Spectre Estate: Overview
Horror slot Spectre Estate sees Microgaming partner Just For the Win provide a ghostly alternative for the Halloween season. Or, any other season really should the need for a bit of shrieking in a haunted house arise. Spectre Estate is the name given to an abandoned mansion where its old owners still roam the corridors. It's a bit Beetlejuice-y, without the humour, inviting players to join the hunt in a slot that can trigger a bunch of random features on any spin, including a round of free spins.
The action takes place inside the mansion in a room dimly lit by two large church-like windows. Eerie blue light illuminates the 5-reel, 40-payline grid framed in what looks like a stone crypt. The background image has been quite well designed too, as has the soundtrack. During the base game, a quirky tune plays, in the manner of A Series of Unfortunate Events, more mysterious than spooky. When free spins trigger, the game launches into a driving metal track a la Master of Puppets.
Playable from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin, the game comes with a math model that sounds more attractive on paper than it does in practice. RTP for one is a respectable rating of 96.12%, while volatility would suit more dedicated gamblers due to a high setting. The official hit frequency is 1 in 5 spins (20.24%), though the game served up swathes of dead spins during testing.
There are 7 regular pay symbols to land winning combos on - 4 low pays, and 3 highs. Lows are spades, clubs, diamonds, plus hearts, while highs are a male, a female, and the game’s logo. Land five of the low pays on a line for 4 times the bet, while premiums range in value from 8 to 15 times the stake. The wild is worth the same amount as the logo, while also substituting for any regular pay symbol to make a winning combination.
Spectre Estate: Features
Spectre Estate is quite a busy slot - on any spin, one or more of the features may be triggered. Above the reel set is a horizontal area containing 5 spots – one above each reel. On each spin, different features randomly appear in these spots. The blue ghost lady is the Feature Symbol. After a spin, if 2 or more Feature Symbols land, then the spots above these symbols activate the currently displayed feature. Players benefit from 7 in total:
- 1x – an extra 1 times the bet payout is made after the spin.
- 2x – a payout worth 2 times the bet is awarded.
- Wild expansion – any wilds on this reel expand to cover it.
- +Wild - extra wild symbols are added to the reel.
- Wild x2 or Wild x3 – an x2 or x3 multiplier is added to any wilds on the reel.
- Free Spins – 8 free spins are awarded.
In the base game, any activation spot with Wild Expansion, + Wilds, Wild x2, or Wild x3 awards a respin, where the features become active. During respins, it is not possible to trigger new features.
When free spins are won, any other active free spins feature spot adds 2 free spins. Also, if any other feature spots are activated at the same time as free spins, they remain active for the full duration of the feature. During free spins, landing a Feature Symbol on an inactive reel adds 2 extra free spins.
Spectre Estate: Verdict
Unless you're really craving a ghost-themed slot and you've played all of the others, there are few other reasons to fire up Spectre Estate. The premise is interesting, and there are plenty of features, but it fails to come together in a satisfying way.
This applies to the details as much as to the big picture. For a bit of nit-picking, while Spectre Estate is decent enough graphically, that quality doesn't quite extend to the premium character symbols. They've got an old school PC game look to them, which is fine, but they don't fit with the rest of the game. They look out of place and contribute to the whole slot feeling like a bunch of disparate parts which fail to make a coherent whole.
In fact there isn't much else to go crazy about either. Despite a bunch of features/modifiers, not a whole lot seems to happen. This is partly due to low win values, partly due to a wealth of dead spins. When something does occur, it's not usually very exciting or very rewarding either. Nor is the game hugely rewarding overall, with maximum wins of up to 2,219 times the bet possible.
Spectre Estate comes across a little shambolic, as if by trying to do too much, it ends up spreading itself thin and doing nothing. Playing Spectre Estate is like a non-vegetarian dining out at one of those meat-free buffets. Then, after gorging on soy-based options, they're left with a hollow, unsatisfied feeling that can only be filled by steak.
Despite a load of features and nice graphics, the lack of excitement, low potential and zero x-factor make Spectre Estate a tough game to fall for.