The Alter Ego

Provider:  Pragmatic Play
RTP:  96.07%
Variance:  High
Max Win:   x10000.00
Betways:  576
Release Date:  2024.02.08

´All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.’ So it was said in the Gothic classic ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ by Scottish author Rober Louis Stevenson. Whether we have one true ‘us’ or not, it’s hard to deny we often act differently in front of different people, in different circumstances, or even when alone. The Alter Ego from Pragmatic Play is an online slot that explores this concept in a game that flips from a low-feature count base game to a bonus round packed with expansive possibilities.

Whilst The Alter Ego doesn’t specifically mention Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde, the allusions are plain to see. The game transports players ‘to an old-fashioned street under moonlight’ that looks very much like Victorian or Edwardian London, the city’s famous clock tower (or a lookalike) sitting beneath an enormous full moon while a dapper gent stands on the cobblestone street on the opposite side of the reels. An eerie soundtrack reinforces the eerie atmosphere in a good old-fashioned mystery game.

The Alter Ego is a highly volatile slot, no arguments there, one where players get a default RTP of 96.07% when playing normally. In the base game, business is conducted on a 5-reel gaming grid, laid out with 3-4-4-4-3 symbols and 576 ways to win. This means nothing, though, because in the free spins round, each reel can grow to a maximum of 10 positions high where a shed load more ways to win become active. The bet range is 20 c to $/€240 per spin with three bonus buy options present being available as well.

Winning combinations award payouts when matching symbols land on 3 or more adjacent reels, beginning on the leftmost reel. Elaborately decorated, almost steampunk-esque 9 to A card ranks are the low pays, awarding 1.5 to 1.75 times the bet for 5-of-a-kind, while the high pays are a hat, pocket watch, pistol, and gentleman, worth 2 to 6 times the bet for a 5 OAK hit. Logo wilds hit on reels 2, 3, and 4, substituting for all symbols except scatters or mystery symbols.

The Alter Ego: Slot Features

Players won’t get many extras in the base game other than mystery symbols, but The Alter Ego’s free spins round with its expanding reel mechanic is rather dynamic.

Mystery Symbols

Symbols with a ‘?’ on them are the mystery symbols, appearing on all reels in the base game and free spins. When mystery symbols are in view, they all transform into the same pay symbol.

Free Spins

Hitting 3 or more green serum scatters awards 3 free spins. During the round, whenever a scatter hits, the number of free spins resets back to 3. The highest-paying symbol in the free spins round replaces the base game’s top-paying symbol, and the green serum scatter is replaced by a red serum scatter. Now, at the start of the round, the reels with triggering scatters on them increase by +1 symbol position vertically. Each time a scatter hits on a free spin, the reel it landed on increases by +1 symbol position vertically up to a maximum of 10 high. If all reels reach 10 positions high, 100,000 ways to win are available.

Buy Free Spins

Players can buy free spins from the base game at the cost of 100x the bet for a 3-scatter trigger, 150x the bet for a 4-scatter trigger, or 200x the bet for a 5-scatter trigger. The RTP for the 3 scatter trigger is 96.05%, dropping to 96.01% for the 4 or 5 scatter trigger.

The Alter Ego: Slot Verdict

Not that it is by any means a requirement of extracting enjoyment from The Alter Ego, but knowledge of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde novella might enhance the experience. At the very least, it’s a riveting read, delving into the see-sawing interplay between good and evil, repression, psychological conditions, and more, while boasting a number of great quotes: ‘My devil had been long caged, he came out roaring.’ As stated, reading it is not a requirement, though, and gamblers who like their slots hard and volatile should be able to find all of that crammed within the confines of The Alter Ego.

The Alter Ego is a slot that lived up to its name, too. The base game, whilst atmospheric, has a low feature count that gives little hint of the mayhem possible during the free spins round. It’s a round where you want to land as many red serum scatter symbols as possible. A spin count of 3 does not provide a wide margin of error, and scatters help keep the bonus alive longer, regularly amounting to 20+ spins in the review, as an indicator. The longer, the better, too, in order to have time to build the grid into 5 towering stacks of 10 symbols each in the dream scenario, thereby opening up the full 100,000 ways to win, in a similar fashion to the Extending Reels feature in Big Time Gaming’s iconic White Rabbit slot. Like ingesting a glowing green serum, who knows what might happen?

Sometimes not much; there is no guarantee a bonus round will end up being a juggernaut, after all. However, should the serum be mixed just so, then The Alter Ego can deliver a thrillingly expansive ride, maybe like Dr Jekyll on one of his tears through the foggy London night in the guise of Mr Hyde.

 

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