Ashoka

(ELK Studios) Slot Review

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ELK Studios

✅ Ashoka Demo & Casinos

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Ashoka: Slot Overview

Time for a history lesson team. Cast your minds back a few thousand years to the 3rd century BCE when a chap called Ashoka, otherwise known as Ashoka the Great, ruled a significant portion of Asia and is said to have played an important role in helping spread Buddhism back in the day. Hey, who said online gambling is all fruit and flaming sevens, huh? That brings us to Ashoka, an online slot from developer ELK Studios, a scatter-paying game incorporating several mechanical tricks into one exotic place.

Exotic might not be a strong enough word to describe Ashoka. With its many armed statue, rhythmic chanting soundtrack, and secretive atmosphere, Ashoka has a sort of mystical vibe going on. Its thick, heavy natural world setting possesses echoes of some of the Gold slots, such as Voodoo Gold, Ecuador Gold, or Pacific Gold, for example. It's like one of those places people don't go to much or haven't been to in a long while, which plants have reclaimed, and the spirit of the natural world is almost tangible as if visiting the spot at a certain time on a certain day would allow communion between the noumenal world and the one that resides unseen behind the veil. Something like that.

Ashoka slot
Ashoka slot - base game

Flanked by a skull and statue is Ashoka's gaming grid made up of 6 columns holding 8 positions each. On each spin, not all positions on the reels are filled with active symbols; some spaces are taken up by valueless blocker symbols. Should 8 or more matching pay symbols be in view anywhere on the grid, a win is formed, and the respective symbols are cleared from the grid. Vertically adjacent blocker symbols are removed as well. After the symbol removal, new symbols Avalanche down to fill the gaps. Highly volatile, players select a base bet of 20 p/c to $/€100 per spin and may choose to activate bonus modes from the X-iter menu. No matter how Ashoka is played, its theoretical return to player value is 94%.

For symbols, Ashoka has J-A ranks displayed on stone blocks as its lows, then a blue gem, green gem, orange gem, red gem, and a white tiger as its highs. Landing an 8-matching scatter win pays 0.1 to 5 times the bet, while a 15+ matching scatter win is worth 3 to 100 times the bet. Ashoka also makes use of several kinds of wild symbols, all of which can replace any regular pay symbol. These are regular wilds, Big Wilds of up to 3x3 in size, and charged wilds. Charged wilds stay on the reels for up to three wins, and if spaces appear beneath a big wild, they are filled with 1x1-sized wilds.

Ashoka: Slot Features

Ashoka slot
Ashoka slot - free spins triggered

As well as the wild variety and Avalanche mechanic, Ashoka also has a multiplier symbol, super multiplier symbol, Bonus Game, and the X-iter.

Multiplier and Super Multiplier

Multiplier symbols add their values to the win multiplier when there is a winning scatter in view. The win multiplier multiplies all wins when it is active. The multiplier symbol is removed along with winning symbols by Avalanches. The super multiplier also adds its value to the win multiplier when there is a winning scatter in view. However, the super multiplier stays on the grid, reactivating for each Avalanche. It is removed when no more wins appear.

Bonus Game

Skull bonus symbols may land amongst the blockers. These inactive bonus symbols become active when they are vertically adjacent to a winning symbol, and getting 3 active bonus symbols in the base game triggers 10 free drops in the bonus game. Any super multiplier symbols carry over to the bonus game and persist between free drops. Extra free drops are awarded where having 2 or 3 active bonus symbols awards +5 or +10 free drops, respectively.

X-iter

The X-iter feature buy menu gives players the chance to buy various game modes. These are:

  • Bonus Hunt – 3x the bet to buy a game round with a greater chance of triggering a bonus.
  • Charged Wilds – 10x the bet to buy a game round where all wild symbols are charged wild symbols.
  • Super Multiplier – 25x the bet to buy a game round with a guaranteed super multiplier symbol.
  • Buy Bonus – 100x the bet to buy the bonus game.
  • Super Bonus – 500x the bet to buy the bonus game with a guaranteed super multiplier.
Ashoka slot
Ashoka slot - free spins

Ashoka: Slot Verdict

By no means a simple game, Ashoka didn't produce the same sensation of overflowing features or rules as they sometimes do when reviewing an ELK Studios game. Often, by now, it can feel like the typing version of a 10K jog just to get everything down. Anyway, we made it to the final section, so how did Ashoka fare? For the most part pretty positively, and while we are used to seeing slots from ELK Studios boasting mind-bending numbers in terms of ways to win, i.e. the Nitropolis range with its millions and millions of ways, maybe billions, scatter paying systems are much rarer. In fact, Ashoka might well be the studio's first. Being the creative team they are, ELK Studios has avoided following in the success of other pay-anywhere slots like Sweet Bonanza or Pragmatic Play's Gates games and has done something more original with it. The result felt like a mix of the previously mentioned Kane slots, a bit of Dropz, a dash of Cluster Tumble, and plenty of its own magic.

Like Cluster Tumble, one of the primary base game goals is smashing blocker symbols to enter the bonus game. Flicking on the Bonus Hunt turned out to be a highly enjoyable way to take on this quest, as drops turned into a tantalising skull chase. Pricey, though, at 3 times the regular bet. Multiplier and super multiplier symbols were not exactly plentiful, but wilds popped up every so often, so kudos to the ELK Studios math team for incorporating them into a scatter-paying slot which often isn't the way.

No surprise that the super bonus round was the more exciting of the two. The persistent win multiplier and persistent super multiplier have the ability to jack the game's excitement levels. Again, pricey, though, when bought from the X-iter, perhaps. At full charge, Ashoka can produce wins of up to 25,000 times the bet. There will no doubt be things that players aren't overly fond of here; no need to bang on about the sub-95% RTP which is practically ELk Studios' MO by now, and Ashoka can be tough going. Had the RTP been upped a notch it would have been a top scorer by any standards. Having said that, Ashoka is undoubtedly another high-quality ELK Studios release that takes the scatter-paying online slot format in an exciting direction.

Great

There are likely to be things about Ashoka which are hard to swallow, but it cannot be denied that it’s an outrageously well-designed game that provides a unique scatter-paying experience.

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