Sherlock & Moriarty Wowpot!: Slot Overview
Sherlock & Moriarty is the fifth slot to enter Microgaming's Wowpot! range of progressive jackpots. Each having been designed by different partner studios, the turn has now come to Swedish developer Just For The Win. As well as providing players the chance to win staggering jackpot amounts, it comes with a few in-house features of its own such as mystery symbols, mystery respins, and free spins.
Just For The Win hasn't gone mental with the theme, but players get a pleasant cobblestoned view of old London to accompanying their gaming. With a mysterious and rather atmospheric soundtrack playing along to the action, a semi-transparent 5-reel, 20-payline grid is located in the middle of a street next to rows of quaint shops, gas lights, and Big Ben off in the distance. The view pales in significance to what's happening on the jackpot bar above the reels. Here players can check the current values of the four jackpots as they continually tick upwards until someone is lucky enough to win them. The first two, the Mini and Minor, pretty much live up to their names, whereas the Major is highly desirable and the Wowpot! is capable of dream-inducing 8 figure sums. The kind you win and tell your boss thanks but no thanks the following day.
As is often the case with these games, betting is a little more strategic than in regular slots. This is because the chances of triggering the jackpot wheel scales with the size of the bet. Essentially the bigger the bet, the more likely you are of triggering the jackpot wheel. It is still possible to win the Wowpot! from the smallest stake, 10 p/c, while high rollers can bet as large as £/€100 per spin. Not that any of this will mean much to a lot of jackpot enthusiasts, but RTP is 92.1%, and volatility is officially rated as medium. Non-jackpot potential isn't as good as some in the Wowpot! line-up, though a hit frequency of 27% and regular features means there is usually something happening, or about to, when playing Sherlock & Moriarty.
As for the paytable, Just For The Win has provided elaborately flowing J-A royals as the lows, plus four characters as the high pays. These include a bobby, a lady (Mrs Hudson?), Watson, and Holmes, worth 6 to 10 times the stake for five of a kind. The wild symbol is equally flourishing, sharing the same value as the ruffle haired Holmes symbols; also replacing regular symbols to complete a win. Moriarty makes his appearance on the scatter, accompanied by two more special symbols, covered next.
Sherlock & Moriarty Wowpot!: Slot Features
Needless to say, Wowpot! is what will pull most punters into the world of Holmes and Watson, but once in, there are several other features to keep them entertained such as mystery symbols, mystery respins, and free spins.
Let's focus on the jackpot first, where access is gained by collecting magnifying glass progressive tokens. These tokens appear on high-value symbols on reels 2, 3, or 4 in the base game - they do not show up on free spins or respins. Tokens fly off the reels onto the bar at the top of the screen. Get lucky, and you may trigger a spin on the jackpot wheel. The wheel spins and awards either the Mini, Minor, Major, or Wowpot! which hold minimum values of 10, 100, 50,000 or 2,000,000 £/€. Of course, since this is progressive, the actual values may grow much higher.
Big golden question marks signify the mystery symbol. In the base game, landing 4 or fewer mystery symbols turns them all into the same random regular pay symbol. These symbols cannot reveal progressive tokens. If 5 or more mystery symbols land, they trigger Mystery Respins.
In Mystery Respins, triggering mystery symbols and wilds lock in place while all other positions are respun. Landing new mystery symbols or wilds turns them sticky and awards another respin. One final respin is awarded when no new appropriate symbols land; then all mystery symbols turn into one random pay symbol.
The devious Moriarty appears on the scatter symbol, and 3 of him in the base game awards 10 free spins. Any more than three adds 2 additional free spins per scatter. Here a new triple question marked feature symbol enters the fray. Whenever one of these lands, it randomly reveals one of three features:
- Sticky Wild – this wild remains in place for the remainder of free spins.
- +1 Multiplier – the overall win multiplier is increased by 1 each time one of these symbols lands.
- +Spins – 1, 2, or 3 free spins are awarded.
Sherlock & Moriarty Wowpot!: Slot Verdict
You sometimes get the impression when designers attach a jiganormous jackpot to their games, they don't bother putting in much effort with the rest. That's not so much the case when giving Sherlock & Moriarty a spin. Its minor features are plentiful, while free spins hit less often but are packed with modifiers to make them quite fun. At higher bet levels, the Wowpot! wheel frequently triggers as well. Of course, players are most likely to make do collecting Mini or Minor prizes, which, when betting big, are going to chew through your balance. Yet, you never know what will happen, and as the Wowpot! network broadens its reach, rewards will grow even further alongside it.
More critically, as a standalone, Sherlock & Moriarty faces stiff competition from slots like iSoftBet's Moriarty Megaways which possesses a higher build quality. Then again, the two games are competing in completely different weight classes so it’s hard to compare aside from how the theme has been handled. It's the big progressive jackpot that makes the difference here, and how many players are going to compare graphical nuances, or which slot lays on 19th century London better? Probably not your typical jackpot chaser who gets a healthy smattering of features to go along with their big win hunt.
Sure, non-jackpot wins in Sherlock & Moriarty aren't great - a full screen of Sherlocks are worth a mere 200x, but hey, few will play a Wowpot! game for its non-jackpot potential anyway. It's that life-changing pot they want, the 2 million or more f-you money. Factor this in and Sherlock & Moriarty is as good, if not better, than any other in the Wowpot! range.
Without the massive jackpot attached, Sherlock & Moriarty wouldn’t be a super enticing game – as it stands though; it’s a pretty enjoyable way to chase the vast rewards of the Wowpot.