Cauldron: Slot Overview
Developer Peter & Sons continue to trip on the fantasy side of life by whipping a batch of regents together for their slot Cauldron. Played using 5 reels with 20 paylines, Cauldron is another chapter in the book of Algroth (no, it's not a 'book of' game), which tells the tales of heroes and villains on one epic journey. This time, it's to the caves of Algroth we travel to, where a blue wizard pulls wins out of his bubbling pot predominantly via free spins and super free spins.
As in previous releases, Cauldron's graphics advertise right away this is a Peter & Sons product. Each so far has had a distinctive look, and Cauldron continues the trend. For one, looming above the reels is a wizard, who looks a little like the bonus symbol chappie from Johnan Legendarian, waving his hands, waiting for the magic to happen. The team has landed on a pretty sweet cartoon, pop-up book appearance that stands out right away. Whatever happens gaming-wise, the unique look is appreciated if you're feeling knee-deep in hordes of less creative slots.
Picking bets in Cauldron takes a bit of forward planning if you don't have a pre-set level. This is because the game uses a scatter collection feature which can take its sweet time to trigger, starting from zero if you switch to a new bet level. Of course, any previous progress is saved should you return to it. Stakes themselves start at 10 p/c and rise to £/€100 per spin – available on any device. Continuing on the statistical side of things, Cauldron's highly volatile math model produces an RTP value of 96%, while hits come at a rate of around 1 in 5. Regular free spins trigger roughly once in 232 spins, a somewhat low-ish frequency considering there are no modifiers or extras in the base game. The scatter collection system might be enough to distract some players by giving them a tangible goal to focus on.
As for the paytable, 10 regular pays are split into two groups, and this is important when we get to free spins as you will see. In the low-pay category are apple cores, ginseng, mushrooms, Venus flytraps, and some sort of blueberry. Next, highs include wasps, spiders, bats, frogs, and rats worth 9 to 50 times your stake for a line of 5 of a kind. A gold coin wild wraps this section up, landing on reels 2, 3, or 4 to replace any regular pay symbol in a line win.
Cauldron: Slot Features
Hopefully, you enjoy the scenery because, for the majority of the time, you are stuck in a feature-free base game. Things pick up when free spins are triggered though, or better yet, super free spins should your collection skills be finely honed.
Landing 3 or more scatter symbols awards 10 free spins. There is no special prize for landing any more than three. In free spins, a win consisting of high-value symbols upgrades the involved symbol and adds +1 free spin. Symbols can only be upgraded once. Moreover, being upgraded means an x2 multiplier is applied to any future wins that symbol type is part of. When a low-pay symbol win hits, that particular symbol type is removed from the reels for the rest of the round.
Leading on to the next feature, when 1 or more scatters lands on the reels during the base game, it is collected and adds 1 point to the meter. Then 668 scatter symbols have been collected, the reward is a round of super free spins. Eagle-eyed players will note collection systems have become quite a common motif running through many Peter & Sons games. In super free spins, the round starts with all low-pay symbols removed and all high-pay symbols upgraded with an x2 multiplier. For patient players, it theoretically takes around 1,936 base game spins to unlock super free spins.
Cauldron: Slot Verdict
Players who like the look and feel of Peter & Son's slots won't be disappointed with what the team has conjured up for Cauldron from an audio-visual standpoint at least. The graphic quality is once again phenomenal, using imagery you don't find elsewhere, all done in a distinctively Peter & Son's style. The symbols are a madcap bunch of wizarding ingredients, all singing and dancing when wins hit - even the font is nice.
It's a good thing, too, because the gameplay isn't a major thrill fest most of the time. The base game is pretty pedestrian once you get over the unique designs. Okay, line wins are possible, which help keep you in the game, but it becomes a case of powering on in hopes of landing scatters, or if you're patient, super free spins when the collection meter is filled. Once into the bonus, the atmosphere changes though, and the symbol removal/upgrade feature works well to snowball into better results. It helps that free spins are continually added during this process as well.
Don't get your hopes up too high; this is a game that features rodents and half-eaten apple cores, after all. Single spin wins hit respectable heights of 2,000x the bet for a full grid of rats with an x2 upgrade multiplier. However, this is pretty much is as high as Cauldron is likely to go. After a billion simulated spins, 2,000x was hit once during that time.
Add it all up, and Peter & Sons has designed another unique-looking game with a couple of smart extras. The features can function pretty effectively once they trigger but are restricted in what they can ultimately achieve. Some extra firepower, maybe incrementing the multipliers via repeat upgrades in free spins, might have lit more fires amongst the big win chasing crowd.
Cauldron is every bit as pretty as previous Peter & Sons releases, though it lags when it comes to win potential.