Golden Castle: Slot Overview
Fantasma Games has certainly been living up to their name of late, producing a spate of fantasy-themed titles. They’ve also shown an encouraging willingness to experiment with diverse reel, row, and symbol combinations in an attempt to hit on something unique. Players get both of these things in Golden Castle, a game set in a spooky medieval environment where ghosts, phantoms, and gargoyles power Fantasma’s new Titanways game system.
A golden figure with slight Hindu connotations sits above a game grid displaying symbols of all shapes and sizes. There’s something a little sinister about the castle where the action takes place. The word bleak springs to mind, like a desolate castle on a hill where foul deeds once took place, overlooking a town where no one dares mention its name. One where accidentally casting your eye on it reveals ominous shadows pulling hurriedly away from the windows. Extra menace is provided by a heavy soundtrack, though all that gold gleaming through cracks in the stonework is a motivating sign.
Players can take a punt on their favoured device from mobile to desktop by selecting an appropriate stake from 20 p/c to £/€50 per spin. Fantasma has paired their debut Titanways slot with a highly volatile math model, and RTP which come in 2 respectable forms. The first is a default value of 96.34%, rising to 97.12% when the feature buy is activated. Buying free spins might well be tempting as well since the game packs a hefty top prize of 20,000 times your stake.
As for the Titanways system, which takes place on a 6x6 arranged grid, what makes it 'unique' is that symbols land in sizes of 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 2x2, or 3x3. Confusing matters is that all single reel symbols (1x1, 1x2, 1x3) count as one symbol regardless of size. Others, 2x2 or 3x3 in size, are evaluated as one symbol on each reel they cover. Winning with Titanways is straightforward as you require 3 or more identical symbols landing adjacently from the first reel onwards. The symbols themselves are made up of various gemstones worth from 1x for 6 of a kind to 10x should you land 6 diamonds.
Golden Castle: Slot Features
Your best chance of squeezing some gold out of the castle is during Phantom Free Spins, triggered by a certain number of bonus symbols. As well as this is an avalanche wins system and a special Ghost King symbol.
Winning symbols are cleared from the board via the avalanche feature, which then drops new ones to fill the gaps. Repeat wins are possible and keep occurring as long as winning combinations line up. If there are spaces left under larger-sized symbols, they are crushed out of the way.
Wild Haunt is the name given to the next feature, which occurs when a Ghost King symbol is in view. The game then selects a random larger symbol and breaks it down into 1x1 sized tiles. If you’re lucky, the King might even turn them into wild symbols. Either way, the Ghost King symbol then turns wild, and a win evaluation is made.
If on a single spin sequence 3 scatter symbols land, then 10 Phantom Free Spins are awarded. The round starts by activating a win multiplier with an initial value of x1. Following each avalanche, the multiplier increases by 1, which never resets back to its original value. Other than that, the same rules as the base game apply, such as landing 3 bonus symbols to retrigger +10 free spins.
Depending on your location, it may be possible to buy free spins rather than let them naturally trigger. For a price of 70 times your stake, the game will cut straight to the bonus round which is played using a higher RTP configuration of 97.12%.
Golden Castle: Slot Verdict
There’s a definite Fantasma feel to Golden Castle from the moment the game loads. It’s not quite as fantastical as others they’ve done, such as Serpent Shrine or Hades River of Souls, but they are back on familiar ground after the grid slot flirt Elemento. The studio has a knack for building atmospheric game worlds to explore, and while Golden Castle isn’t their most developed realm, it’s got plenty to entertain players into the fantasy theme. The music will be more divisive. Some may love the gothic connotations; others may feel the need to mute it now and then to ease up the oppression. Positive signs are the fact Fantasma keep on pushing their agenda, doing things their way rather than follow the herd.
For all its fancy name, Titanways is unlikely to catch on like wildfire though it is something new to toy with. There are good and bad things about it. Not so good, perhaps is the way taller symbols count as one symbol while taking up more space on the reels. Sure, it might be similar to what Megaways does, yet you sometimes wonder if it would have been better to evaluate larger symbols based on their size rather than just as one block. Then again, that would have taken the point away from what Titanways does.
The bonus game is a teensy bit disappointing as well. Not that it underperforms in any way, it’s just a fairly standard round of free spins with a progressive multiplier you find in countless Megaways games. We were expecting something a bit more imaginative to flaunt Titanways with. Nevertheless, Titanways does bring something new to the table, and evaluating symbols in its unusual way hasn’t dented the game’s potential. Due to the progressive multiplier in free spins, wins as high as 20,000x the bet are possible.
Add it all up, and Fantasma’s new mechanic makes a decent first outing, though one which fails to make an extraordinary impression. Enjoyable gaming is possible for sure, but despite all the gemstones and gold, Golden Castle lacks something to make it really sparkle.
Though not a bad game, if you haven’t been impressed by Fantasma’s Megaways series, the Titanways installment won’t do anything to reel you in.