Secret of the Stones MAX
Secret of the Stones MAX by NetEnt is a 5-reel and 3-row online slot game with 25 paylines and an RTP of 96.81%. This magical themed game offers players a maximum win of up to 25,000x your stake placed. Secret of the Stones MAX is playable from €0.25 to the maximum amount of €125 a spin and can be played on all the following devices: laptop, PC, Tablet, Android or IOS smartphones. This low to medium volatile slot game was released on the 20/02/2020.
NetEnt is back with another MAX’ed out version of one of their all-time classic slots as 2013’s Ancient Druid themed slot Secrets of the Stones gets a shot in the arm. Just like NetEnt’s other MAX releases (Victorious MAX and Berryburst MAX) Secrets of the Stones MAX gives you the option to play the new version of the ‘Classic’ version by clicking a button on the front of the control panel.
Both versions are identical in look, feel, and design (with different background colours the only way of distinguishing between the two on visuals alone), but have vastly different volatility and payouts, as well as some minor tweaks in the features. The classic version is a typical 2013 low/medium variance affair with a max payout of 2,500x. The MAX version is highly volatile with a huge potential top payout of 25,000x.
Big payouts are possible from a scatter triggered free spins round which contains extra wilds, win multipliers, and wild reels.
Design & Symbols
If you’re familiar with the original game then you might as well skip this section because as mentioned above, it is a carbon copy of the original. As the game was first released in 2013 the design isn’t cutting edge, but NetEnt have always produced crisp, clean looking imagery, and Secrets of the Stone is no exception.
The gameboard takes up most of the screen and is framed in stone, with large Stonehenge-type stones visible behind it. The MAX version has the stones coloured with soft red/pink shadings, whereas the original uses shades of green. The 25 paylines are numbered on the stone pillars either side of the reel set. The symbols sit on white, translucent reels. Play is accompanied by a mystical, ethereal soundtrack.
Low value symbols are the standard playing card royals, 10-A. High value symbols are druid carvings of snakes, wolves, bulls, owls, and deer. The deer is the highest value symbol, paying 160x the bet size for 5 across a payline (compared to 50x in classic mode). The scatter is the Yggdrasil tree of life, the wild is a long-bearded druid holding a wooden staff. This druid also appears as a full reel wild during free spins.
Secrets of the Stones MAX only feature is the scatter triggered free spins round. Three or more scatters award 10 free spins. While there is no way of retriggering the bonus round, there is a picker screen prior to the start of the round from which you get to pick from 20 headstones in a spooky looking druid cemetery. Each stone reveals one of the following awards;
- An extra 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 10 free spins.
- Win multiplier increases of 1x, 2x, or 3x (only 1x or 2x in classic mode)
- Reels 2, 3, and/or 4 become wild (only reels 2 and/or 4 in classic mode)
- The deer, bull and/or owl symbols turn wild (only deer or owls in classic mode)
Our Thoughts on Secrets of the Stones MAX
Secrets of the Stones MAX does exactly what it says on the tin, it takes a classic game and turns the volatility up to 11. Whether fans of the original will enjoy the new version very much depends on their reasons for playing it in the first place. If they enjoyed it because it had fairly low variance then their unlikely to like this extremely volatile upgrade. However, if it was the look, feel or features they loved then this is a good call. As with the other MAX games, I like the fact that you are free to switch between the two. If you’re having a good day at the tables you might fancy switching it up to the MAX version to take a punt at the 25,000x potential – if things cool off you can easily switch back to the classic version where you get a more relaxed experience.
This upgrade isn’t going to send Secret of the Stones MAX to the top of the charts, but it’s a good way to remind slots fans of an old favourite. Kind of like Queen releasing a remastered box set!