Aztec Spins: Overview
The last time we saw developer R7 Studio was with their Art Deco/Victorian-inspired clue hunt Golden Cryptex which sent players on an unusual clue hunt, of sorts. The Red Tiger partner studio takes a very different approach this time around in their hot and steamy South American themed slot Aztec Spins. It might be a bit more orthodox than their previous release, but the game possesses a few twists that may keep players entertained.
The first thing to spring to mind when Aztec Spins loaded up was WMS' iconic Montezuma slot. Now, they're both Aztec themed games and they both feature a wheel that is central to the action, but that's where the similarities end.
Built using a 6-reel, 4-row format, the rotating prize wheel in Aztec Spins, which looks like one of those mysterious circular Aztec Calendars, sits right above the game area. Peeking out around the edges of the reels, thick jungle and stone carvings complete the picture. The scene is well done and sets a nice mood to try your luck in. The prizes on the wheel are enticing, and the whole presentation is an attractive one indeed.
Before revealing the Mesoamerican secrets, let's pop the hood to have a look at the technical aspects of the game. Firstly, bets are available from between 10 p/c to £/€20 per spin. The RTP, meanwhile, is down slightly from what we have seen recently, but at 95.71% it’s nothing to be overly concerned about. Volatility sits in the medium to high region providing gaming highs and lows, all complemented by decent potential (more on that below).
The first surprise is that winners pay both ways on the 30-payline grid. At least three of a kind constitutes a winning combination, which can happen from left to right as well as right to left. The two-way pay system isn’t just for fun either, but works well in tandem with the features, particularly the Locking Symbols feature as you will see.
The Aztec theme also works its way into the paytable via the game’s symbols. Perhaps not so much the low pay 10-A royals, though they have been made to look like ancient stonework. The premiums are a little harder to describe and include a flower type object, a man with headdress, twin snakes, a mask, and a step pyramid. A line of six pyramids will net you 12x, down to 4x for six of the flower things. There are no wild symbols in the game, but the way the features work makes do without them just fine.
Aztec Spins: Features
The wheel framing the grid sticks out like a sore thumb, so it’s a good place to start exploring the features. This is called the Aztec Wheel, which is triggered when the 2x2 Aztec Wheel symbol is fully visible on reels 3 and 4. When activated, it awards one spin on the Aztec Wheel resulting in rewards such as Stacking Multipliers, Locked Symbols, Free Spins, or Wheel Respins.
The Stacking Multiplier awards a x10 multiplier which is held until it can be applied to the next symbol line win. It is possible to land another x10 multipliers before a winning spin occurs. In this case, the multipliers are added to gather up to a maximum of x30. If the multiplier reaches x30, then the Stacking Multiplier segment of the wheel is replaced with a Wheel Respin sector. Should the wheel land on a Wheel Respin, it simply spins again.
When the Aztec Wheel stops on a pay symbol, this specific symbol fills out both the 3rd and 4th reel, making them stacked. The other reels continue to spins, and new similar symbols are also locked in place until a win occurs. This is known as the Locked Symbols feature.
If the wheel lands on Free Spins during the base game, players are awarded 12 free spins. Here, the Aztec Wheel feature triggers far more frequently. Moreover, should the wheel land on the Free Spins segment during the feature, then 6 additional free spins are awarded.
Lastly, depending on the settings, players may be able to gamble their winnings. If available, this is a simple blind card guess where the correct suit wins you four times the winnings, or double your win for guessing the right colour.
Aztec Spins: Verdict
Aztec Spins is a slot where the gameplay, on the whole, is pretty good, but it doesn’t quite keep up with the stellar looks. On paper, the list of features also sounds promising, but something holds it back from being as good as you might hope for.
One slightly irritating aspect of the game occurs during free spins when the Aztec Wheel awards the Locked Symbols feature. With the middle two reels locked, each spin that occurs while other symbols are building up is deducted from the free spins total. So if it takes 10 spins, as an example, for a winner to hit, then just 2 are left over to rack up any more winners.
It also means that the Aztec Wheel is blocked while the middle two reels are covered in Locked Symbols, preventing any new extras from hitting. Of course, the Locked Symbols feature could result in a solid multi-line payout, and max potential has been calculated at 4,983 times your stake, so solid wins are possible. It’s something to keep in mind about the game though.
All up, Aztec Spins has some good things happening. For one, it looks great and builds a nice atmospheric environment that oozes heat and mosquitos off the screen. The Aztec Wheel can be tantalising when it spins, as is the Locked Symbols feature when it gets some decent stacks on.
Yet, Aztec Spins doesn't come with too many surprises and feels like a rather typical Red Tiger game - for better or worse. Although the game comes with a two way pay mechanic, the limitations of its 30-paylines feels somewhat dated. To no ones surprise, Aztec Spins will not join Montezuma in the hall of fame of slots, it's shelf life will be considerably shorter than that, but it's a game that might entertain some for a while at least.
Aztec Spins is an attractive slot, full of mystery and features, but the gameplay struggles to keep up at times.