Splendour Forest (Max Win Gaming): Overview
Max Win Gaming is another one of those small independent studios that has been recruited by a bigger one to make it possible for them to churn out a larger quantity of titles, a market strategy that has become increasingly common and that has swamped the market with countless of mediocre games. The first game developed by Max Win Gaming, called Fruit Strike, was so bland that we decided to skip it altogether. The second game to be released by the studio, Splendour Forest, looks slightly more promising. If upon booting up the game, things look somewhat familiar to you, it's because Relax Gaming has been allowed to borrow the old Red Tiger user interface. The game itself, however, is entirely unique. Or, as much as it can be considering the fact that it is another take on the classic 'Book' game.
Powered by Relax Gaming's Silver Bullet platform, Splendour Forest is a 5-reel, 10-payline slot with a fantasy theme and a tranquil feel. A take on the classic 'Book' game, it comes with the usual scatter wilds and a free spins game with special expanding symbols, but there's also a bit of a twist to it that we will get to later in the review. Highly volatile and with a fixed RTP setting of 95.04%, Splendour Forest can be played from 0.20 to £/€100 per spin across all devices.
Visually, this psychedelic game offers few surprises, but the design is no less well executed. Set in an enchanted forest, and with a relaxing spa-like soundtrack playing in the background mixed with the sound of birds singing, symbols on the reels include A, J, Q, K and A royal values as well as oak acorns, mushrooms, and lanterns. The most rewarding is the lady wearing a blue hat, giving you 500 times your stake for a five of a kind combination. Just like in most 'Book' games, the scatter doubles as a wild, although in this version it only appears on reels 1, 3 and 5.
Splendour Forest (Max Win Gaming): Features
Splendour Forest isn't a game rich in features, and while there's potential for a max win of 500 times your stake in the base game, it's all about the Free Spins feature here. It comes into play when you land the golden oak tree scatter on reels 1, 3 and 5 and will provide you with 10 free spins. Before commencing the free spins, however, you're taken to a picking screen where your special expanding symbols is to be revealed.
As you will see, this is where Splendour Forest stands out from other 'Book' games, as the symbol awarded to you may also come with a +1 symbol above it. If it comes up, you simply get to pick yet another symbol which essentially means you could head into the bonus game with several expanding symbols in play. While the feature can be retriggered, you cannot activate additional expanding symbols (as is the case in Book of Ra Magic or Rise of Merlin for example) once the free spins game is underway.
Splendour Forest (Max Win Gaming): Verdict
If you're willing to put Book of Ra or Book of Dead on hold for a while, you'll likely discover that Splendour Forest is a decent slot that is competent enough to keep you engaged for a while. With that said, there's a significant drawback to it that you need to consider. While many players are obviously willing to accept an RTP below 96% to play the original Book of Ra, we're not sure players will be as forgiving when it comes to the clones. One thing Play'n GO did right with Book of Dead, was to give you all the action of Book of Ra, but with a significantly higher RTP. In our opinion, the lower RTP is reason enough to actually skip this game unless there are no better options for you available.
Other than that, Splendour Forest is a slot through which Max Win Gaming shows good promise. The overall quality is solid, the gameplay is smooth, and the mathematical design appears to be well balanced. With 6427 times your stake win potential added on top of that, you cannot ignore the fact that it's an appealing game.
Splendour Forest is a reasonably satisfying take on the classic ‘Book’ game that comes with a bit of a twist.