Masters of Valhalla: Slot Overview
Helsinki and Stockholm based studio Snowborn Games has turned to their Nordic heritage to design Masters of Valhalla, a slot starring many of the big names from Norse belief. It also stars a bunch of familiar features, climaxing in a hold & win style bonus game full of money symbols and special symbols with a distinctly Money Train ring to them. It's not the first time Snowborn has found creative stimulus elsewhere, yet they have made some changes to the periphery of Masters of Valhalla. Notably, a collection system that can provide extra spins in the bonus game. Maybe not a major breakthrough, but it could work, let's see.
Set in a snowy mountainous region, Masters of Valhalla possess decent graphics without being overly amazing. It's nice to see a host of characters pop up at various points, but Masters of Valhalla isn't quite one of those Norse games which demands your attention. There are others out there with thicker atmospheres to really immerse yourself in Nordic culture. However, the game's visuals are good enough to get on with the job. Sounds suffer a similar fate, being adequate without being exceptional.
Played on a 5-reel game panel, each reel holding four symbols and producing up to 1,024 ways to win, the RTP is variable, so that's something to be on the lookout for and ranges from 96% at best, dropping to 94% or less depending on configuration. On the 96% version, volatility has been rated as high, while on the other versions, it has actually been labelled as 'Very High'. On all settings, players can set bets of 10 p/c to $/€25 and get a hit rate of 30.12-30.29%.
Wins occur in Masters of Valhalla when matching symbols land in adjacent reels, starting from the left side of the panel. Low pays are made up of 4 runic symbols, paying 1.1-1.2x the bet for a five-symbol winning way. Next are four premium symbols where we come across Hel, Thor, Freya, and Odin, who pay out rewards of 2 to 3 times your stake for a five of a kind hit. Wild symbols land on all reels to substitute any of the pay symbols. Combinations of wilds also pay, up to 15 times the stake for five of a kind.
Masters of Valhalla: Slot Features
There are a couple of goals in Masters of Valhalla, the most optimal being triggering the Valhalla Bonus with the Berserk Meter filled. In the base game, you can also use wild symbols to trigger one of the four varieties of Wild God Respins.
Wild God Respins
Wilds land in four different colours, matching the four high pay God symbols. When they hit, they are collected, and it is possible to trigger the respective Wild God Respin bonus. When triggered, one respin is awarded, and during it, 1-19 additional wild symbols are added to the reels, plus all God symbols are replaced with the one God symbol matching the triggering wild.
When exactly 2 bonus symbols land on reels 1 and 3, they are collected on the Berserk Booster meter. When filled, the Berserk Booster is applied the next time the Valhalla Bonus round is activated.
Landing bonus symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5 triggers this feature. The grid is cleared and starts with 3 random wooden shields or 3 golden shields in view. If the Berserk Booster is active, 4 spins are awarded, if not, then 3 spins are awarded. Throughout the feature, any new symbol in view resets the number of spins back to their starting value. Symbols used in the bonus are:
- Wooden shields – possess a value of 1-9x the bet.
- Golden shields – possess a value of 10-50x the bet.
- Thor – has a value of 1-9x and expands the reels one row down. Up to two rows can be added.
- Freya – lands with a multiplier value which is applied to all symbols landing on that spin and any following spin.
- Hugin & Munin – land with a multiplier value which is added to all other symbols one time.
- Odin – lands with a multiplier value which is added to all other symbols on that spin and any following spin.
- Garmr – lands with a multiplier value and collects the value of all symbols in view once.
- Hel – the same as Garmr but collects values on all following spins as well.
Sometimes, empty cells are lit up by blue lightning bolts. When this happens, there is a greater chance of landing a special non-shield symbol in them. One more thing, if all of the cells are filled with symbols, an extra 500x the bet is awarded.
Where applicable, Masters of Valhalla gives players the chance to buy two versions of the bonus round. One is the regular Valhalla Bonus for 50x the bet. The other is Valhalla Bonus with the Berserk Booster active for 100x the bet.
Masters of Valhalla: Slot Verdict
The last time we crossed paths with Snowborn Games was in the neatly designed feline filled slot Cat Clans - a game filled with charming characters, solid features, big win numbers, and came across as one of the studio's more complete packages. Masters of Valhalla was a fine enough game to review, yet the novelty level has slipped a notch or two. Cat Clans' amusing individuality is harder to attain when picking a theme as common as Norse Gods. Masters of Valhalla isn't without charm, yet since so many games look like this, it loses a few points for desirability, like a common Yu-Gi-Oh card.
Where the two games intersect is that they both follow in Relax Gaming's footsteps. Cat Clans had Top Dawg$-ish sticky wild multipliers, and Masters of Valhalla has Money Train style action. One of the perks of following a successful blueprint is as long as you don't completely mess something up, then it probably will turn out okay. And, while it's not exactly out of the box thinking, Masters of Valhalla's bonus round can still be enjoyable when a stack of multipliers are building and special symbols are doing their thing. On a creatively brighter note, the Berserk Booster is a nice touch. If you end up grinding away, it's nice to know you can potentially boost the bonus game when it does trigger, so that's appreciated. Potential isn't bad either, topping out at 20,000x the bet.
While Masters of Valhalla was a bit of fun, and interspersed with exciting moments, for high impact, in your face action, Money Train 2 does leave it in the dust. Unlike Relax Gaming's mega-hit, Masters of Valhalla feels like it was made by a team playing catch up rather than leading the pack.
Players after a Money Train style bonus round in a Nordic setting might be intrigued, others need not to bother.