Area 21 by Cryptologic takes its name from the mysterious Area 51 and adopts the alien theme (combined with an unusual, if innovative blackjack free spin feature). There’s a good variety of coin sizes with big jackpots on offer, especially in the free spin feature.
Area 21 slots is a 5 reel, 25 payline game where players can choose to play either 1x, 5x, 10x or 25x paylines per spin. The coin sizes available are 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.04, 0.05, 0.10, 0.25, 0.50, $1.00, $2.00 and $5.00, meaning the maximum bet ranges in size from $0.25 – $125. This variety of coin size means that betting the maximum is always viable. Wins pay from left to right except for the scatter which pays anywhere on the reels, and wins are multiplied by the payline bet. However, scatter wins are multiplied by the total bet.
The feature is triggered by hitting 3x, 4x or 5x scatter symbols anywhere on the reels. To play the feature round, players are taken to a separate screen where they play a hand of blackjack against the alien dealer to determine how many free spins are awarded (normal blackjack rules apply):
Further free spins can be re-triggered during the feature. If this occurs, a new hand of blackjack is dealt at the conclusion of the preceding set of free spins.
The eerie electronic soundtrack that plays throughout is reminiscent of The X-Files theme tune, while the overall look and feel is similar to an early Hollywood alien invasion film, with loud laser bursts whenever the scatter appears on the reels. The screen is in very bright luminescent colours, predominantly purple and lime green, and there are comic depictions of the aliens. After a winning spin symbols animate with the aliens revealing playing cards, while a helpful box under the reels tells you which payline(s) has won and how much the payout is. The animation during the free spin feature is fairly rudimentary by the latest standards but nevertheless engaging enough and in keeping with the game’s overall theme.
Area 21 online slots is a medium to high volatility game with a number of potentially sizeable payouts. The biggest jackpot available is up to $50,000 for hitting 5x wild symbols during the free spin feature when the 5x multiplier is in play (provided you are betting the maximum coin size and number). During base play, the biggest jackpot on offer is $10,000, again for hitting 5x wild symbols when betting the maximum coin size and number.
The Area 21 slots innovative blackjack free spin feature undoubtedly makes it stand out as a game: