Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
One of the biggest criticisms of the free-to-play games that dominate that App Store is that they add exploitative gambling elements to games to suck more money from players. However, Slot Raiders switches things up by adding game elements to exploitative gambling to suck more money from players. But despite its best efforts, slot machines can only be stretched so far.
Everything in Slot Raiders centers on getting players to test their luck just one more time. It abandons pretense. Each turn, three random icons appear on the screen. Usually it’s just trash to clear away, but every so often it’s something more valuable. Maybe two snakes will show up, doubling their worth? Maybe it’s a gem, or maybe it’s a fat sack of cash?
But aside from earning more money, players hunt for rewards to complete the quests that make up the campaign. A typical early quest has players gathering and combining precious metals to create stones big enough to sell. Quests also take advantage of the other tools players have at their disposal. They can send a dog to search for treasure in the background. They can spend more on spins to make better items appear more often. They can even expand their treasure reserves so they don’t have to pick and choose what to keep, although this doesn’t last very long.
However, even with all these gameplay garnishes, Slot Raiders' core mechanic is just pressing a button over and over again while hoping that the mostly random odds work out in your favor. A storyline stringing you along isn’t as tantalizing as the possibility of actual cash prizes. The monotony can be circumvented if players avoid becoming full-time slot jockeys. But to see most of what the game has to offer, including its various visual themes like outer space and haunted houses, players will have to grind away and level-up as their cash is controlled by the whims of fate.
Slot Raiders is an interesting idea, but you need to approach it with the right expectations. It’s a deep slot machine first, shallow game second.