Zombies vs. Cheerleaders Slot Machines
vs. Cheerleaders, a slot machine designed by Realtime Gaming, made its
premiere in early 2013 at Bovada Casino. An indie comic book of the same
name has been selling in big numbers since it was launched in 2010, though
the RTG slot doesn’t appear to be directly related to it or based on any
licensing deal between Realtime and Moonstone, the publisher of the book.
Cheerleaders and the undead are a strange combination, so it’s difficult to
imagine that the game designers at RTG didn’t use the popular indie series
as an inspiration for this title.
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Zombies vs. Cheerleaders is a five reel slot that gives players the
option of placing bets of between one and five coins on up to nine pay
lines. The game’s credit size variety is impressive – credits range from
$0.05 up to $5 apiece, which translates to a per spin wager range of between
$0.05 and $225 for each spin of the reels. Available credit sizes are $0.05,
$0.10, $0.25, $0.50, $0.75, $1, $1.25, $2.50, and $5. Take note that only
the highest of any multiple wins gets paid, so there’s no benefit to
spinning multiple winning combos.
Zombies vs. Cheerleaders allows RTG’s Autoplay feature, which players
access by pushing the button conveniently labeled Autoplay. When this mode
is activated, the game will continue to spin based on options selected by
the player on the Autoplay screen. The player can select a set number of
spins for the machine to move through, tell the game to stop for wins of a
certain value or losses beyond a set amount, and a few other features. As
for the wager during the Autoplay round, it’s based on the wager size the
player used on the last spin before Autoplay was activated. Players can stop
the Autoplay feature by clicking on the handy Stop Autoplay button or based
on the options they chose before the Autoplay feature began.
It’s safe to say the world is obsessed with all things zombie-themed, so
the use of zombie imagery for the reel symbols is a nice touch. Fans of the
comic book or of any pop culture reference to the undead will recognize
these symbols – zombie-fighting cheerleaders and two different gruesome
undead characters are the stars, and even the traditional playing card
images used on slots are touched by the theme, splattered with gore and
dripping with blood.
All winning combos in the game pay both left to right and right to left,
and this RTG release includes both a wild and a scatter symbol. The wild
symbol is a gore-covered axe which not only substitutes for all symbols
except the scatter to form winning symbol sets, it also doubles all wins
that it completes and players who line up a full line of the symbol win the
game’s largest jackpot. This title’s scatter symbol is the slot’s logo. All
scatter pay outs are multiplied by the number of coins bet so that larger
wagers per line lead to larger scatter pay outs.
The highlight of any video bonus game is the bonus round itself, and this
game’s bonus doesn’t disappoint. Any fans of the comic book loosely related
to this game or the hit show The Walking Dead will enjoy the bonus here,
called the Battle Feature. The round is triggered by the appearance of three
or more scatter symbols across the title’s five reels.
The bonus round begins with a reward of six free spins. Those free spins
trigger a change to the game’s reel symbols – both of the cheerleader
symbols become bonus wilds (when they appear on the first or second reels)
and both of the game’s zombie symbols become bonus wilds on the fourth and
As an added bonus all free spins during this round can be retriggered but
only during the short time span of the bonus round. Retriggering the free
spins leads to another six free spins, and the round essentially starts all
over again. Also unique to the bonus round is the game’s special wild symbol
pay table, which rewards the player more for combinations that include any
of the bonus symbols, including the four additional wilds that only appear
during the Battle Feature.
Combining these two groups – beautiful and bubbly cheerleaders and creepy
undead monsters – may seem a little strange, but a quick browse through
bookstore shelves or a flip up and down the television makes it clear that
modern audiences are spending a lot of time and money on the zombie
phenomenon. Setting hordes of zombies and a gang of surprisingly violent
high school girls is a brilliant stroke, in part because of the unlikely
nature of the pairing and in part because zombies are huge right now – they
are the stars of countless books, movies, and TV shows.
The game’s plot isn’t very complex, but it doesn’t really need to be.
Even the bonus game, normally a major feature of online slots, is relatively
simple. The bonus could be a platform for a cool zombie-killing scene, but
it’s nothing more than a short series of free spins and jackpots that are
temporarily increased in value. The story of the game is simple as well,
following a pair of tough chicks in cheerleading costumes as they battle
against never-ending waves of undead creatures. Though the animations and
images in the game are detailed and the theme is well-developed graphically,
it’s basically the same showdown between the two groups.
It works because we think of the girls doing splits and gymnastic
displays on the sidelines of the football game as cute but ditzy, not like
the pair of tough broads cracking zombies in the head with axes found in
this slot. We do get names for our heroes, Missy and Julie, but after a few
rounds of watching them stab, slice, and tumble around the lumbering
monsters the game starts to feel a little repetitive. It’s a shame that
RTG’s designers didn’t do more with such a unique theme, and it’s easy to
wonder how cool this title could have been if an official licensing deal
were struck between RTG and the creators of the popular graphic novel series
of the same name.
What the game has going for it, besides the fact that it taps into the
cultural Zeitgeist with a theme related to zombies, is a large range of
credit values, bet sizes, and the inclusion of features like free spins, a
bonus game, and a wild and scatter symbol. Being a five reel game with nine
available lines, it is somewhere between the simple gameplay of a classic
slot game and the complexity of RTG’s more modern releases, and since it
does include video animations and other extra features, it is designed to
appeal to a wide audience. Bovada Casino has temporary exclusive rights to
the game, which they’ve combined with a special match bonus offer, further
proof that the game’s designers and the casino that (temporarily) is the
only site hosting the game are trying to cash in on a popular theme. If
Realtime had paid more attention to producing a game that lives up to its
outlandish title, they’d have a smash hit game on their hands. As it stands
now, it’s easy to wonder how much replay the game is going to get.