BATTLE ROYAL - Off with their heads!
Maximum Play'n GO volatility
Includes a random feature, bonus pick feature and free spin feature
Battle Royal Introduction
Heads will roll! This new Play'n GO creation is a throwback to the days when the Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England. With a historical theme, it centers around King Henry the 8th and his infamous 6 wives. Coincidentally, Henry was an avid gambler and dice player and it's mind boggling to think what his reaction would be seeing himself featured in an online slot centuries later. But it is his six marriages he is best known for, in particular the beheading of two of them - Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, which is also central to the story in this slot.
Battle Royal is a highly volatile slot, listed as 10 out of 10 by Play'n GO, and comes with a random base game feature as well as a free spin feature that includes the possibility to trigger a bonus picking game.
Visually, it's a slot easy to identify as a Play'n GO creation with it's characteristical interface and graphics. Set in what appears to be a castle, it has a medieval feel with the reel set flanked by red lion drapes. The visual production is relatively simplistic, at least when it comes to the base game and although there are some interesting new features at play, it still comes across as quite a traditional slot with it's 5-reel, 3-row and 20 paylines setup. Nothing wrong with that.
Battle Royal Symbols & Paytable
Battle Royal includes the King Henry 8th Wild symbol, a Coat of Arms Scatter, Henry’s infamous 6 Wives as the high-paying symbols, and classic card suits as the low-paying symbols. The paytable is displayed in cash value relative to your current bet which is a big plus, making calculations easy and straight-forward. In other words, there's no confusion about its potential. Very nice Play'n GO.
The high-paying symbols, the wives that is, come in two sets - one in normal mode as seen in the screenshot above, and one in their beheaded state where they are turned into wilds. It will make more sense if you keep reading.
Battle Royal Features & Free Spin Mode
The Royal Flush feature can trigger at random on the base game and convert all low paying symbols into the same symbol.
If a Scatter lands on both the first and last reel a feature choice is triggered. The player is invited to select one of the winning Scatters to find out which feature they will be awarded – Free Spins or Long Live the King (pick bonus).
In Free Spins, the player must choose which of Henry’s Wives will survive the guillotine. On each spin one of the guillotines on the reels will drop. If one of the Wife symbols are visible either fully, or the top half on that reel they lose their head and that symbol becomes Wild for the rest of the Free Spins round. If only the bottom half of the symbol is visible on the top row, the symbol is not eligible to be beheaded and turn Wild. Free Spins continue until 1 Wife character symbol is left alive. If the player’s chosen wife survives, an additional instant prize is awarded.
The last surviving Wife from Free Spins must then have her fate decided by the guillotine reels. The player must select a guillotine reel for the Wife. One guillotine will then fall. If it is the reel the Wife is on, she is beheaded, and the Long Live the King pick bonus is also triggered. If it falls on a different reel, she survives, and the player returns to the base game.
In the Long Live the King bonus feature the player must help King Henry collect loot and escape his haunted dungeon. Select chests to collect instant prizes. After every pick, a ghost of one of Henry’s wives will move across the screen, over one row of chests. If Henry is in the way of a ghost, he dies, and the bonus feature ends.
One chest contains a key. Once the key is obtained the player can choose to escape the dungeon and collect a mystery multiplier for their total winnings, or they can risk continuing to open chests and collect more instant prizes. If the feature ends due to Henry being caught by a ghost, the total round win so far is awarded. Multiplier is only awarded if the player chooses to escape. If the player has entered bonus via Free Spins, the multiplier is applied to total win from Free Spins and bonus feature.
The optimum strategy when the Long Live the King bonus feature is triggered from the Free Spins is to escape as soon as you find the Key. If the Long Live the King bonus feature is triggered from the base game, the optimum strategy is to leave after picking four chests.
Battle Royal Conclusion
In spite of the somewhat innovative free spin feature and original backstory it still comes across as a typical Play'n GO creation. It doesn't feel like there was too much ambition invested in making it stand out or for it to break new ground. Even the max win potential of 5000 times the stake is standard, which by the way you have a 1 in 100,000,000 chance in landing. Good luck with that. To be fair though, triggering the max exposure on any slot is nearly as impossible.
It's not a bad slot in any way, but ultimately we can't help to feel like we're playing a re-skin rather than something fresh and brand new. It's one of those slots that will be played for a week or two and then fall into oblivion, a little bit like Gold King or Sizzling Spin.
Game description: 5 reels | 3 rows | 20 Paylines | RTP 96,56% | Max win potential: 5000x (or €500,000) | Variance: H (10/10) | Bets: €0.20 - €100 | Probability of max win: <1 in 100,000,000 | Features: Royal Flush feature, Long Live the King feature, Free Spin feature | Release date: December 11, 2018
Bigwinboard Rating - 71%