Temple Stacks (Yggdrasil Gaming): Overview
Yggdrasil prove once again that they are a company that isn't afraid of trying new things. Their latest slot Temple Stacks manages a couple of firsts for the company as well as slightly pushing the slots envelope. For one, it is the first time we get to see their new Splitz game mechanic in action. The second major tweak is the game's potential which appears to be Yggdrasil's biggest to date. On all fronts, the numbers associated with Temple Stacks are big. Of course, big numbers on their own don't guarantee a good game so let's fire the beast up and see what it can do.
If you know the numbers before trying the game, then the first impressions don’t exactly tally with what loads up. Graphically, Yggdrasil has reined in their creative team and produced something a little lower key than usual - though it's not a bad looker by any means. If you are playing on mobile, be sure to tilt your device to have it on landscape mode. That way, the game grid is framed by some exotic jungle imagery that you don't get on portrait mood. A little thing, but it adds to the atmosphere. Pick a bet between 10 p/c and £/€100, and away we go – either manually or by setting up to an infinite number of auto spins.
As mentioned before, Yggdrasil run the game using their brand new Splitz engine. This Megaways-esque system provides 5 reels, 3 rows and 243 win ways – to start with. Winning combinations are formed when three or more of the same symbols land on adjacent reels from left to right. As you would expect, these numbers increase as the grid expands. At full power, up to 12 symbols can appear on each reel which creates a whopping 248,832 win ways. Interestingly, Yggdrasil has forgone any sort of cascade wins system, which makes a change for this style of game. RTP is nice and average at 96.1%, and volatility sits in a satisfying medium to high range.
The symbols themselves are simply crafted. There are 5 low pay symbols with Aztec/Mayan designs on them, along with 5 high pay symbols of different coloured square gems – orange, purple, green, blue and red. When it comes to value, low pay symbols return up to 0.5x, the high pay up to 1x the stake. The one exception is the red square which is worth 2.5 times the stake. Sounds pitiful on paper, but don't write it off just yet. Due to the number of win ways and features, Temple Stacks is capable of producing substantial payouts.
Temple Stacks (Yggdrasil Gaming): Features
The most frequent feature is the Splitz Mystery Stacks with appears often. These Stacks can appear on any reel during the base game as well as free spins and either cover 1-2 symbols or a full reel. During the base game, Mystery Stacks split into 3-9 symbols, and 3-12 during free spins and is the key for maxing out win ways. All Mystery Stacks reveal the same symbol which can be anything except hybrid or scatter symbols.
Sometimes, multiple Mystery Stacks appear on the reels, and a winning combination is guaranteed to land. Then, 3 different symbol types and their associated prizes appear above the reels. This effect produces some intense moments before the Stacks finally stop spinning and reveal which symbol is the winner.
The game contains a scatter symbol in the form of a spiky shield - 3 or more are needed to trigger Free Spins, and if 2 land, then they become Scatter Wild Hybrid symbols. The 2 scatters are then held in place while the other reels Respin in hopes of landing more scatters, or at least utilising their wild capabilities to create winners. Get lucky, and land 3, 4, or 5 scatters and you receive 1x, 10x, or 100x the stake as well as trigger free spins.
There are 4 free spin levels, each with different game rules and volatility. They are unlocked one by one at first, but after that, players are free to choose whichever one they like. The 4 levels are steel, bronze, silver, and gold, which come with 3-9, 4-10, 5-11, or 6-12 Mystery Stack Splitz respectively. However, the higher the Splitz, the less free spins there will initially be:
- 3 scatters – 15 steel, 9 bronze, 6 silver, and 3 gold free spins.
- 4 scatters – 20 steel, 12 bronze, 8 silver, and 4 gold free spins.
- 5 scatters – 35 steel, 21 bronze, 14 silver, and 7 gold free spins.
Scatters/hybrids continue to appear during the bonus rounds, and three or more will add extra free spins according to the list above.
Temple Stacks (Yggdrasil Gaming): Verdict
With the Megaways engine being in such high demand, it was just a matter of time before we would start to see different variations on the market. What pretty much started with Perfect Gems by Play'n GO has now spawned countless other copycats. Temple Stacks does have shades of Megaways to it yes, but on the whole, there's sufficient distance from Big Time Gaming's invention.
Overall, it's a solid game although we do find the visual appearance to be slightly more generic than we're used to coming from Yggdrasil. You should also prepare for some mediocre sessions. The above average volatility can result in runs of dead spins, and low symbol values aren't worth much without features or multiple lines in play. The mathematical model is simply not as sophisticated or refined as what you usually tend to get with the Megaways engine.
When it does go off, the good times can be outstanding. We brought up the fact that Temple Stack carries some of Yggdrasil's biggest stats, and the juiciest is the potential which can reach up to 25,000 times the stake. Now, exceptional Yggdrasil wins are relatively scarce when you browse the various casino communities out there, and if this one too fails to produce some extraordinary hits, then may it's time for Yggdrasil to consider recruiting some new mathemagicians. Only time will tell.
The sum things up - if we had to offer some constructive criticism it would be that Temple Stacks can feel a little impersonal at times. The high pay symbols are a little dull and a bit more character might have been a nice. As it is, however, Temple Stacks is a solid game with massive potential and an intriguing new game mechanic that is well worth checking out.
Game title: Temple Stacks
● Reels: 5
● Rows: 3+
● Paylines: 243-248,832
● RTP: 96.1%
● Max Payout: 25,000x
● Volatility: M/H
● Bets: 0.10 - 100 EUR
● Features: Splitz Mystery Stacks, Respin Feature, 4 Free Spin Levels
● Release Date: January 22, 2020