The Sherriff of Nottingham slot (iSoftBet): Overview
If you're set on finding a slot based on the heroic outlaw Robin Hood, you won't have any problems finding one. Now we have another one from iSoftBet called The Sheriff of Nottingham. Fans of the hooded man will be rubbing their hands in glee. Is there room for yet another Robin Hood themed slot and how does it stand up against all the others?
Just like most other iSoftbet slots we've had the opportunity to review, The Sheriff of Nottingham is a good looking slot. It has a similar cartoonish look, but with slightly more emphasis on the humour. The background is what you would expect to find given the theme - a woody view of Sherwood Forest. The forest is also used as a nice cut screen during shifts between the base game and features. Another thing to mention is the new UI which is a huge improvement compared to the old one.
The action is played over a bright 5 reel, 3 row set up that uses 25 fixed paylines. Players choose coin values from 0.01 to 1 which results in stakes of 25 p/c to £/€25 per spin. Base game payouts occur when combinations of three or more land on a payline.
Symbols are split between low and high pay, and a bunch of special symbols. Low pays are J – A royals. High pays are a scroll, trumpets, swords, and a shield/coat of arms. The high pays are nicely animated, and the coat of arms returns 16 times the stake for five of a kind. The Sherriff of Nottingham is the wild and has several functions. He is also the most valuable symbol at 20 times the stake for five. One function is to substitute for any of the regular pay symbols, the others we will look at in the features section. In the meantime, the RTP rate is listed as 96%, and volatility is set to medium. Already the game has diverged quite sharply from some of the other Robin Hood themes slots as to what kind of players it will attract. More to come on that shortly.
The Sherriff of Nottingham slot (iSoftBet): Features
The game contains more symbols in the form of Merry Men. If 5 of these outlaws appear on the reels they trigger the Wanted Respins feature. Reels are cleared so only Merry Men, blank spaces, or the Sherriff appear for 3 respins. Each Merry man is worth a prize, and when one lands, it is locked in position and sets respins back to 3. If the Sheriff symbol lands he collects the values of the Merry Men which frees up their positions for new symbols to land. When respins finish, all values of Merry Men are revealed and paid along with anything the Sherriff has collected. Prizes can vary, but minimum values can be as high as 40x the stake for the rare King John symbol.
The one feature that can appear at any time without needing to be triggered is Pick a Royal Letter. While the reels spin, three sealed letters can appear randomly on the screen. The player chooses one to open which reveals one of these in-game modifiers:
- Wanted Spin: the Sheriff symbol lands and pays out the value of 3-4 Merry Men.
- Bonus Add: the game adds a stack of bonus symbols to improve the chance of landing at least three on the spin.
- Sherriff Wilds: Sheriff wilds are added to the spin, but this time they land in super-stacked size.
- Win Spin: Gold coins are added to the reels. If any land in view, then they all transform into the same common symbol. Anything but the scatter is possible from a gold coin.
Finally, Free Spins. The crown symbols trigger 8 free spins when they land on reels 1, 3, and 5 at the same time. This bonus round is called Robin Riches Free Spins,and what makes it special are its synchronised reels. On each spin up to 5 reels can be synchronised, giving you a chance to land matching stacked symbols in the same way as seen in Twin Spin or Queen of Riches. This bonus round cannot be retriggered.
The Sherriff of Nottingham slot (iSoftBet): Verdict
There is no denying that Sherriff of Nottingham possesses similarities with some of the other Robin Hood themes slots out there. As well as the theme, some of the features are weirdly the same as in Riches of Robin from Play'n GO. Particularly the Wanted Respins and Heists Respins for example. It is also a bit peculiar that one has a Robin Riches feature, while the other is literally called Riches of Robin. There is no way of knowing which developer came up with the idea first and it’s kind of irrelevant as it's most likely just a coincidence anyway. Fans of these style of slots have two to choose from, so which one to go for? The answer lies in what type of gambler they are. Aside from the a few likenesses on the surface, these are two totally different slots.
When it came to payouts in The Sheriff of Nottingham, we tended to do better with Wanted Respins, but more intense gaming came during the Robin Riches Free Spins. The way you can see exactly which reels are synchronised is an old proven concept and a nice touch here as well. When wins are guaranteed, for example when the first three reels are in-sync, it is surprisingly tense. It’s just a shame that the rewards don’t match the tension. If you get super lucky and fill the grid with King Richards during Wanted Respins, you could hit 600 times the stake. Possibly more if the Sherriff has collected some rewards beforehand. But the point is that this is not a high potential game, not as much as Riches of Robin for sure.
In the end, The Sherriff of Nottingham is a good looking slot with features and a math model suited to a more gentle gambling style. Those that want a grittier, high risk, high reward slot would do better to check out the competition.
The lively gameplay and features of the Sheriff of Nottingham video slot don’t make up for a slot short on thrills and potential.