Although the Space Race title invokes images of an adrenaline-fueled space adventurers, Star Wars style, the Space Race actually refers to a real geopolitical conflict between two major players of the cold war era - United States and Russia. Having achieved stalemate in nuclear armament, these global ideological rivals then embarked on a space race. Which involved various stages of advancement in space technologies: launching satellites, launching first humans into space, and building giant rockets that could carry a team of people to our closest celestial body - the moon - thus culminating the end of the space race with United States being the clear winner.
Unfortunately, as United States embarked on the multicultural and multiracial project, one that is unprecedented in the history of nations, it grew weaker to the point of needing to outsource suborbital flights to a Russian space agency. In the end, with US mired in unpayable debt, probably no one won the space race, especially given the complete lack of any big space projects for the foreseeable future.
After a lengthy intro video sequence, you can already tell that Space Race was envisioned to be more than a mere video slot game. Everything about is highly stylized within the realm of a space theme. And although the sound effects are futuristic and spacey, most of the icon design is grounded in reality. You will encounter animated meteor showers, rockets, probes, and realistic-looking space astronauts.
You will also get to see Earth, Moon, and whenever you hit a bonus feature of the game you will be rewarded with an animated sequence. The sound design could have been better, as they have relied on the spacey tropes of beeps and zaps, but they don't detract from the overall solid impression.
The background is animated as well, with randomly shooting meteors in the distant galactic vista. And as for how the game is structured, the Space Race offers you 5 standard reels with three rows, and also standard 20 locked paylines. The non-graphic elements such as letters are not left behind, as they look like they have been lasered off from metal.
In Space Race, the Meteor Shower scatter symbols are tightly linked to the Free Spin bonus mode. A minimum of 3 meteor shower scatters are needed to trigger the free spin, as they land anywhere on the screen. You can get for up to 15 free spins, which is pretty conventional for video slot games.
Of course, Space Race is all about US 'winning' the race which officially concluded when it landed Apollo lunar module on the moon. Accordingly, to launch the Moon Landing bonus you need to land three or more satellite scatter icons anywhere on the game field.
If you are familiar with Battleship tabletop game you will love this bonus. After picking the position in which to place your spacecraft, a meteor shower will commence. Your mission is to evade the hits before it depletes your shield - you have three to work with. Each surviving grid gives you a chance to transition to another one, until you finally reach the moon grid.
As is usually the practice with video slot games, the Space Race logo itself is the wild symbol which serves as a substitute for every other symbol, except for the scatter and bonus symbols - meteor shower and satellite.
Space Race relies heavily on bonus games for wins, as it does not have a multiplier feature. So, as long as you are lucky enough to trigger the bonus games, you will likely get something out of it, besides playing the truly engaging mini-games. Something you not often experience in a video slot game.
Space Race is at the same time visually grounded in reality, yet it still offers that magical sci-fi feeling. Probably because for many, this is still the realm of sci-fi considering the sorry, unambitious state of the current space program, We have actually regressed in many ways instead of progressed from that historical landing on the moon. Play Space Race for free to stir up that enthusiasm for space exploration again.
The free spins and moon landing bonus seem to be your best bet for significant wins, so when they come along, play them to their full potential. After all, free play is there for a reason - practice first before committing financially.