Gates of Valhalla: Slot Overview
Google the words Gates of Valhalla, and some pretty impressive imagery comes up. Imagine standing there, having lived the life of a warrior about to step through to hang with Odin and the lads in an Asgardian hall, before gearing up for Ragnarök. Not a bad sounding afterlife, and one that has a continuing hold over the imaginations of slot providers. One studio that has been down this route before, rather well too it should be added, is developer Pragmatic Play. This time, they've set up an unusually run slot next to the almighty gates and peppered it with roaming wild multipliers as one of its main features. They've also increased their usual potential to provide extra incentive to give Gates of Valhalla a whirl.
Gates of Valhalla isn't as instantly enticing as previous Norse slots Pragmatic Play has done, such as Power of Thor Megaways, unless you go in for cold, snowy weather. In which case, the rugged, mountainous setting of Gates of Valhalla is just the ticket to get in some mythological action. A strong theme gets a strong look, but the oddly bright colours of the symbols might give one pause, not that the colour scheme has any effect on the gameplay. There's a mix of Towering Pays Valhalla and Volatile Vikings going on, with some Jammin' Jars action thrown in for good measure.
Played on a 5x5 sized game panel with 10 paylines, wins occur when at least three matching symbols are adjacent to each other in vertical or horizontal directions, starting in any position. Highly volatile, the game comes in several RTP settings, with 96.46% being the most optimal, rising to 96.6% when buying free spins. Any device may be used, whilst stakes range from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin.
Symbols are bright, consisting of diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades as the low pays, then three variously coloured faces as the premiums. Landing a line of five symbols results in payouts of 2.5-5x for the low pays and 10-75x the bet for the highs. A golden lion symbol is wild and substitutes for anything except free spins symbols. It also does some pretty special stuff covered next.
Gates of Valhalla: Slot Features
Wilds not only replace symbols, but they also travel around the board and build multipliers as they do. This occurs not only in the base game but in free spins, where a persistent win multiplier is introduced.
Also occurring in all phases of the game is the Tumble feature, which removes winning symbols from the reels to allow for new ones to replace them by falling into the gaps. Tumbling only ceases when no new wins appear.
The wild symbol does not explode during the tumbling feature. Instead, when a wild is used in a win, it moves to another position on the board after the other symbols have exploded. After moving, the wild increases its win multiplier by +1 for each subsequent winning combination during the same tumble. It does this up to a maximum of x5. After the multiplier reaches x5 and is used in another win, it explodes from the board. If more than one wild is involved in a win, the multiplier values are added together before being used.
Hitting 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols triggers 10, 12, or 15 free spins, respectively. For the full duration of free spins, a general win multiplier comes into play. This multiplier is applied to the total win value of a tumble sequence. It starts at x1 and increases by +1 following every tumble, not resetting between spins. Free spins can be retriggered in the same way they are initially triggered with no limit.
Buy Free Spins
Free spins frequency is pretty high, though the base game wait is broken up by the roaming wild. However, if you can't bear the thought of sitting around, players can buy free spins for the cost of 100 times their stake.
Gates of Valhalla: Slot Verdict
Gates of Valhalla was something of a slow burner that heated up nicely after a while. Its at times neon graphics didn't exactly blow us away initially, yet on the whole, test runs wavered between being at least satisfying all the way up to quite thrilling. As mentioned, free spins hit frequency is pretty high, but the cascades, roaming multiplier wild, and unusual pay method is an entertaining mix. Wilds occasionally help get a decent tumble sequence on, and their increasing multipliers add to the experience. Even less occasionally, you might get more than one wild in action at the same time and combining their values did create the most exciting times in the game.
While you can do this in the base game, it was tempting to just smash the feature buy button to pull in the added power of the progressive win multiplier. Free spins weren't smooth sailing, though, far from it, and completely wild-free bonus rounds did occur. Needless to say, those didn't accomplish much, and the global win multiplier on its own didn't go very far without a bit of wild assistance. However, up to five wilds appeared simultaneously on-screen, and since the global win multiplier is applied to the total win of all tumbles, results can be quite good. During testing, this meant payouts of 500x+.
Norse mythology slots are one of the most numerous genres around, yet Pragmatic Play has designed another one that warrants a look. It's not the best looking perhaps, nor the most atmospheric, but it's got all the right ingredients to entertain players after a volatile game, with decent winning potential, which functions a bit differently than others in its category.
Average looks hold it back from greatness, giving it a bit of a generic feel, but there’s still a lot of electrifying fun to be had in Pragmatic’s latest adventure.