UnPhiltered Slot Review: Wild Cauldron by Quickspin
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t looking forward to this game. Quickspin started, as we know, by making low volatility slots apparently for children, based on fairy tales and random folklore, and progressed to making games for teenagers about slightly more adult folklore. When a twilight game comes out I will know exactly who made it. However recently they turned off to one side, a more volatile side, like an uncle that reads you stories then all of a sudden takes you to a strip club and gives you 10 euros and says “go nuts”. Ahhh filthy uncle Dave. Recently Quickspin has gone down the model of mixing in some good new releases with some clones, similar to everyone else, but this one struck me as something that could be an interesting game. I had faith, similar to my religious beliefs, so I had faith in that I knew nothing and was going to be disappointed.
Wild Cauldon looks like a mix between a fairy tale and one of many dragon based games. It’s not a horrible looking game, Quickspin is always colourful and sounds good, but its nothing to write home about. The interest in this game comes from the game grid. It starts out as a 6×3 grid, with dropping down symbols forming a win, and then a new drop-down occurs but the reels expand by 1 vertically, going to 4×6, all the way to 8×6 if you are lucky enough to get a few mins. Spoiler – you usually are. This game expands more than Uncle Dave on our aforementioned trips.
The main difference between this game and the other similar expanding grid games is the win-mechanic. On Elk games the winning symbols are removed, on BTG its similar, this is the first game (That I can think of at least), where the winning symbols stick around and then the reels expand. You can technically get some insane wins int he base game on this slot just from filling 20% of the screen with the same symbols. On top of that, wilds increase the multiplier for the spin. Each wild adds a x1 tot he overall multiplier, so the wins can go up fast. I honestly really love the base game of this slot. This twist to expanding reels is great, and I have played this game a few times since it came out and at no point was I bored. Which is impressive.
The bonus is a standard “bonanza” style trigger. 4 scatters is 8 spins, with 2 more spins per extra scatter. I believe the maximum is 6 scatters for 12 spins. Doesn’t sound like a lot? Yeah, that’s what she said. But then you see what the bonus does and it kind of makes up for it. Each wild again adds to the multiplier but it’s sticky. So by the last spin, you could be on a large payout for a smaller win. 2 scatter symbols is a retrigger in the bonus, so it’s not too hard to activate. Most importantly, the reels expand and stay expanded. None of this building from 4×6 every spin, if you get it to 8×6 it stays there for the rest of the bonus. What’s more it doesn’t seem to Deadspin you to death with 3 spins left once you have a good set up. I’ve had 10 bonuses, all paid over 50x, with 2 paying over 500x. One was a red dragon away from about 5,000x. Being welsh I felt this was unfair, dragons are our creatures.
Score – Well, I loved this slot. It’s original enough to be fun, but also follows the right amount of “what makes grid/expanding reel games work” to be fun. Thematically it’s mediocre, but the gameplay and volatility/variance makes up for it enough to be enjoyable and thrilling on most spins. It’s not like me to love a game by Quickspin, I find them either poor or decent quality, but this takes the journey they are on to a whole new level. I really hope this game does well for them as the idea and fun of playing it makes it worth it. It would be a perfect score if the theming was a bit better, graphics on the symbols could be more “advanced”, and it didn’t remind me of my uncle (Sit on my lap Tuesdays still haunt me), but it is a very solid release and I still play it after reviewing it.
UnPhiltered Slot Review: Skulls Up by Quickspin
This week Quickspin is launching its first original game of the year – “Skulls UP!“
Fresh off the back of their last game, Goldilocks gets cloned and turns bi-polar. It’s nice to see something new that doesn’t seem to have been cloned from any other game.
Graphically the game is what you can expect for a QS release, fun, quirky, colourful and bold. Pirates, parrots, primates and princesses adorn the reels, and guide you to some average sized wins. This provider isn’t well known for its huge base hits, outside of Eastern Emeralds, and this slot is no different. I would say medium to low volatility personally, but I thought the same about my ex-girlfriend and I ended up with vodka thrown in my eyes so I could be wrong.
The game is a simple 3×5 format, with 243 all-ways pay, and extended reel possibilities on the middle 3 reels. Landing a Golden Skull will offer 2 respins and the skull rises up like a Netflix documentary after a real life crisis, and sticks at the top of your screen, extending the reels and ways. Keep landing skulls and all 3 reels can extend to 6 high. I’m sure there is a joke about extending something to 6, but I just cant think of it. According to Quickspin “Skulls smash up to 1,944 ways to win“. I wish I smashed in that many ways.
Annoying to few, loved by some, and tolerated by pretty much everyone, this game only has bonus symbols on reels 2,3 & 4, so expect some famous Quickspin “walking past waving” bonus teases. It’s like watching your dreams be crushed in front of your eyes when the last bonus symbols drops out of view by one position. This game loves a tease, on my testing dropping 2 chests every 13 spins. The bonus lands (1 in 130 odds, not bad) and 6 spins are awarded. More Golden skulls are in the bonus, and the extended reels stick for the duration of the bonus. 2 Extra spins are awarded for reaching a max reel height. Not a bad bonus, but
Legal stuff – Game runs at 96.29%. Bets range from 10c to 100 Euros. Max win seems to be 3,650x stake.
Score – Its hard to rate Quickspin games. They do exactly what they are designed to. Nothing dramatic or life changing wins, but can be fun and always unique bonus round for their new slots. The downside is the low average payout of their bonuses, but they mask that with decent playability and a good user experience. 7/10. Would play again but not regularly… Much like what I say about the gym.