Crystal Quest Frostlands: Slot Overview
Wide-eyed explorer Gemma continues her whirlwind tour of fantasy destinations with the third entry in Thunderkick's Crystal Quest series. This time she's wrapping up warm and heading to her coldest location to date in Crystal Quest Frostlands. If you've played the previous games in the series, Crystal Quest: Deep Jungle or Crystal Quest: Arcane Tower, you will have a strong grasp on what to expect the third time around the block. Apart from a feature swap and a change of scenery, Thunderkick has largely left everything as it was before.
Starting with the scenery, we find ourselves in a frosty landscape, where snow hangs on trees, there's plenty of ice – that sort of thing. Even the look is similar to Arcane Tower, minus all the flickering candles everywhere. Thunderkick can paint a pretty picture, and Crystal Quest Frostlands is a pleasing game to behold, though its real magic lies in those smoothly animated symbols and sprites. There is something satisfying about the way they make the avalanche system and Wild Explosion feature destroy symbols. The chilly gemmed action takes place on a 6-reel, 4-row sized game grid providing 4,096 ways to win on.
Statistically, it's a case of more of the same as well, although RTP has ticked slightly lower than the previous game, now producing a value of 96.16%. Volatility is also technically down a bit, but remains highly volatile. In both cases, it's impossible to tell the difference when playing all three, really. Players keen on spinning for big wins will be pleased to know Thunderkick has kept potential at its formerly significant level as well. Crystal Quest number three is available on any device and offers bets from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin.
This being a Gemma game, we get plenty of gems on the reels in the form of low-pay symbols, then a group of crystals as the mids. After them is another mid-paying yeti symbol, then a Feral Commander, whatever that is, as the lone high-pay. Perceptive readers will note that symbol values have fallen where now 6 of the top premium symbols on a winning way are worth 5 times your stake – a quarter of the previous game. To justify the decrease, Thunderkick has added a feature with the potential to balance out the value drop. Before checking out what it is, a quick mention of the wild symbol, which drops in to replace regular pays to complete wins.
Crystal Quest Frostlands: Slot Features
Crystal Quest Frostland's new feature is Massive Symbols, which is joined by avalanches, free spins, and a progressive multiplier. Starting with the avalanche system, winning combinations of 3 or more of a kind (2 of the Feral Commanders) are removed in dramatic fashion from the grid. New symbols pour into the gaps, continuing the avalanche feature until no winning combinations appear.
The avalanche feature ties in with a progressive win multiplier. Starting at x1, this multiplier increases by one level whenever the avalanche feature is triggered. During the base game, the multiplier resets to x1 at the start of every spin.
New for the Crystal Quest series, though far from new in general, are Massive Symbols. Any symbol except the scatter or wild may appear as Massive Symbols in the base or bonus game. When active, Massive Symbols land in 2x2 or 3x3 size, crushing all symbols beneath them.
Spiky treasure chest icons are the scatter symbols. Landing 3 of them gets you 12 free spins, while any more than 3 in view add +3 additional free spins each. In the bonus game, two changes are made to help boost the win rate. One is the fact the progressive win multiplier does not reset between free spins. The other is the Wild Explosion feature. When there are no winning combinations, all wild symbols on the reels explode, destroying all symbols horizontally and vertically (except scatters), triggering an avalanche. Also, in the bonus game, when 2 scatters land, they award +3 free spins, and any extra scatter awards +2 free spins on top.
Crystal Quest Frostlands: Slot Verdict
It's a pretty safe bet to say if you like the previous two Crystal Quest games, you'll like this one as well. Thunderkick has stuck to the template, making a few minor statistical adjustments while swapping the Arcane Tower's Synced Reel feature for Massive Symbols. It does feel like déjà vu reading the game info or seeing Crystal Quest Frostlands in action as it behaves the same as before. Three deep in the series, and things are getting a bit predictable. This is great news for players who enjoy this format, yet a little yawn-inducing for others who like to mix it up.
One of the tweaks was reducing symbol values to balance out the potential for big wins which adjacent Massive Symbols can bring. Other than that, Gemma's back doing her thing in a cute, if cold, environment, just like before. Some will see this as a cynical copy/paste way of churning out slots quickly and easily. Simply change a few front-end graphics, switch a feature - then presto, you've got a series. A valid point, but it doesn't stop Crystal Quest Frostlands from being an entertaining game. The graphics are nice, Thunderkick animates everything well, and symbols have a gratifying way of being demolished as part of the avalanche feature. Being so well made certainly makes it easier to sit back to enjoy the icy ride. Potential is another highlight, and just like the two games preceding it, Crystal Quest Frostlands has upper capabilities in the region of 15,000x the bet.
Thunderkick shows once again their flair at making an enjoyable 6x4, 4,096 style game. The build quality is high, potential well respectable, as are the rest of the stats - in short, solid gaming. However, it would be nice to see Gemma surprise everyone by doing something radically different next time, but that's highly unlikely to happen given her track record so far.
Thunderkick deviates ever so slightly from the previous Crystal Quest game by exchanging out one of the features while leaving the rest virtually untouched.