• Shields of the Wild

    3.3/5
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    • Software

      NextGen
    • Type

      Video Slots
    • Reels:

      5
    • Paylines:

      10
    • Payout Percent:

      96.53
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    Something that we see somewhat often in the online slots industry is games with themes based on medieval times. NextGen decided to get a bit more specific with their Shields of the Wild video slot, and they achieved this by focusing on different groups with their own coat of arms.

    Along these lines, you get a variety of shields in this game with different coats and symbols on them, and that helps to give this title a solid visual motif. From there, the gameplay is based around a high hit-rate with a reasonably low volatility while still preserving opportunities to nail some sizable prizes.

    Game Layout

    The layout for this title sets the pace for how the game as a whole plays out. You'll have 10 paylines that give you wins from left to right only, and these unfold across a set of five reels with three horizontal rows on each. While this format is pretty standard, it's a great fit here because it facilitates a straightforward style of gameplay.

    Betting is really easy and produces a lot of nice and even numbers in 10-payline games, and this slot is no exception. You'll have 13 different available bet sizes that range from a minimum of $0.10 per spin and that span up to the $100 level. It's clear that players at all bankroll levels will have bet sizes they can pick from that they can be comfortable with.

    Wild Logo Symbol

    There's a purple shield with golden letters on it that makes up the Shields of the Wild logo. This is the wild in this game, and it's also responsible for the largest regular payline prize. Five of a kind of this wild gives you a 250x payout, and you can also earn 100x for just four of a kind. Three of a kind combinations in wilds earn you 30x as long as a better-paying combination can't be had using those wilds to substitute as something else.

    Along these lines, you will be paid out the best possible winning combination on each individual payline on all spins.

    Shield Wall Bonus Feature

    Of the two main bonus features, the shield wall is the one that you will run into the most often. On any given spin in the regular gameplay mode, you can get symbols upgraded to the next-highest symbol if they are a part of a winning combination. This can continue up to eight times at random on the same spin, and you'll then be paid once this feature is complete for all of your available combinations, whether they were upgraded or not.

    Marching Stacks Feature

    The Marching Stacks bonus feature is a little harder to get, but when you do, it's very much worth it. Three or more scatters anywhere on the game board give you a shot at this feature, but more scatters means better payouts with it.

    The way it works is that a randomly chosen symbol fills up the entire fifth reel. You'll start having spins go, and after each spin without an upgrade symbol (which replace the scatters for this feature), they move to the left until they move off-screen, which ends the feature. When it moves to the left, the previous stacked symbols stay in place.

    However, getting upgrade symbols keeps the stack from moving, which expands the feature, and you'll get the next-highest symbol put in place for the stacks as well. The feature ends with all five reels filled with the same symbol for a bit payout.

    Other Prizes and Payouts

    The golden lion shield earns 100x for five, and players are awarded 75x when they line up five of the silver wolf. The bear and ox each give you 60x or 50x for five of a kind, respectively.

    The round wooden shield with brass decoration earns 40x, and you can make it 30x with the wooden shield with an orange core in the center. The final two shields pay out 25x or 20x for five of a kind combinations.

    Overview

    Shields of the Wild is a fun concept for a game, and NextGen avoided playing into most of the standard tropes that you tend to see in medieval slots. For this reason, we want to give them a lot of credit. With that having been said, there's not a ton of depth here, but we do like the originality of the features, which we have never seen before in other games.

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