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In a dark and distant land, far, far away there were three mighty warlords, each of whom ruled their own third of the globe, thanks to the power imbued to them by a magical crystal. Could they share this wealth between them? No, because in the brand new Warlords — Crystals of Power slot from NetEnt, the Barbarian, Priestess, and Samurai warlords will clash until the end where one will prevail and rule the world.
It sounds like a very grandiose and ambitious storyline for a slot game, one that would not look out of place in a modern blockbuster from Hollywood, and to be fair to NetEnt, that is certainly the look and feel they are aiming for with this very impressive new slot. How well does the game play and does it live up to its dramatic billing? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Overview: Warlords — Crystals of Power
The first thing to note is that the Warlords— Crystals of Power slot does look different to a standard slot in many ways, although in essence it still remains a 5×3 reel slot with 15 paylines. Paylines are not selectable and you can wager from as little as $0.15 up to a maximum of $15 per spin. The jackpot is a massive 1,000,000 coins, although with the maximum coin being $0.10, this does mean a jackpot of $100,000. That’s still a very tempting amount however.
What is interesting in this slot is the backdrop, which is not static but which features soldiers marching into battle as the trio of armies clash in what looks like an apocalyptic battle about to commence. This is accompanied by a stirring soundtrack (very reminiscent of Trevor Jones’ Promontory from Last of the Mohicans), setting the scene for the reels to spin and the action to begin.
Who will the Warlords — Crystals of Power slot appeal to?
There is no doubt that the Warlords — Crystals of Power slot is a real mix of styles. There are some features which are absolutely bang up to date, such as the moving backdrop to the reels, the animations on the reel spins, and the range of features (which we’ll outline below), but there’s also plenty of standard slot gaming to enjoy on what is in essence a standard 5×3 reel 15-payline slot like many other NetEnt offerings.
The massive jackpot size of 1,000,000 coins (which could be worth as much as $100,000 depending on what coin level you play at) will certainly attract plenty of players who enjoy larger jackpot games to give this slot a try. However as a medium to higher variance game, this is a game that does reward the player who wants fewer but larger wins more so than a player seeking more regular smaller wins.
Gameplay: Warlords — Crystals of Power
The first thing to note when you load up the Warlords Crystals of Power slot is that you need to set your bet value. This is achieved by changing the coin value between $0.01 and $0.10 and the Level between 1 and 10, which increases the number of coins of your chosen amount you wager on each spin on each payline.
Once you have done this you can then click the Spin button or use the Auto Play function to get up to 1,000 spins rolling through automatically while you busy yourself elsewhere.
The reels consist of a number of different symbols with three different symbols for each of the three Warlords and their followers. The symbols for each Warlord are essentially the same. There is a low-paying headdress or helmet as the lowest value symbol, then there is each Warlord’s animal (a boar, panther, and wolf) and finally, there is the Warlords themselves who are stacked three symbols high and as a result can completely cover any of the reels.
The Warlord symbols offer the highest paying symbol in the base game and of course, with this being a stacked symbol, you can trigger wins using this symbol across multiple paylines and that is how some of the biggest base game wins can be triggered.
One symbol which can help you land more wins in the base game is the Wild symbol, which can be used to substitute for any of the symbols outlined above and which also awards up to 300 coins if you can land five of these on a single payline.
However, at random occasions in the base game on a non-winning spin, you may also trigger the Random Overlay Wild feature, which can result in some of the biggest base game wins. Here you can receive one of three different types of Wilds, the Barbarian Hammer will create a 2×2 square of Wilds anywhere on reels 1 to 4. The Priestess Arrow Wild awards 2-5 Wilds anywhere on Reels 1-5, and the Samurai Sword Wild awards 2 to 5 Wilds on reels 1 to 4.
There is also a Free Spins round, which is triggered when you land any three of the three different Scatter symbols (one for each Warlord) on reels 2, 3 or 4. If you land three of the same scatter symbol, the Free Spins round linked to that Warlord will start, however if you land a mix of scatters, then they will transform into one Warlord scatter (following a Battle) to signify which of the different Free Spins games you will play through.
If you land two scatters but not the third then you have a final chance to win that using the Final Chance feature, which offers you a chance to land a third scatter to trigger a free spins bonus, or if not then you will win a prize of 100 times your usual betting stake.
The Samurai features offers 5 free spins with the Scatter acting as a Sticky Wild during the spins. The Priestess Free Spins offers 7 free spins and additional scatter symbols that increase the multiplier by one every time they land on the reels.
Finally the Barbarian Free Spins feature offers 9 free spins with only the higher value symbols on the reels and a new scatter symbol offering three extra free spins when landed.
Special Features: Warlords —Crystals of Power
Final Chance feature
One of the nicest touches in this slot is the Final Chance feature which occurs if you land two Scatter symbols, but not the third to trigger free spins. When this happens you get a respin free of charge to land that third scatter, or a bonus payout of 100x your usual bet.
This is a feature which hugely improves the base game. Randomly triggered Overlay Wilds linked to each of the three Warlords turns up to 5 Wild symbols on a spin, creating the chance for some of the biggest base game wins (and some of these wins can be truly huge).
Three different Free Spins games
The fact that there are three different Free Spins games and that you’ll have to go through a Battle sequence in order to trigger them at times, really does add different levels of complexity and excitement to the slot, yet it remains very simple to follow and play.
Without doubt the Overlay Wilds feature in the base game which can see three different Overlay Wilds placed on the reels (depending on the Warlord that triggers them) is a massive boost as it is through this feature that the bigger base game wins tend to come.
A jackpot of 100,000 coins is always an eye opener so when it reaches the magical 1,000,000 coin mark, even if the maximum that will equate to is $100,000, it is still a huge amount of money and one that many people will play the slot simply to have a tilt at trying to win.
Many different features
With a trio of Overlay Wilds, the Final Chance Feature, the Battle Feature when you land scatter symbols, and a total of three different free spins rounds, each with their own different types of bonus, this is a slot which packs many features into the game all of which will appeal to the player.
Low-value base game wins
The biggest bugbear for most players will be that the base game payouts for most of the wins are generally very small and often not as much as the stake you placed to set the reels spinning. However, as this is a medium to higher variance slot, this is perhaps to be expected.
Free Spins hard to hit
The problem with play value is exacerbated as hitting Free Spins and the Final Chance even are so difficult to hit. You will have more than a few moments where the reels click into action and promise to deliver free spins but don’t quite pan out for you and after a while that does become irritating.
Add both of these factors above together and you have a game that can play very tight at times and which, when it does this, does not offer a great deal of value for the player. However a big win on the Overlay Spins can put a healthier sheen on your balance.
Graphics & soundtrack 5/5
The Warlords — Crystals of Power slot has outstanding presentation values which actually gives this a feel of a major Hollywood motion picture, rather than a slot game. The graphics and animations are crisp and smooth and beautifully done, with the sound fitting the game perfectly.
Originality & creativity 4/5
With so many excellent features packed into the game, this is always going to score well in terms of originality but it doesn’t quite hit the maximum points here as at heart, it is still very much a 15-payline 5×3 slot.
Play value 2/5
This is a medium to higher variance slot so it is never going to score too well on play value, but there are some features (notably the Overlay Wilds) which do give the player some much needed cash boosts during the base game.
Jackpot potential 5/5
There is a jackpot prize of 1,000,000 coins, which could be worth as much as $100,000. That is a significant amount of money to be chasing on any slot game.
Repeat play 5/5
Without doubt with so much crammed into this new slot from NetEnt, this is a slot that people will want to play time and time again.
Total score: 21/25
What a fantastic new slot to kick off February as NetEnt release another cracker to sit alongside some of their very best offerings. The higher variance may put some value hunting slot fans off but Warlords — Crystals of Power is well worth giving a try for the slot player that enjoys high quality features and top notch presentation with a massive jackpot prize.