Wickedly weak sorcery and dark secrets exposed in NetEnt’s GOLDEN GRIMOIRE
Mystery Symbols & Wild Substitutions
Low to medium variance
Golden Grimoire (NetEnt): Introduction
If you’re mystically inclined, the word “Grimoire” may already be familiar to you. If you’re like us, however, whose competence on all things witchy stretch no further than what has been picked up from watching a couple of episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, you would likely have to look it up.
A quick search reveals that the word Grimoire is believed to have originated from Old French although the book itself is believed to date back to the ancient Middle East. As it turns out, “Grimoire” is really only a fancy name for a witch’s diary and is a book of magic with instructions on how to formulate magical objects, namely amulets and talismans.
In the world of online gambling, Golden Grimoire is a 5-reel, 4-row slot with 40 fixed paylines of low to medium volatility. Accepting bets from between 0.20 up to 400 EUR a spin, the game comes shipped with an RTP setting of 96.44%. Initially, Golden Grimoire may come across as slightly confusing, but is actually a rather simple creation with heavy focus on symbol transformation that applies in both the base game and bonus.
As you would expect from NetEnt, much effort has been invested in the visual appearance and the result is just as stunning as ever. Set inside a sorcerer’s chamber, there are plenty of subtle details and animations to stimulate your cerebral cortex – Secret scripts and occult markings magically appearing as the reels spin, a starry sky revealing the orbit of the Earth and a scatter tease that makes objects diabolically float in the air. It all graciously exposes the incredible talent available to Netent. If only the mathematicians were given such freedom of expression as well.
Golden Grimoire (NetEnt): Symbols, Paytable & Features
The standard symbols are 8 in total and appear fully stacked on the reels in both the base game and bonus. Symbols on the reels include hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds as well as beetles, snakes, cephalopod molluscs and spiders holding on to gemstones. The spider is the most rewarding symbol giving you 1 time your stake for 5 across a full payline.
Central to the game is the Mystery symbol that comes in the form of a spellbook with a question mark. Just like all other symbols, it appears fully stacked on the reels but may only appear on reels 3, 4 and 5 in the base game. When it lands, a random symbol is selected, transforming all instances of the Mystery symbols into that symbol. Now, if the Mystery symbol matches the leftmost symbol in the same row, all symbols in that row will transform to the same symbol. If the Mystery symbol turns into a wild, however, the same things happens only this time all symbols in that row turn into wild symbols regardless of the symbol on the first reel.
The wild is represented by a golden skull and can only appear as a result of symbol transformation.
Golden Grimoire (NetEnt): Free Spins
8 free spins are on offer if you land 3 scatter symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5 respectively. It’s all about the Mystery symbol here, but while the basic functionality is the same, it comes with a couple of additional benefits. The stacked Mystery books are now extended to appear on reel 2 as well. More importantly, any Mystery symbol landing on the reels will stay in place throughout the bonus session.
Unfortunately, as the bonus cannot be re-triggered, it’s of outmost importance to land as many sticky books as possible early in the bonus in order to get anything out of it at all. Even if you should be lucky enough to land a full-screen top paying symbol, it will payout no more than 200 times your stake. Unless our calculations are way off the chart, don’t expect more than 1000x from this bonus, and even that would be extremely unlikely.
Golden Grimoire (NetEnt): Conclusion
It’s a bit shocking to see NetEnt stick to this kind of low potential nonsense, especially considering the hailstorm of criticism the company has had to endure in recent times for this exact reason. With the NetEnt CEO herself very candidly putting the cards on the table, hinting of self-awareness and giving quite a sober reflection, we really did expect a fresh start with the arrival of a new year.
Unless for some reason you’re specifically into medium variance slots with little to no potential and willing to waste your time running in circles, we cannot give you any justifiable reasons to play this drivel from a gambling point of view. If all you look for in a slot is to kill some time and keep yourself entertained, you’re better off matching your socks. Please NetEnt, give your design team a raise and take good care of them. They may be the only reason you still have a fighting chance.
Game description: 5 reels | 4 rows | 40 Paylines | RTP 96.44% | Max win potential: 200x per single spin (1000 coins per bet line) | Variance: L/M | Hit Frequency: 20.71% | Bets: €0.20 - €400 | Features: Wild Substitutions, Free Spins, Mystery Symbol, Sticky Mystery Symbol | Release date: January 21, 2019
Bigwinboard Rating - 61%