Reign of the Mountain King: Slot Overview
Editor’s note: This review evaluates Reign of the Mountain King based on its early access state and may still be under production. We plan on updating this review if needed once the game gets a full release.
Reign of the Mountain King is another Edvard Greig inspired online slot from SG Digital and a follow-up to the original, Rise of the Mountain King. Released in early 2020, Rise of the Mountain King was easily one of NextGen’s best games before they got swallowed by SG Digital and more or less ceased to exist by name. It mixed excellent visuals, massive potential, potent features, and an outstanding metal version of the Grieg classical piece ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King‘. Coming up with a sequel was going to be a tough yet tantalising proposal. What would the studio do to top it? In an unexpected twist, SG Digital has done the opposite, and everything from graphics to maths to features has been eased back.
It starts with visuals, and instead of the rousing cloud-based setting of the first, players find themselves in the Mountain King’s castle. Since there is no separate bonus game as such, this is all we ever get to see, and the view is okay but lacks the ethereal feel of the first. As for the mechanics, almost every number has decreased. This includes payways, which have been reduced from 30 to 10 ways to win, crisscrossing the 5-reel, 3-row game grid. The RTP is down as well, though still a respectable 96%, while volatility remains high.
Playable from 10 p/c to £/€10 per spin, winning combinations occur in Reign when at least three identical symbols land left to right across a payline from the first reel. There are 10 regular paying symbols and a wild, though no scatters, meaning no separate bonus game to trigger. From low to high, regular pay symbols include 9-A royals, axes, shields, trolls, and queens, where premiums are worth 6 to 20x the bet for five of a kind. The King symbol is the most valuable at 20x the bet for a line of five, and he is wild too. Kings replace any other symbol in the game and trigger features when the right number of them land. On normal spins, if there is only one wild in view, and it is part of a 4 or 5 of a kind win, the wild may be given a multiplier of x5, x8, x64, or x512.
Reign of the Mountain King: Slot Features
Mountain King Respins is the only other feature in Reign of the Mountain King. It is triggered when 3 wild symbols land on reels 2, 3, or 4. When triggered, each wild symbol displays a multiplier of x1. Wilds then lock in place, and respins are awarded. If a new wild appears on reels 1-5, it also locks, but only wilds on the middle three reels get multipliers.
During respins, it is possible for gem symbols to appear overlaid on regular symbols. Gems get collected in a meter above the reels when they hit, and every 3 collected activates the next multiplier on the trail. These possible values are x2, x3, x5, or x8. Whenever a new multiplier is achieved, it is given to all locked wilds on the middle three reels. When more than one wild is used in a win, the multiplier values are multiplied together before being applied to the win So x3, x3, x3 would create a total of x27, for example. Respins end when no new wild or gem symbols are visible on the reels or the max win is reached.
Reign of the Mountain King: Slot Verdict
While it makes sense SG Digital would want to capitalise on Rise of the Mountain King, a follow up had to really step up to make a bigger impression. Unfortunately, the complete opposite has happened, and Reign of the Mountain King is a lesser game in just about every regard. It looks okay, yet it’s not as nice as the previous one, possessing a slightly cheaper look. It definitely doesn’t have Rise of the Mountain King‘s celestial appearance. As before, the epic metal rendition of Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King‘ rampaging through features is a triumph. However, since respins generally don’t last that long, you’re quickly back to regular spins where the short blasts of audio have a slight awkwardness that wasn’t there before. Basically, Reign of the Mountain King has none of the gleaming finish of the previous game.
As to features, Reign’s Mountain King Respins can admittedly get quite good. In this case, bigger is better since the longer you can draw out the feature, the better the chance of building some hefty multipliers. The gem collection is similar to the one used in Rise’s free spins bonus round, and the potential multipliers here are huge. Yet, Reign never managed to blast off like its predecessor. There was just something about the combination of Rise’s Wild Multipliers and King Respins, which could be outrageously good. Another downer is Reign of the Mountain King’s reduced winning potential. Where Rise topped out at 50,000x, Reign produces wins of up to 10,000x the bet. An admirable figure in the larger scheme of things, but it is strange to see a sequel lop 40k off the max win figure.
To summarise the let downs, RTP is less, potential is a fraction of Rise’s, the features have diminished, and Reign doesn’t look as impressive. If SG Digital had picked a different theme and not released Reign of the Mountain King as a sequel, the game would have been freer to do its thing without constantly being compared to a superior slot. As it is, sure, Mountain King Respins can be thrilling, but the catalogue of disappointments overrides the game as a whole.
Topping the excellent Rise of the Mountain King was always going to be a challenge, but Reign of the Mountain King doesn’t really try.