The London subterranean, more often known as “The Tube,” began service in 1863 and is considered the world’s first subterranean railway. Since then, it has grown to include 272 stations, 400 kilometers of track, and hundreds of millions of annual passenger trips. Down the Rails, created by software developer Pragmatic Play, is sure to pique the curiosity of those who relish such anecdotes from the past. It’s a whirlwind trip via numerous major Tube stops that pay homage to various historical people.
A station that appears to begin with the letter ‘W’ appears to be the setting for the most of the action. Weimar, Waterloo? Unless there’s another, glaringly clear indication, it’s up to the players to decide. Awkward realization: the W appears on a ‘Way Out’ sign in yet another photo. It’s as though the passengers’ attire and the trains’ vintage appearance have transported us back to the 1950s. Possibly earlier or later, but definitely in the past. Not quite as old as some of the icons on the board, which we’ll discuss in a moment. Down the Rails has a very distinctive visual style. When most people think of London, images of the Queen’s Guards, Big Ben, and punk rock (à la Punk Rocker) may come to mind. It was refreshing to see London-based developer Pragmatic Play go in a new, more intellectual direction with their game.
Players must keep an eye on 20 fixed paylines that are laid out like a miniature Tube map over 5 reels and 3 rows. Players earn money when three or more identical symbols appear in consecutive, left-to-right positions across the reels. The behavior of Down the Rails is quite erratic, and the RTP peaks at 96.51% but drops to two other values. Any method may be employed to trip the ground, with bets ranging from twenty percent to one hundred and twenty five pounds or euros every spin.
We apologize in advance to our British friends if we have any of these historical figures wrong, but it seems that Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale, William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, and Henry VIII are among the high payouts in Down the Rails. The low payouts aren’t all that great, with J-A card royals making up the bulk of them. If you get five matching symbols, you win between 10x and 25x your wager on the low end and 2.5x to 5x your wager on the high end. When contributing to a winning combination, a wild symbol, which can appear on any reel, is worth as much as the highest paying symbol. Aside from the bonus and feature symbols, wilds can replace any other symbol.
Features of Slot Machines, Exposed
Down the Rails is reminiscent of other Blueprint Gaming slots like The Goonies. In addition to the five bonus rounds that may be triggered at will, there are also five modifier extras that can be activated, and two additional gambleable bonus rounds.
Spins atrandom With
Any of the following five enhancements can be enabled at random on any basic game spin:
All of the mystery symbols on the reels will change into the same paying symbol during the Tunnel Vision feature.
The Big Smoke: Reels 1, 2, or 4 gain a gigantic 3×3 pay or bonus symbol.
With Wild Strike, wild symbols appear on the reels at arbitrary locations.
Wild Reels — Wilds that move horizontally across the reels. When the spin ends, the newly added wilds are shifted into position to completely cover the corresponding reels. For every win that passes over a Shifting Wild Stack, a multiplier of either 2x or 3x is added.
The Bonus feature is given out at random during Bonus Blitz.
If you get three or more scatter symbols, you’ll enter the Bonus or End of Line game. Then, a player receives one of five bonus rounds and has the option to either gamble or save their winnings. If you take a chance and win, you get the bonus for the next level up; if you lose, you get 4x to 24x your wager back and return to the main game. When money is lost, a bonus is taken, or the “End of the Line” is reached, gambling is over. The five bonuses that cannot be reactivated are:
You get 5 bonus spins. Successful combos are grouped together, and the other icons spin again. When a repsin has ended due to a lack of available symbols, winning combinations are awarded.
Specifically: Kings Cross
There are five bonus turns included with Kings Cross. Spots in the middle reels are cross-marked during Kings Cross. If a wild lands in a designated space, any other symbols in that space will also turn wild.
Palace of Buckingham
You may get 8 bonus spins at Buckingham Palace. In this bonus round, the wild symbols on the reels are piled to the maximum possible height. If it lands off the screen, it will be shifted to fill the entire reel. In addition, every single symbol used to represent a character is replaced by its maximum possible value.
One Canada Square
A new collect symbol is added to the game for 8 free spins. Character symbols can award anywhere from 1x to 50x the wager on any one spin. If the collect icon is visible at the same moment, the rewards will be given out.
End of the Line is a “hold ’em” game in which players begin with three chances to reload a blank board. When character money symbols appear, the number of spins returns to three. When special symbols appear, they are gathered, and the money symbols that have been locked in place pay off anywhere from 1x to 2,500x the wager. You can list them here:
If your life counter reaches zero, collecting three of them will provide you an additional life and put your spin counter back to three.
Collecting them will enhance the worth of the money symbols on the screen by one for every three you gather.
Increase the size of the grid by one row for every three you gather, up to a maximum of five rows.
Gathering three of these symbols raises the existing multiplier from 2x to 3x, and eventually 5x. At the conclusion of each round, a multiplier is given to the final score.
When the number of available respins is exhausted, the maximum win is reached, or the grid is filled with cash symbols, the round finishes.
Off the Tracks: Slot Judgment
That’s like trying to make your way through the crowded London Underground on a weekday morning. If you’re bored of London, you’re tired of life, as Samuel Johnson put it. “For there is in London all that life can afford.” Due to the abundance of extra features, it will take dedicated fans of Blueprint Gaming’s feature-packed slots like Down the Rails quite some time to become bored with the game.
Outside of End of the Line, most of the extras are rather easy to complete in one sitting. It may take some time to get through them all, but if you receive a bonus you aren’t excited about and are feeling lucky, you can always gamble it away. If the wager doesn’t pay off, the consolation prize helps soften the impact of having to start over from the beginning of the game. A closer resemblance to Blueprint Gaming would have been achieved if Pragmatic Play had not been so bold with the theme choice. Down the Rails isn’t going to become a total copy cat because of its unique location and cast of people. In a game that occasionally feels like someone else’s work, it’s a touch ironic to see pioneering creative individuals like William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton. Perhaps unlikely, though, given the widespread claims that Shakespeare drew inspiration from a variety of sources, some more credible than others.
There is a tide in men’s affairs that, if caught at the flood, can lead to prosperity, as Shakespeare put it. If you time your bets well in Down the Rails, you might win as much as 5,000 times your initial investment. A suitable bonus to one of the more unusual slots introduced by Pragmatic Play recently, both in terms of theme and the slightly unusual bonuses that accompany it.