Mount M: Slot Overview
Grab an extra jacket, maybe a spear or two and head out on the tundra for Mount M, a prehistorically themed slot from Swedish developer Play'n GO. Actually, tundra might be too soft a word for Mount M's location, as it's set deep in an icy age where species have to bring it or risk extinction. Thankfully, our distant forebears had the gumption to not only survive but thrive so that now, thousands of years later, we can kick back and play an online slot full of their mortal enemies. As well as containing beasts from another era, Mount M has Shatter Respins with expanding reels, and Evolution Free Spins with a symbol upgrade feature.
The Play'n GO sound and visual team have created a short yet intriguing clip to introduce Mount M, where players glimpse cave paintings, a burning brazier, and a mammoth-shaped mountain top before launching into the game proper. A haunting string-led musical score hit hard, with what sounds like a didgeridoo from time to time, amongst other effects. The game looks, well, cold, with spears, bits of wood, fluttering flags, fast-moving clouds, and mountains filling the background. It's quite an evocative scene, capturing the unpredictable, life-and-death struggle of Mount M's grim snowy setting.
Mount M's features have a focus on expanding reels, but in the beginning, the game grid has 5-reels, 4-rows, and 1,024 ways to win. At its maximum size, the middle three reels can increase to 8 rows high where 8,192 ways are active. Any device from tablet, mobile, to desktop can be used for this journey to a colder era while selecting a stake of 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin.
The game's nine regular paying symbols are split into low-pay J-A royals and five ancient animals. These are dodos, hyena-like creatures, woolly rhinos, sabre tooth tigers, and woolly mammoths. Wins are created when at least three matching symbols land left to right, from the leftmost side, and a five-of-a-kind win is worth 0.3x for the card symbols, or 0.5-2x the bet for five premium symbol wins. Appearing on the middle three reels is a golden wild symbol, substituting for any of the normal pay symbols.
Mount M: Slot Features
The wild is also instrumental in triggering one of the features – the Shatter Respin, while the other extra to be on the lookout for is Evolution Free Spins.
On base game spins, an outline can randomly appear around the middle three reels. If a wild symbol lands while the reels are highlighted like this, then a Shatter Respin is awarded. For the respin, the grid randomly adds 1, 2, 3, or 4 rows over the middle three reels, producing up to 8,192 ways to win. For each new 3-symbol row added, one of the high-pay animal symbols is transformed into the mammoth symbol. If all four rows are added to the grid, only mammoth and low pays will appear. When the respin has concluded, the grid resets for the next spin.
Evolution Free Spins
When 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols land anywhere on the board, players win 10, 15, or 20 Evolution Free Spins, respectively. While the bonus round is active, landing 2, 3, 4, or 5 scatters retriggers an extra 3, 5, 8, or 10 additional free spins. The bonus round starts with the grid at its default 5x4, 1,024 ways size. The four extra rows are there, but they are locked to begin with. The goal is to collect orb overlays from wild symbols. Each time a certain number of orbs are collected, an extra row is unlocked, and the lowest premium symbol is transformed into the top paying mammoth. The first, second, third, and fourth rows are unlocked when 5, 10, 14, and 17 orbs have been collected. Also, whenever the reels are expanded, +1 free spin is awarded. Expanded reels do not reset between free spins.
Mount M: Slot Verdict
There must be something about wild beasts which motivates Play'n GO to go large, as Mount M follows in the footsteps of 24K Dragon, a slot that shares a lot of the same characteristics. Both have the same reel set-up expansion abilities, respin feature, and row unlocking free spins bonus round. They're different enough not to be a straight reskin, but much of 24K Dragon's structure has been dusted off and reused in a differently presented game. Presentation is one of Mount M's strong points, too; Play'n GO has captured the precariousness of an icy age through bleak visuals and an exceptionally bleak soundtrack. At times you may well wonder how the blazes homo sapiens survived the elements and all those dangerous creatures. Thankfully they were a hardy, resourceful bunch.
The ingenuity of our ancestors might have been passed down to us in many ways, yet Mount M isn't a hugely innovative slot. As mentioned, Shatter Respins are just 24K Dragon Respins, though they are useful in breaking up the base game. Evolution Free Spins are different to what 24K Dragon had, but they borrow a symbol transformation idea from slots like Pink Elephants. How many studios have done that now? Quite a few, and you can see why. When the upgrades are going your way in Mount M, there's a double whammy of having extra ways plus the removal of lower-paying premium symbols from the reels. It's a system capable of good things, but free spins are volatile, so not each one is going to lead to glory or even anything particularly exciting. At their best, Mount M is capable of firing off wins as high as 13,000x the bet - less than the 24,000x possible in 24K Dragon, if you were wondering.
There might not be a colossal amount of imagination on display in Mount M when it comes to gameplay. However, the rising ways and symbol upgrade combo is a good one, plus everything's been packaged so well that it's easier to surrender to the finer points. It might not happen each time, but like dragging a mammoth carcass back to camp after outwitting and spearing it, significant levels of satisfaction are technically possible should Mount M go to plan.
Mount M might not display the level of ingenuity required to survive an ice age but its proven mechanics have the potential to go wild.