols.
Sometimes the reels highlight in flames as they spin and the reels may go into a hyperspinning mode. This appears to be a visual effect.
The Mystery symbol can turn into any other symbol in the game except the Scatter. Hence, it is possible for an entire reel of Wild symbols to appear due to the Mystery Reel feature.
When the Bomber feature activates, the reels spin longer than usual. Sirens begin to play. The stage lights activate and sweep across the screen as if an air raid is about to begin or start. Mystery symbols explode onto the screen in groups.
The explosions continue until at least 10 Mystery symbols lock into place on the screen. The reels continue spinning but stop after the Bomber explosions have completed.
The Bomber feature awards randomly at the beginning of a spin. There is no minimal bet amount required.
How the Motorhead Free Spins Bonus Games Work
The Free Spins bonus game triggers when three or more Scatter symbols appear in reels 3, 4, and 5.
You get 10 free spins, during which the Mystery Reels consist of both the Wild and Mystery symbols. The Wild symbols will also transform when they are part of the Mystery feature.
The rest of the free spins bonus plays like a normal game, although you cannot interrupt the spins.
Motorhead is without question a dynamic slot game. The visual effects model actual Motorhead stage effects. You'll see flashing lights, pop light bulbs, and strobing spotlights. You'll hear incidental sounds.
The game opens to the sound of a concert audience chanting "Lemmy! Lemmy!" and the background graphics are slick and professional. You could be looking at an album cover instead of a slot game.
The game also punctuates the play with profanity-laced sound bites from Lemmy. The game lifts these from his in-concert commentary. If you play Rock Mode and listen to all four songs you'll hear his comments between the songs. But he also says something after you win a prize. The band also strikes a chord and the audience screams when you win a prize.
The game option controls on the bottom ribbon are small and that may be annoying to some players. Another minor fault is the lack of a widget that tells you exactly how much money you are betting. You have to mentally multiply the coins by coin value to see what you are risking on your next bet.
The choice of game symbols is quite appropriate. The band itself was not associated with gambling (much). But "Ace of Spades" features prominently in the opening sequence. It also features in the soundtrack and in the game's symbol set. It's nice that the other symbols draw on traditional non-fruit slot machine symbols:
- Lucky 7
- Red cherries
This is a good tribute to both the game and its storied founder. He might have been flattered if someone had invented a poker game and named it after him or the band. But given Lemmy's preference for slot games over card games the Motorhead slot is the right choice. Kudos to whoever came up with this idea.
Is the game playable?
It seems to favor moderate volatility.
In practice sessions we were able to win free spins bonus games, Bomber features, plenty of Mystery reels, and a lot of Wild symbols.
Your experience may vary but this is one game well worth checking out. It's a great fit if you like pure rock and roll music.