Rise of the Mountain King: Overview
After a five month long hiatus, SG Digital developer NextGen Gaming returns with Rise of the Mountain King, a slot that draws inspiration from a number of sources including slots in their own line-up such as 300 Shields Extreme and Pillars of Asgard. Its most direct competitor, theme-wise at least, is In the Hall of the Mountain King released last year by Quickspin. Both slots offer vastly different gaming experiences but they also share several things. For one, they both have epic soundtracks based around the song In the Hall of the Mountain King by Norwegian compose Edvard Grieg. You might not recognise that title, but the song will instantly be recognisable once you hear it.
In terms of production quality, there's a superb audio visual experience to look forward to. With a cartoonish feel, the transparent reels are located by a pathway that leads through mist to a mysterious fortress in the distance. It looks outstanding, but the visuals can’t compare to the soundtrack. During the base game, players are treated to an epic sweeping score, like a full orchestra, that is based on Edvard’s musical piece. It’s a really great track, and things move up a gear during the bonus round. Then, it sounds like someone has handed the classical piece over to Slayer to crank out on guitars and drums. Its bass heavy the whole way through and is best experienced through a decent pair of headphones or speakers.
To start the climb to the Mountain King’s fortress, players choose a bet by clicking the plus or minus coin buttons offering a range from 30 p/c up to £/€15 per spin. The game’s big potential comes with ultra high volatility and an RTP of 96.31% - 96.84% (with Buy Pass). In many respects, Return of the Mountain King is a little darker, a little more ominous than its Asgardian predecessor. It also uses a much simpler set up with 5 reels, 3 rows, and if you thought Asgard’s million pay ways was overkill, then Mountain King brings it back to earth with 30 fixed paylines. It’s far from being a simple game though, with several features bolted on to mix up play.
Starting with the basic rules is the paytable which has 10 regular pay symbols – 6 low and 4 high. The low pays are heavy metal looking 9-A royals, with a battle-axe, shield, troll, and damsel making up the premiums. The damsel is the most valuable from the regular symbols on 13.3 times the stake for a line hit. Five of the wilds, meanwhile, are worth a little more on 16.7 times the stake. The king is the wild, which among other things, can substitute for any regular pay symbol. He looks kind of hard, but would look more menacing if he hadn’t piled on so much eyeliner. He will come in super handy later on during the features.
Rise of the Mountain King: Features
One way the wild effects the game is that when 3 or more are in view, they trigger the King’s Respin feature. With this feature, any wins get paid first, then 1 respin is awarded. Also, if there are any scatters on the triggering spin, they are turned into wilds too. For the respin, all wilds are held in place while all of the other positions spin. If any new wilds land, they are held, and the positions respin again. This continues until no more wilds land or all positions have been turned wild. When that happens, any wins are calculated and paid out.
The scatter symbol is needed to trigger the Rise of the Multiplier feature - 3, 4 or 5 scatters in view award 8, 9, or 10 Free Spins, and a payout of x5, x20, or x250 respectively. During this round, a collect meter appears above the reels, and the wild starts with an x5 multiplier. Whenever a scatter symbol lands, it's collected in the collect meter and adds an additional free spin to the remaining total. Every 3 scatters collected increases the wild multipliers to x10, x15, x25, x50, and x100 - whenever a wild is used in a winning combination, its multiplier is applied to the payout amount. Keep in mind that the King’s Respin feature can be triggered during free spins as well. Racking up a bunch of wild multipliers in this way can result in some insane wins.
To keep the ball rolling during the base game, players have the chance to gamble any wins. The Gamble feature consists of choosing the colour or suit of a blind card. Choose right and you double or quadruple the amount. Wrong guesses forfeit the win.
The final feature, where applicable, is the Buy Pass. To skip the base game, players can buy their way to the bonus round. The cost for doing so is 100x the stake and gives you 8 free spins that start with the x5 wild multiplier. Alternatively, players can pay 50x the stake and spin a wheel split 50/50 red and green. If it lands on green the feature is triggered, if in red then the gamble was no good.
Rise of the Mountain King: Verdict
Rise of the Mountain King is an outstanding release from NextGen Gaming, possibly even one of their best to date. It’s not quite as nice looking as Asgard was, the animations a little blunter, but that epic soundtrack more than makes up for any visual shortcomings. More importantly, the gameplay carries a beast of a slot that is as volatile as the characters it portrays. The NextGen Gaming spirit of going large has certainly passed to Rise of the Mountain King.
Due to its extreme volatility, the game can be tough to crack though so beware. However, with potential for wins of up to 50,000 times the stake, there's plenty of excitement to look forward to when you do triggered the bonus. Players can thank some stunning multiplying action during free spins and respins for that stratospheric figure.
Rise of the Mountain King has a math model with moods that can swing between a grateful damsel and an insulted troll. If you are prepared for that, then Rise of the Mountain King has plenty to offer. It will suit players looking for a solid fantasy slot with good features and even better potential. To summarize, this is a slot that every online slots enthusiast must try and possibly one that eventually can live on to become a classic.
A phenomenal execution of a familiar formula, Rise of the Mountain King shines in every way possible.