Universal Cup: The Football Slot Without Any Football!

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In the aftermath of the FIFA World Cup in Russia in July, there have been a lot of football-based games. Some have been excellent (Hugo Goal, for instance) but others have let us down. Universal Cup falls somewhere in the middle: it’s not really about football, but it’s a good enough slot.

With two big bonus features and a maximum bet of $100, there is definite financial incentive for players. It’s nowhere near as volatile as some games, but this is considered a positive for many players: it means you are unlikely to lose all of your money by going 30 spins without a win! Let’s see what else the game has in store…

Theme

The universe has finally delivered on Intergalactic Football, where we’ll probably learn that Ronaldo is human after all!

Gameplay Overview & Symbols

Only slightly reminiscent of The Lonely Island’s album track Space Olympics (both by theme and sound effects..) Universal Cup is history’s first-ever Intergalactic Football tournament! Unlike some of the other recent World Cup-inspired slots we’ve seen in recent months, this one really has very little to do with football itself.

But who cares – it’s about space sports and spits out money!

The game is set within a sports ground, and the highest-value symbols are the alien players themselves (which could easily have been taken from any episode of Star Trek over the years) with 25x stake for landing the blue fellow 5 times on one payline.

If we’re completely honest, the standard gameplay is quite uninspiring. Because they’re all futuristic alien symbols wrapped in metal casings, they all look very similar and you can’t immediately tell everything apart. The reels just look a bit crowded, a bit busy, and so you don’t feel overly immersed in the game.

Universal Cup Wilds

The game’ wild symbol (a golden trophy with the word Wild stamped on its front) substitutes for other symbols to make winning combinations, as usual. However, in this game, a fully-stacked wild can be randomly generated from the blue footballer. He will spontaneously erupt into a reel-filling wild, often leading to huge wins which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible!

Special Features

There are two special features worthy of note:

  • Manager Bonus – There are several “bonus” symbols floating around the reels. Land 3 on a single spin to activate this simply round. It’s a classic “Pick Me” bonus, where you’ll select one of the on-screen managers, who will present you with a meaty paycheck! These instant cash prizes can completely turn your luck around, if you’ve been going through a bad patch!
  • Free Kick Spins BonusIf you manage to land the free spins symbols (separate from the ‘bonus’ ones) on reels 1, 3, and 5 simultaneously, then it’s 7 free spins for you! You not only get free spins, but the Universal Cup Wilds feature is still in play, meaning you could be dealing with stacks of wilds and whopping payouts.

Even better, every one of the 7 spins is guaranteed to win. That’s just how the game is built. Enjoy!

Our Verdict

As we said at the start, this game just isn’t about football. Sure, there are footie symbols around the place and you get the “free kick” bonus, but that’s about it. How this game should be advertised is as a high-tech sci-fi superhero game – that’s more what it looks like.

Universal Cup does give players plenty to enjoy (bonuses, regular wins, enjoyable sound effects) but it also plays pretty slowly, and only offers 7 spins in the bonus round. It’s decent, but we’ll leave it up to you to decide whether it suits your style!

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