Hellcatraz is a wonderfully quirky 8-bit crime-themed slot developed by Relax Gaming that was released during the Spring of 2020. This unique game is themed around the infamous Alcatraz Prison and is filled with references to criminals, prison guards and being banged up on the famous island just off San Francisco Bay.
Relax Gaming have absolutely knocked this game out of the park when it comes to design! The reels are set upon the walls of the prison itself, which sits on a remote island surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, two police boats float in the sea surrounding the island whilst the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline sits majestically in the background.
During the bonus features the entire game scene changes from day to night and as prisoners try to escape from Hellcatraz! Smoke dramatically billows from the building whilst police helicopters and boats swoop upon the building in an attempt to apprehend escapees!
Everything is designed in an 8-bit manner, so it almost feels like you're playing an old-school 90s video game, which is pretty cool! In terms of symbols, the low paying symbols are a star, heart, four-leafed clover and diamond. High-paying symbols include a pair of handcuffs, a guards badge, a shark, a prisoner (that looks suspiciously like Al Capone) and a prison guard. Special symbols include a large W for the wild and mystery symbols that feature numbers in a barred up box.
In terms of sound, this game has a lot going on and we LOVE it! Starting off with the soundtrack... It's hard to describe, but the cheery chiptune music that plays throughout is beyond catchy! There's also a lot of ambient sounds throughout, such as seagulls squawking, the splashing of sharks in the ocean and police sirens in the distance.
First and foremost, players are tasked with deciding how they want to play Hellcatraz, the two options are mixed mode and lockdown mode, these change how the mystery symbols operate, mixed mode offers high volatility gameplay and lockdown mode offers very high volatility!
Ultimately this slot operates like your standard slot, with wins being formed when symbols land on one of the 46,656 paylines, however, it does very much feel like a cluster pays slot (without being a cluster pays slot), due to the fact that it features cascading symbols and is laid out in with the same number as rows as there are reels.
In terms of navigating the slot, all of the key buttons such as turbo, stake selection, autoplay and spin can be found on the right-hand side of the screen, whilst on the left-hand side is a gauge that shows how many keys players have collected and allows players to switch between game modes. If you're playing outside of the United Kingdom, this is also where players will find the buy feature button.
When it comes to win potential, Hellcatraz is GLORIOUS, there's really nothing hellish about it! This slot has an RTP of 96.46% which is above average, and on top of that players can take home a massive 51,840x their stake! Excuse us whilst we pick our jaw up off the floor!
You don't see too many modern online slots offer such a generous winning potential, we couldn't be happier! The only downside is that the maximum bet isn't huge! But we can overlook that.
Honestly? We really did fall in love with this wonderfully designed 8-bit slot! If you're an old-school gamer then you'll instantly be hit with a heavy wave of nostalgia, if you like your gameplay volatile then you're more than sorted, if you're into big paying slots then buckle in because there's most certainly big money to be won. All in all, Hellcatraz is a fun and innovative game that more than deserves your time.