Stormforged: Slot Overview
Fire and ice, those two opposing forces of nature, butt heads once again in an online slot; this time, it's from provider Hacksaw Gaming. Stormforged is a game that draws heavily from Norse Mythology, where willing participants sooner or later meet a chap called Surtur, who does not seem overly pleased about something and a trio of Viking Warriors. Surtur, also known as 'the swarthy one', if he's new to you, was (or is) like a fire giant who inhabited Muspelheim, the realm of fire. Along with Muspelheim, another place players visit in Stormforged is Midgard, and both of these realms host their own specific free spins bonus round, making use of a different set of features.
Midgard is where most of Stormforged takes place, in a chilly region of mountains, snow, and ice. This is no place for the faint-hearted, and it's not hard to see why Vikings were such hardy people. There were no quick trips to Lidl back then to pick up some chops for dinner. This is the sort of place where you either stockpiled supplies for the winter months or life could get real hard real quick. On the flip side, the other part of Stormforged is played in Muspelheim, which is roasting hot while the rest of the game is cold. These two extremes are reflected by gameplay which can also run hot or cold.
Players are free to rub their hands together to get the blood flowing before picking a stake of 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin and/or activating 1 of 6 options from the bonus buy menu. Gambling in the default manner has a default RTP value of 96.41% and with a 4 out of 5 rating is medium-high volatile (lower RTP versions are available, se beware). Any device may be used to get the Stormforged experience, which takes place on a 5-reel, 4-row gaming panel with 14 fixed paylines.
A battle-ready slot gets a bunch of battle-ready symbols on its reels. These are, from low to high, J-A card ranks, swords, an axe, a helm, a goat, a bird, and a wolf. Landing a 5-of-a-kind winning line of these symbols triggers a payout of 4 to 50 times the bet. Wilds feature large in Stormforged, appearing in various forms throughout. The most basic form is the 1x1 regular wild which can replace any regular pay symbol and pays 100x the bet for a 5 wild symbol winning line. Hand of Surtur and Ice Brand symbols are also worth 100x the bet for 5, while Treasure Chests pay 4x the bet for 5 OAK. These latter three symbols are instrumental parts of Stormforged features, covered next.
Stormforged: Slot Features
When triggered or bought, Stormforged sends players to two different realms for its two different bonus games, as well as features known as Portals to Muspelheim and Treasure Chest Symbols.
Portals to Muspelheim
When Hand of Surtur scatter symbols land and activate, they tear downwards, creating a Portal to Muspelheim. Portals are wild, substituting for all pay symbols. The Hand of Surtur only activates if the resulting Portal would be part of or create one or more winning combos. If the Hand of Surtur tears through a wild symbol, it reveals a multiplier value of x2 to x200 that affects any winning lines which go through it. If more than one multiplier affects a winning line, the multipliers are added together first before being applied.
Treasure Chest Symbols
If the Hand of Surtur passes through a Treasure Chest symbol, the chest is smashed open to award its contents. The contents in question are cash prize values worth 5 to 2,500 times the bet. If the Hand of Surtur passes through a Treasure Chest and a Wild at the same time, the multiplier from the wild is applied to the Treasure Chest cash prize.
Surtur's Vengeance Bonus Feature
Hitting 3, 4, or 5 Surtur symbols awards 10, 12, or 14 free spins, respectively. The first wild that lands on each reel becomes sticky until the feature ends. Any wilds on the reels from the base game when free spins were triggered are carried over and become sticky. Each reel can have only one sticky wild, though. When the Ice Brand scatter activates, it creates a Portal to Midgard, slicing with a sword to the bottom of the reel, smashing any wilds or Treasure Chests in its way – it acts like the Portal to Muspelheim as detailed above. Landing 2, 3, 4, or 5 Surtur symbols awards an extra 2, 4, 6, or 8 free spins, respectively.
Warriors of the Storm Bonus Feature
Hitting 3, 4, or 5 Viking symbols awards players 10, 12, or 14 free spins. During this round, when the Hammer of Thor symbol hits, it transforms the reel it landed on into a Storm Reel for the remainder of the feature. Storm Reels are full reel wilds, substituting for any pay symbol. On each spin, Storm Reels reveal either a Storm or a Viking Warrior. Storms make the Storm Reel wild only and move it one position to the left for the next free spin, also pushing any Storm Reels in its way one position left. They will not move if there isn't an empty space to move to. When a Viking Warrior is revealed, it comes with a multiplier of x2 to x200, depending on the character. Multipliers affect all winning lines passing through it, and when more than one multiplier is used, the values are added first. Landing 2, 3, 4, or 5 Viking symbols awards an extra 2, 4, 6, or 8 free spins, respectively.
Stormforged comes with no less than 6 options in the bonus buy menu. These and their maximum return to player values are:
- BonusHunt FeatureSpins – 3x the bet where each spin is 5 times more likely to trigger a bonus game. Very highly volatile with an RTP of 96.27%.
- 2 Hands of Surtur FeatureSpins – 20x the bet where each spin guarantees at least 2 Hand of Surtur Symbols land. Very highly volatile with an RTP of 96.35%.
- 3 Hands of Surtur FeatureSpins – 50x the bet where each spin guarantees at least 3 Hand of Surtur Symbols land. Highly volatile with an RTP of 96.43%.
- Surtur's Vengeance – 100x the bet for at least 10 free spins. Highly volatile with an RTP of 96.24%.
- Surtur's Fury – 200x the bet for at least 12 free spins and at least 1 sticky wild. Highly volatile with an RTP of 96.29%.
- Warriors of the Storm – 200x the bet for at least 10 free spins. Very highly volatile with an RTP of 96.34%.
Stormforged: Slot Verdict
Perhaps the forces of fire and ice had formed some kind of equilibrium because, for a while at the start of the test session, nothing of particular note occurred. Few wins, loads of dead spins, and a lot of tension building. Stormforged had an excellent slow-burn feel to it, though, like two powerful forces bubbling around, about to spill over and ignite at any moment. When that occurs, the game does pick up well but never really goes all in on the theatrics. Even big wins have a slightly subdued feel to them, not helped by the classic Hacksaw Gaming bleep sounds, which felt out of place. This is just observation rather than criticism because Stormforged is a well-presented slot, no arguments there. Perhaps a few more fireworks to celebrate the climactic parts would have stoked the adrenal gland a bit harder, but for some deep immersion in Norse Mythology, Stormforged is well worth gearing up for.
What's cool is the way Hacksaw Gaming has blended the theme with the features too. Instead of simply jamming expanding wild symbols on there, for instance, Portals opening up to new realms do the job. Epic showdowns often go down well; think of Luke vs Darth, Harry vs Voldemort, Rocky vs Ivan Drago, and here, Surtur vs Viking Warriors. Not only does the match-up make for good imagery, but it also gives Hacksaw Gaming a chance to arm the two combatants with their own bonus game. In the review, Surtur's Vengeance Bonus feature was the most common of the two, but in our experience, at least, the Warriors of the Storm Bonus feature performed best. Locking in a couple of full reel multiplier wilds on reels 2 and 3 was one of the highlights, which, to borrow a word from the common vernacular, resulted in a thrilling bout of printing. That's not to take anything away from the other features, though, as there is a stack of potential in Portal multipliers, not to mention cracking open chunky Treasure Chests, more so if a multiplier happened to be applied to it.
Hacksaw Gaming slots are proven performers, and Stormforged has the ability to perform up there with the best of them with a max win of 12,500 times the bet on the line. Stormforged can be tough going, but it also showcases the studio's knack for pulling together wilds that roam, expand, stick, or multiply with instant cash prize chests in one entertaining rumble.
Stormforged can be tough going, but it also showcases Hacksaw’s knack for pulling together wilds that roam, expand, stick, or multiply with instant cash prize chests in one entertaining rumble.