To think that Hanna-Barbera’s Top Cat first aired in 1961 is unfathomable. Since then, several repeats have included the naughty feline group, whose antics remain just as funny despite their age. Top Cat and his gang were always up to some sort of nefarious scheme to earn a buck, much to Officer Dibble’s chagrin. Developer Blueprint Gaming, who has a history with the program, is responsible for their return.
Top Cat has been featured in slots produced by this studio before. Both the original Blueprint and the version created for their Pub Fruit series are loaded with features. The current one, Top Cat Most Wanted, is a carbon copy of the classic slot machine Fishin’ Frenzy; there is even a Megaways version of Fishin’ Frenzy. As one delves more, other safeguards materialize out of thin air. Someone at Blueprint is obviously a huge admirer of Top Cat.
One of Manhattan’s countless alleyways, Hoagy’s Alley is the only place a Top Cat slot could possibly be found. There, cats survived off of scraps from the community’s trash cans, joked around, and plotted their next ploy for easy money. This scene is quite similar to that of Blueprint’s original Top Cat slot, but the 5-reel, 10-payline grid occupies a larger portion of the screen, leaving less room for the New York City cityscape in the background. Not precisely the cartoon’s theme, but a more relaxed variation, a bossa nova background music adds an air of sophistication.
From 10 percent up to $/€200 each spin, you may place your wagers on any device. The mathematical model produces the same results as the original Fishin’ Frenzy since the two games are identical save for the visuals. It translates to a good RTP of 96.12% and a volatility level somewhere in the middle. It would have been helpful to know an official hit rate, but none was provided. With such high volatility, you may hope for better odds of winning. Surprisingly lengthy stretches of dead spins were discovered during testing; while this made some sense when fishing, it became boring in a back alley. Especially when there is really nothing new outside the core experience to be excited about as an added bonus.
During the main game, Top Cat Most Wanted’s only redeeming feature is the premiums, which are based on symbol values. There are 9 standard pay symbols and 6 desirable cat symbols in the paytable. There are a lot of symbols competing for position, making it difficult to get winning combos on any of the game’s 10 fixed paylines. The reward for a combination of three cat symbols is a nice bonus. Except for the highest paying logo, which only requires two of a kind, all other symbols require at least three of a kind.
The lowest paying symbols begin with the 10-A royals and are followed by the six cats. Next come symbols like fish bones, trash cans, bags of cash, and the logo, with payouts ranging from 50 to 200 times the initial wager for a full house. Now onto the game’s features, as that is it for the core gameplay.
Slot Machine’s Most Wanted Animals: Top Cats
This newer version lacks several of the features included in the earlier one. Free spins with a symbol collecting feature are exactly what you can anticipate if you’ve played Fishin’ Frenzy previously.
If you see three or more bonus symbols, you’ll trigger a number of free spins. Bonuses of 10, 15, or 20 Double Trouble Free Spins are awarded for 3, 4, or 5 in view, respectively.
During the bonus game, Officer Dibble appears as a wild symbol that may replace any other pay sign. When Dibble falls on the same square as the cat desired symbols, the values they show are tallied. The values of the symbols are re-collected if several Dibble symbols land at the same time. Because free spins cannot be retriggered, Dibble must perform his job right while the feature is active.
Finally, Dibble is the game’s most valued icon. He awards a return of 1 to the bettor for a pair, 2 times the wager for three of a kind, and 500 to the bettor for five of a kind.
Most Wanted Slot Verdict: Top Cat
I’m not sold on this idea. If you like the cartoon, you might enjoy spinning the reels for a little while just to get a glimpse of those crazy cats again. Some voice-overs are included, and the bold, colorful visuals capture the show’s carefree vibe. However, enthusiasm wanes quickly. In a game with so few elements, the wins don’t appear to come through often enough to keep players engaged.
One can’t help but believe that Top Cat: Most Wanted is unnecessary. It’s not a great addition to the Top Cat series of slot machines or the Fishin’ Frenzy family. Dibble capturing cats like a fisherman pulling in fish makes perfect logic, but does this flimsy analogy really warrant cloning? The maximum payout on Top Cat is $250,000, or 50,000 times the stake, but as is customary with the fine print of Blueprint games, this looks like a long shot at best. The maximum payments in Fishin’ Frenzy were 2,000x, which is a more reasonable expectation.
Top Cat Most Wanted looks great, plays smoothly, and is a good Fishin’ Frenzy clone, but after a time you have to question why you bothered. Top Cat Most Wanted adds nothing new or particularly fascinating to the series, but it does help Blueprint milk the licensing a little more.