Vault of Fortune: Overview
’It is your turn to be a master thief' is not something you hear every day, but that's the premise behind developer Yggdrasil Gaming's treasure-filled slot Vault of Fortune. Wannabe thieves get the opportunity to loot a warehouse full of valuable antiques from a variety of cultures stored in crates. Aside from kleptomaniacs, Vault of Fortune is a progressive multiplier fans dream, as the mechanic is present during all facets of play.
The game's 5-reel, 20-payline grid is located in a misty looking room, where precious items lean against walls, lie stacked on shelves, or remain hidden, stuffed away in drawers. There are some interesting details here as well, such as the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring (dated 1665) oil painting by Johannes Vermeer leaning against the wall in the background. The scene is quite enticing if you use a bit of imagination to pretend you're an actual master thief ready to clean the vault out.
Visually, Vault of Fortune is undoubtedly well crafted, though not quite as striking a specimen as the developer is known to put forth. No biggie as Artefacts has an ethereal quality commonly found in Yggdrasil games. Plus they've captured that mystery museum atmosphere superbly.
With a solid RTP of 96.2% accompanied by a 19.4% hit rate and medium/high volatility, players can spin the game's precious items for as low as 10 p/c or as high as £/€100 per spin. When stakes are settled, the looting can begin. Getting your hands on the shiny stuff requires landing three or more matching symbols on one or more of the 20 paylines. Do so, and the Dropdown feature blasts to life, literally. The winning symbols are crushed to bits, in a most satisfying way, to let new symbols drop down into the gaps.
The Dropdown feature allows players to hit multiple wins off a single spin, but that's not all. Each Dropdown increases the win multiplier (starting at x1), by +1 without limit. The next non-winner then resets the multiplier back to x1. Great fun during the base game, made even better during the bonus as you will see.
As for the symbol collection, there are 8 regulars in total divided into 4 lows plus 4 high pays. All appear expensive, starting with the card suit low pays, which are necklaces encrusted in precious jewels. The high pays look even more priceless, made up of Ming Vases, porcelain cats, Faberge Eggs, and a red version of what looks like the Queen of England's hat.
For having a win multiplier on hand through all phases of the game, the values are quite good. As an example, five of the lowly diamond symbols are worth 8x while a line of crowns returns 25 times the stake. Then factor in the bonus game where the juicy plundering can begin in earnest.
Vault of Fortune: Features
As well as the Dropdown feature, players can make use of a couple of old favourites such as Expanding Wilds, and Free Spins. Keep an eye out for the standard wild symbol which looks like a pull lever - it can appear in any position to substitute for regular pay symbols. If a wild is used to create a winning combination, the lever is dropped and the wild expands to become a stack of 6 vertical wilds, crushing all other symbols on the reel. Expanding wilds come with a theoretical hit frequency of 1 in 25.
No mysterious vault is complete without a Cryptex or two, but should at least 3 appear, then free spins are triggered - 3, 4, or 5 in view award 8, 12, or 20 free spins respectively. Whatever level the win multiplier was on when free spins were triggered gets carried over into the bonus game. Now, the multiplier's value doesn't reset between free spins; it can only increase, with no set limit. The final plus point here is that free spins may also be retriggered using the same values as in the base game.
Vault of Fortune: Verdict
Vault of Fortune is one of those slots which doesn't try hard to impress or make out like it's some flashy new kid on the block. Each element in its makeup has been seen before, several times, but in combination, Yggdrasil Gaming has crafted a dependable avalanche/cascade style slot that hits most of the right notes. It doesn't dazzle, it just does its thing in a dependable, and more importantly, enjoyable way.
Vault of Fortune might very well be one of Yggdrasil's more straight forward uses of their dropdown feature, and all the better for it. No, the feature isn't exactly revolutionary, but it has been put to good use here so players who go for the mechanic will lap it right up.
Another nice touch, a minor one, is the way crates are crushed, either by falling symbols or the demolish job from wild stacks in such a strangely satisfying way. Like Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response for the eyes. Just as satisfying is the game's default maximum win which works out at 11,000 times the stake (capped at €1,050,000).
So no, the game might not score points for originality, but it's difficult to find many, if any, faults. It's a real avalanche/cascade fans playground thanks to the win multiplier being present during both base game as well as the bonus game. All told, for straight-up gaming offering polished features and decent potential in an unusual setting, Vault of Fortune ticks the right boxes.
While offering nothing particularly flashy or new, Vault of Fortune nails the basics and dishes up some satisfying gameplay with fine potential on tap for successful relic raiders.