From Skull Island to New York, King Kong 2016 comes a long way even travelling through time to 1933 when the original King Kong hit cinemas to universal applause. This high volatility slot is as temperamental as a giant ape, and only let down by its RTP of 95.14%.
Whether you have watched the 1933 cinematic classic King Kong, you still know the story beats through cultural osmosis. Images like Kong versus the T-rex, Fae Wray in the palm of the ape’s hand, biplanes circling the Empire State Building, and the immortal line "twas beauty killed the beast," have somehow stuck with all of us even as Peter Jackson’s remake seemed to be wholly ignored by audiences.
With anything that iconic, it is only a matter of time before someone turns it into a slot. In Kong’s case, it has happened dozens of times, but one of the better ones is King Kong 2016 from NextGen Gaming. The year refers to the game’s publication rather than some modernised update of the theme. The movie cameras are 1930s models and the aircraft are still biplanes.
Whether a classic movie makes for a classic slot, we will see.
At the level of imagery, it certainly works. King Kong 2016 is elegantly designed with a visual style reminiscent of movie posters of that era.
The animations are clean and clear and make the whole game much more enjoyable and playable. The sound design is simple, but effective.
Overall at the visual level, the slot has a pleasant and unified tone.
The gameplay, like the design, is simple and effective. There are five reels, each of which has three rows. There are 25 win lines to play with, and when you win, there is a simple double/quadruple or nothing gamble feature to play if you fancy upping the already very high volatility.
Nothing to write home from Skull Island about then, but covering the key bases.
The Wild symbol fills in for all other symbols except the Scatter symbol. The Wild symbol also triggers the King Kong Goes Ape feature when a Wild lands on reel three.
The King Kong Goes Ape feature results in the Wild on reel three expanding to fill that reel and expands. There is also a chance that some of the symbols on reels two and four will also be turned into Wilds.
Hitting three Scatter symbols triggers the King Kong Smash feature. In this feature, you play a minigame in which King Kong tries to knock down biplanes. This round continues until Kong misses three planes. The number of planes he knocks down then determines how many free spins the player gets. Fifteen spins for one plane, up to 150 spins for six planes.
Once the number of free spins is determined, the player gets a chance to choose either the free spins or a mystery cash prize.
During the free spins – if the player chooses them – all wins are doubled. If you hit another three Scatters in a single free spin, you retrigger the same number of free spins that you already won. You don’t get to swing at the biplanes again.
The return to player of this game is 95.14%, a little under the yardstick for average that we use of 96%.
The range of bet on the site we tested ran the gamut from $/£/€0.25 per spin all the way up to a maximum of $/£/€250.00 per spin.
The volatility of this game is very high, a fact that we really like. The higher the volatility the better the match a game is for our preferred strategies. Along with the gamble feature this makes up for the mildly disappointing return to player.
King Kong 2016 may not be the classic that the movie it is based on is, but it is it pretty solid. It comes with great visuals, decent gameplay, some fun bonus games, and all the 1933 Kong references you could possibly want.
However, for us the main appeal is the high volatility which makes it a good pairing with our preferred strategies, and although we would prefer a higher return to player, we can still recommend this to our readers.