Ancient Warriors: Overview
Players, it's time to sweep a leg in the Asian themed slot, Ancient Warriors, from developer Crazy Tooth Studio. It might not be the first time the studio has headed to the exotic Far East, but it is the first to use their new trademarked See-Thru-Reels mechanic. Like their other recent mechanic, the Big BuildUp seen in Banana Drop, it is a little more hyped than it possibly should be, but we'll get to that. For now, let's 'Awaken the Ancient Warriors to unlock the treasures within' as the studio suggests.
Powered by Microgaming, Ancient Warriors uses a 4 reel grid, with 6 rows on each reel to host the action. 50 paylines cross this unusual arrangement, which also comes with the Any Adjacent Pays system. Effectively, this means winning combinations can start from the second reel instead of being limited to the first.
A wide range of bets are available for warriors out there to choose from, beginning at 20 p/c, rising to £/€115 per spin at the higher end. Equally high is the math model's volatility, while the 96% RTP rating is bang on average. The hit rate of 29.22% is another rather high figure; providing wins on a practically 1 in 3 spins basis.
As to the See-Thru-Reels mechanic, you'd be forgiven for thinking there is nothing overly new about it. We've had transparent reels before after all, and really, See-Thru-Reels is just that, see-through reels – nothing more. Ancient Warriors is quite a good looking slot regardless, and the transparent reels do complement things.
Crazy Tooth's designers have filled the game with parallax scrolling, animations, and a panning viewpoint to good effect. The video game result will appeal to some, while possibly inducing motion sickness in others. In both situations, it's well-executed so hats off to the graphics team.
When it comes to Ancient Warriors' symbols, two strange Crazy Tooth traits arise immediately - high and low pay groups all have the same value. Moreover, the values are low. Why? Who knows, but it's a common Crazy Tooth characteristic.
On that note, for the lows, we get J-A neon royals worth 0.3x or 0.7x for three or four of a kind. High pays are equally neon styled animals such as serpents, cats, and monkeys worth 0.5x or 1.5x for three or four of a kind. Fortunately, the features pull in some wild/multiplier action which is sorely needed when dealing with values like this.
Ancient Warriors: Features
There are two special symbols you'll need to be aware of to grasp the features – the feature symbol and the scatter. The feature symbol is a circular Chinese character looking icon which transforms into one of two modifiers depending on how it lands.
If exactly 1 or 2 feature symbols land in stacks of 3, 4, or 5 symbols, then they turn into a Yin & Yang wild. Wilds can replace any regular symbol from the paytable to create a winning combination.
The next modifier is the Stacked Multiplier which may also trigger when feature symbols land stacked in rows of 3, 4, or 5 symbols. When this criterion is fulfilled, the symbols turn into an Ancient Warrior who swipes the reels with a weapon, turning the symbols into wild multipliers. Wild multipliers display values of x2, x3, x4, x5, or x10. It is possible for feature symbols to fulfill both criteria at the same time, in which case both modifiers may appear on the same spin.
The last feature is the Ancient Warriors Bonus Spins, triggered when 3 or more scatters are in view. Once triggered, 5 bonus spins are awarded where any modifiers added by feature symbols are locked to the reels for the full duration. Also, each scatter that lands adds one more free spin up to a total maximum of 10 spins.
Ancient Warriors: Verdict
You have to hand it to Crazy Tooth Studio, they always include something in their games which provokes puzzlement. Whether it’s good, bad, amusing, or baffling, there is always at least one detail that causes a reaction.
This time around it's the trademarked See-Thru-Reels gadget. It's unlikely it will rock the iGaming world since transparent, semi-transparent, or see-through reels have been around for years. Like Banana Drop's Big BuildUp, it's a bit of a sad attempt of jumping on the trademarked bandwagon hype. Ah well, it's early days, perhaps Ancient Warriors is the tip of the iceberg, and we are yet to witness the full power of this device.
See-Thru-Reels do contribute to the overall attractive nature of the game, however. Ancient Warriors has a console feel provided by things like animations during the Stacked Multipliers feature, or the way symbols pop from the reels. Some will find them irritating; others will enjoy them. These animations do add more than they take away and end up being more memorable in some ways than the See-Thru dynamic.
With Ancient Warriors there is a sense that Crazy Tooth Studio is dragging themselves closer to the mainstream. Perhaps their more experimental slots didn't quite capture the public's imagination as was hoped. In some ways, that's a good thing - The Incredible Balloon Machine anyone? In some ways, it's a shame. It’s comforting to know there are mad professor types pushing the boundaries even if what they cook up is a Lovecraftian madness caused by staring into reality’s warp for too long.
To sum up, and avoid too wide a tangent, Ancient Warriors is another Crazy Tooth slot that tries hard, but kind of misses the mark. It's got a great look, See-Thru-Reels are cool, as are the graphics/animation. It's just a shame that if you do 'unlock the treasures' you won't find a whole lot waiting for you thanks to the game’s low potential.
Ancient Warriors modern style might appeal to the video gaming crowd, provided they are okay with the rather low rewards the game has to offer.