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Ice Wolf by ELK Studios released on 05.11.2019 is a 6-reel & 3-row online slot with 729-74,088 ways to win and a 96.12% RTP. This is a winter-themed game offering players a max win of up to 2500x their stake. Ice Wolf can be played on all devices from €0.2 to €100 per spin and is considered a medium volatility game.
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Design & Symbols
Elk Studio fans will notice a similarity in style and design (with particular reference to the gameboard) to their ‘Gold’ series of slots (Ecuador, Tahiti, and Voodoo), with the block symbols reaching up to 8 rows high to the top of the screen. The game’s theme, however, dictates that this is where the artwork similarities end. The backdrop to the gameboard resembles a Bob Ross wintry landscape painting, all snow-peaked mountains clusters of evergreens, and bright sunlight casting shadows in the wake of the mountains.
The gameboard is framed on either side by jagged crystal ice walls, hence the ‘ice mountain’ gameboard. This translucent ice also covers part of the gameboard. The bottom three rows are all ice-free, showing 5 rows of 3 unlocked symbols. The next three rows up also contain symbols but they are only visible through a layer of ice, and are only revealed via the game’s win mechanic (more on that later). Beyond the ice either side of the gameboard, a pair of giant wood-carved wolf heads flank the ice mountain.
Low-value symbols are the standard Royal card values, Q, K, and A. Medium value symbols are shields, hammers, and axes. High-value symbols are a golden eagle, golden stag’s head, and a golden wolf’s head. The wolf’s head is the highest value symbol, paying 5x the bet size for 6 symbols on adjacent reels. The wild symbol is an ice-blue shield. There is also a snarling Ice Wolf symbol which triggers one of the base game features (more of which below).
- Normal Mode
- Respin Mode
- Ice Wolf
- Reel Modifiers
A regular spin takes place in ‘normal mode’. In normal mode, a winning combination of symbols results in an equivalent clearing of ice encasing the symbols directly above. In other words, a win comprising a Queen on reels 1 and 2, and 2 Queens on reel 3 remove the ice from one symbol on reels 1, and 2, and on 2 symbols on reel 3.
Once a winning combination has taken place and the equivalent above symbol spaces been unlocked, a respin is awarded. Respins continue to be granted as long as winning combinations continue.
The appearance of the Ice Wolf symbol launches a wolf pack. The pack then charge up the corresponding reel, clearing any ice in their way and replacing the symbol spaces with a trail of wild symbols. A respin is then triggered.
The top row of the gameboard doesn’t contain regular symbols; instead on each spin, the available symbols are a blank, a win multiplier, a +1 spin symbol, or a wild. Whichever symbol lands on the top row during a winning spin remains sticky until there are no more respins, or it is used. The top row modifiers can only be used when the ice covering the bottom part of the symbol is cleared by the same method as the regular symbols. Multipliers of 2x, 3x, 10x, and 50x are possible. If more than one multiplier is active, their values combine in the event of a winning combination. As long as the ice below it has cleared, the +1 symbol activates in the event of a non-winning spin and acts as an “extra life”, giving you one more chance to continue the respins before the board resets.
Our Thoughts on Ice Wolf
Even though Ice Wolf comes without free spins or a bonus round, I found that there was still plenty enough going on to make this a thoroughly enjoyable game. I found the battle to get through the ice layers compelling and kept me at the controls for far longer than I had planned. I also enjoyed a few decent wins, especially when the multipliers combined. The artwork is also very much on point, recreating the icy conditions the theme requires superbly.
If I had to select a criticism it would be the rather low (in comparison with many of Elk’s other releases this year) potentials, with just 2,500x the bet size up for grabs. However, with a lower max win the chances are that the average session is likely to award more consistent, albeit lower, wins
I would certainly recommend a spin on the reels of Ice Wolf, a great wintry release to ease us into the season of slots ahead of us.