The Demon Code: Overview
For gambling degenerates out there, The Demon Code isn’t the slot version of Adam Blake’s novel, if you were wondering. It is, however, the first grid slot from SG Digital partner NextGen Gaming. The studio has chosen pretty much the darkest topic possible, creating a slot full of demons and supernatural imagery. Doing so has provided ample opportunities to integrate a bunch of features with the theme, via slick animations and atmospheric effects.
The Demon Code doesn’t have an immediate boomshanka impact, but it is attractive and has a steady creeping charm that draws you in. Set in a spooky dungeon, or underground cavern if you will, where nefarious activities take place, the game’s 6x6 grid is covered in demonic creatures. Not only do they line the sides of the grid, they turn up in several of the features as well. The soundtrack makes a nice accompaniment, akin to a 19th century period movie like Sherlock Holmes – the Robert Downey Jr ones.
Players take part in the action by choosing stakes from 10 p/c to £/€20 per spin, on any device. RTP has been recorded as 96.26% while volatility hovers over the high end of the scale. Info on the hit rate was not available during testing, but wins popped up quite frequently during test runs, though the vast majority were on the low side.
To score a winner, four or more identical symbols must connect horizontally or vertically. Winning clusters are cleared from the grid, letting new symbols drop into the gaps, providing new chances to win. Clusters are also subject to a win multiplier, starting at x1, increasing by +1 when more winning clusters occur or the Enter the Void feature* is triggered (*more on that further below). The win multiplier can increase indefinitely, but resets on each new spin.
The Demon Code uses 8 regular pay symbols; divided 50/50 into low and high pays. The lows are made up of four diamond-shaped objects, while the highs are represented by orbs or gems of some description. The highest paying clusters are made up of 25+ identical symbols, ranging in value from 10x to 50x the stake. The wild comes in handy here too, as it can substitute for any of the pay symbols.
The Demon Code: Features
The Demon Code has quite a few features, including various modifiers as well as a triggered batch of free spins. Let’s start the tour with the four talisman symbols which appear randomly on cascades to trigger one of the Demon Summon features, like so:
- Ancient Alchemy (Green Demon): adds mystery symbols which all turn into the same matching symbol.
- Cryptic Chaos (Blue Demon): a random symbol is selected and pays from anywhere on the board.
- Dark Design (Purple Demon): adds wild symbols to the grid.
- Fiery Fusion (Red Demon): randomly adds a 3x3, 4x4, or 5x5 block of the same matching symbol.
As a consolation, when a cascade does not produce a winner, but there is a wild on the board, then the Enter the Void feature is triggered. Here, wild symbols vanish, removing any pay symbol they are next to, allowing new ones to drop in.
Look out for the sinister eye scatter symbol - whenever a scatter lands, it is collected in a meter above the grid. When at least 4 scatters are collected in a cascade sequence, the free game bonus is triggered along with 10 free spins. If more than 4 scatters have been collected in the sequence, then each extra scatter adds 2+ free spins to the total.
During free spins, the scatter collection system remains in play. Whenever 4 scatters are collected, 2 extra free spins are awarded. Not only that, 1 additional row is added to the grid, with up to 12 rows being the maximum. When it reaches this height, the scatter meter is removed and 10 free spins are awarded. Each scatter that lands after the meter has been removed automatically adds 2 extra free spins.
The final point is that the win multiplier does not reset between free spins either and there is no limit to how high it can go. Whenever 4 scatters are collected on the meter, the win multiplier is also increased by +1.
The Demon Code: Verdict
For a first grid slot, or even a second or third really, The Demon Code is a respectable production. NextGen Gaming has mixed in a bunch of features that show up often to keep the base game interesting and motivation level is high. Features are complemented by animations and a cinematic soundtrack which syncs perfectly with the action taking place on the reels. The package performs so well that it’s easy to overlook when the fireworks aren’t adding up to much, monetarily speaking.
As always, the game steps it up during free spins. The non-resetting win multiplier is a boon here and collecting four scatters feels so much easier (on a psychological level at least) when they aren’t cleared between spins. As a result, plenty of reel expansions and extra free spins occurred during testing.
Solid wins were there, although the stated max win potential of 12,500 times the stake is a bit optimistic here. But to get an idea of the possibilities, multipliers of 30x were common during free spins. So if you combine a multiplier like that with 25+ red orbs (maybe helped by a Demon Summon modifier), you’re looking at 1,500x in one pop.
In summation, The Demon Code is a fine grid slot from NextGen Gaming. It didn’t have the immediate impact Rise of the Mountain King did, but the team has done a commendable job with the aesthetics, plus the abundant features work well. It is a game that can frustrate the heck out of you if you end up in a never-ending feature chase, yet entertainment level is high and rewards are there when patience and luck fortuitously come together.
The Demon Code is built on solid, fun gameplay that is easily accessible to casual gamers but still offers an ample amount of volatile action to keep veterans interested.