Blood Moon Wilds (Yggdrasil Gaming): Overview
Halloween is almost upon us and those that like to flirt with the darker side of life will be intrigued by Blood Moon Wilds from Yggdrasil. It's just in time for All Hallows Eve, when the gap between the living and the spirit world is at its narrowest. A full moon might be a bad omen in the real world for some, but players will welcome this sign as it triggers many of the game’s extra features. Yes this is the primal world of the werewolf.
Yggdrasil Gaming proves itself highly skilled in the arts of world-building once again. The werewolf theme comes to life through excellent graphics and a creepy synth soundtrack punctuated by equally creepy sounds. The classic 5x3 grid is set in Victorian era New Orleans, at midnight, surrounded by wolves and moons. If you haven’t quite got the message yet - we are not dealing with a jolly fruit slot here. The atmosphere is great and the developer has created a good mood for getting down to some serious gaming.
First thing to do is choose a wager from 10 c/p at the lower end, up to £/€100 at the top. Auto spins are on hand to tear through a session which might be a good idea because there can be some downtime. The slot has a medium volatility, but it felt higher during testing. It has the ability to payout though, with a solid RTP of 96.2% and a decent top prize that can be worth the wait. Hit play and not only do the reels spin, but so do the moons above them. This isn’t just for effect either, but the Lunar Calendar, as it's called, comes into play as you'll discover below.
The paytable is split into nice looking card symbols making up the low end. While at the top is a motley bunch of villagers that possess a particular attribute that you can probably guess… The intense-looking lady in red is the head of the bunch with 5 of her returning 50 times your stake. Altogether, there are no complaints about the base game paytable, which is improved further by the mix of extra features.
Blood Moon Wilds (Yggdrasil Gaming): Features
In keeping with the chaotic theme, features can be triggered or they can drop at random. The most obvious anomaly is the moons above the reels so let’s look at them first. Known as the Lunar Calendar feature, it displays the current phase of the moon. If it spins and lands on a full moon, all of the visible high pay symbols on the grid turn into werewolf wilds. During free spins, a red blood moon is added to the Lunar Calendar. If this moon lands it turns the high pay symbols into werewolf wilds and keeps them locked in place for the remainder of the feature. More on that later.
During the main game and during free spins, 1 of 4 random features can appear at any time.
- Full Moon Nudge – whatever phase the moon lands on is nudged, so a full moon or blood moon is drawn.
- Win Multiplier – a multiplier of x2, x3, x4, or x5, is applied to the spin.
- Wild Transformation – selects one of the high pay symbols and turns it wild.
- Extra Free Spin Symbol – adds one additional free spin symbol to the reels. During the base game, there must be at least 2 free spin symbols on the grid, or one during the free spins round.
The big red jewel symbol is the scatter symbol, and at least 3 are needed to trigger Free Spins. More symbols mean more free spins:
- 2 scatter symbols awards 2 free spins (only available during the free spins round).
- 3 scatter symbols awards 7 free spins.
- 4 scatter symbols awards 10 free spins.
- 5 scatter symbols awards 12 free spins.
- 6 scatter symbols awards 20 free spins (only available with an additional scatter symbol from the random feature).
The free spins round can also be retriggered as described above. Note, you only need to land 2 scatter symbols during the free spins feature to retrigger it with 2 extra spins.
Blood Moon Wilds (Yggdrasil Gaming): Verdict
Yggdrasil Gaming is a software company that isn’t afraid to explore the obscurer side of life. We got a taste of that before with Vikings go to Hell. Blood Moon Wilds never goes completely over the top, but it is atmospheric, and the features have been utilised by the theme superbly. The lunar calendar, for example, is a nice touch, and a deft way of incorporating the legend of the full moon while using it to create the werewolf wilds. Things like this display the maturity and creativity of Yggdrasil’s team. They didn’t just pick a theme out of a hat and create a few symbols and a background to go with it. There are other werewolf slots out there that are guilty of that. There’s no need to name and shame though, because if you in the mood for a werewolf themed slot, then Blood Moon Wilds is probably one of your best options.
Of course, a top slot isn’t just looks and clever use of a theme. Blood Moon Wilds also has the monetary rewards to back up the experience. Fill the grid with the red lady, drop in the x5 multiplier and you are looking at 5,000 times the stake from one spin. It is a figure that will help draw in those that aren’t even fans of the dark side. By the way, when we say dark, it’s on the spectrum (in a cartoonish way), but it’s not scary. The number of non-winning spins due to its volatility will probably scare more casual gamers away than the theme will. Once again Yggdrasil has branched off into unusual territory with an attractive, weird but rewarding slot.
On a final note. Having recently reviewed The Wolf's Night, which is NetEnt's contribution to this year's Halloween season of slots, we have to say that Blood Moon Wilds comes out on top. Of course, some of you might disagree, but in our opinion Yggdrasil's take on the werewolf theme looks slightly better, the features are more entertaining and the potential is much better. In the end, both games will appeal to different players and we just have to appreciate that there is something for everyone out there. Happy Halloween!
Blood Moon Wilds makes a good effort at providing the kind of gameplay and variety that slots enthusiasts desire.