Kaiser is the German name for Emperor, and during the time period of the game’s setting, this was Wilhelm II, who abdicated at the end of the war, bringing an end to the House of Hohenzollern’s 300 years of dominance. We meet lone soldier Hans Schultz in 1914, when “the world is shaken by the rolling thunder of marching boots and waves of unstoppable tanks,” to quote Peter & Sons’ Kaiser the Great, four years after these events.
Seems like a depressing premise for a slot machine, but the cartooning skills of Peter & Sons are here to brighten things up. Kaiser depicts the Great War with less blood and gore than other films, but the tone is nonetheless somber. Herr Schultz is in a sandbagged trench adjacent to a no man’s land populated with shot-down trees in a range of muted browns and grays. Regardless of whether or not he is the same Hans Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes, we can’t help but laugh at his antics as he dances around playfully in response to the action on the game panel. The grid is a 5×5 square with 40 always-active paylines that sits in the midst of the chasm.
Kaiser is quite mild compared to other Peter & Sons games; it’s designed for gamblers who will enjoy Hans’ antics as much as the game’s mathematical model and possible payouts. In terms of numbers, the game has a respectable RTP of 97% and a medium to high level of volatility. Despite all the wild and multiplier action, the average win percentage is only 19.92%, meaning that players may expect a win once every five spins. Kaiser may be played on any device with betting options ranging from 20 p/c to £/€40 per spin.
When three or more identical symbols appear on neighboring reels in the leftmost position, a win is triggered. Payouts for lower-value symbols start with 10’s and A’s and go through more food-related items like cheese, pretzels, German cops, and happy nurses. If you get a winning combination of five tiles with the latter two characters, you’ll get paid off by ten to fifteen times your original wager. Pilsner beer labels act as wilds in the main game and turn into Eagle symbols during free games. In both cases, wilds can substitute ordinary pay symbols to create winning combinations and are worth up to twenty times the wager for a full payline.
To Play the Slots Like a King
Kaiser’s special features revolve around a basic game with wilds and multipliers and a bonus game with free spins that may be activated. In the main game, a win multiplier is activated if 3–10 wild symbols appear in any position at random. This feature is called the Wild Multiplier. When Wild Multipliers are activated for the first time, a signal is sent out with a base of x1. The multiplier starts at x1, doubles with the second occurrence, and triples at the third. The cycle will restart at x1 if it goes off again after that.
The scatter is the golden box on the middle three reels with what may be the Kaiser’s eagle embossed on it. If you get 3 of them at once, you’ll get 7 free spins on the Kaiser. To initiate the bonus round, the computer randomly places 3-10 Roaming Wild Multiplier symbols anywhere on the field. These symbols randomly reposition themselves between spins. When a bonus round is triggered, the reels are stopped and any Scatters that have appeared are collected. The wild symbol’s multiplier goes from 1x to 5x when scatters are collected. Free games are increased by two with every level up in multipliers.
Judgment of the Kaiser, the Slot
You probably don’t get the chance to play a slot machine whose theme is the First World War very often. If Peter & Sons hadn’t been so comic about it, it could have been more divisive. However, it might be viewed as insulting by some. A far cry from the mud, frostbite, and rodents that are stereotypically associated with trench fighting. Given this, we’ll maintain our focus squarely on the game industry and stay out of the political ring.
Peter & Sons, as always, have made a slot that is easily identifiable as one of these, and the characteristic cartoon style presentation and animations are as fun as ever. Kaiser’s aesthetic was reminiscent to ELK’s Dream Diver and Blueprint’s Tivoli, although with a more childlike quality. Is it possible that it sounds too cartoony? Some may find Kaiser to be overly simplistic at times, like a Saturday morning cartoon or a children’s book about war.
Not as creative as the overall concept are the features. Random multipliers can be effective when they occur in larger quantities, and growing multipliers provide players incentive to succeed. The game naturally ramps up throughout the bonus spins, while it appears like Peter & Sons aimed for a different demographic with Kaiser. Kaiser’s maximum win is just 2,333 times the wager, which is less interesting than the prior releases’ focus on high volatility/high potential.
In the end, Kaiser stands out as a special title that makes good use of a novel topic through stunning visuals. The features are serviceable, being simple yet occasionally effective, although they have been restrained to avoid the action from becoming too chaotic. Gamblers searching for something different after playing a World War I game or those who feel like they’ve seen it all could find some amusement in Kaiser.