Loading The Invisible Man I was excited to see how NetEnt would take a fairly well known, perhaps even dated, story and make it their own. True to form they had me engaged from the very beginning with the clever film noir intro video.
Now I am no noir movie buff, nor even a particularly ardent fan of the original Invisible Man story itself but the grainy video and classic cult-movie voice acting by the narrator had me both entertained and curious within seconds. Finally watching as Griffin tests the serum on himself, seeing the terror in his eye as his flesh and bones become invisible, had me hooked. Well played NetEnt, well played!
Look and Feel
Visually this is one the most beautiful online slots I have ever played. NetEnt invested heavily in ensuring that the visual art in this game pays homage to the era and the spirit of the original film. The overall palette is dark and adds to the sense of an old world environment where life was just a little harder and a bit from grim than the world we live in today.
Many other game developers rely on cheap Photoshop tricks to make their games appear attractive. In The Invisible Man every character looks hand painted. The police officers have rough craggy faces filled with shadows and even late night stubble (as one would expect when you’re working late into the night tracking an invisible assailant). Griffin is wrapped in bandages hidden beneath a hat and dark glasses but his arrogant character pulls through in the addition of a bright red scarf. He has to be seen, even when he is invisible.
I was also very happy to see a fully-fledged cast of supporting characters. Each of the other characters in Griffins life are equally beautifully painted. Their personalities simply shine through. Flora Cranley’s smooth skin and blonde quaff show her elitism, which stands as a stark contrast to the commoner upbringing of dear, overworked, Mrs Hall.
Last but not least are the environments. Especially those of the bonus features. The gorgeously rendered, detailed, landscapes place NetEnt far above their competitors in terms of taking slots from spinning reels to escapist entertainment.
Sounds and Score
The soundtrack for The Invisible Man is a gentle flowing piece of music filled with wind instruments, violins and even a harp. However this is punctuated with stronger more aggressive sounds giving you the impression that at any moment the peace could give away to frenzied excitement. This is perfect fit not only for the genre but also for this specific story as we wait to see if the skulking Griffin can effectively evade the police who are so hot on his trail.
I have to come appreciate game producers who partner with skilled audio engineers to create sound effects and a musical score which complement one another. NetEnt has successfully created an attractive audio landscape, in much the same way that their painted imagery has created a visual one.
Gameplay and Features
With so much on offer in terms of just the visual and audible impact of this game I was sceptical of whether the gameplay would be able to do it justice. I was not disappointed.
This is not the loosest of slot games, and going 5 to 10 spins without any form of win on the lines is not uncommon. I was about to write it off as pretty but dull then I hit my first Walking Wild.
The Walking Wild is a fun concept. Griffin Wilds will always appear on the right reel, and you will get 5 re-spins. Each re-spin will see Griffin move one reel to the left and has him acting as a Wild on each position as he does so. Fun but not super exciting until you land a Police Wild during one of these re-spins. The Police Wild will always start on the left of the reels and move to the right, also acting as a Wild along the way. What?! Two sets of Wilds at work at once!
The first few times this happened Griffin and the Police Wilds were always on separate lines, then I spun and had them on the same line! When the Griffin and Police Wilds meet they actually merge the two Wild symbols into a third new symbol which shows them fighting each other! So cool!
Best of all this clash with the law spawns the Free Spins bonus feature. For each line with a Free Spins symbol on it you get 10 free spins! Given there are 3 lines you could easily start with 20 or even 30 free spins!
Wait! There is more! Cheesy I know but that is how this feels. While playing our free spins you will have Griffin Wilds and Police Wilds moving across the screen as before. If you’re lucky, or unlucky, enough to get the Police and Griffin Wilds to match up during your free spins you get 4 bonus free spins. I say ‘unlucky because each time a Wild crosses the screen they fill up either Griffins ‘Bonus Game’ meter or the Police ‘Police Spins’ meter (however if they merge you lose the chance to fill up a meter). When either meter is filled that is the bonus game you get to play after your free spins. Winnings on top of winnings. Love it!
Griffins Bonus Game is a 3 level Click-and-Pick game where each level is a gorgeously painted environment. First a bar, then a bedroom and finally a train station. In keeping with Griffins sneak-thief ways, pick an easy item to steal or investigate and you are rewarded with cash, or even bonus multipliers (which max out at 4x). Pick the wrong one and the alarm sounds putting the cops hot on your trail! A stunning treatment applied to this game is that each level is depicted as a venue on a map and the potential winnings are displayed as grey icons while the winnings you collected are shown as colour versions of the same. Plus you see your footsteps in the snow as you move from one location to the next.
The Police Spins show the poor copper losing his marbles! He sets fire to a building in the hopes of trapping Griffin and ending this chase for once and for all. For me that meant I got three free spins and the guarantee of 5 Burning Wilds on each spin. While this is not as exciting a game mechanic as Griffins thieving spree is it equally as profitable for us players. Five Wilds on each spin, across 20 lines on a game that pays both ways! Those are some superb pay-out odds.
Having my winnings appear as the headlines of the local morning newspaper at the end of each Bonus Feature was the cherry on the top for me.
Is it worth playing?
Yes! Yes! The Invisible Man is a game that I would recommend to anyone who loves great art, intelligent game design, and is looking to trade in some smaller wins for big jackpot pay-outs. In fact I think I’ll try a few more spins again after I upload this review!