The Gladiator online pokie harks back to the glory days of the Roman Empire, bringing the fabled Coliseum to life with rich 3D animation and a wide array of immersive gameplay features. This is one of three popular Gladiator slot games on the market. Here, we are talking about the BetSoft version – available for free and real money play at www.Guts.com and www.GdayCasino.com.
Gladiator is a five-reel video slot machine with 30 paylines. By modern standards, this is a pretty traditional layout – which is somewhat fitting, given the game is based on events that occurred almost 2000 years ago. We can select anywhere from one to 30 individual bet lines per spin, or cover all at once by choosing ‘max bet’.
There are several coin sizes to choose from, between 0.02 and 1.00, and we can wager up to five credits on each line. This provides an enormous betting range, starting at $0.02 (a single 0.02 coin on the first payline only) and maxing out at a whopping $150 per turn (five 1.00 coins on all 30 win lines at once).
As such, the BetSoft Gladiator pokie has something to offer every kind of Australian slots player. Using two-cent coins, you can play five units on every bet line for just $3.00 per spin – which is great for punters who want to manage their bankrolls without sacrificing the potential for hefty payouts. Meanwhile, the $150 maximum wager is a big tick for high-stakes pokie players and VIPs with cash to burn.
As you might expect, Gladiator’s symbol set draws heavily upon the iconic themes and motifs associated with Ancient Rome and the Colosseum – including charioteers, deadly tigers, and steel-helmed warriors. The graphic below shows the respective payoffs when playing the maximum bet with a 1.00 coin.
Win Both Ways: Rather than only paying out combos that start on the first and leftmost reel (as has been common practice for decades upon decades), the Gladiator video pokie also pays sequences that begin on the rightmost reel and work left. This not only increases your chances of success, but makes you feel like you are still in the game even when the first few reels turn up spuds.
Scatter Feature: While all other symbols must link up in specific patterns in order to form a winning payline, the Coliseum scatter pays from any position on any reel. This is especially handy when you consider that the scatter is the most lucrative symbol of the lot, with a sumptuous return of up to 15,000 credits.
BetSoft pokies have a well-deserved reputation for incredible graphic quality and audio-visual effects. While Gladiator is not quite as lush as some of its siblings in the Slot3 range, everything about it is beautifully executed – from the 3D animations that leap off the screen when you hit a winner, to the epic soundtrack that perfectly encapsulates every aspect of the Roman gladiatorial theme.
All that is small potatoes, however, compared to the superb range of special pokies features that can occur at any time – including wilds, multipliers, and interactive bonus rounds.
When you land the Hero symbol anywhere on the centre reel, a big slab of stone will appear and cover the entire column. Enter our beloved champion, who will emerge and smash the solid rock to smithereens. When the dust has settled, we see that the whole reel has turned wild. Thank you, Mr Hero, sir.
Gladiator boasts not one, but two tasty wild features. Whenever the Princess symbol appears in the topmost position on any reel, she will lean out from her balcony and blow pink rose petals onto the panels below. This turns the other two symbols on the reel into 2x wild multipliers, which means any winning combination that includes one of the wilds will pay double the standard rate.
If you score three or more Door symbols on any selected bet line, the Click Me feature will come into play. Here, you must choose between several ‘Click Me’ icons, each of which holds a random cash prize. Keep clicking until you strike the ‘Collect’ panel, at which point you walk away with whatever riches you have managed to unearth.
In this exciting bonus feature, we see two gladiators go head-to-head in armed combat. Select your champion, then do as the Romans do: take your seat in the stands and watch on as the money pours in with every thrust and parry. A huge bonus payout awaits should your man conquer his opponent. To unlock this special feature, you must connect the Hero, Coliseum, and Villain symbols on the second, third, and fourth reels in any of the first three paylines.
It might not be quite as flashy as some of BetSoft’s most recent interactive slot games – but in terms of gameplay and special features, there is an awful lot to like about the Gladiator real money pokie. We love that it pays two ways, as it makes things much more exciting than on standard Web slots which only pay left to right. The dual wild features is a big plus as well – especially the Princess 2x multiplier, which can unlock some huge wins.
The only major criticism we have is that the Gladiator Battle feature is so hard to come by. This is probably the most entertaining part of the whole game, but the sequence required to activate it is so specific that the chances of actually experiencing this feature are incredibly slim. Then again, you could argue that is how a bonus game should be – a rare treat for the lucky few, or for those persistent enough to hang around until the magic combo appears.
Overall, though, Gladiator is a big winner in our books. And with a $150 betting range that allows for high rollers and casual punters alike, we think every Australian pokie player should give it a whirl.