Walking Dead Slot Game
In 2014 Australian casino game manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure released The Walking Dead, the latest in a lineup of video slot machine titles to integrate hit television series.
Based on a cult classic comic book by the same name, which depicts the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse and the adventures of a small band of survivors, The Walking Dead series began airing on the AMC network in 2010. Since that time, the show has devoured all competition, becoming the highest rated show on TV within the crucial 18-49 age demographic. Now in its sixth season, The Walking Dead remains the highest-rated series in the history of cable TV.
This in-depth review of the slots provides you with information on different pay tables, symbols, and anything else you may need to know about the game. You will also find a free to play version of the game below.
About The Walking Dead
The original comic book version of The Walking Dead was written by Robert Kirkman while the TV series was first adapted for the screen by Frank Darabont. The show boasts a sprawling ensemble cast, one which removes and adds new characters as the zombie hordes, or walkers in the show's parlance, pick off unfortunate victims. However, the primary stars who have appeared on the show from its debut through Season 6 are Andrew Lincoln who plays Rick, Steven Yeun who plays Glenn, Lauren Cohen who plays Maggie, and Norman Reedus who plays Daryl.
Aristocrat secured a licensing deal with AMC which allows the game to recreate the in show experience to a tee. Housed within Aristocrat's cutting edge 31.5-inch Verve HD cabinet display, The Walking Dead slot offers high-resolution image rendering, theme music, and sound effects straight from the show and the most important characters from the series' debut season. The interactive experience is enhanced even further, as players sit in Aristocrat's surround sound iChair, which even vibrates and moves along with the on-screen action, all while delivering crisp clear audio.
During the game's rollout phase, Theresa Beyer, AMC's Vice President of Promotions and Activation, offered her take on the new slot offering:
"The Walking Dead Slot Game is the perfect marriage between TV's leading drama and the gaming industry's leading developer. The show keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, and Aristocrat now delivers that same experience for gaming fans."
Aristocrat Vice President of Gaming Operations Dallas Orchard echoed Beyer's sentiments, stating:
"Capitalizing on the show's dedicated following; we stayed true to the ethos of the AMC series while creating this game. We have designed a game that will appeal to the show's audience and players will be excited to find all of their favorite characters here. Working with AMC has been phenomenal, and we look forward to continuing our relationship."
In just over two years since it launched, The Walking Dead slot has earned a number of industry accolades, including being named as Best Video Slot, Best Progressive Slot, Best Video Slot Bonus Round, and Best Slot Graphics in the Southern California Gaming Guide's 2015 Reader's Choice Best Slot Awards. The game also received the Casino Product of the Year award at the 2014 Global Gaming Awards.
To find a list of all casino locations which currently include The Walking Dead on the floor, see Aristocrat's handy Playing Dead page http://www.aristocratplayingdead.com/.
The title screen for The Walking Dead features an iconic scene from the show's first season when Rick reentered the ruined city of Atlanta for the first time since surviving the zombie uprising. You'll see the Atlanta skyline in the background, and a long stretch of highway running from the city to the foreground. On the left, thousands of cars sit still as a stone, the remnants of a city's last desperate attempts to escape. On the right, the highway is completely clear, offering both Rick and the player his first look at what the world has become.
Near the top of the title screen, you'll also find a series of numbers in blood red print. These are used to describe the game's various progressive jackpot amounts, which will be explained in detail below.
As a premier game, The Walking Dead will usually be found in clusters or banks of machines, and Aristocrat made sure you'll be paying attention by installing huge character portraits on top. Lori, Shane, and Daryl, who sports his signature crossbow, occupy the left-hand side while Rick points his pistol in defiance from the right.
During the actual game, the background screen isn't much to speak of, but that's because the high definition video graphics and animations dominate nearly all of the screen space.
As one of Aristocrat's newer releases, you might notice that the standard reel symbols featuring card ranks like A, K, and Q are no longer present. Instead, The Walking Dead incorporates characters, vehicles, and other images taken straight from the show. Themed reel symbols include Rick Grimes, Lori Grimes, Andrea, Shane, Glenn, Daryl, the Walking Dead logo, the teddy bear, the heart-shaped locket, the raven, Dale's RV, and the bloody screwdriver. Other symbols to look for including the Wheel Bonus; the Free Games supply truck, and the GUTS symbol.
Features & Mechanics
For players who came up on Aristocrat's familiar lineup of five reels, 20 pay line offerings, sitting down for your first session at The Walking Dead slot can be a bit jarring.
The game's construction has been modernized, so during the base game, you'll be playing with six reels which hold four symbols each. In many cases, character symbols will appear larger than the rest, filling two spots on the reel to create additional chances for winning combinations.
Another interesting aspect about the reels in this game is known as Reel Growth. At random points during both the base game and the bonus game, you'll see the reels outlined in red, before extending vertically up the screen. Essentially, Reel Growth makes your second, third, and fourth reels taller for the next spin, giving you additional symbols on the screen with which to form winners. The reels can grow by just one symbol slot per reel, or grow all the way up to two, or three more symbol slots per reel.
You won't find pay lines on The Walking Dead machine either, as this game is one of Aristocrat's Reel Power models. Reel Power games remove the concept of pay lines entirely, so winning combinations can be created anytime the right sequence of symbols appears on adjacent reels.
As a 6x4 Reel Power game, The Walking Dead offers players a total of 4,096 possible winning combinations.
The minimum coin denomination for The Walking Dead sits at just $0.01, but it can't really be classified as a true penny slot because the Reel Power function requires a minimum wager of $0.75 to purchase all of the reels in play. Betting $0.75 per spin will activate the game's full array of bonus features, but you might notice other players routinely upping the ante to $3.00 per spin.
Essentially, raising the coin denomination to $0.04, betting $3.00 per spin gives players a chance at winning the game's massive progressive jackpot.
This life-changing score starts at a minimum of $500,000, so players with the required bankroll should always try to fire away with $3.00 spins. If you can't afford to play that high, however, The Walking Dead also features three smaller progressive jackpots when playing at the $0.75 per spin level. The progressive jackpot amounts have been broken down below:
- Grand – Starts at $500,000
- Only available when betting maximum of $3.00 per spin
- Major – Starts at $500
- Minor – Starts at $50
- Mini – Starts at $10
While the Grand progressive bonus may seem like a longshot, players like John U. from Richland Hills, Texas have been bitten by The Walking Dead bug. On October 28th, 2014, while playing at Sunset Station Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, John U. managed to hit the game's most significant payout, earning $670,280 by triggering the Grand progressive jackpot.
The Walking Dead features familiar Aristocrat gameplay elements like the wild symbol, multipliers, free spins, and bonus games. A basic list of game specifications for The Walking Dead has been compiled below:
- Wilds: Yes
- Free Spins: Yes
- Multiplier: Yes, between 2x and 10x
- Bonus Game: Yes, several
- Progressive: Yes
- Return to Player: 97.05%
Unfortunately, no pay table information for The Walking Dead can be located, as the Reel Power setup and more than 4,000 winning combinations make it unfeasible to publish all of the game's possible payouts. During the base game, however, your wins will be automatically tabulated in an area below the reels, so it shouldn't take long before you know what to expect after landing a winner.
For the most part, bonus features and free spins are triggered randomly during The Walking Dead base game. The Reel Growth feature mentioned above is considered to be a bonus feature, and it will appear randomly during the base game as well.
One bonus feature which can be triggered is the Wheel Bonus game, which occurs anytime you land three of the Wheel Bonus symbols on the reels. The details of the Wheel Bonus game, along with The Walking Dead's other bonus round features, are described below.
This randomly awarded bonus splashes the screen with an increasing amount of wild symbols. Only available during a Reel Growth spin with the reels extended, the Wild Attack can create huge winners known as Apocalyptic Wins, which pay out hundreds of dollars when you land the wild symbols in the right places.
During a Reel Growth spin with the reels extended, the screen may suddenly dissolve all of the reels while a helicopter spins into the background scene. When this happens, you've entered the Horde Feature, and a herd of walkers will stream across the screen from left to right. The walkers will leave behind a few sticky symbols which will stay on the reels for the next spin, and players are hoping to find Rick Grimes, the game's most valuable symbol. Whichever symbol you land as a sticky, the aim is to find much more of the same on the next spin, creating huge winners all across the reels.
After you land three of the Wheel Bonus symbols on the screen, the game will transport you to a Wheel of Fortune type bonus round known as the Atlanta Wheel. Here, you can spin the wheel for a shot at winning any of the progressive jackpot amounts, with the Grand jackpot in play when you're betting $3.00 per spin. You can also win preset credit amounts, additional free spins on the wheel, access to another wheel game known as the CDC Wheel, or access to the Atlanta Free Games. Anytime you land a credit prize, you'll continue to spin the Atlanta Wheel.
This bonus game brings you to a vertically spinning wheel, similar to that found on The Price is Right. The wheel will spin before landing on credit prizes or multipliers which will be applied to your next reel spin.
If you land on a space reading X Free Games, the number you hit signifies the amount of free games in the Escape From Atlanta Free Games feature you'll receive. The amounts available are nine, 16, and 25. Essentially offering free base game spins, during the Escape From Atlanta feature a special symbol reading GUTS will appear on the reels. When it does, the guts will slip away to reveal a set amount of wild symbols, thereby increasing your potential for winning combinations.
For fans of The Walking Dead series, this slot machine title by Aristocrat is a must play. The game manages to recreate the sights and sounds of the show faithfully, and you'll find references to the critically acclaimed Season 1 storyline throughout the game.
And even if you've never watched a walker attack in your life, The Walking Dead represents the epitome of a modern video slot machine, offering an interactive experience, a multitude of fun bonus features, and even the chance to win a staggering six-figure sum.