Marching Legions: Overview
Strap on your caligae players for an ancient Roman-themed slot from developer Relax Gaming. Wearing Roman sandals isn't a figure of speech either. As the name suggests, Marching Legions involves a whole bunch of actual marching.
Fortunately for players looking to unwind, it's just the little guys onscreen who do the physical activity. Still, Marching Legions can be hard work, thanks to a base game that feels like endless parade drills, punctuated by a bonus game which can get pretty intense whilst being capable of solid rewards - should the legions manage victory.
Relax Gaming has gone for a light, cartoonish look when developing Marching Legions. It's similar in style to ELK's Micro Knights, Rabcat's Treasure Heroes, or even Relax's own Snake Arena. It's the top-down view, coupled with little smartphone game style icons and characters that do it.
The view during the base game is of an outdoor space, where the 5-reel, 243 win ways grid sits in a courtyard between two Roman structures. On both sides of the game area is a pathway where legionaries line up to march – this will make sense shortly.
Playable from 10 p/c up to £/€100 per spin, Marching Legions boasts some truly impressive numbers. The first is the RTP which you might think is a typo at 98.12%. The figure takes a minor dive when the feature buy is activated, but at 97.13% it's not bad at all. Potential is high, as is the volatility, providing some all or nothing gaming.
Symbol values play a larger than usual influence on how the game plays out. The paytable includes 7 pay symbols of varying values. Though in reality, the game boils down to the legionnaire symbol while the rest are just annoying filler.
In ascending order, we get a gold, blue, and bronze token, followed by a gladius, a wreath, the legionnaire, and a flag. Interestingly, the flag is the most valuable at 3 times the stake for five of a kind, but the legionnaire (2.5x) is a far more desirable symbol. This is because it can land stacked, pays out on two of a kind, and is intimately tied to the features.
Marching Legions: Features
You might think we forgot to mention a wild when looking at symbols. But no, the game doesn't use one, and it is sorely missed. Instead, legionnaires are called in to pick up the slack. They do this via nudges, Marching Respins, and free spins.
When 2 or more partial legionnaire stacks land, there is a chance they will be randomly nudged to become fully stacked. If there is already a full stack in view, then it is not possible to get a nudge.
When a full stack of legionnaires is in view, either organically, or via a nudge, then Marching Respins are triggered. The legionnaire stacks march one reel to the left before each respin. Any new full legionnaire stacks that appear on a respin extends the feature. Respins continue to be awarded until all stacks have marched off the game area.
Each time a legionnaire stack marches off the reels, the collect meter is partially filled. When all 5 levels on the meter are filled, (which takes 330 stacks), then free spins are triggered. Free spins begin on Wave 1 where one stack of legionaries begins on the fifth reel. With each new wave, an extra stack of legionnaires is added, up to Wave 5 where the grid is completely covered with Legionnaire symbols.
To progress to the next wave, another meter is filled when special horn symbols are collected. Horns appear on reel 5 and 3 are needed to level up. Free spins end when all legionnaire stacks have marched off the grid and the horn meter has not been filled to add another wave.
The last feature to cover is a bonus buy option which costs 120 times the stake to activate. Super handy if you like Marching Legions because it cuts out the base game to take you straight to free spins.
Marching Legions: Verdict
Talk about a roller coaster of a test run. One minute you discover, or experience, something about Marching Legions that is great, the next, you're shouting at the screen in exasperation. Let's start with a few of the not so great aspects and get them out of the way
Number one, this is a game that revolves exclusively around one symbol – the legionnaire (and the horn during free spins of course). The rest of the symbols are place holders that just get in the way of the legionnaire doing his thing. Lame symbols turn the base game into a drawn-out battle, and without a wild, the siege weapons were left back at camp.
Then there are the positive aspects, of which there are a few. You have to tip your hat to Relax for bolting on one of the highest RTPs we've seen for a while - much higher than the norm. Even a lower rating from the buy feature is above what you normally see on a slot.
The next statistical plus point is the game's potential, which is also surprisingly high at 10,000 times your stake. Though thanks to low symbol values, a full screen of legionaries is worth 607.5x, so you'll need a lot of marching to crank up wins.
As to the gaming highlights, free spins can be a real nail biter. For example, when the last legionnaire stack is about to drop off the reels, and you need one or two more horns for the next wave. Then, another fresh stack lands or nudges to keep that marching going and the bonus game alive.
It's a real seesaw of emotions as fortunes dip and dive to the whims of those tantalising little soldiers. Once free spins end, the base game can feel like a drag. It has to be said that without the feature buy, a lot more will power is required to stick Marching Legions out.
To sum up, Marching Legions is a slot that frustrates, tantalises, annoys, and delights in almost equal measures. It has its flaws to be sure, but there are plenty of good things to make Marching Legion an attractive proposal as well.