King of the West: Slot Overview
Tolkien fans might be a little disheartened to know King of the West isn't based around Aragorn's ascent to the throne of Gondor and his kingship over the free peoples of the West. Instead, King of the West is a Wild Western themed slot from developer Blueprint Gaming that, after a playthrough, probably won't excite hardcore fans of this genre either. It puts up a fight; there are significant instant scatter prizes, free spins, plus a Wanted Wilds feature, but certain stats and a lack of real spark let it down.
It has to be said King of The West gets off to an encouraging start. A clear view of a canyon town, all wood, tumbleweeds, and cartwheels does a good job of laying the scene. More wood is used to prop up a 5-reel, 20-payline game grid, which has an extra horizontal reel rotating through various prizes. At the very top is an upside-down horseshoe which traditionally means it shares luck with whoever passes beneath it. Blueprint's audio team has also crafted an ambling in-theme Western soundtrack that, like the rest of the game, is pleasing, though nothing extraordinary.
King of the West offers stakes starting at 10 p/c, rising to £/€100 at the most. King of the West may be played on any device where its highly volatile math model produces a return value of 95.49%. A strong Western touch permeates the whole paytable, starting with flowing metallic 10-A royals, emphasised further by pistols, whiskey bottles, stagecoaches, and saddlebags of gold. If you manage to hit a win line consisting of 5 premium symbols, then a payout worth 3 to 20 times the total bet is coming your way.
One last symbol before moving onto the features is the bullet hole wild. Possessing no value of its own, the wild is there to replace any pay symbols to help complete a line win. Don't count on them turning up too often, though, as wild symbols rarely land naturally.
King of the West: Slot Features
Wilds are more effectively put to use as part of the Wanted Wilds feature. This one triggers randomly on any base game spin. A random number of wilds is selected and placed in arbitrary positions on the grid. After the first set of wilds is added, there is a chance of a Reload where further wilds may be awarded.
King of the West's main draw is its horizontal prize reel, active in both the base and bonus game. On it, a conveyor belt of different prizes appear, moving one position to the left on each spin, so there is always something new coming into the picture. If a bounty hunter scatter symbol lands, whatever prize sits above it is awarded and paid out. The symbols on the special reel are cash prizes, gold badges which award all prizes in view, free games, or extra free games – available during the free spins round.
If free games are awarded, a gun barrel appears over the screen with a different number of spins from 6 to 20 in each chamber. It spins once, and players win whatever number it lands on. During free spins, the prizes on the special reel are enriched with larger values, and more free spins are up for grabs.
King of the West: Slot Verdict
King of the West gets off to a good start, with its nice visuals and hot, dusty soundtrack. In fairness, however, a studio has to try pretty hard to get the Western thing wrong. It's possibly become such a popular theme because it's relatively easy to churn out something half decent. Half decent is a pretty apt description for King of the West too, which starts to lose its appeal once the reels are spinning and you get to see what the rest of the game is capable of.
There are some sweet touches, such as the pump-action sound effect when clicking buttons, and the music playing when the paytable is on-screen gets you in the mood. More encouraging is the £250,000 win cap. This amount might seem a little far-fetched, yet one of the prize symbols on the special reel is a 10,000x the bet bounty, so it is possible to collect decent winnings. King of the West does come across as an all or nothing game because aside from the 10k tile, there isn't much else of note going on. Still, prepare for an intense batch of spins should the 10k, or even 1k tile land on the upper reel. As to the rest, Wild symbols are sparse, line wins are low, as are most prizes awarded from the upper reel, so the game meanders a lot of the time.
In some ways, King of the West offers jackpot slot style gaming. Either you win a massive amount, or you go home, simple as that. Players who like chasing instant prizes might like the potentially instant riches dynamic, but there are better Western slots out there in terms of atmosphere, features, and general excitement. Factor in a lower than average RTP value, and you start to wonder if you're robbing the stagecoach or it's robbing you.
King of the West may offer solid Western-themed gaming but does little to raise itself above the true kings of the West.