Book of Spies Mission X: Slot Overview
Based in sunny Marbella, Spearhead Studios is the name of the team behind espionage-themed slot Book of Spies Mission X. We’d say creative team, but they have received help putting Book of Spies together. As you can no doubt gather from the 'Book of' inspired title, there is plenty of expanding symbol action during free spins. However, it’s not the only star attraction. Working alongside it are a suite of trademarked features on license from Nolimit City, namely xNudge™ Wild Multipliers and xWays™ Mystery Symbols.
Where Spearhead has added a personal touch is in the way they’ve packaged everything. The star of the show is Lara Jones who, as it turns out, has popped up in previous Spearhead games. Her name is a combination of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones, so she is clearly the adventurous type. She’ll need to harness her hacking skills in Book of Spies where she is up against a bunch of modern digital crooks. Fortunately, she’s got a team backing her up along with a stack of features.
The code-cracking action takes place on a 5x4 grid, offering 1,024 ways to win. That already sounds pretty mental when you factor in the pay-all-way expanding symbols, but it can get bigger thanks to Nolimit’s on-loan features. Surrounding the game grid are guns, bullets, computer drives, all set against a blurred city skyline. A Mission Impossible-style soundtrack hums away giving Book of Spies a modern espionage feel, not a million miles from The Vault by Snowborn Games.
Players can do their crime-busting on all devices, by setting bets from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin. When it comes to stats, Spearhead has made the most of the Nolimit license to go large, in almost all respects. Maybe not RTP so much, though there will be few complaints with a rating of 96.1%. Volatility, on the other hand, is ‘very high’ and testing confirmed the game could swing like a psychopathic Bond villain’s mood in a moment. Dedicated gamblers will appreciate the approach since Spearhead has paired the volatile gaming with a massive claimed potential that takes full advantage of the ‘x’ prefaced features.
Wins are paid for combinations of three or more matching symbols landing on adjacent reels. Glow-light 9-A royals lead the paytable, followed by four characters – Extreme Harry Hack, Big Tech Terry, One Shot Suzie, and Evil Spy Master who looks a lot like the card-playing evil spymaster from Casino Royale. Land five baddies to reap rewards of 5 to 15 times the stake.
Book of Spies Mission X: Slot Features
There's a lot of bells and whistles here as Spearhead decided to pack as many features as they could possibly fit. The features are a real mash-up of xNudge Wild Multipliers, xWays Mystery Symbols, and Free Spins where expanding symbols come into play.
xWays Mystery symbols land to reveal 2 to 4 of the same symbol, expanding the reel up to 7 symbols high, increasing the number of possible ways. This could be any symbol except wilds or the tumbling scatters. During the base game, one Mystery Symbol can appear on each of the reels 1, 3, or 5, while in free spins they can land anywhere. So at the most, win ways can increase to 5,488 in the base game or 16,807 in the bonus.
Pistol waving Lara Jones is printed on the xNudge Wild, landing on reels 2 or 4. It is always nudged to cover the full reel, each nudge increasing its Multiplier by +1 to a maximum of x4, or if combined with an xWays Mystery Symbol up to x7.Two Wild Multipliers at the same time in a win have their values multiplied together.
To trigger Secret Agent Free Spins, 3 tumbling bonus scatter symbols must land on reels 1, 3, and 5 simultaneously. The amount of spins awarded is equal to the number of nudges required to move the scatters to the bottom position of its reel. Each nudge equals one free spin, so 3 to 21 are possible.
Before free spins start, one of the four premiums is randomly selected to be the special symbol. After a spin has been evaluated, if 3 or more reels contain one of the special symbols, they expand to cover all positions. Expanded symbols pay anywhere; they do not have to be adjacent to each other. Free spins can be retriggered, and the same special symbol is used throughout in this case.
The last feature is a bonus buy option where these sorts of things are allowed. For the cost of 70x the bet, players are awarded a straight 10 free spins.
Book of Spies Mission X: Slot Verdict
Spearhead has a couple ‘Book of’ style games in their portfolio now and the mechanic continues to prove it can be used anywhere. The interesting thing about it is the game isn’t solely focused on expanding symbols. Nolimit’s ‘x’ features manage to hog a lot of the limelight, meaning Book of Spies isn’t just about getting lucky with the right symbol selection, then having it appear in great numbers during free spins. It has that element for sure, but a lot more besides.
Licensing Nolimit’s features have had a twofold result. One, it ups Spearhead’s profile, putting them on more players’ radars. Secondly, it makes for some pretty exciting gaming. xNudge Wilds are hugely effective when more than one moves into position building up a juicy multiplier. They can be the key to a good bonus round or not - often more so than the expanding symbols.
In regards to chosen symbols, the one you want is the Le Chiffre looking baddy. Theoretically expanding him across the board would net at least 15,360x the bet. Much more than your typical Ra based game. Some may scoff at the likelihood of that happening, but Spearhead claim max wins in Book of Spies approach 27,000x the stake.
When you break Book of Spies down to its constituent parts nothing is new. ‘Book’ slots are a dime a thousand, yet Spearhead offers a fairly refreshing take on this style. The somewhat gloomy look and average visuals might put some people off, but an enjoyable spy mood sets in while playing, and the way the studio has done things like naming characters to deepen the game world is appreciated.
Make no mistake; this is no jolly gentleman Bond flick. There’s no parachuting into enemy territory while holding a Martini, wiping out SMERSH, bedding 13 women and being back in London without creasing your tux. This is rough around the edges espionage, volatile as you like backed by big rewards for successful hacks.
Combining a Ra-like bonus game with licensed features might sound like an exercise in imitation, but Spearhead manages to pull off something that feels fresh, providing some heart-pounding gameplay.