Released just in time for the quadrennial UEFA Euro 2016 international football tournament to be held in France over the European summer, Net Entertainment presents its attempt at cashing in on European football fever with Football: Champions Cup. This slick soccer themed slot machine sports 20 paylines, and boasts a couple of football tournament themed bonus features such as a penalty shootout and tournament free spins that allow you to win a grand prize of up to 210,350 coins.
The first thing you are presented with when you start this game is an opportunity to pick your favoured country flag from any of the 24 nations competing at Euro 2016. This selection comes into play later should you trigger the free spins round but, for all intents and purposes, it is purely cosmetic. If you don't care or your country isn't participating in the tournament, you can just choose any flag or click a button to make a random selection.
After that it is time to spin the reels and see what you can win. The game is fixed at 20 paylines so you cannot play less lines than this on any spin. The major symbols in this game are the wild football, the player, jersey, football boot, goalkeeper's glove, and the referee's whistle, descending in value in that order. The minor symbols are the traditional slot machine A, K, Q, J, and 10 symbols. The symbols that you really want to see in this game though are the champions cup scatter, three of which start a free spins round, and the bonus symbol which triggers a penalty shootout feature should you three or more on a single spin.
The penalty shootout feature pits your team against the opposition in a traditional five kick contest of nerves to see who wins the match. You can pick four locations to either kick or save a penalty: bottom and top right and bottom and top left corners of the net. Sadly there is no option to blast it down the middle or make the keeper look silly with a delicate Panenka as he dives out of the way. During this feature you earn coins for successful spot kicks and saves and nothing for a missed penalty or a failure to save one. The shootout ends when either team wins after you have each taken a minimum of five kicks. You can get lucky and go on for more penalties should the scores be tied beyond the 5th kick, like in a real football game.
The other major feature is the tournament free spins that you can trigger by landing three champions cup symbols on reels 2, 3, and 4. This feature consists of the knockout stage of the tournament where your team that you chose earlier with the flag selection can win your way through to the final by accumulating "scoring wilds" during each round of free spins. A scoring wild on reels 1 or 2 counts as a goal for your team while one on reels 4 or 5 counts as a goal for the opposition. If you end a free spins round with more goals than the opposition you knock them out and move on to the next match in the tournament. Should you win all the way through the four knockout rounds, you can take home the champions cup and, more importantly, a hefty bonus prize of 100,000 coins in addition to your free spin winnings.
Overall this is a fun slot from Net Entertainment with the potential for some big wins in the knockout tournament free spins feature in particular. If you're a football fan, you'll want to give this game a shot and see if you can take your country to the champions cup final.