Avalon Gold: Slot Overview
Kane fans, here's a new one for you. We're used to seeing the explorer travel to some far-flung destinations from Katmandu to Tahiti to Ecuador; this time, he's doing something a bit different. For the eighth slot in ELK Studios' Gold series, the intrepid explorer is heading to the mythical land of Avalon in the online slot Avalon Gold. With places like Avalon, there aren't always concrete rules on how to get there. Some say it is an entrance to the Otherworld, existing outside of time, a place where Arthur was said to have been taken after a battle to heal, but it's not clear how Kane arrived. Whatever the method, Kane's there, amidst a stack of features and the classic expanding reels set-up the series is famous for.
ELK Studios has certainly captured and rebottled Avalon's mysteriously mythical quality. Unlike other games in the series, this one has a more relaxing, etheric atmosphere created by the nature and hints of sunlight making up the background. Behind the game grid, visible when symbols tumble in and out, is some sort of sacred-looking structure, while a gentle Celtic-inspired soundtrack (which is phenomenal, btw) provides the final touches on an excellently thought-through interpretation of Avalon. In saying that, the big win adrenalised count-up music feels a little out of place in this environment.
But hey, we're not just here to hug trees and wander amongst the glades. Avalon Gold is a solid gambling machine, played on a 6-reel game grid which starts 4 rows high. To tackle the game, paid spins cost 20 p/c to £/€100 each, or players may be able to access the X-iter menu, which provides five other ways of paying Avalon Gold. Highly volatile, the RTP comes in more than one form, with a maximum value of 94%.
Each base game spin drops up to 24 symbols into the active gaming area with the goal of hitting at least three of a kind on adjacent reels from the leftmost side. At the base level, Avalon Gold supplies 4,096 ways to win, rising to 262,144 when the grid reaches its full height. Twelve regular paying symbols appear throughout the game. The four lows are J-A card ranks, the four mids are animal decorated symbols, and the four highs are three masks plus Kane as the top value tile. Hitting a six-of-a-kind winning way awards 0.3x the bet for the lows, 0.8-1x for the mids, and 2-5x the stake for six of the high pays. Helping connect pay symbols is the golden wild; it is able to substitute for any symbol except the bonus and the Mystery Box.
Avalon Gold: Slot Features
Avalon Gold contains a mix of gameplay that is common to the series while wedging in one or two innovations. Here you will find Avalanches, Big Symbols, Expanding Wilds, Mystery Boxes, Avalon feature, free drops, and the X-iter feature buy menu.
Winning ways are removed from the game board by the Avalanche feature. When symbols fall down to fill the gaps, an extra row of them is also added to the reels. Consecutive Avalanches keep adding rows until reaching a max height of 8 rows high. In the main game, when no more wins occur, the grid resets to its normal size for the next spin.
Another regular is Big Symbols, which land in 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4 sizes. Big Symbols can be any normal pay symbol or Mystery Boxes, and each one counts as the number of 1x1-sized instances. If empty spaces appear below Big Symbols, they are filled with the same symbol type as the Big Symbol.
Symbols can land with a gold frame on top of them. If spaces open up above these symbols, the empty gaps will be filled with a number of expanding wild symbols.
Mystery Boxes appear anywhere on the reels, and when at least 5 are in view, they activate. Until then, they act as value-less blocker tiles. When activated, Mystery Boxes open to reveal a pay symbol, a wild, or trigger the Avalon features. Avalon features include:
- Coin – coin win displayed as a multiplier of the bet.
- Multipliers - multiply any already revealed coins.
- Swiper - adds 1 to the front of the previously revealed coin value. So, a 7 would become a 17.
- Collect – collects all coin values in view and reactivates the already opened Mystery Boxes.
- Redrop – awards another symbol drop and guarantees reactivation of Mystery Boxes in view.
Entering the bonus round occurs when 3, 4, 5, or 6 scatter symbols land to award 10, 15, 20, or 25 free drops, respectively. In free spins, Mystery Boxes are persistent between free spins until they are activated. As before, at least 5 are needed to be activated, and Mystery Boxes are removed when the Avalon feature is finished. The round starts with the grid at 4 rows high. After winning spins, the safety level increases by +1 row, the next free drop then fills the grid to the current safety level – up to 8 rows high. Free spins can be retriggered by landing 3, 4, 5, or 6 bonus symbols to win 10, 15, 20, or 25 additional free drops, respectively.
When and where available, players can switch to bonus mode and pick one of these five options. For all of them, the RTP remains the same as when playing in the normal mode.
- Big Symbol – 5x the bet to buy one drop with a guaranteed Big Symbol.
- Expanding Wild – 10x the bet for one drop with a guaranteed Expanding Wild.
- Mystery Boxes – 50x the bet for one drop with 5 guaranteed Mystery Boxes.
- Bonus – 100x the bet to enter the bonus game.
- Super Bonus – 500x the bet to enter the bonus game where Mystery Boxes are persistent throughout.
Avalon Gold: Slot Verdict
We might be eight deep in ELK Studio's Gold range of slots, but the momentum doesn't feel like it's been let up one bit. The studio has its foot firmly planted on the creative gas, and Avalon Gold is another sturdy entry. What's been great so far is the exotic locations and the consistent tweaking of the gameplay to make something that both fits into the series while taking it in new and exciting directions. The word exotic is a common one when describing an online slot but often refers to, say, a beach, seaside location, or something with a cultural touch. The word exotic is rarely so apt as it is in the case of the Gold series, where ELK Studios has lobbed Kane to several off-the-beaten-path locations.
Avalon is perhaps one of the most unexpected of them all so far. Arthurian legends are fairly common in slots, but it was still a surprise to see Kane turn up there. No complaints, though; while he's resting, healing, or whatever his motivations are, Avalon Gold serves up the sort of solid gameplay we've come to expect from a Kane slot. Avalanches, growing reels, growing ways, and things like Big Symbols are dependable on their own before even getting to the newer bits. Expanding Wilds are handy, and the Mystery Boxes leading to Avalon features can be hugely entertaining as seen already in games like Big Bamboo from which the developers likely got their inspiration from. Mystery Boxes climax during Super Free Spins since they stay on the board and activate repeatedly following each Avalanche or drop, potentially leading to some intense moments. Avalon Gold follows through with enticing winning possibilities, too, maxing out at 25,000x the bet.
All up, Avalon Gold's presentation is top-notch; the features are a nice weave of old and new(ish), and Kane looks pretty dashing in his golden armour. The game is let down by the lower RTP value that ELK Studios is pushing hard for at the moment, but if that's not a concern, Avalon Gold is another Gold slot players can rely on to fire up and extract entertainment value from.
All up, Avalon Gold’s presentation is top-notch; the features are a nice weave of old and new(ish), and Kane looks pretty dashing in his golden armour.