Book of Toro: Slot Overview
If you missed the news, ELK Studio is celebrating the fifth anniversary of their smash hit Wild Toro with a three-stop world tour. Each event on the calendar sees the release of a new Wild Toro styled game, and Book of Toro is the second on the schedule. The first was Wild Toro 2, which successfully took the characters, gameplay, and features players loved about the original, then significantly expanded it. Speaking of expanding, number two slot on the world tour, Book of Toro, uses the special expanding symbols characteristic of these sorts of games that fans no doubt want to see. However, this isn't a simple matador themed 'book of' slot. ELK has done a number on the format, somehow squeezing in a host of Toro elements to produce a very unique 'book of' game.
You might not get this impression at the beginning since the game is located in a generic Egyptian location decorated with sarcophagi and hieroglyph covered pillars. The 10 numbered paylines are even listed on the sides of the 5-reel game grid. This is more a respectful acknowledgement of the classic nature of these games though since the rest is wholly modern. Special mention needs to go out to ELK's sound team, once again providing an indulgent serving of ear candy. The music has an Egyptian touch, but it's not a chilling on the banks of the Nile sketching pyramids vibe, but rather closer to something you'd crank with the ragtop down while cruising the streets of modern Cairo.
Book of Toro is playable on any device, offering a range of bets from 20 p/c to £/€100 a pop. As can be expected, volatility is high, yet not the highest, rated as 7 out of 10. The RTP, meanwhile, isn't exactly the highest either on 95%, though the game uses only one universal RTP, so you always know what you get. Regular wins occur when at least two highs or three low pay symbols land from the leftmost side at a frequency of 23% - unfortunately, there is no mention of bonus frequency.
Symbols, for the most part, are typical Egyptian icons, but ELK has brought some individual flair to them. From bottom to top are 10-A royals, scarabs, bird adorned jewellery, Eyes of Horus, and the matador as the most valuable symbol. Interestingly, the matador doesn't feature in Book of Toro anywhere near as much as previous games. There is a lot going on in Book of Toro, and as a counterbalance, symbol values aren't as high as they are usually, where five premiums are worth a payout of 20 to 250 times the stake. This doesn't dampen the game's overall potential, it has to be said. Three wilds pop up at various times – a wild book scatter, a walking wild and a regular wild. All substitute any pay symbol to help complete wins.
Book of Toro: Slot Features
Book of Toro has a lot going on. As well as free spins with expanding symbols are Toro Goes Wild, Mummy Respins, and five X-iter bonus buy options, where available.
Toro Goes Wild
Toro the bull is a walking wild, which only appears on the last reel. When Toro hits, he moves one reel to the left until he falls off the grid, generating a respin for each step. If a Mummy Symbol lands at the same time Toro is in view, the Toro Goes Wild feature is triggered. With this one, Toro moves vertically, then horizontally to knock all mummy symbols off, leaving a trail of regular wild symbols behind him. On a side note, book symbols are sticky during Toro Goes Wild.
Landing 2 or more mummy symbols in view triggers Mummy Respins. Mummy symbols lock into position for the following respin, and any new mummy symbols also lock and award respins. If Toro hits, the Toro Goes Wild feature is immediately triggered.
The book symbol is wild, but it is also the scatter. Landing 3, 4, or 5 books awards 10, 15, or 20 free spins. At the beginning of free spins, a pay symbol is randomly chosen for expansion. If they can create a win, expanding symbols grow to cover all positions on their reels after any regular wins have been paid. Expanded symbols pay all lines and do not have to be adjacent to each other. If at least 3 books land during the feature, free spins are retriggered, and an additional symbol is selected to be an expanding symbol. It is possible to have up to 3 expanding symbols at once.
In a twist, Toro substitutes for expanding symbols if he is present on the reels. In addition, if Toro covers an expanding symbol as he walks, it can still expand for a win evaluation. Keep in mind Mummy Respins and Toro Goes Wild can be triggered during free spins as well.
Users are able to play Book of Toro in regular mode or bonus mode. X-iter is the bonus mode and comes with 5 options:
- Mummy Respins (5x the bet) - one spin with guaranteed Mummy Respin.
- Toro (25x the bet) - one spin with a guaranteed Toro. Any book symbols that land on respins become sticky.
- Mini bonus (50x the bet) - 3 spins with a randomly selected expansion symbol.
- Bonus (100x the bet) - entry to the regular version of free spins.
- Super bonus (500x the bet) - gets you the bonus game, plus all book symbols are sticky. Also, expanding symbols are kept sticky as long as one additional expansion symbol lands or until there are expansion symbols on all five reels.
Book of Toro: Slot Verdict
Book of Toro's first surprise is that it appears to be the first 'book' slot ELK has done. The studio seems to have gotten by without needing any Ra in their lives up until this point. However, many developers succumb eventually, and the temptation to make their individual stamp on the genre must have proved irresistible. Individual is a good word for Book of Toro which does a bunch of stuff you won't find elsewhere. To squeeze so many features that are capable of blowing the game apart at any moment is a mathematical feat not to be sneered at. The other admirable thing is how Book of Toro retains such strong roots to two different games, and it is tough to think how ELK could have melded Wild Toro with 'book of' gaming any better.
Turning to features, it's hard to know where to begin; there is so much going on. Let's start on a positive note by saying if you can get free spins on a good roll, they almost feel unstoppable. Factoring in respins, retriggers, multiple expanding symbol evaluations, plus Toro Goes Wild means bonus games can stretch, elongate, and run for a real long time. Sticky expansion symbols are a stroke of genius, and it's impressive how ELK has managed to incorporate so many different elements while still making everything work. Wild Toro's personality shines through the 'book of' format at all times, and the amalgamation of the two gaming forms is outstanding.
Another talent ELK has is letting loose moments of unbridled chaos on the reels. Nitropolis or Nitropolis 2 are prime examples here, and players can get a taste of this in Book of Toro when all cylinders are firing and the game is throwing everything into the mix. Buying the Super Bonus is probably your best bet of experiencing the full-blown roller coaster effect. It's not cheap, yet an offshoot of all this mayhem is that winning potential is double the standard figure at 10,000x the bet.
We've gushed on about the highlights but don't get the impression Book of Toro is some sort of cash cannon. ELK also knows how to control the chaos, and not every bonus round was a blinder. There's also the RTP concern, which might irritate some players. Setting that to the side, fans of Wild Toro and 'book of' style games owe it to themselves to give Book of Toro a whirl. It's got everything you might expect from a meeting between Toro and 'book' gaming, plus a whole lot more.
Fans of ‘book of’ style gaming owe it to themselves to give Book of Toro a whirl. It’s got everything you might expect from a meeting between Wild Toro and the land-based classic, plus a whole lot more.