Tidal Riches by Novomatic released on 29.01.2019 is a 5-reel & 3-row online slot with 50 paylines and a 96.00% RTP. This is a aquatic-themed game offering players a max win of up to 1500x their stake. Tidal Riches 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

tidal riches - novomatic - free-spins-triggered

To look at Tidal Riches for the first time is to look at any number of under-water themed slots. What I mean by that is that at a glance it all looks very familiar with its submerged gameboard, fishes, octopi, corals, bubbles, and bottom feeders scuttling along the ocean floor. Think Dolphin Gold, Underwater World, Dolphin’s Luck, Reef Run etc. etc.

That being said, Tidal Riches does offer a little more than most of the above with regards to the use of bold colours, detailed artwork and fine animations. The partially submerged gameboard (which can become fully submerged as and when the visible reel set expands during gameplay) sits centre stage beneath the sea with colourful coral reefs, vegetation, and wildlife either side. Above the gameboard is a bright blue sky with patchwork clouds, across which a trail of blue wooden arrows running from left to right demark progress on a trail towards the free spins feature (explained in more detail below).

The low-value symbols are the standard royal card values 10-A. The high-value symbols are coral fish pufferfish, turtles, octopi and dolphins. Dolphins are the most valuable with full pay lines worth 30x the bet size. There is also a wild symbol which substitutes for all other symbols except the treasure chest. The treasure chest is not a regular symbol and only appears during free spins as a mystery symbol. Treasure chests tend to land in abundance and reveal matching regular symbols at the completion of the spin.

Special Features

Tidal Riches benefits from Reel Drops which in turn kick start the Arrow Trail feature which leads to both an expanded game board and eventually to a free spins round. The game also has a Hi Roller buy-a-bonus option.

Reel Drops

Any slot enthusiast should be familiar with this advantageous game mechanic, often known elsewhere as cascading or tumbling reels/symbols. After a win lands, the winning symbols explode and are replaced by symbols dropping onto the reels from above. The creation of a new win courtesy of the reel drop adds to the win total before the winning symbols explode once more. This cycle continues until no new win is created.

Arrow Trail Feature

As well as each win leading to reel drops, each win also adds an arrow to the Arrow Trail above the reels. Each consecutive win adds to the arrow trail, with each arrow adding something extra to the feature;

  • 1 arrow expands the 5x3 reel set to 6x3 with win both ways on 20 pay lines.
  • 2 arrows expand the reel set to 6x4 with win both ways on 40 pay lines.
  • 3 arrows expand the reel set to 6x5 with win both ways on 50 pay lines.
  • 4 arrows trigger 5 free spins on the 6x5 reel set with treasure chests added.
  • 5 arrows add further treasure chests.
  • 6 arrows bring 2x2 sized treasure chests into play.
  • 7 arrows add 3x3 mega treasure chest symbols.

Once in the bonus round the arrow trail resets. It is still in play, however, only with different rewards. As in the base game, each consecutive reel drop wins lights one arrow but during free spins, the board already extends so rewards start at 4 consecutive wins. 4, 5, 6, or 7 arrows lit award 4, 6, 8, or 10 additional free spins.

Hi Roller

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Hi, Roller is Tidal Riches buy-a-bonus feature. There are two options, silver and gold. The Silver Hi Roller costs 5x your chosen bet size with the Gold option weighing in at 10x the bet size. Both options give 3 free spins with double-sized wild symbols added to the reels. The significant advantage of choosing the Gold option is that the arrow trail will not reset once a winning streak ends, thus making it considerably easier to reach free spins.

Tidal Riches Summary

Despite looking similar to plenty of other underwater-themed games, Tidal Riches offers a lot more in terms of gameplay than most. At first spin, I had the distinct feeling that this slot was going to be a confusing affair which would take plenty of getting used to. However, it quickly became apparent that it’s actually a pretty simple game to follow once you understand how the arrow trail works.

My one small niggle was that the wins until you get to free spins are pretty disappointing. However, they occur frequently enough to keep you engaged until you reach the higher paying echelons of the game.

The free spins round itself can go either way; with only 5 free spins it is quite possible to leave the bonus round with nothing at all. However, if the treasure chests are kind then it's possible to win up to 1,500x your stake per spin. The Hi Roller feature is a high variance affair with only 3 free spins to play with. It’s even easier here to walk away empty-handed. If you fancy a gamble my advice would be to go for the Gold option as the arrow trail is hugely important if you want to win big and a sticky trail is well worth the extra 5x stake cost in my opinion.

Despite the odd grievance, I actually really enjoyed Tidal Riches. It’s not your standard slot and any innovation is good as far as I’m concerned. I also managed to land some very tasty catches during free spins, especially when the bigger wild symbols got involved.  I’ll admit that I was guilty of judging a book by its cover here. I’d urge you to give it a try before you make the same mistake.