Sanctuary: Slot Overview
Tom 'n' Jerry, Bert 'n' Ernie, Rick 'n' Morty, some duos just make a lot of sense, and one team up which has proved fruitful in the online gambling world is the one between Aussie studio Big Time Gaming, and rock band The Cult. Music from the English rockers has been used in Lil Devil, Outlaw, as well as Wild Flower, and proving, hopefully, that the fourth time's the charm, the band is back, lending its toe-tapping tunes to the online slot Sanctuary. One tune in particular, 'She Sells Sanctuary', so if 'The world, and the world, yeah, The world drags [you] down', let's have a go.
While music and some of the symbols might link The Cult soundtracked games, thematically, they are a real mixed bag. Sanctuary is no different, and this time, players are air-dropped into Egypt to witness the splendour of the pyramids on a rich, red, fiery day. Hey, if it's good enough for Julio Iglesias, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Shakira to do gigs here, it's good enough for The Cult to strut their stuff, too. Ancient Egyptians have long had an association with the cosmos, as well, which isn't instantly apparent in the base game. However, trigger free spins, and Sanctuary blasts into orbit where up to 4 simultaneously spinning game grids hover high above planet Earth.
Sanctuary seekers can get the ball rolling by picking a stake of 10 p/c to $/€20 per spin, and if they prefer skipping the base game, then free spins may be bought for 80x the bet. When single spin betting, the game's return to player is 96.38%, though when buying free spins, the value creeps up a notch to 96.39%. With its very highly volatile math model, Sanctuary means business for sure and conducts itself on a 6-reel, 4-row matrix with 4,096 ways to win.
Ten pay symbols appear on the reels, awarding wins when landing a winning combination of 3 to 6 of a kind, left to right from the leftmost reel. One exception is the highest-paying skull pharaoh symbol, which pays out on a 2-plus combo. Going down the list, we find an Anubis-like character, a scarab, and an eye as the other high pays; the 9-A card ranks are the low pays. Low pay 6-of-a-kinds award 0.5 to 1.2 times the bet, whereas the same situation with high pays is worth 1.5 to 15 times the stake. Several types of wilds hit at various stages of play, but what they all share in common is the ability to replace any regular pay symbol.
Sanctuary: Slot Features
One of the wild types is full reel wilds, which land in two forms – Gold or Purple. Wild Ankhs also appear in the free spins round, accompanied by a pre-feature free spins gamble, which can unlock up to 4 gaming grids at the same time.
Full Reel Wilds
Purple Wild and Gold Wild are full reel wilds that land on the four middle reels, counting as one symbol when calculating wins. All wins are multiplied by x8 for every Purple Wild that substitutes in a win. Purple Wilds and Gold Wilds do not occur in free spins.
Landing 3, 4, 5, or 6 scatter symbols awards 7 free spins played on 1, 2, 3, or 4 gaming grids, respectively. Scatters appear only in the base game. Before free spins start, players are given the option of gambling for additional game grids in the feature (up to 4) or collecting and beginning the round. Gambles take place on a segmented wheel where losing gambles award the number of game grids displayed in black. If the number in black is 0, the feature ends.
During free spins, an Ankh symbol may land on reels 2 to 5. When one does land, a sticky wild is placed in its position on all game grids. When 4 sticky wilds are on the same reel, they are replaced by a full reel x4 wild, and +3 free spins are awarded. It is possible to win an extra 12 free spins this way.
Whenever players win 80 times their sake or more, they have the option of exchanging 80x the stake for 7 free spins. Or, when winning between 25 and 80 times the stake, players can exchange the whole win for a chance to win 7 free spins on a wheel.
Sanctuary: Slot Verdict
Imagine a starry-eyed, wannabe casino game maker applying for their dream job at Big Time Gaming. Then, during the test session, the person from BTG casually asks the applicant what they think of The Cult. To some, it might seem like a totally random question, dropped to gauge a potential workmate's likes and musical preferences, yet to the studio, everything hinges on the applicant's answer. A negative response means the company blacklists their CV until the end of time, while a positive response puts them on the shortlist for a second interview. Hey, just joking around, of course, but are we? Four slots deep using music from the same band displays a level of loyalty rarely seen in a creative endeavour, let alone the online slot biz.
What's good for gamblers is, so far, slots that have featured music from The Cult have tended to be good ones, great in most instances, actually. Of the four, Sanctuary is, in some ways, the most understated of the group. It doesn't taunt the massive x800 multipliers of Wild Flower or the x777s of Outlaw, for instance, yet it can quietly go about the business of knocking together thrilling action. The base game's got those full reel wilds, of which the Purple Wild is far and away the most exciting of the two due to its x8 multiplier, and might make a significant contribution in reaching for the base game's max win of 20,480x. More than double this amount is possible in free spins, at 44,070x, though how dependent that figure is on the number of active gaming grids spinning at the same time is a question. A question in part provoked by the brutal Extra Chilli-like nature of the gamble feature. Technically, you'd think one grid could get the job done, what with all the ways in play and some of those Ankh wilds strewn about the place, but maybe tread carefully if attempting to upgrade.
Bringing things back down to ground level, Sanctuary turned out to be another rockin' good game from the BTG crew and one of their favourite musical artists. Sanctuary wasn't as flashy as its peers, nor does it pack as eye-wateringly big win numbers, but it's still a hard-working performer with smart features and a deep groove.
Sanctuary wasn’t as head-turning as its predecessors, but that doesn’t stop it from putting in a strong performance.