When you think of Push Gaming, what comes to mind? Maybe it's dancing jars, seaweed, or just various creatures made to look fat. For me, it's Instant Prize Symbols – those tiny little coins that can take a bonus from being a complete flop to a resounding success in a matter of seconds. Those of us who covet these symbols are in for a treat today, as we take a look at Mad Cars – the latest release from the team, where the bonus is all about Instant Prize Car Symbols. Let's take a look under the bonnet of this highly volatile release, capable of producing wins up to 25,000x bet, with an RTP of 96.39% at its highest point.
Visually, we're in a post apocalyptic land – there's not much here, but what is here has been designed in a clean, crisp way. The whole thing comes together very well, with characters taking on entire personalities, even through their static images. Audios are subtle, but more than get the job done, setting the whole scene nicely, especially when cars appear.
Mad Cars Base Features
Taking place on a 7×5 grid, wins are formed on Mad Cars by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning at the leftmost reel, along one of 50 fixed win lines. The top reel, or the ‘Boost Reel', is closed off to normal symbols, but we'll explain more on this below. For now, let's take a look at the symbols available, beginning with non-premiums. With traffic cones, wrenches, steering wheels and spiked dice on offer, wins are available between 0.1 and 5x bet for landing between 3 and 5 of a kind. At the premium end, we have four quirky characters – green, blue, purple and orange in colour. Landing 3 of a kind will award wins between 0.4 and 2x bet, with these values increasing to between 20 and 100x bet for 5 of a kind.
There's plenty of extras in Mad Cars, so let's get straight into it. First, there are Instant Prize Car Symbols, and these pretty much work the same as you've gotten used to in releases like Fat Banker, Big Bamboo, Fat Drac, Jammin' Jars 2, or Dinopolis. Instant Prize Car Symbols are bet multipliers, and can take the following values: 1x, 2x, 5x, 10x, 25x, 50x, or 100x bet.
Instant Prize Car Symbols can land on any reel, but only one can land per reel, and they will always land on the bottom row. Once they have landed, they remain on the reels until they have been triggered – this is done by the car crossing the Finish Line imprint below the Boost Reel.
Cars move forwards (or upwards from our perspective) in their reel by landing gas in the Boost Reel directly above. This fuel will have a value attached, and this denotes the amount of spaces the car will move forwards – there are 6 steps to pass the Boost Reel (6 rows), and gas can move cars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 steps.
If there are multiple cars on the reels, and one of them passes the Boost Reel, any remaining cars will spin off the reels on the next spin, however multiple cars can pass the top row at once. Changing your bet will change the position of cars (much like the seaweed in Razor Shark).
It is possible to land the following Modifier Symbols on the Boost Reel:
- Gas – Moves Instant Prize Car Symbols or Scatter Car Symbols forwards (or up from our perspective) by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 symbol positions.
- Multiplier – Multiplies the value of Instant Prize Car Symbols. The multiplier will only apply to Instant Prize Car Symbols, and can have a value of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, or x100.
- Multiplier and Gas Combo – Multiplies the value of Instant Prize Car Symbols by x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, or x100, and then moves it forward by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 steps.
- Survivor – Applies a persistent effect to Instant Prize Car Symbols. This will stop a car from spinning off the reels if a separate car passes the Boost Reel first. Once any other car passes the Boost Reel ahead of the car with the Survivor effect, it loses its effect, remaining in its position, but it can then spin off the reels if another car passes the Boost Reel.
- Blank – Does not affect Instant Prize Car Symbols or any other symbol.
Modifier Symbols that land on the Boost Reel can only affect a car on the same reel – directly below them. They do not have any affect on normal symbols, nor cars on other reels.
Mad Cars Bonus
Along with landing Instant Prize Car Symbols on the bottom row, it is possible to land a Scatter Car Symbol. These Scatter Car Symbols work in the same was as Instant Prize Car Symbols – fuel is added to them from the Boost Reel, and once they cross the Finish Line the Mad Bonus is triggered, along with a 10x bet Instant Prize value. Scatter Car Symbols will be removed from the reels when another car crosses the Finish Line, unless they have the Survivor effect.
The Mad Bonus Feature begins with 7 Free Spins, and one Instant Prize Car Symbol on the bottom row of each reel (5 in total). There are no regular paying symbols in the Mad Bonus Feature – only Instant Prize Car Symbols. When one Instant Prize Car Symbol passes the Boost Reel, another will appear at the bottom of the respective reel, and +1 Free Spin is awarded. Remaining Instant Prize Car Symbols do not spin off when another crosses the Boost Reel during Free Spins.
The Boost Reel continues to reveal Modifier Symbols during the Mad Bonus Feature, and is capable of revealing all symbols from the Base Game, with the exception of the Survivor. In addition to this, the following new symbols can land:
- Line Up – When Line Up is applied to an Instant Prize Car Symbol, all other cars will align to the same row where the Boosted Car Symbol is.
- Persistent Payer – The Instant Prize Car Symbol that lands below this will award its value to all other Instant Car Symbols at the beginning of every spin, until it passes the Boost Reel. This symbol does not pay itself.
- Persistent Collector – The Instant Prize Car Symbol that lands below this will collect the values of all other Instant Car Symbols and add them to its own initial value at the beginning of every spin, until it passes the Boost Reel. This symbol does not collect itself.
- Persistent Payer and Collector Combo – The Instant Prize Car Symbol that lands below this will award its value to all other Instant Car Symbols, and then collect the values of all Instant Car Symbols and add them to its own initial value at the beginning of every spin, until it passes the Boost Reel. This symbol neither pays nor collects itself.
The Mad Race Feature can trigger randomly after the final Free Spin, and is similar to the Gold Car Feature we know from Fat Banker. When triggered, all Instant Prize Car Symbols on the reels will pass the Boost Reel, and pay out their value, regardless of their position when Free Spins ended. If the Mad Race Feature is triggered, no additional spins are awarded when cars pass the Boost Reel – the Mad Bonus Feature will end.
There are a number of Feature Buy options that players in appropriate regions can take advantage of:
- Mad Bonus Feature – 115.70x bet (96.40% RTP)
- Payer Bonus – 301x bet (96.46% RTP)
- Collector Bonus – 456x bet (96.45% RTP)
- Mystery Bonus – 624x bet 96.55% RTP)
In the Payer or Collector Bonus Buy, a Persistent Payer or Collector is guaranteed from the first spin. For those who opt for the Mystery Bonus, odds are as follows:
- Mad Bonus – 4/8
- Payer Bonus – 2/8
- Collector Bonus – 1/8
- Payer and Collector Combo Bonus – 1/8
There is no option to gamble after the Mystery Buy has revealed your feature.
The maximum win available is 25,000x bet. If the win of a single game round exceeds this, the game round will end and 25,000x bet will be awarded.
Just like a supercar, Push Gaming show no signs of slowing down. Mad Cars combines everything we love about this studio – a highly volatile maths model, a simple yet ingenious idea, and those Instant Prize Symbols – so rewarding. The concept is very similar to Money Train, and we know how popular the Relax series is, so it's unsurprising that we think Mad Cars will also be well received. With Instant Prize Car Symbols capable of taking on values of 100x bet, and then capable of being multiplied by x100, it's easy to see how Mad Cars can take off, specifically to the value of 25,000x bet. We continually see players reap the rewards of the Push releases, and we don't expect this to be any different. The highest RTP setting is 96.39%, but we recommend checking to be sure, as lower versions are available.
As always, it's all about the gameplay – brutal, fast paced and exciting. One of the most interesting aspects of the games is the Scatter Car Symbol, resulting in players actually seeing their Mad Car Feature waiting on them – especially painful when another car gets to the end first, and the Scatter is removed. It's quite similar to Razor Shark, where some players could never leave if there was seaweed on the reels – Mad Cars will take this to a new level. Of course, triggering the feature is only a third of the battle. You still have to get your cars modified in the right way, and then get them across the Finish Line. When it all comes together, it really comes together, but there can be plenty of heartache along the way – more so if you've chosen to go for the Feature Buy, valued as high as 624x bet.
When Free Spins begin, things are kicked up into a higher gear, especially if you're fortunate enough to trigger the Persistent Payer or Collector – or if you're extremely lucky and trigger the Persistent Payer and Collector Combo. If you're not one of the players who can buy a feature, not to worry – it's possible to trigger each of these within regular Free Spins, and still possible to hit huge wins without them anyway, with the aforementioned x100 multipliers available.
Overall, Mad Cars does what it says on the tin – it's a bit mad, and it's all about cars. What it doesn't say is that it's also thrilling, superbly developed, and one of the best releases to come from the Push Gaming team so far – but that title would probably have been a bit long.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.