Excalibur's Choice by Barcrest released on 01.02.2019 is a 5-reel & 3-row online slot with 10 paylines and a 96.00% RTP. This is a Excalibur-themed game offering players a max win of up to 500x their stake. Excalibur's Choice can be played on all devices from €0.1 to €500 per spin and is considered a high volatility game.
Design and Symbols
Excalibur’s Choice is another Barcrest slot which has transferred online after performing well in bricks and mortar casinos. It’s just a shame that Barcrest haven’t seen any value in updating or improving the game visually during transportation.
As such the entire design is, well, rudimentary and dated to say the very least.
Royal flags fly either side of the game board with the game’s logo directly above the board. The symbols sit on a sand stone backing with the basic controls of the game beneath the board. The background seems to be a gloomy forest - but as it’s so gloomy looking so I can’t quite tell.
As to the symbols, the standard royals, 10 – A make up the lowest payers with the higher paying symbols taking the form of a ring, a crown, a knight on horseback, the entrance to Camelot, and King Arthur himself who pays 500x the bet size for 5 on a pay line.
The scatter is Excalibur stuck in the stone and is worth 200x bet size for 5 on a pay line. The scatter is also the wild symbol. Noticing anything familiar here? Yep, it’s pretty much just another “Book” slot clone!
If you’re familiar with “Book” clone slots then you’ll already have guess that the special feature for Excalibur’s Choice is a free spin round with an expanding wild symbol.
As with your average book clone, players will rely on the free spins to land big wins. Landing 3, 4, or 5 will see you enter the bonus round with 10 free spins. Anyone familiar with these slots will know that a symbol will be chosen to act as a “Special Symbol” which will expand to cover the entire reel if enough land to trigger a win.
Also, the special symbols don’t have to land on adjacent reels to trigger a win. Therefore if the special symbol is Q and 3 Q’s land on any 3 reels a 3x3 win is triggered.
During free spins landing 5 King Arthur’s as the special symbol on 5 reels will pay the 5,000x stake jackpot. Free spins can be re-triggered by landing another three Excalibur scatters, something which happens with a far greater frequency in the bonus round than during standard play.
Our Thoughts on Excalibur's Choice
This might sound brutal but for a 2019 slot Excalibur’s Choice is woefully lacking. I simply cannot find a reason why anyone would play it. That’s not to say that players won’t like it because the continued success of the “Book” clones have proven otherwise.
However, when similar slots offer far superior designs and also far superior RTP’s then I fail to see the attraction. Lower stakes players (<€2 per spin) have to settle for a 94% RTP which is on average 2.5% off the standard RTP for these games. Considering the volatility and the number of spins necessary to hit the feature, that lost 2.5% will hurt your bankroll.
Also, compare this lazy slot to the innovation shown by Microgaming in their recent Book of Oz, and you’ll realize there is no competition.
I suppose it may appeal to a few land casino fans, but failing that I’m at a loss as to why Excalibur’s Choice has been added to the Barcrest online portfolio?