Hall of the Mountain King (Quickspin): Review
As we unleashed a horde of savage orcs onto the reels or watched the king of trolls swing his heavy hammer to free the souls of the whirling wilds, the thought we kept returning to was, "we might not have a clue what's going on, but it looks awesome!" To make things even more surreal, it all unfolds to the colossal sound of one of the most famous orchestral tunes in history! Attempting to understand how the dev team at Quickspin managed to pull this off is a bit like trying to picture the edge of space in your head - it makes your brain spin. As you will see, Hall of the Mountain King is an ambitious undertaking and a real powerhouse of a slot. Not only does it come packed with features and impressive animations, there's also depth to it and a story to tell. Just as was the case with Ivan and the Immortal King, we get to enjoy a dose of culture as we engage in a desperate struggle to turn our last dying cents into a substantial withdrawal.
Inspired in part by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's famous orchestral piece "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and with a sprinkle of Lord of the Rings and World of Warcraft, this arty interpretation has a fantasy theme with a medieval feel. The 5x3, 20-payline setup may appear basic at first, but there's a whole bundle of features adding layers to the action. Playable across all devices from 20 cents to 100 Euros per spin, it comes with progressive multipliers, stacked wilds and a free spins bonus with 3 levels where symbols and multipliers are upgraded and whirling wilds helps you land winning combinations.
To most gamblers, Mountain King may be "just a slot", but it's quite apparent that a whole lot of heart and passion has been invested in the narrative and visual presentation. Commenting on the development of the game, Quickspin lead artist Polina Mozgovaya said: "Mattias, the producer, told us his vision for the game and that it was going to be about trolls – exactly the kind of thing I love to draw! I got a general idea for the look pretty quickly, as it was inspired by various fantasy games and films."
The visual quality is outstanding as always when it comes to Quickspin - set in the endless lands of the north, you're joined by a band of royal trolls. In the main game, the action takes place outside on a beautiful green hilltop with blue skies. The setting turns dark in the bonus where you're taken to the cave of the mountain king. On the reels you'll come across A to 10 card suit symbols as well as the 5 trolls out of which the mountain king is the most lucrative, giving you 40 times your stake for 5 of a kind. There's a wild included as well that substitutes for all other symbols and carries the same value as the top standard symbol.
Hall of the Mountain King (Quickspin): Features
In the main game, you'll see a meter to the left of the reel set with multiplier values. This Multiplier Meter feature is activated when one or more wilds appear on the reels - 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 wilds in view will award you a x1, x2, x3, x4 or x5 multiplier respectively. As the wilds appear stacked on the reels, it's possible to land wins of up to 4000 times your stake in the base game alone.
Central to Hall of the Mountain King is the Free Spins bonus which increases in intensity as you move through 3 different levels, each with its own set of unique features. The bonus activates when you land 3 hammer scatters on the middle reels. Here's what awaits as you start your journey:
It's all about collecting as many high-value symbols as possible here through the Symbol Upgrade feature. Either by random, or when you land a winning combination, the troll will smash one of the blocks in the upgrade meter positioned to the right of the reel set. The indicated low-value symbol is then removed from the reels and replaced with stacks of the corresponding premium symbol. Furthermore, the troll can also destroy the bottom block of the multiplier meter which upgrades all the multiplier values - the multipliers can go up to a maximum of x15. Progression to the next stage takes place once the top block has been destroyed.
Entering the second stage, it now becomes a matter of collecting Whirling Wilds. When the troll destroys a Whirling Wild block, the wilds locked inside the block are collected and held in limbo above the reels for later use - it's possible to collect up to 6 wilds in total. The multiplier meter is still in use here as well and continues to upgrade as long as the troll keeps breaking the multiplier blocks. As in level 1, you move on to the next stage when the top block has been destroyed.
The final stage and the very climax in the story of the Mountain King. Armed with your upgraded symbols and whirling wilds, you will see your collected features come together in great effect. Here you'll get 3 spins with the Whirling Wild Drop feature to help you create winning combinations - on each of the 3 spins, a random number of Whirling Wilds are dropped onto the reels.
Hall of the Mountain King (Quickspin): Verdict
There are many elements, twists and layers that make this title worth enjoying, not to mention the carefully balanced equilibrium between the entertaining gameplay, volatility and massive potential. Admittedly, Mountain King is confusing at first and even after having played several bonuses, we weren't entirely sure of what was going on. Because of this, some players might feel it's a bit over the top, especially old school veterans who live by the motto less is more. However, with 7326 times your stake up for grabs, there is still a good chance that the game will appeal to all types of players.
Hall of the Mountain King is an ambitious title, possibly one of the biggest to the date by Quickspin. Not only is it a piece of art where we see a memorable narrative being carried by a strong soundtrack and outstanding visuals, it also offers an out of the ordinary gaming experience where each bonus is unique and different from the others. The one big question mark is whether Mountain King can maintain the energy after launch, but so far the outlook seems promising.
Quickspin finds fertile new ground in Hall of the Mountain King, a heavyweight title hitting like a battering ram.