Respin Circus (ELK Studios): Overview
Circuses are rapidly becoming relics of the past as growing numbers protest against animal abuse and inhumane care. Thankfully, ELK's circus animals are not confined to live their lives in barren conditions or forced to perform humiliating stunts - in Respin Circus, they actually run the show. The idea of merging circuses and casino games is not a new one as you may know. It's, in fact, a concept that has culminated in many successful titles such as Golden Ticket (Play'n GO), Rabbit in the Hat (Microgaming), Theme Park (NetEnt) and Wicked Circus (Yggdrasil Gaming) to name just a few of the most prominent.
ELK Studios has visited many compelling places throughout the years, but they've never actually been to the circus before. That's about to change with the release of Respin Circus, a 6 reel, 64 payline slot where respins are triggered on every win and illusionist rabbits magically appear to reward multipliers and wild reels. Medium to high variance, Respin Circus can be played across all devices from 20 cents to 100€ per spin.
ELK has done their homework and carried out detailed studies on how to design a circus-themed slot, not skipping a single step. Unavoidably, you'll discover bits and pieces stemming from all those other circus slots that came before it, such as the balloon shaped symbols taken straight from NetEnt's Theme Park slot (which in turn they probably found inspiration for in some other slot). Moreover, the soundtrack emulates the traditional style of circus music and both the colours and visuals are vibrant with meticulous attention to detail.
Symbols on the reels include (as mentioned previously) lower value balloon shaped A, K, Q and J royals as well as medium value cannons, unicycles, and a pair of maracas. The premiums are represented by a group of animal performers - a cat acrobat, a monkey clown and strongman mouse. Symbols do not appear stacked on the reels and there are no other special symbols involved aside from the scatter and wild which we will cover in the features section below.
Respin Circus (ELK Studios): Features
Aside from the standard symbol set, Respin Circus also includes a wild symbol which is represented by a rabbit with some special magical powers. Appearing on all reels but the first, it not only performs the typical substituting duties, it will also boost your wins with the help of 2x, 3x or 4x multipliers. If really in the mood to showcase his tricks, the rabbit may even turn into a fully stacked wild reel.
As the title suggests, a lot of the focus in this slot is on the Respin mechanism. Triggered whenever you land a winning combination, it can come into play in both the main game and the free spins round. When activated, all triggering symbols are held in position as the remaining reels spin again. If additional symbols appear and connect with matching held symbols, they'll stick as well and another respin round is played. Moreover, if a different symbol of higher value appears on a winning payline, it will activate the Symbol Upgrade feature, thus transforming all your held symbols into the more valuable one instead. The respin feature ends when you either land a full screen of your designated symbol or if no more matching symbols appear in view.
Expect to get more of the same in the Free Spins feature which is played when 3 or more scatters appear anywhere in view. Having been awarded your golden ticket to the great show, you'll see the same respin mechanism played out here as well - your triggering scatter symbols are locked in position while the remaining reels spin again. Each scatter represents a free spins, which means that if you collect all of them during the pre-bonus respin game, you could potentially kick off with a maximum of 24 spins in the actual free spins round.
Once underway, every scatter symbol that hits will award an extra spin and, just like in the main game, the respin feature will activate upon any win. Furthermore, the wild rabbit can turn up in the free spins round to boost your wins by up to 4x and give you wild reels too. There's a maximum payout of 2500 times your stake to be won here, though to keep it more realistic you should expect to see wins of around 200 to 500 times your stake during a good run.
Respin Circus (ELK Studios): Final Verdict
Respin Circus is an entertaining and colourful slot that will cater mostly to recreational players while hardcore gamblers are more likely shy away due to the relatively low payouts on offer. One specific thing to note here is the exceptionally low bonus frequency where you can expect to trigger the bonus once every 2100 spins! It's not as bad as it sounds, however, as a large chunk of the RTP is allocated to the main game with its frequently activated respin feature to balance it all out.
Either way, the free spins feature is more or less just an extension of the main game and, in our opinion at least, it could have been made a bit more exciting with the addition of a whole new feature. Kudos to ELK Studios, by the way, for being transparent with their stats. It's definitely not something most providers will share with us.
Respin Circus is not a slot that will make headlines, and it's certainly not one that will kick new doors open. Though an overall decent slot of good quality that will do a good job of keeping ELK's core audience entertained, Respin Circus feels more like a run-of-the-mill when compared to Ecuador Gold and its follow up sibling Tahiti Gold.
Respin Circus is a fun and simple game, but it won’t make a long-lasting impression.