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There are few creatures so shrouded in mystery and the subject of so many legends as the wolf.
These handsome pack animals have gotten bad press through the years, including being at the heart of many enduring myths, such as the Werewolf legend.
So it was with a good degree of interest that I loaded up the Wolf Run slot from IGT to take a look at how the company would approach the game.
Would it err on the side of fantasy and legend, or be more truthful to this wild, beautiful and untamed creature? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Overview: Wolf Run
The Wolf Run slot is a 5×4 reel slot based on a North American and Yellowstone theme.
By that, we mean that the slot portrays the wolf in its natural habitat alongside the indigenous American people that have lived there for centuries. The result is a rather aesthetically pleasing slot that smoothly converts from the real world to the NJ online casino realm.
The usual playing card symbols are the in-game lows, with a number of different wolf and Native American-themed symbols acting as the higher value symbols.
There are 40 paylines in operation and you can wager from $0.01 per payline up to $20 per payline, which gives you a minimum bet size of $0.40 and a maximum bet size of $800 when you have all 40 paylines in operation.
However, you can select to play one, five, 10, 20, or 30 paylines if you prefer.
Who will the Wolf Run slot appeal to?
Wolf Run is one of the most popular land-based slots of modern times and enjoys a following in casinos around the world. Certainly, many who’ve played this game in casinos around the globe will enjoy the online and mobile version.
Furthermore, fans of Native American-themed slots, of which there are surprisingly a high number, will find this is a particularly enjoyable game.
There are uncommon features here too, such as the stacked wild symbols and of course the free spins round, which is where the biggest wins in the game are possible.
Where to play Wolf Run online slot in New Jersey
Fear not, you won’t have to venture deep into the wild to get up close and personal with this wolf.
Simply point your browser or mobile device toward one of the following legal online casino sites in New Jersey:
Gameplay: Wolf Run
In keeping with the format that made Wolf Run such a popular slot in the land-based casinos in New Jersey and elsewhere, the developers at IGT have produced a somewhat generic online slot.
Now usually, I’d have a little gripe about this, but given that IGT wanted to replicate the game that was so popular in casinos for the online audience, it would not have been right to radically alter the game.
So what you have here is a faithful replica of that popular casino slot. There’s the 5×4 reel setup, the usual high and low symbols, and two other key symbols: the wild and the scatter.
The wild symbol is the iconic image of a wolf howling at a bright full moon. This substitutes across the reels for all symbols, apart from the scatter symbol.
This means it is possible to turn an entire reel wild for a spin.
You’ll know when this bonus hits as the wolf emits a plaintive howl signifying you’ve landed a payline win using the wild.
Of course, the more wilds you can land across the reels, particularly on the first three reels, then the greater your chances of hitting a much higher value win.
The scatter symbol is the wolf paw print bonus symbol, and this is only on the second, third, and fourth reels. You have to land three scatters to launch the free spins round.
When you do, you receive a somewhat miserly five free spins initially, but you can re-trigger free spins up to a theoretical 255 free spins. In truth, you will be lucky to re-trigger once or twice during a bonus round.
The payouts during the free spins round can be good value, especially given that during free spins there are extra wilds on the reels.
It is important to note that good bankroll management is key on the slot. Base game wins are usually small and it can take a good deal of time to hit a decent win, and all the while you can be losing money.
As such, play all 40 paylines at a price you can afford to allow you the chance to get as many spins in a session as possible.
Special features: Wolf Run
During the base game, all the wilds are stacked four symbols high across each of the five reels. You can land between one and four wilds on a reel at any given time and when landed in conjunction with other wilds, they can trigger some of the bigger base game wins.
Hit three of the bonus wolfs paw symbols across reels two, three, and four, and you will trigger the free spins round.
These spins can be re-triggered and you can land some big wins, although this isn’t easy with just five free spins initially.
Re-trigger free spins
Free spins can be re-triggered up to 255 times by landing three or more scatters across the reels during a free spins round.
The base game is livened up considerably by the stacked wilds feature. This is responsible for almost all the big wins in the base game, and they are not too difficult to hit if you can play for a decent number of spins in a particular session.
Free spins wins
If you can hit the free spins round, it can be lucrative with a number of additional wilds on the reels.
If you are not overly familiar with online slots games in New Jersey, or prefer games without a myriad of features and reels, then Wolf Run will certainly tick the right boxes.
It plays beautifully across a range of devices, both mobile and internet-based and with simple features that are easy to follow and understand.
Perhaps the biggest omission from the game is the lack of multipliers on certain wins. It would be nice for some wild wins, especially the lower value ones, to have a 2x or 3x multiplier attached, but there are no such multipliers in action.
Hard-to-hit free spins
With the scatter symbol on just the three middle reels and needing to land it on each to trigger five free spins, it is difficult to hit the free spins round. When you do, five free spins isn’t much given how hard it is to trigger this bonus.
Small “big” wins
Perhaps one of my biggest gripes with the slot is that when you land a decent-sized win of, say, 8x to 10x your total bet, you get the “Big Win” animation play and the music starts.
Usually, when this happens, you are expecting a big win of 20x your bet or more, so it is a little disappointing to find out you have won just 8x your bet.
Graphics and soundtrack: 2/5
The Wolf Run slot is somewhat plain and a little dated looking, but given that it is based on a popular casino slot we can forgive that.
However, the sounds do lift the game at times, especially when you hit a winning payline.
Originality and creativity: 5/5
There’s not a great deal of innovation in the slot, just the wild symbol and free spins round on offer. The stacked wild gives this a boost but there’s nothing unduly special to note about this slot.
Play value: 3/5
The base game is a little cash hungry at times, but this is interspersed with big wins, chiefly through the stacked wild symbols coming in on a spin.
Overall, if you play over a decent number of spins, then Wolf Run isn’t the greediest of slots when it comes to devouring your cash.
Jackpot potential: 2/5
The base game jackpot on the Wolf Run slot isn’t massive, but there are good wins to be had with the stacked wilds.
Of course, with extra wilds on the reels during free spins, you can land some nice wins in this bonus feature, too.
However, there isn’t a jackpot here you would be tempted to come back for.
Repeat play: 5/5
Wolf Run is an honest online facsimile of a popular land-based slot and follows the principles of that game well.
If you like 5×3 reel slots with the basic wild and free spins rounds, then there is no doubt you’ll be loading up Wolf Run for additional spins in the future.
Total score: 17/25
Wolf Run does what it does well, but there aren’t any bangs or whistles attached to it. It is a simple, honest and fun slot that offers decent action in the base game and the potential for big wins in free spins.
Suffice it to say, there are a great many animal-themed slots available to New Jersey players. Want to check out a few more? Read reviews of Kitty Glitter, Noah’s Ark, Raging Rhino, Cats, and Hoot Loot.