If you were a jaded cynic or just a slot game reviewer, you may believe that NetEnt’s steam tower slot game is an attempt to cash in on the steampunk genre currently in a fad phase, whatever your reasons for thinking this, you’d be right.
Of course, it’s NetEnt, so that neither dictates that it will be a bad reflection of the genre or that the game itself won’t be any good, after all, this game developer is known for doing great things with unusual themes from Spanish Conquistadores on the Gonzo Quest slot to fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk.
Sadly, in my opinion at least, they have fallen way below the required gameplay mark with this slot, it’s amazing to look at, but pretty boring to play, much like steampunk itself, if you aren’t hugely into the scene, this will run out of steam very quickly.
I think what disappoints me so much about steam tower is how much potential this game actually had, it’s visually stunning and a great visual rendering of what is a kind of interesting art genre. It’s one of the few games where the low pay playing card symbols, as they have been designed to the theme, actually look better than the high pay icons!
Setting up the game is easy, there’s a one click paytable which is nice and clear, the paylines highlight as you hover over them and the controls are chunky enough that it works well on mobile too, although, the graphics aren’t as good in the NetEnt touch mobile version, it looks at its best on desktop for sure.
Base gameplay on Steam Tower is essentially a long wait for the expanded wild to trigger the free spins, whilst the stock fixed wild will give you the occasional win, you are mostly up and down by very small amounts, the variance on this game is so low it’s almost unplayable for someone excited by the prospect of a decent size win.
Of course, on the other hand, you won’t lose a lot either, and I don’t have a problem with low variance slots, IF they are interesting, there simply isn’t enough pizzazz in steam tower to do that, I may have complained about Gonzo’s moon walking across the reels, but at least he does something on screen during the base game, unlike the moustachioed gentleman here!
The green grappling hook held by the heroic gentleman is the wild symbol and substitutes for all other symbols. It’s main use though – is in the free spins round, we will come to that in a moment
The main hero is the stacked wild symbol, and if he covers one or more whole reels, you’ll finally get some decent wins and as there is no scatter, he will trigger 10 free spins – his usefulness ends here, as he won’t appear in the spins round itself.
The spins round is essentially the whole point of the game, our hero must make it to floor 16 of the tower and rescue the damsel in distress from some mad flying red dragon, because in steam punk, that’s normal.
You climb the tower by gaining more spins, which are issued two at a time for a fixed wild symbol appearing on the reels. With only 10 spins to start and 16 levels to climb, you can see why its so hard to get to the top, where a 1000 coin bonus multiplied by your bet level and a 7 multiplier for remaining spins awaits you.
You do get multipliers for the other floors, though, as follows:
The cost of play is too high at the top end for this game also given its low volatility, I don’t see the point of a 150. 00 credit max bet at all, the jackpot is supposedly 200, 000 – I want a screenshot of anyone who gets even close to that, or more than halfway up the tower during the spins round if they are playing at a decent bet size.
All in all, it’s a big disappointment, whilst maintaining NetEnt’s standards for theme, audio and visuals, we have a slot which is boring, doesn’t pay out well and is noticeably worse on mobile devices than it is on desktops, I’d even rather play the Dazzle Me slot than this!