Black River Gold
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Black River Gold is a brand new slot released by the team at Elk Studios and this time they have given us a slot with a little twist on the classic western theme. In fact, the slot is taking place at the turn of the 20th century where the Western era comes to an end, meaning there is a more civilized time right round the corner. The main character of the game is here in order to build up his wealth in this new, unknown world, no matter if it means breaking the law or not. This is the 4th slot in the Elk Gold Series.
The setup of the slot is pretty unusual, starting out with 6 reels and 4 rows with symbols. However, the rows can expand when spinning the reels, up to a maximum of 9 rows, which is far more than the standard slot usually can offer. This also means that there are no standard pay lines in play, but instead between 4 096 and 262 144 ways to win, depending on how many rows are activated in each spin. You will be able to place bets starting from a minimum of 0.20 per spin and up to a maximum of 100 per spin with a maximum win of 5 000x your total stake.
In this slot you will be playing with an RTP of 96.1% and is a slot of high volatility. There are a couple of features to make sure things remain interesting, as well as the two different special symbols. The wild symbol and the bonus symbol, with the bonus symbol being responsible for triggering the bonus game. Revolver is one of the unique features involving Big Symbols.
As mentioned above there is in fact quite a bit going on in this game to look forward to. You will be seeing Big Symbols, the wild symbol, a bonus game with free spins triggered by the bonus symbols and also the Revolver Feature. The wild symbol also plays a big role in the feature Wild Compass.
All of the low, mid as well as high-valued symbols can land on the reels in four different sizes. This means they won't only be landing on the reels as their standard form, taking up one position on the reels. Instead they will range from the standard 1 position and up to the biggest size which will be 4x4 on the reel set. Big Symbols also play an important role in the Revolver Feature.
In this unique feature you will be seeing this Wild Compass appearing on the reels. It will be able to match symbols across from itself on the reel set and then turn these matching symbols into wild symbols. This of course includes Big Symbols too. Also, as you continue to spin and the Wild Compass reaches the bottom of the reel set, it will be turned into a wild symbol itself.
All Big Symbols that have an empty position beneath them on the reel set, will be turned into the Revolver in the game. The revolver will then load all symbols until they have reached even ground, now it will be representing all loaded symbols. The Revolver will turn into a wild symbol when all of the six slots of the Revolver have been filled or if it reaches the bottom of the reel set. This of course will increase your winning potential.
Bonus Game Feature
The main feature of the game is however the Bonus Game Feature which will be triggered when 3 or more of the bonus symbols land on the reels. This will reward you with a bunch of free spins, with the amount of spins depending on the number of bonus symbols that triggered the feature.
3 bonus symbols give 10 free spins
4 bonus symbols give 15 free spins
5 bonus symbols give 20 free spins
6 bonus symbols give 25 free spins
You will be starting out with the standard 4 rows and 4 096 ways to win, however each win will be adding another row to the reel set as well as adding to the amount of way to win. This can go up to a maximum of 8 rows and 262 144 ways to win. This will also function differently than from the base game, with the number of rows and ways to win being added, remaining that way throughout the feature.
While this Bonus Game Feature is triggered all of the wilds will be collected and then kept at the bottom of the reels when a free spin ends. Then they will be able to transform into sticky wilds and remain in play until they are a part of a winning combination. Even better is the fact that you are able to re-trigger the feature should you land 3 or more bonus symbols, which means you can get up to 50 free spins through this feature.
Design and Symbols
Once the slot has loaded, there will be no doubt about what theme the Black River Gold has. With it's Western theme that is set at the very end of the 20th century where the Western era is ending, you will be joining Kane. He has set out on a mission to build his wealth in the civilised world after failing to make his fortune in the Wild West. In the background you will be seeing some rocky, snowy mountains while the reel set itself is framed by a metal structure as well as some wooden beams. The soundtrack is a pretty quiet and calm one, but of course with the Western flare in place to set the mood.
On the reels you will be seeing a total of 4 low-value symbols, which are represented by the standard card suits. In fact Elk Studios have even kept them looking like cards, but in a western-themed slot, they actually kind of fit in. As well as these, there are 8 other symbols in play. These include brooches, sheriff badges, glasses of whiskey and revolvers. There are also some gems, lumps of gold and diamonds. The final standard symbol is of course Kane himself, also being the highest value symbol giving you up to x3 your stake for 6 of a kind.
Then you of course have the 3 special symbols of the slot. The wild symbol is represented by a red rose with the wording “Wild” over it. The wild will of course be able to substitute all other symbols on the reels with the exception of the bonus symbol and the Wild Compass symbol. The Wild Compass is of course a golden compass while the bonus symbol shows a safe with the wording “Bonus” over it. The bonus symbol will trigger the Bonus Game when 3 or more symbols land on the reels.
Our Thoughts on Black River Gold
Any player who is familiar with previous slots created by Elk Studios will probably agree that Black River Gold looks exactly like what we would expect to see from them. As mentioned before, this is not the first slot of their Gold Series but this time they seem to have gone the extra mile. Having added unique features such as the Revolver Feature and the Wild Compass Feature, certainly add that little extra bit of entertainment previous slots seem to have been lacking.
We cannot however ignore the maximum payout which is at a disappointing low of 5 000x your stake. This as well as the graphics of the game are two of the things letting us down this time. Not a slot to remember in our opinion. However, we are sure Black River Gold is a slot that will become a hit with players who already were fans of the Gold Series or simply of western-themed slots.