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When a company like IGT decides to make a more highly volatile slot, they have to get the balance absolutely right. If players are not going to win frequently, then when they do win, it has to be a large enough amount to keep them spinning, but a reasonable size so that the slot doesn’t start to cost the company money. Finding that balance can be hard to achieve. So how have IGT done with their new slot Shamrocker’s Eire to Rock?
The first thing you’ll note, apart from the gentle pun on the word ‘Eire’ is the fact that this is an Irish-themed slot. It’s based on a fictional band, comprised of Leprechauns, called the Shamrockers. (Not to be confused with Sham Rock who had a hit in 1998 with “Tell Me Ma.”) Set against a lush green backdrop of rolling hills, Shamrockers Eire to Rock offers punters a taste of the Emerald Isle in a similar vein to other Irish-themed slots, such as Isle O’ Plenty or Leprechaun’s Fortune.
Overview: Shamrockers Eire to Rock
Digging a little deeper into this slot you will discover that it is a 5×3 reel game that offers 20 fixed paylines on each spin. You can control the size of the bet by using the Line Bet option. Wagers are from $0.20 up to $400 per spin. This means that micro stakes up to higher rollers can all try their hand at the slot. You can use the Auto Play feature to play through your spins. Alternatively, you can hit the yellow Spin button to start the reels.
The base game wins are not that big to be brutally honest. There is a maximum win of 500 coins when you land the lead singer Leprechaun in all five positions across a payline. However, the real value of this slot comes from the fact that symbols are stacked on the reels. This makes it possible to land multiple line wins from a single spin using stacked symbols. Hence you can earn that top payout across many lines, if you’re lucky.
Who will the Shamrockers Eire to Rock slot appeal to?
Irish-themed slots do enjoy a healthy following of players who often associate these games with good fortune. Certainly, if you’re a slot fan who enjoys this type of slot then Shamrockers Eire to Rock has that in spades. However, it also has the nice twist of the leprechaun rock band too. This takes this slot beyond the usual Irish fare and gives it an added edge.
This is most definitely a slot for players who prefer to play games with a higher volatility. Dry spells of spins are common and most small base game wins will not even cover your initial stake. The single payline jackpot prize is only small too. It’s hitting stacked symbols across the reels which can see you land the biggest possible wins in this game and the Dynamic Stacks feature, outlined below, will give you the best chance of doing that.
Gameplay: Shamrockers Eire to Rock
Once you get the reels spinning in Shamrockers Eire to Rock, the first thing you will notice after 10-15 spins is that this is a volatile slot…highly volatile in fact. Wins are not common. The majority you land in the base game are all small amounts of money. Many don’t even cover your initial wager. As such, this is a slot that requires good bankroll management and a willingness to speculate to accumulate, as you’ll have to be patient to hit the bigger wins.
To help you there are the usual playing card symbols on the reels (10 through to Ace) which are the lower value symbols. The higher value symbols are all the members of the Shamrockers band. They include a guitarist, a fiddle player, a drummer and the lead singer. He is the highest value symbol on the reels, offering 500 coins for five on a payline.
Dynamic Stack feature
Those payouts are not massive for a single payline win, but that is because the bigger wins come when you activate the Dynamic Stack feature and hit multiple payline wins. Each spin sees one symbol selected as the Dynamic Stack symbol. This is then placed on the reels in larger stacks. Land this symbol across the reels on a spin and you can win on multiple paylines. This will radically increase the value of your win.
The symbol that is the Dynamic Stack symbol changes on each spin. It’s randomly selected at the start and can include both the lower value and higher value symbols.
To help you land some wins in the base game there is a Wild symbol. It is, appropriately, the lucky Irish clover leaf. This can substitute for all high and low value symbols to create a win. You can land the Wild symbol across the reels on a single spin to give you a better chance of a bigger win.
The Free Spins bonus game is key to landing some of the bigger wins on the slot. This is achieved when you land three of the Admit One ticket scatter symbols across the reels. When you do, you receive 4 free spins. On your free spins there is a different higher value symbol band member chosen to be the Dynamic Stack. Progress through the fiddler, drummer, guitarist and then the lead singer on your free spins to try and land a bigger value win.
On your fourth spin, if you land the Encore symbol on the reels then you receive a further four free spins. Furthermore, during free spins the Encore symbol acts as a Wild. It’s possible to win up to 625x your total stake during the free spins round.
Special Features: Sharockers Eire to Rock
Every spin you make on the slot, one of the symbols is selected at random as the Dynamic Stack. This means that this symbol is stacked much higher across the reels giving you a greater chance of filling reels completely with this symbol on that spin.
Free Spins bonus
The Free Spins bonus round is triggered when you land three of the Admit One scatter symbols on the reels. You receive 4 free spins on each free spin. The four High symbols are selected in turn to be the Dynamic Stack symbol. You can win up to 625x your stake on each free spin.
Clover & Encore Wilds
The Clover Wild symbol can be used to complete winning paylines by substituting for any of the higher or lower value symbols. The Encore Wild symbol acts as a wild during free spins only. On the final free spin it can retrigger the game for another four free spins if landed on the reels.
Symbols are stacked on the reels so you can land smaller stacks anyway in the base game and free spins but the Dynamic Stack gives you a better chance of those key multiple payline wins across the reels. They don’t land that often, but when they do they can unlock some of the much greater value rewards in the slot.
The Encore Bonus is a nice feature. The good thing about it is that it triggers around half the time you play through free spins. That means you can get lucky and retrigger your free spins bonus a few times in a row. This will really boost your winnings from the round.
The Shamrockers Eire to Rock slot would not work without stacked symbols as the rewards for a single payline win are generally very small. Hitting those multiple payline wins is key to the bigger wins and as such, having stacked symbols works well for the slot.
Disappointingly, especially on some of the lower value wins in the base game, there are no multipliers used throughout the slot. I always feel a slot misses a trick when it overlooks these. They are a simple, inexpensive bonus that does make a slot more appealing to play.
Small number of Free Spins
To be honest, when you finally trigger free spins, to find out that you have just four to start with, albeit with a 50% chance of thereabouts of triggering four more on your final spin, it is somewhat underwhelming especially when the base game plays so tightly too.
Highly volatile slots are a bit like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. So if you like this type of game, then you won’t mind. But for a slot fan who values decent play value and the chance of a lengthy bonus free spins game, Shamrockers Eire to Rock does fall short of the mark on both those accounts due to how volatile it is.
Graphics & soundtrack 3/5
The graphics are all very Irish-themed and are colorfully done with plenty of bright, vivid colors. The four band members have also been designed well. Where it is lacking is the music. It’s a tad underwhelming and there’s nothing ground-breaking about the slot which really catches your eye.
Originality & creativity 3/5
Although Dynamic Stack sounds like a new feature, it’s simply a new name for a feature that is available on other slots (Super Stacked Symbol on some). That said, the bonus round is good fun and innovative with the Encore Wild offering a chance of a retrigger and there are one or two nice creative touches.
Play value 1/5
I can’t really give a greater mark than this for Shamrockers Eire to Rock because this slot just continued to eat my bankroll until it was dry and then did so again. Wins are small, often less than your stake and those bigger wins just don’t come along too often. When they do, yes they can be very big, but this is a slot that requires careful bankroll management.
Jackpot potential 2/5
I might understand the low play value if a massive jackpot was available. But 625 times your stake isn’t that big nowadays in the slot world. To be honest, while it’s a decent amount, especially if you are playing higher roller stakes, is it a jackpot worth playing such a highly volatile slot for? I’m not so sure it is.
Repeat play 2/5
There’s no doubting that Shamrockers Eire to Rock is an enjoyable game and that will keep you coming back for another set of spins after your first but how expensive it can prove to be to play will certainly make you think twice about coming back more times than that.
Total score: 11/25
I feel this was a missed opportunity for IGT. Higher Variance slots are far more difficult to judge right and I think IGT have got this a little wrong. The rewards are too small for the price you have to pay to play and as a result Shamrockers Eire to Rock just doesn’t quite capture the player. A much larger jackpot, or better rewards in the base game would have helped, but as it stands, this is one new slot I won’t be rushing back to play.