The DNA of ELK Studios’ critically acclaimed Gold trilogy is immediately apparent in Ice Wolf, a Norse Mythology adventure game. Ice Wolf’s core mechanics are not dissimilar to those of other slot machines; players spin the reels in the hopes of increasing their payout potential by revealing additional paylines. You’ll see that this mutant variety, inspired by Quickspin’s 2016 hit Phoenix Sun, manages its expanded reel feature in a more conventional method.
We may have gone too far if we made you think you were in for another Tahiti Gold or Voodoo Gold. Although you will get to experience a similar emotional roller coaster as you watch the reels grow and collapse, and you will also profit from reel modifiers, you will not get quite the same volatility or potential, and you will not even get a true free spins feature. Is it even relevant? Come on, then, let’s find out.
Since ELK Studios games are always so openly transparent when it comes to facts and numbers, it’s always interesting for us reviewers and slots fans to dissect them. However, the slot’s standard configuration lacks the same excitement. You begin on a 6×3 pattern with 729 possible outcomes. You can probably guess that the magic doesn’t happen at this point in the game, but as soon as you start landing winning combos, things will progressively start to heat up. If you’re having a great run, you might switch to a 6×7 layout, which offers 74,088 possibilities to win. When you throw in some tasty wilds and multiplier modifiers, things may heat up quickly. You can join the wolf pack on their trek across the arctic desert for as little as 20c/p every spin and as much as €/$100 per spin across all devices.
Ice Wolf’s visual style is one of a kind thanks to the contrast between the watercolor-like graphics of the background and the sharp, modern design of the reel area. The reels are framed by two wolf head woodcarvings from viking ships, which are set against a stunning snowy mountain landscape with floating lens flare. There are six different picture symbols and the Q, K, and A card suit symbols that spin on the reels. The vikings’ shields, hammers, axes, eagles, reindeer, and wolves are listed from most valuable to least. The latter is the most lucrative option, paying out 5 times your initial bet for a hand of six of a kind.
ELK Studios’ Ice Wolf Has Some Cool Extras
There are two different ways to play Ice Wolf: the Normal mode and the Respin mode. When in Normal mode, the bottom three reels (6×3) and seventy-two paylines are always active for the first spin. Now, a Respin mode is triggered by a winning combination in Normal mode, melting ice tiles to reveal hidden paylines. Up to 7 rows per reel, the number of symbols in a winning combination is proportional to the number of symbols removed from ice in that reel. When no further respins are available, Respin mode will cease.
The game also benefits from an Ice Wolf symbol. When it appears on the reels, it initiates a wolfpack that clears away all ice on that reel, leaving a trail of wilds from its position and upwards. In addition, one Respin is granted. In addition, a variety of reel-based modifiers may become active to increase your chances of hitting a winning combination and your potential payout. These can only be used in the top 6×1 part and won’t function until all of the ice has been removed from that area. What to anticipate is as follows:
Sticky Wilds: The wild symbols in the upper section of the board will remain in place until the round ends.
These are multipliers, and they go from 2x to 3x to 5x to 10x to 50x. When enabled, these multipliers apply to all wins, regardless of where they appear on the reels. Up until the end of the round, multipliers accumulate and remain in effect.
Until it’s utilized to trigger a respin, the +1 Spin symbol will remain in place.
The Final Say on Ice Wolf by ELK Studios
The ELK Studios concept is further refined in Ice Wolf, a reel-expanding adventure with a fresh take on tried-and-true themes that holds its own next to the rest of the Gold-series. Where’s the catch, then? Well, Ice Wolf lacks the traits needed to appeal to most dedicated gamers, as the maximum win is only 2,500 times your bet. That is to say, it won’t likely receive much attention from gamblers or be up in any big-win compilations. Since ELK has released numerous slots this year aimed squarely at this group, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that they’d return to more “standard” fare.
It’s not only the mix of high risk (volatility) and low reward that might drive some players away. Because there is no bonus to activate, the gameplay can become repetitive and boring. There’s thrill in trying to reach the top modifiers to activate Respins and unlock paylines, but it’s easy to get frustrated when you have to start over after a few failed efforts.