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Let your inner warrior out with this fantastic slot machine adaptation of the hit TV show Vikings. NetEnt packs this fun and easy-to-learn Vikings slot machine game with a lot of Norse flair that’s sure to please fans. Although anyone should be happy with the 243 paylines and multiple bonus features that spice up each spin, including an expanded raid bonus mode that features 78,125 ways to win. Let’s see what riches lie across the sea.
Appearance of Vikings Slot
While some licensed slot machines look like cheap cash-ins, the Vikings online slot game really steps up to match the look and feel of the show. The background is a lovely, rich design that has a nice depth to it. The cold harbor and distant ship are accompanied by a raven and a fluttering banner, along with a steady snowfall that may give players a little chill. The bonus raid mode features a full transition with a shot of the ship passing under a barrage of flaming arrows as it moves to a dark battlefield setting.
The 11 symbols are all highly detailed and related to the series. The higher values symbols are four character portraits that form colored banners when they fall in a stack of three. The often ignored card symbols of “A, K, Q, J and 10” are done in a rough metal look with blood effects that match the title font. The game also features a nice level of animation. The highest value symbol, a golden “V” based on the logo, actually adds a blood splatter that drips down the reel behind other symbols, and the raid symbol is a shield that’s pierced by an off-screen arrow once it settles in place. Big wins light the reels on fire and send a raven flying by to celebrate the payout. Even the spin button is in theme as a giant rune.
The sound design is also nicely done. The game uses several quotes and sound effects from the show. Players should expect to hear arrows flying and cries of “Shield Wall” fairly often. There’s steady Norse-inspired music playing in the background during the main spins. The raid mode naturally switches to a fast-paced battle theme to amp up the excitement. Overall, there’s just an incredible sense of style and attention to detail.
Vikings Slot Machine: Core Gameplay
Of course, the best design in the world won’t cover for a bad game. Thankfully, NetEnt provides a nice experience overall. Vikings is a 5-reel and 3-row game. Each spin requires a minimum of 20 coins. Players can set the value of their coins and the multiplier for their bet before the spin. Unlike some other slot machines, there aren’t really paylines to consider. Winning lines still have to start on the left reel and move to the right, but as long as there’s a matching symbol in any spot on the next reel the combo continues.
Aside from the standard line play, the Hotspot bonus feature adds in special scatter pay opportunities. Any of the four character portraits can come in as a stack, which converts to a nice 3-symbol tall banner on the reel. During the main game, the third reel is a special Hotspot reel.
If one entire Viking banner fills the three spots on the reel, then all of the other Viking faces visible on the reels will change to match the Viking in the Hotspot. This then triggers a scatter payout, with each of the spaces on the board adding to the reward regardless of whether they form a line. It’s basically a nice mini-jackpot.
Unlucky players can potentially trigger a Shield Wall to save the spin. On any spin that doesn’t have a natural win or a bonus trigger, there’s a chance for players to hear a little cry out for a shield wall. This drops a block of either six or ten shields on the reels, in either a 3×2 or 5×2 formation.
Once they’re on the spaces, the shields drop to reveal a full block of one of the characters. The 3×2 formation doesn’t necessarily guarantee a payout if it lands in the middle or on the right side of the game, but it still loads up the board for a good chance at a payout.
The average gameplay can unfortunately be a little boring at times. The payouts for standard lines are fairly low. The only set of five that pays above break even is the golden “V.” Simultaneous wins also aren’t as common as players might expect, given how easy it is for a character banner to break up winning lines. Most of the game is going to revolve around some very small line payouts, with the occasional Shield Wall or Hotspot refilling the bankroll until a raid round comes around.
The Raid Bonus Round
What would a free Vikings slot game be without a little raiding? Special raid symbols can appear on the third, fourth and fifth reels during any standard spin. Getting one on each reel triggers the bonus round. The raid round expands the game into a 7-reel and 5-row game and gives the player seven free spins.
Raid symbols do not appear during the raid mode, so it cannot be triggered again. The symbols have higher payouts available for a line of six or seven, and the extra rows mean that there are more opportunities for combinations to start with 78,125 available betways. Although players should note that it is sadly still quite possible to not win much in the round, especially since most of the big money is tied up in the expanded bonus features.
Shield Wall Bonus Feature
Players can still trigger the Shield Wall bonus feature during a raid round. The Shield Wall comes in as a block of 4×2, 5×2 or 5×3 symbols and it can now trigger on winning spins as long as the Hotspot wasn’t also triggered.
Hotspot Scatter Bonus Feature
The Hotspot is expanded to a 3×3 block in the center of the game. If any of the Hotspot spaces on the third, fourth or fifth reels are filled by a stacked character banner, it converts all of the other characters to match it just like in the normal game. Since there are an extra 20 spaces, the scatter bonus can really add up on a lucky spin. Getting a scatter payout for 27 Viking spaces is the jackpot for the game, which will pay out 200,000x the bet level and close out the bonus round.
Our Final Thoughts
On the whole, the Vikings video slot game is a great machine that should be good for just about anyone. Fans of the show will enjoy the references, but most players should at least enjoy the detailed design even if they don’t watch it.
The gameplay is fairly friendly to newer players, with no wild spaces or complicated bonuses games. Once players understand the hotspot and the raid round, they’re good to go.
More experienced players should still be happy with the 96.05% RTP though. The only negative is that the game comes a little too close to Viking life at times. Sometimes it can feel like everything’s just a long wait between raids, but a good bonus round can make that feeling quickly fade.