Mystic Orbs

(ELK Studios) Slot Review

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Mystic Orbs: Slot Overview

Swedish based provider ELK Studios has a few Asian themed slots in the catalogue, but given their propensity to recreate far-flung destinations, you might have thought they had more under their belt. Boosting the number is Mystic Orbs, a many-layered slot that might take a few spins to fully get to grips with what's going on, and a colourful back story to boot. In it, a dragon called Ying Longs guards the entrance to Yu the Great's treasure chamber. It's the player's task to use the tools at their disposal, of which there are many, to bypass the drake and get to the riches inside.

Mystic Orbs slot

Okay, so that's the story, let's get to dissecting the game. It starts with a 5-reel, 5-row grid using dropping symbols and cluster pays wins. The game panel has been jammed onto a rock wall making it one of the least exciting games visually speaking we've seen from ELK in a while. Strangely, it doesn't get much prettier when the bonus game triggers. But hey, at least we're not in one of those red, green, and gold souvenir shops developers often slip into when designing one of these games. There are no major letdowns about the soundtrack, which is another bumping ELK number, mixing traditional Asian with up-tempo modern twists, and plenty of irreverent sampling thrown in for good measure.

Getting all exotic is possible no matter what device you favour by selecting an appropriate stake of 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin. Hit the play button to drop 25 symbols into the active game area, scoring a win when at least 5 matching symbols connect vertically or horizontally. Winning clusters are blasted from the grid, triggering an Avalanche where the gaps are filled with existing symbols. A medium-high volatile Asian sojourn, Mystic Orbs generates a theoretical return of 95%, ELK's typical go-to figure.

Clusters may be formed of three lower value Asian icons, four animal looking symbols, and a golden wise man looking gentleman as the most valuable. As to pays, clusters max out at 18+, varying in worth from 20x the bet up to 400x the bet for the golden guy. Wild symbols appear anywhere, substituting all symbols except Orbs. If by some chance clusters hit consisting only of wilds, they payout like the highest valued symbol.

Mystic Orbs: Slot Features

The only other symbols appearing on the main grid area are the Orbs which land in regular form or charged. Orbs are wild, and if they do not contribute to a win, they explode and remove adjacent symbols. The other important element of Mystic Orbs is the 5-position feature row sitting above the main reels, randomly displaying feature symbols. If Orbs land in a reel beneath a symbol on the feature row, the corresponding feature is awarded. If Orbs land in a charged state, they activate all of the features currently displayed on the feature row. These could be:

  • Bonus – awards entry to the bonus game.
  • Extra life – awards an extra symbol drop when no further winning clusters appear.
  • Orb payout – pays out a multiple of the bet. The value is increased if the win multiplier is active.
  • Multiplier – adds its value to the total win multiplier.
  • Upgrade – upgrades all instances of one symbol type to a higher value type or wilds for up to 3 Avalanches.
  • Orb siege – one of the Orb's adjacent symbols is chosen to surround it. This could be above, below, and/or to its sides.

Mystic Orbs slot

Bonus Game

The bonus game can be bought or triggered by the Bonus symbol on the feature reel or by collecting 5 Orbs in a base game spin. The reward for doing so is 5 free drops where Orbs continue to be collected. For every 5 Orbs collected in the bonus round, additional free spins are awarded. During the bonus game, the win multiplier is persistent, so it does not reset between free spins.

X-iter

Players can attack Mystic Orbs in two modes – normal mode or X-iter mode. In X-iter mode, there are five options:

  • Feature – 5x the bet for one drop with a guaranteed Orb and at least one activated feature.
  • Persistent Multiplier – 25x the bet for 3 drops with a persistent multiplier.
  • Charged Orbs – 50x the bet for one drop with all Orbs in a charged state.
  • Bonus – 100x the bet for guaranteed entry to the free spins bonus round.
  • Super Bonus – 500x the bet for guaranteed entry to free spins where all Orbs are charged.
Mystic Orbs slot
Mystic Orbs - Xiter mode bonus buy options

Mystic Orbs: Slot Verdict

Mystic Orbs is another highly playable ELK production that may take a little longer for the quality to become apparent, maybe not. A possible reason is the visuals don't instantly massage your eyeballs the way we are accustomed to experiencing from the studio. The pleasantly low-key rock wall background isn't the explosion of colour ELK slots tend to be. No matter, hit spin, and dancing across the reels is an intricately designed game which gets better the more you understand how the individual parts function and how they interact with each other.

Mystic Orbs is happy enough firing off the odd win here and there, but the real magic happens when Orbs trigger features from the feature reel, linking them together and entwining them with the win multiplier. ELK are masters of creating slots that come with a bunch of separate parts, which have the ability to weave together, creating something special. As always, this is not a common event as such, yet real fun when it does occur. Also, as always, the X-iter is a major temptation for skipping straight to the better bets, where you are more likely to get the consecutive win, features freight train rolling. The Super Bonus did not disappoint and could be a real blast when we were testing Mystic Orbs. You pay the price to have every cylinder firing, though, and the RTP is the same no matter what mode you choose to play in. What also stays the same is potential, maxing out at 10,000x the bet.

Whether Asian slots are your jam or not is somewhat irrelevant. Mystic Orb feels like it would be a fit for any player who goes for ELK's brand of clever gameplay, mixing in features that pop when they get their weave on, while audio-visuals treat the senses. Though in a twist, Mystic Orbs' visuals are a tad less striking than they usually are.

Great

Mystic Orbs may not be as visually striking as many of ELK’s other recent releases, but its clever planning and feature elements make for an unexpectedly engrossing experience.

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