Poltava: Flames of War Slot
Poltava: Flames of War, released by Elk Studios in the summer of 2016 is named after the Battle of Poltava between the Russians and the Swedes in the Great Northern Way. The Swedish defeat at the hands of Peter the Great’s Russian army marked the onset of the decline of Sweden as a major global power.
Poltava is a 5x4 reel slot with 40 fixed pay lines and an RTP of 96.4%. A high volatility slot, the game benefits from a free spin round and a base game marching reels feature. You can play from €0.20 up to €100 a spin at supporting casinos.
Design & Symbols
Poltava is set on the edge of a forest, presumably in the aftermath of the battle as you can see weapons and other kit lying strewn on the ground. The game board takes up more or less the entire screen but the reels are fully transparent making the forest scene visible while the reels are not in motion.
As with your typical war or epic battle slot, the background music is dark and ominous which, when combined with the bleak setting does well to create a suitably subdued atmosphere.
The low value symbols are taken up by the standard 10, J, Q, K, A royals while the three high value symbols are of a soldier (Infantry), a cannon (Artillery), and a War Horse (Cavalry). The Horse is the highest paying symbol, paying a mere 2x the bet size for five on a pay line. All regular symbols do, however, come stacked on all reels. The wild is the game’s logo and the scatter is a lion’s head.
The marching reels feature in the base game can result in multiple respins and big block wins but the real hallowed ground in Poltava is the free spins round which comes with sticky wilds and chances to add further spins.
If a fully stacked reel of one of the three higher paying symbols (infantry, artillery, or cavalry) land anywhere on the board then then Marching Reels feature will commence. Any reels to the left of the stacked reel will be given matching symbols on the middle two rows so that a win is guaranteed.
These matching symbols and the stacked reel will then remain in place and a respin will take place. If any more matching symbols land to the right of the stacked reel then not only will another, bigger win have landed, but another respin will also be awarded. Before the respin takes place the stacked reel will move one reel to the right.
This will continue until the stacked reel reached the end of the board or if no further matching symbols land to the right. We realize this sounds confusing, and it is for the first couple of times it lands. However, after one or two attempts you’ll get the hang of it!
Flames of War Free Spins
Land three lion scatters on reels 2, 3, and 4 and you will trigger the Flames of War Free Spins. Although you will only be awarded 3 free spins which does seem rather paltry, there are a couple of reasons why this feature can still deliver some hefty wins.
Firstly, once the feature is triggered the lions become sticky wilds, meaning that they will remain in place for the duration of the free spins. Secondly, during free spins lions may appear on all reels and if any land then they will also remain sticky, and you’ll be awarded an additional free spin. Once you’ve started to fill up those reels then the wins will start to add up. During this feature it is possible to win 1800x the bet size.
Our Thoughts on Poltava: Flames of War
We have mixed thoughts on Poltava. On the plus side the theme works and the design and music are truly atmospheric. Also, it has some nice features, the marching reels being an interesting take on the standard left-right rolling reels feature. The free spins, despite being pretty measly at first glance, can prove highly lucrative with the sticky wilds and extra spins.
On the down side, the wins are just too small to make this game particularly exciting as a high variance slot (which is what we are led to believe it is. Just 2x the bet size for a full row of the highest paying symbols makes for some very uninspiring wins, especially during the base game.
In fact, and this may well just have been an anomaly during our couple of hours playing Poltava, but the game just didn’t seem high variance at all. We landed both features on numerous occasions and they paid out decent but never huge wins.
We also landed countless dull but sustaining wins in the base game which kept us ticking over. Had the game been touted as low/medium variance I think we’d have been pretty happy with it. But as a supposed highly volatile game it just didn’t seem right? If you ignore the supposed variance then actually Poltava is a decent game, but if you’re looking for high octane thrills then we’d suggest looking elsewhere.