It's pretty cool when we get to see a software company start with a theme or concept that we haven't seen used over and over in the industry and try to make a solid slot with it. Arrow's Edge has tried to do just that with their Top Dog video slot. It isn't going to win any awards for the best graphics in the world, but if you're looking for a solid overall experience with a chance to win a sizable jackpot, then you could make worse choices about what to play.
This game uses a five-reel, three-row format with 25 paylines. All paylines pay left to right only. If you look at how the bet size is determined, it's a bit atypical since they don't use the normal coin size/payline/number of coins arrangement. Instead, you choose from actual bet sizes per spin starting with $0.25 and going up to $225 apiece. This gives plenty of room for players who want to play at any level of stakes, and this translates to coin sizes of $0.01 to $9 apiece. It's kind of odds that they'd stop at $225 and not go all the way up to $250, but that won't affect hardly anyone.
Before we go any further, we want to point out that the graphics in this game leave a lot to be desired. This is common for Arrow's Edge, a company that isn't well-known for putting a lot of work into the appearance of their titles.
The first thing you need to realize in this game is that the wilds do not show up on all five reels. Instead, the bull dog with its owner and the first place ribbon (which is strangely in orange instead of blue) will show up on the middle three reels. If you don't know what the different types of dogs look like, and with their cartoony graphics this might even apply to people who do, then you just need to point out the dog with the orange ribbon with the green background.
There's a black dog in front of a green circle that's the top-paying symbol in the game, and it awards a whooping 8,000x for five of a kind. The poodle with the blue background and the pink comb will pay 1,000x for five of a kind. The three women with their dogs and the dark dog with the blue background and a trophy both pay 500x for five of a kind. This rounds out the top pays, and when you add in the wilds in the middle three reels, it becomes much easier to hit these winning combinations.
There are six low-end symbols in this game represented by the A, K, Q, J, 10 and 9 symbols. They are colored with different backgrounds to make them easier to see, but they've definitely been handled in a lazier way than the low-end symbols for most slots produced today.
The A and K both pay 200x for five of a kind. Q and J also pay 125x for five. You can win 100x for five of a kind in 10s or 9s. It's important to point out that the lowest five of a kind win in this game is still 100x, and that's a bit more balanced than what you'd typically find on a lot of other slots.
Scatters and Free Spins
The chocolate lab is the scatter in this game. If you don't know what a chocolate lab looks like, then it's a dark dog on the left with a female owner in orange on the right and a green background. Two of these anywhere on the reels gives you a win of 2x your total bet. Three gets you a 5x win, four picks up 20x, and five gives you a 100x payout. This largest payout is the equivalent of a 2,500x line bet win, so it's the second-highest win in the game. Three or more of the scatter also wins a set of free spins.
If we're being honest, Top Dog isn't going to win any awards for having the best graphics. However, if you're looking for a medium-volatility video slot that has a free spins feature and a balanced pay table, then this isn't the worst choice in the world.