Alchemy Fortunes: Slot Overview
Microgaming partner All41 Studios pop their grid slot cherry with the potion laden game Alchemy Fortunes. The medieval alchemists believed since everything was made of earth, air, fire and water, it was possible to transmute one substance into another. In pop-culture, this typically means turning lead into gold. Alchemists might have had a more holistic belief system than this, but it is the instant riches aspect players will be looking for when playing Alchemy Fortunes.
All41 has constructed a 7x7 grid to host the action, set in a stone chamber which could be at the top of a tower, or in the bowls of a castle where no one can witness the wonders taking place. Surrounding the grid, candles flicker on stacks of books, beside casually strewn piles of coins and gems. Alchemy Fortunes doesn’t quite have the instant warmth of a Quickspin grid slot let’s say, or the charisma of a game like Reactoonz. There is a lack of a personal touch as the game is devoid of any characters and backstory. Yet, the soundtrack is nicely mystical, and the visual style phenomenal. The result is a captivating game with an excellent sense of atmosphere. All up, it’s an inviting environment to try some alchemically inspired gaming.
Alchemy Fortunes sorcery takes place on any device by selecting bets from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin. The math model driving the show is well balanced and relatively generous, providing a mix of smaller wins to keep you engaged while dishing out larger ones should you collect enough symbols to progress. Hit frequency is impressive - 54.83% of spins result in a winner, making it easy to get caught up in the game. Volatility is high, while RTP is respectable too on 96.41%. The max win isn’t amazing, but the rest of the game flows so well, it's actually less of an issue than you might expect.
Now let’s look at the trademarked Hyperclusters mechanic. To form a Hypercluster, players need at least 5 matching symbols connecting horizontally and/or vertically. Then, another trademarked mechanic of Microgaming kick in, namely Rolling Reels, removing the winning cluster to drop new symbols, repeating the process until no new winners land. What the difference between this and practically every other grid slot out there does is a mystery. There isn’t any really.
Forty nine symbols tumble into the grid with each spin, made up of 4 low, 4 high and a wild. Low pays are blue, pink, green and orange rocks, while high pays are four flasks containing blue, pink, green, and orange potions. Premium clusters, sorry, Hyperclusters up to 30+ are possible, offering returns from 75x to 500x the bet.
Wilds are central to the action and the key to the big wins. They land in abundance throughout the game, naturally or via features. Wilds look like blue crystal balls which substitute for any symbol and can be used in more than one Hypercluster at the same time. Every time wild symbol lands on the reels, its position is marked, saved, recorded.
Alchemy Fortunes: Slot Features
You've probably experienced similar gameplay in slots such as Reactoonz 2. The goal of Alchemy Fortunes is landing enough consecutive wins to award free spins. Modifiers are triggered along the way at set points to provide wins, the odd thrill, and motivation to keep on going.
Next to the grid is a meter that counts the number of winning symbols racked up in a sequence. It marks off 5 levels, like so:
- 20 symbols unlock Level 1 awarding the Potion Swap. All high pay symbols on the grid transform into the same matching symbol.
- 40 symbols unlock Level 2 awarding the Summon Wilds feature. Here, 3-6 wilds are added to the grid in random positions.
- 60 symbols unlock Level 3 awarding Gem Crush which removes all low pay symbols from the grid.
- 80 symbols unlock level 4 awarding Alchemy of Wilds. New wilds are added to all recorded/highlighted wild positions previously landed in the sequence.
- 100 symbols unlock Level 5 awarding 5 free spins.
Free spins are more or less the same as regular spins. A couple of differences are the Potion Swap always changes symbols to the top high paying symbol, and 5 wilds are always guaranteed when Summon Wilds is triggered. The same symbol collection meter remains is in play as well, so 5 more free spins will be awarded whenever 100 symbols or more are collected as before. Theoretically, free spins are triggered every 270 spins.
Alchemy Fortunes: Slot Verdict
Let’s begin by saying Alchemy Fortunes is a thoroughly entertaining and well made game before tackling some of the less exciting aspects. For one, this trademarking of common mechanics seems like a waste of lawyers’ fees. It started with Nobleways which was pretty audacious since it’s nothing more than a pay all-ways system used in countless other slots.
In any case, Alchemy Fortunes turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable grid slot. Modifiers pop up at regular intervals, and the hit rate is high enough to keep you engrossed. You kind of need the constant boost, since it can take a while for free spins to trigger. Overall potential isn’t amazing, where max wins top out around 1,100 times the bet in a single spin. Yet the modest potential doesn’t put as big a damper on enthusiasm as you might think. All41 has done an alchemist’s job of balancing the game’s elements just right. It certainly makes hitting the spin button ‘one more time’ easy to justify.
Okay, the trademarking Hyperclusters thing seems a bit silly, and there are some minor shortcomings, but overall Alchemy Fortunes turned out to be one of All41’s better games. Maybe grid slots are the studio’s forte? Like a rebellious teenager butterflying from a confused Emo phase, perhaps this is All41 discovering themselves and their place in the world.
Alchemy Fortunes might lack a little personality and potential is modest, but the well-balanced features plus high hit rate give it a great flow, making it hard to put down.