300 Shields Mighty Ways: Slot Overview
Just like the Spartan warriors this game was styled around, the original 300 Shields released in 2014 has gone down in legend as a volatile, hard-hitting take-no-prisoners type of slot. It was followed several years later with 300 Shields Extreme, which tacked on a bonus buy while sprucing up the visuals, and again, after a multi-year interlude, the gang is back with 300 Shields Mighty Ways. The team behind its design is Light & Wonder (formerly SG Digital), and they have retained pretty much everything which made the original what it was. As well as the progressive multiplier in free spins, the studio has armed this version with the Mighty Ways mechanic and a new bonus buy option that'll almost need Leonidas levels of bravery to unleash.
As mentioned, 300 Shields Extreme jazzed up the visuals, and 300 Shields Mighty Ways does the same. The base game remains set in a golden wheat field as before, but there's more detail to absorb and higher definition graphics to do so. A beaten path winds its way into a valley full of classical structures in what looks like the middle of a dry, Peloponnesian summer. Trigger free spins, though, and the sky spills rain over a stormy scene, presumably Thermopylae, where the legendary battle between the Spartans and the Persians took place. Light & Wonder has retained the spirit of the 300 Shields series while dragging it through a modernisation process at the same time. However, one problem Light & Wonder still struggles with is a lack of smoothness and flow, which makes some of their slots come across as a bit choppy and underdeveloped.
Kitting up for battle involves picking a stake of 20 p/c to £/€20 per spin on either a tablet, mobile, or desktop device. As you might have suspected, 300 Shields Mighty Ways is a highly volatile slot that certainly felt all or nothing. Playing in the default mode, triggering free spins naturally comes with an RTP of 95.99%, while buying free spins varies the return value from 95.9% to 96.06%. Lower RTP models are available, by the way, so make sure to check. Using the Mighty Pays mechanic means bet lines are done away with, replaced with a win-all-ways system instead. In the starting 6-reel, 3-row configuration, players get 729 ways to win. Similar to Megaways (a bit too similar), this can grow, however, as you will see.
No matter the grid size, winning combinations of three or more symbols must start from the leftmost side of the grid and fall in adjacent reels. On the less valuable side of the table are 9-A arrow peppered card royals, paying 0.5x to 0.9x the bet for six of a kind, then arrows, a sword, a ship, a helmet, and an archer as the high pays, worth 1.5 to 10 times the stake for a six-symbol win. Central to the action is the warrior wild which lands on all but the leftmost reel to substitute for any regular paying symbol.
300 Shields Mighty Ways: Slot Features
The first thing to cover in 300 Shields Mighty Ways is the Mighty Ways system itself. How it works is when a winning way hits, the symbols that formed it are removed from the grid, and +2 new symbols appear on the corresponding reels. If another win is created, then the process is repeated until no new wins appear. Reels can reach 8 symbols high at the most, and when all six are at full height, 262,144 ways are active. Between base game spins and free games, expanded reels return to their original 3 symbol height.
Keep your eyes peeled for the shield scatter symbols. Landing 3, 4, or 5 of them triggers 5, 7, or 10 free games, respectively, or landing 6 of them triggers Super Free Games. While free games are active, all warrior wins increase by x2. Also, shield scatters are collected when they land, triggering more free games and increasing the wild multiplier like so:
- Collecting 2 or more shields awards a second series of 5 free games with warrior wins multiplied by x5.
- Collecting 6 or more shields awards a third series of 5 free games with warrior wins multiplied by x25.
- Collecting 12 or more shields awards a fourth series of 5 free games with warrior wins multiplied by x300.
During Super Free Games, collecting 2, 6, or 12+ shields awards +5 additional free games as detailed above, but warrior wins are multiplied by x300 from start to finish. In either Super Free Games or regular free games, should 3 or more shields appear on the grid at the same time, +5 extra spins are awarded at the current level.
If the Buy Pass button is there, players have the choice of two options. One costs 50x the bet to win 5, 7, or 10 free games, while the second option awards super free games for a whopping 1,566 times the stake.
300 Shields Mighty Ways: Slot Verdict
Remember in the 300 film when it talked about young Spartan males being taken into the wilderness and having to return to their people using their own gumption? Playing 300 Shields Mighty Ways can feel a bit like that, as if players are dropped in a landscape crawling with wolves or worse, to see what will happen. Naturally, we're jesting, but are we? 300 Shields Mighty Ways is indeed a highly volatile slot built in the same mould as its predecessors. Then again, the challenging nature of 300 Shields is a contributing factor in its legend, which is alive and kicking in the 300 Shields Mighty Ways reboot.
As well as keeping some things the same, Light & Wonder has injected a few new elements. Mighty Ways is one of them, and partly thanks to the gory slashing sound made by the cascading function, it fits in nicely. It might have been nice if reels retained their expanded height in free spins rather than resetting back to their default size, but c'mon, this is 300 Shields Mighty Ways; it ain't here to make life easy. Like Xerxes, it seems to want a 'simple offering of earth and water' in tribute.
There is give as well as take, though and progressing to higher multipliers in free spins can see to that. Even reaching the highest level is no guarantee of success, though, which is why the 1,566x Buy Pass is such a tough decision. On one hand, you're armed with the x300 from the very start of the feature, yet a disappointing result can really sting, and they certainly occurred during testing. The hit-and-miss nature of the priciest Buy Pass is comparable to the Mystery Mad Bonus buy from Mad Cars, if not more of a crap shoot.
But hey, this is a 300 Shields game, which has a reputation to uphold, and the bonus buys are optional after all. Leaving them to the side, what's left is another solid sandals and swords style of entertainment that compliments the 300 Shields series. An x300 multiplier might not be as eye-catching as it was back in 2014, but it can still cause carnage when combined with the right symbols.
The x300 multiplier might not be as eye-catching as it was back in 2014, but it can still cause carnage when combined with the right symbols.