Fire Toad: Slot Overview
There might be a creature called a fire-bellied toad in real life, but Play'n GO has shunned this one to come up with their own critter when designing the colourful slot Fire Toad. One giveaway is the flame bubbling away on the Fire Toad King's head. The other is a rather bizarre yet entertaining backstory. In the fiery land of Cash-a-Mundo, volcanos continually erupt, dripping lava to the sea in a cauldron of steam. What's special about this island is the mixture of fire and water gives rise to a fabled Fire Toad species. Fire Toads develop quickly from tadpole stage to adults, which is good news for players since the more mature they are, the greater their value.
It might sound a little odd, but Play'n GO has tied the growth sequence nicely with a symbol upgrade feature. It also means Fire Toad is an attractively bright game, played on a 5x4, 1,024 pay way grid, backgrounded by the island of Cash-a-Mundo, all mysteriously steamy where the lava meets the sea - a process as creative as it is destructive. The scenery is all a bit Isla Nublar; yet, this environment is populated with far more benign creatures than a bunch of angry, genetically modified dinosaurs.
Anyone interested in witnessing the life cycle of the Fire Toad can do so on any device, where stakes from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin may be set. Volcanic islands might be the definition of volatility, but Fire Toad isn't quite so unpredictable. Still, a 7 out of 10 volatility rating means players should prepare for some bite. Be on the lookout for a variable RTP value as well, where the optimal level is 96.20%.
The game doles coins when 3 to 5 of the same symbol land adjacently from the leftmost reel – any row is fine. Medium to super high pay symbols depict the Fire Toad in 5 various life stages from baby to king, where combos of 5 in length are worth 1 to 5 times your stake. The remaining 4 symbols are swirling designed card suits – clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. There is a wild symbol, which doubles as the scatter, so we'll cover it next.
Fire Toad: Slot Features
Fire Toad makes use of two bonus features, both of which revolve around symbol upgrades in one form or another. Landing exactly 2 scatter symbols triggers the lesser modifier. With this feature, 1 toad symbol is randomly chosen, and all smaller toad symbols in view are transformed into this one. Your payout is then calculated after the transformation takes place; however, this feature does not guarantee a win.
The etheric butterfly is both wild and scatter. As the wild, it replaces any pay symbol to complete a winning combination. As scatter, 3, 4, or 5 in view award 9, 12, or 15 free spins to kick off the bonus game. In addition, scatters trigger a payout of up to 250x for 5 on the reels. The bonus game can be retriggered indefinitely, and 3, 4, or 5 scatters top you up with 3, 4, or 5 extra free spins.
Now, during free spins, the smallest toad is already upgraded 1 size. Also, when retriggering the feature, mid and high-pay symbols are upgraded. There is a set order to the upgrades, where the lowest non-card suit symbol is upgraded to the next one on the paytable. The optimal situation is having only Fire Toad King symbols active.
Fire Toad: Slot Verdict
Outside of Asian slots, you don't often come across too many toads hopping their way across the reels. Play'n GO push their inspiration one step further by coming up with a brand new imaginary species. In doing so, they've injected a dash of originality on a superficial level, at least. The bright, personable symbols do a good job, for a while, of helping to distract from what is a fairly uneventful base game. Since free spins are accompanied by just the two scatter base game modifier, the going can be quite repetitive. Fire Toad ends up being a rather charming yet simple game, good for players who don't want something too complicated.
When Fire Toad is in action, the free spins symbol upgrade feature quickly brought to mind Thunderkick's smash hit Pink Elephants and its sequel. The rival games aren't exactly the same, though they are close enough to warrant comparisons. The theme might not be Play's GOs usual style, but the way all of Fire Toad's elements need to converge to hit the game's full capabilities is typical of the studio. For example, outside the Fire King symbol, the other premium values are relatively low, so you depend on the symbol upgrade to step up. When it does come together, Fire Toad can produce decent wins as high as 5,000x the bet. Also, max win has a probability of occurring once in 15 million spins which is quite a lot more frequently than usual.
In the end, Fire Toad comes across as one of those oddities where you are either down with the theme, or the Bufonidae family just isn't your thing. The symbol upgrade system shows promise and can go wild if you advance far enough along the life cycle to King Toad level. However, the fact this sort of upgrade mechanism has already been done more effectively while offering greater rewards in the process elsewhere curbs enthusiasm.
Fire Toad is an oddly themed, yet straightforward game, that can build nicely when the symbol upgrade system is firing.