Area 777 is the latest entry by media giant Adult Swim. They boast a surprisingly deep catalogue of games, with some big hits in the Robot Unicorn Attack and Monsters Ate My Condo series’. Adult Swim games generally hinge on some ludicrous concept, backed up by a polished presentation, and easy to grasp gameplay. Area 777 doesn’t deviate from this established formula.
Gameplay in Area 777 focuses on playing the slots, and is made ridiculous by an alien invasion that you must defend against with your magical gambling powers. Easy enough to believe, right? There’s some added strategy in how you decide to place magic chips, which various have powers, such as a wild chip which plays like a wildcard, or a black hole chip, which traps aliens. Sending aliens down a black hole or burning them up with a fire chip is decent fun, but it’s all sideline to playing the slots in this title.
This is a free to play game, so along with ads appearing periodically, you can expect to pay for tokens and extra chips, should you gamble them all away. As far as games of this type go it’s par for the course, and mostly inoffensive. Thankfully, spending cash is not required to play the game. Area 777 also doesn’t ask for purchases of tokens, but the amount you get for a real money purchase seems low. Something the game doesn’t tell you explicitly about earning coins is that you can collect up to 100 at the map choice screen, just in case you run out completely. That’s easily burned up in a few spins if you’re playing at the high roller table, but if you play more conservatively it should get you started.
What really stands out positively is the level of polish that Area 777 has. The sound design is excellent, and perfectly captures the ambiance of a casino. Every action you take has some sort of audio feedback, chips pleasantly clink when picked up, and the sounds when you win are straight out of Vegas. It’s not a graphically intensive game, but the visual design is bright, clear, and appealing—just like a digital slot machine. The rush that comes from winning big on a risky bet is communicated perfectly, with loads of visual and audible fanfare.
With all that though, the only thing at stake is your tokens, and there’s nothing to do with more tokens other than betting bigger, so winning feels a little empty. Were there some other need for tokens, like new characters, levels, or different ways to take out enemies, it might not lose its appeal so quickly.
Ultimately, though, beyond the simple pleasure of playing a slot machine, there isn’t too much here. There is some level of strategy in placing the chips to best help you, but Alien 777 doesn’t reward the player enough for his or her choices. Adult Swim bills the game as tower defense meets slot machine, which is a very appealing premise, albeit a somewhat terrifyingly addictive one. But in reality there’s not much consequence in how you choose to deal with the enemies in the game.
If you have an interest in a slot machine style game with an added bit of strategy, then definitely give this one a spin. It’s a slick game that will certainly keep your attention. But, if you dislike repetitive gameplay, which is more random than not, it’s probably best to pass.