Another NetEnt slot review, another creature of the night to contend with! In addition to their Dracula and Creature From The Black Lagoon slots, NetEnt have also added their take on the shambling undead with Zombies.
The game isn't based on any particular zombie movie but certainly captures the spirit of classics like Dawn of the Dead, World War Z, Resident Evil and Night of the Living Dead. It's dark and moody, which is a nice change from so many of the bright and colorful slots out there that can sometimes even feel a little childish.
Zombies is NetEnt's homage to all of those movies featuring the undead. It's a dark and moody tribute that has a very engaging theme but, since it's just another 20 payline 5 reel slot, new players will soon feel at home here.
There are plenty of wilds, including Random and Stacked, and free spins that come with a cumulative multiplier that builds up to 10x on your final spin. It has a fairly high variance but, with a large jackpot of 100,000 coins, plenty of zombie hunters out there will probably think it's worth that risk.
With reel icons featuring the usual A, K, Q, J and 10 (in hastily spray painted style, presumably designed to look like warnings from fellow survivors) as well as various zombie related symbols like gas masks, axes, spiked baseball bats, chainsaws and brains, Zombies looks great and definitely gets you in the mood.
There's no background music as such during standard play, rather a tense ambience of long dread-filled notes punctuated by metallic clangs, but some dramatic music does kick in during free spins. The whole thing works together very well, and does an excellent job of establishing a creepy quality – this is a slot that's best played in the dark!
Zombies may not be the best-known NetEnt title – maybe the fact that it begins with a Z does it some harm in alphabetical listings – but you'll still find it at most online casinos featuring NetEnt games, and we think that it's definitely worth checking out.
Zombies has a couple of different bonus features that players will love. The first is a Random Wild feature, in which zombies take over the reels. With up to 6 symbols from the previous spin turning wild at random, it might be the only time in your life that you're glad to see zombies pop up and attack!
The game's dedicated bonus round is activated by landing scatter symbols on reels 2, 3 and 4. Players may be disappointed to learn that the round features just 5 free spins, but there is an upside to this: after each spin, the multiplier applied to the next one improves. The first spin has a multiplier of 1x, the second 2x, third 3x, fourth 5x and the final free spin is 10x.
A 10x multiplier is very rare in bonus rounds, particularly in NetEnt games, and it's fantastic to see it here even if it does only apply to one spin. The game already feels quite risky, however, and you may find yourself pinning a lot of your hopes on getting a big win with that 10x multiplier to replenish your bankroll and score you a little something extra to cash out.
To take the pressure off a bit, the bonus round also grants the player some extra coins by taking down a few zombies in a shopping mall that's been taken over by the undead. It would have been nice if this had been a pick 'em feature to give the player some control over things, but it's still a nice touch to kick players a few extra coins.
Zombies has a maximum jackpot of 100,000 coins and, since it has a maximum coin size of 1.00 which means it's possible to land a win worth a huge $100,000. That should go a long way towards helping you prepare for a zombie apocalypse, or maybe just buy a new car and take a lovely vacation instead!
The game's large jackpot means that wins featuring lower value reel symbols aren't worth all that much, often clocking in at less than your initial bet. In other words, this is definitely a high variance slot and it's one that's best suited to players who prefer to pin all of their hopes on landing one hefty win then taking the money and running.
There are non-progressive titles out there with a larger jackpot than Zombies, but not a whole lot of them and particularly not in NetEnt's library. If you're a jackpot chaser, then you owe it to yourself to take a good hard look at this game.
There's nothing revolutionary about the gameplay, or even the visual style, of Zombies but it still represents an excellent example of a slot that looks and plays extremely well without trying to reinvent the wheel.
The bonus round is extremely exciting, particularly on the final couple of spins thanks to those large multipliers, but there's something thrilling about the game in general as well – maybe it's just the thought of going up against the undead that gets our adrenaline going!
Random wilds and other fun features keep the game feeling fresh and, if you ever do start to get a little bored, thinking about how you'd spend that 100,000 coin jackpot certainly helps. Overall, we like this one a lot.