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Golden Grimoire from NetEnt is set for release in February 2019 and is a low variance slot with a magical, mystical theme (Grimoire is a word for a magic book of spells and invocations).
Played on a 5x4 reel set with 40 fixed pay lines this slot comes with an RTP of 96.44% and can be played from €0.20 all the way up to €400 per spin. Look out for mystery books which transform symbols into potentially big winning combos, and a free spin round with extra sticky mystery symbols.
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Design and Symbols
If there’s one thing you can rely on with NetEnt it is an awesome design, and once again the Swedish provider’s team have come up trumps with a superb piece of online slot eye-candy. The setting for Golden Grimoire is inside a sorcerer’s lair at night in front of a large circular window looking out on the night sky. Up by the window, there are drawers and cabinets, presumably filled with magical apparel and down at the bottom of the screen are piles of magic books and potions illuminated by candle light. When you spin the reels hieroglyphs and occult style diagrams flash up against the walls while candles flicker and other animations come briefly to life. The floating game board is partially framed at the top and bottom by horizontal, animated shafts of magical light. The accompanying soundtrack is also top-hole; dark, ominous, and spooky.
As to the symbols, the low-value symbols are represented by glowing diamonds, spades, clubs, and hearts. The higher value regular symbols are of different coloured gemstones each clasped by different animals (beetles, snakes, molluscs, and a spider). The spider is the highest paying, awarding 1x the stake for five on a pay line. All symbols appear stacked on all reels. There is a mystery symbol which takes the shape of a book (presumably the titular Grimoire) which only appears on reels 3, 4, and 5 in the base game. There is also a scatter which appears on reels 1, 3, and 5, and a skull wild, although this can only appear after the appearance of a mystery symbol (we’ll explain this in more detail below).
The mystery symbol is the most important symbol due to its transformative properties which allow bigger wins to be created in both the base game in the bonus round. The bonus round is a free spins round which is triggered by the scatters.
The mystery symbol is key to any big win in Golden Grimoire, especially when it lands stacked on multiple reels. When a spin is completed and one or more mystery symbols have landed they will all rotate and transform multiple times before eventually all coming to rest transformed into one of the 8 regular symbols. What’s more, if the transformed mystery symbol matches the first symbol in any row (remember the mystery symbols only appear on rows 3-5) then all symbols on that row will transform to the same symbol. This will happen on any row where the first symbol matches the mystery. Also on occasion, the mystery symbol may transform into a skull wild and if this occurs then all symbols between the mystery and the leftmost symbol in that row will be changed to a wild, regardless of the symbol on the first reel.
Golden Grimoire Free Spins
Land scatter symbols on reels 1, 3, and 5 and you’ll be awarded 8 Golden Grimoire free spins with a couple of benefits not available in the base game. Firstly the mystery symbols now appear on reel 2 as well as 3-5, and more importantly, any mystery symbol which lands during free spins will remain in place for the remainder of the round and will transform into a different regular symbol (or the skull wild) on each spin.
Our Thoughts on Golden Grimoire
NetEnt always delivers fine looking slots, and this is no exception. From the elaborate intro sequence to the detail of the symbols, animations, and background this is first class stuff. Unfortunately, the design is by far the best thing about Golden Grimoire. As you might have theorised after learning the five in a row of the highest paying regular symbol only pays 1x the bet size, this game is not a big payer. In fact, it’s pretty damn poor. Yes the mystery symbols appear regularly, and yes you will regularly land wins, but the vast majority of the time they will be almost worthless. Perhaps if you want to work off a bonus it’s worth a punt, especially if you like pretty games, but in our opinion, there are plenty of more interesting low/med variance games out there we’d choose over this. The free spins round tends to be a real disappointment as well. On more than one occasion we literally earned nothing from them, and as they cannot be retriggered, the chances of winning big are severely limited. The biggest win possible from one single spin is 200x and the chances of landing that are pretty slim. Golden Grimoire is just like a brand new postal van without a driver, it looks good but it doesn’t deliver