Get ready for some belly laughs if you’re the type of person who finds it hilarious when celebrities show up at a red carpet event wearing identical outfits. Or, you may scratch your head in astonishment at Pragmatic Play’s ‘new’ game, Runaway 7s, which is actually a rip-off of ELK Studios’ motorway slot Route 777. We’re not talking about a slot that has only a few characteristics with another game. It’s as if Pragmatic Play stuck up their middle finger and said, “Yeah, and?” to their rivals with Runaway 7s. Perhaps a former employee of ELK was trying to exact retribution after their non-disclosure agreement expired. I don’t know. Anyway, be ready for the slot machine equivalent of the future.
The game’s aesthetics begin with a barren, North American-style landscape reminiscent of the slot Runaway 7s, but one centered on a railroad track rather than a freeway. It’s funny because it seems like Pragmatic Play is attempting (but not really trying) to be different from when they originally introduced the Route 66 theme. Above the game panel in Runaway 7, there is a screen with pixelated pictures. There was nothing left to do but laugh at the sheer brazenness of it all.
Runaway 7s has a return to player percentage (RTP) of 96.5% when played conventionally and 96.51% when any of the two features is purchased, which is better than average. Although players can risk anything from £/€1 to £/€100 every spin (base bet), the math model is quite risky (ranked 5 out of 5), making it unsuitable for those with tighter budgets.
Runaways 7s is played on a 3×3 game grid with 17 ways to win, but the only regular rewards are for getting three 7s in a row. The BAR, plum, orange, cherry, purple 7, orange 7, white 7, and triple 7 are all represented. Runaway 7s does not have any wild symbols, yet wins for matching these symbols pay out at rates ranging from 0.5 to 70 times the wager.
Slot Characteristics: Runaway 7s
It does contain a scatter symbol in the form of a train, which can launch a wheel bonus and free games. In addition, a Respins option is available.
If the identical symbol appears on reels 1 and 2, you will receive 5 free spins. Reels 1 and 2 go down one position with each respin, but reel 3 continues to spin normally. After each respin, if a winning combination appears, a payout will be made. If free spins are activated during a respin, they will be played in their entirety, and after they are done, the game will return to the remaining respin opportunities. In the event that both free spins and a respin occur on the same spin in the base game, the free spins will take precedence.
Five free spins are triggered when three scatters appear during the main game or a respin. Two scatters during the free spins feature provide 5–15 extra free spins, while three scatters activate the Wheel bonus. The free spins will continue once the Wheel bonus round has been played.
Playing the Wheel feature involves a grid of 4×3 symbols, with each sign representing a different level. The following icons or the word “STOP” may cause the wheel to halt in their respective slots. The game advances to the next level whenever the wheel lands on one of the following symbols:
The value of a Purple 7 increases by 1, 10, or 100 depending on the level.
Value for Orange 7 increases by a factor of 2, 20, or 200 depending on the level.
The value of a White 7 increases by 5, 50, or 500 times depending on the level.
The value of a Purple 7 increases by 10, 100, or 1,000 times depending on its level.
When one of the symbols reaches level 3 or when the word STOP is unveiled, the bonus round will finish. Then, a prize is given to the symbol with the greatest overall level.
Players may purchase re-spins for 20x their wager, or free spins for 50x their bet, using the two feature buy choices.
Random Sevens: The Slot’s Verdict
Confusing, right? That a production company would steal so obviously from another studio. Parallels may be seen between the Runaway 7s situation and the Starblast/Crystal Sun – Starburst fiasco or the InfiniReels/Infinity Reels kerfuffle. Surely there’s a rationale, like financial gain for ELK Studios or… something. No explanation would make the situation any less strange. Considering Pragmatic Play’s reputation, track record, and breadth of titles, the studio’s decision to ape another developer’s position suggests a lack of confidence or laziness. I really doubt it.
Now that we’re done with Nancy Drew, how did Runaway 7s do? The game did roughly as well as Route 777, but it lacked the thrill of the original slot machine’s burnt rubber, scorched asphalt, pedal to the metal, pinball, Americana vibe. Since the gameplay is virtually same, it might be a good fit for those who are seeking a 3-reel slot with more depth than is often seen in games of this genre. The meat of the game consists of free spins, during which the Wheel feature may be accessed, and respins, which can increase the excitement of the main game. The maximum win remains at 4,000x the wager, but there are now two feature buys available for purchase; they are far less than the feature buys on many other slots.
Alright, let’s just file Runaway 7s under “one of the more perplexing moments in the history of online gambling.” Someone at Stakelogic must have made a wager with their counterpart at Pragmatic Play on who could make the most transparent copy. Of course, I’m only thinking out loud here, but in the hypothetical situation where such a bet actually existed, Pragmatic Play would have already collected on the wager.