Bloodaxe: Slot Overview
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover and all that, but something told us a slot named Bloodaxe wasn't going to be a jolly leprechaun jaunt or a game about candy. A quick glance confirmed this suspicion, and Bloodaxe, from Relax Gaming partners Four Leaf Gaming, is, in fact a slot containing one of the more boisterous peoples of the past, the mighty Vikings. Since Bloodaxe is a Four Leaf Gaming production, it contains a multitude of gambling options and wheels that usually accompany one of its games. As well as the usuals, Bloodaxe has Wild Axes, free spins, and the sticky wilded Bloodaxe Spins.
Four Leaf Gaming has gone for a somewhat realistic representation of its Viking characters, and they all look like they mean business. The studio has picked a frigid day to hold the base game, where the grid sits by a grand building while snow drizzles about the place. Probably not the best day to set sail and plunder foreign lands. To put a positive spin on the weather, days like that provide the perfect opportunity to stay indoors, guilt-free, feasting on boar and downing frothy mugs of mead. Or, in this day and age, bad weather might mean firing up the gaming console or lounging on the couch watching Netflix. Are we getting soft?
Bah, acting all tough in Bloodaxe means picking a stake of 20 c to $/€40 and pounding the play button. It's played on a 5-reel game board with 4 rows of symbols and 25 ways to win. Winning lines of symbols pay left to right from the first reel onwards and require at least 3 matching symbols to do so. With its highly volatile math model, Bloodaxe theoretically returns 95% to players - the same when buying free spins.
Axes do not appear on any of the pay symbols, which instead include 4 coins as the low pays and 4 characters as the high pays. Win lines, including 5 matching low pays award 1.5 to 3 times the bet, while 5 OAK premium wins pay 10 to 20 times the bet. Where an axe finally comes into play is on the wild symbol. Wilds are present on all reels, substituting for any regular pay symbol and awarding 20x the bet for a five-wild winning line.
Bloodaxe: Slot Features
Wild axes are also critical components in the base and bonus game in other ways, too. In the base game, when wilds hit, an axe is tossed at the target above it. Depending on where the axe hits, the reel collector is filled with 1, 2, or 3 points. When a collection meter reaches 4 points on any reel, 4 respins with an expanding wild on the reel are awarded. If any other reel's collection is filled during respins, it also becomes an expanded wild reel, and the respin counter is reset to 4.
Landing 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols in the base game awards 10, 15, or 20 free spins, respectively. Target collections are reset at the start of the feature but do not reset between spins during the round. Landing wild symbols results in 1, 2, or 3 points for the corresponding reel collection. When free spins end, 4 Bloodaxe spins are awarded. For the Bloodaxe spins, a number of wilds corresponding to the number on the collectors is added to the respective reels. These wilds are sticky till the Bloodaxe spins end. Also, any reels with 4 collection points have an x2 multiplier applied to each of the wilds they add. When more than one multiplier is used in a win, the values are added. Free spins can be bought for the cost of 78x the bet.
Before free spins begin, players can gamble to win 1, 2, or 3 extra spins. Slide a slider to choose how many free spins you would like to gamble – the more spins staked, the greater the chance of winning more from the gamble. The gamble can be repeated up to a maximum total of 25 spins.
When free spins end under a certain threshold, players can gamble their winnings for the chance to replay them. A winning spin awards a new free spins round, but the previous winnings are not carried over. A losing spin returns you to the base game.
The Super Spinner may be triggered each time a coin is collected. Coins land randomly on low-pay symbols. Changing bet levels updates the coins collected relative to the bet. When the Super Spinner is activated, it awards cash prizes of 80-5,000x, 10-25 free spins, cash prizes of 10-25x, or 10-25 Nitro Spins. The Super Spinner can be bought where the base cost is 60x the bet.
Activating Nitro Spins in the base game makes wild axes hit more frequently with higher chances of hitting the bullseye, increases free spins scatters, collects coins more frequently, and the Super Spinner triggers more often. A Nitro Spin increases the stake by 50% or costs 4 coins per spin.
Bloodaxe: Slot Verdict
When it comes to designing slots, so far, Four Leaf Gaming has played it pretty safe. At least in terms of picking themes, the studio has chosen topics like jokers, pirates, clovers, and now Vikings. Not criticising the studio's choices, a lot of developers stick with tried and true subject matter after all. Also, Four Leaf Gaming has reproduced a fairly immersive Viking world to get lost in for a bit while trying to get axes bandying about the place. So the tee-up wasn't bad, how did the rest follow through?
Bloodaxe had its ups and downs. Maybe players looking for a Viking slot with a stack of extra gambling opportunities might be chuffed if picking Bloodaxe. A lot of the extras are standard Four Leaf Gaming features you can find on any number of the studio's slots, but the newer additions are intriguing in themselves. One of the pinnacle moments has to be Bloodaxe Spins, when the wilds achieved by the collections are plastered onto the reels. Some wilds, if the collection went well, come with a handy x2 multiplier attached, too. It's a method reminiscent of something Relax Gaming might do as thoughts drifted to Wild Chapo, where certain positions turn into wilds or multiplier wilds for the last spin of the bonus round. Here, you get 4 final spins, yet Bloodaxe didn't have the same high-tension feel to it that Wild Chapo had.
Perhaps we just weren't lucky enough with the wild symbol collecting to reach the same adrenalised levels. On paper, with its 10,000x the bet max win, Bloodaxe can turn up the heat, but the game felt a little flat. Maybe it's got something to do with the drama-less way the reels spin, or something? It's hard to put a finger on what exactly caused the reaction to be lukewarmer than first suspected. The artwork is tops, and the features are interesting, maybe it's the feeling Bloodaxe relies so much on the additional betting opportunities to be thrilling that just vanilla gambling on it was a titch hollow.
But chucking coins at every conceivable opportunity to bet is a Four Leaf Gaming slot's MO. This means players who have appreciated getting the chance to do so in other slots from this provider might appreciate those chances here. If so, best be sharpening those blades. Otherwise, if extra gambles aren't so much of an interest, and you're desiring a less option-filled Viking betting experience, there are question marks over how well those desires will be satiated.
Like a lot of what Four Leaf Gaming does, Bloodaxe is a fully equipped gambling machine but loses some of the Viking allure when stripped of the optional betting extras.