Viking Smash: Overview
In the long history of warfare, standing in a Viking shield wall has to be up there as one of the most terrifying things to do on a battlefield. These days war is conducted at a distance; back then, you could literally see the whites of the enemies' eyes as they slashed and stabbed at each other, while the walls clanged together. While not an exclusively Viking tactic, books and tv series like The Last Kingdom have formed a strong association of shield walls with Norse battle tactics. For a sniff of the terror and glory found on the battlefield, Stakelogic has released Viking Smash, a slot full of swords, axes, and warriors ramming into each other – there's a lot of testosterone, in other words.
The two clans facing off in Viking Smash haven't exactly picked the best day to settle their differences. Snow falls over a bleak mountainous background as the two armies square off on either side of a 5-reel, 243 win ways game grid. On the left, we have the blues; on the right, the reds. Quite why they've resorted to fighting to solve their quarrel isn't explained, but their champions meet on the grid in the form of walking wilds, occasionally smashing into each other to trigger free spins. It is quite a satisfying view that gets you in the mood for battling reels, made more immersive by a stirring soundtrack.
As in many Stakelogic slots, selecting stakes takes a little bit of extra planning. This is because Viking Smash comes with a Super Stake feature, which increases the chances of features triggering for an extra cost. In Viking Smash, when the Super Stake is active, it doubles the base stake to unlock a random wild feature. When active, 2 to 6 wild symbols may be added to reels 1 and 5, following a losing spin. Base bets may be set as low as 25 p/c or as high as £/€125 per spin – on any device, while RTP comes in at 95.6%.
Viking Smash provides 243 ways to win, paying both ways – left to right and right to left. Not only is this an unusual plot twist, but it also plays well with the walking wilds feature covered in the next section. All pay symbols need at least three to form a winning combination. The low pays are neatly patterned 10 to A card royals, followed by instruments of war as the high pays such as swords, bows, morning stars, axes and hammers. Landing a full five of a kind combination made up of premium symbols is worth a payout of 1.6 to 8 times the base stake. On to the extras.
Viking Smash: Slot Features
Features in Viking Smash include a couple of walking wilds that, if lucky, meet in the middle to trigger free spins. On top of this is an optional gamble feature for players you like to push fortune to its limit.
There are 2 walking wild symbols, each one substitutes all pay symbols, and both depict a Viking warrior. Walking wilds land on the edge reels and move towards the opposite side of the grid. Each step they make is a respin, ending when no more wild symbols are on the screen or if free spins are awarded.
If two opposing wilds clash on the same row, 10 free spins are awarded when they smash together. If additional wilds meet, they add +4 free spins for each pair. Similar rules apply during free spins; however, wilds can appear on any reel now, not just the edge reels. This time when opposing wilds meet, +4 extra spins are won.
The gamble feature activates every time players hit a winning combination. However, it can be disabled if you don't want the interruption or temptation. The gamble feature is a straightforward face down card guess. Get the colour right to double your winnings, or picking the correct suit quadruples it. Incorrect guesses forfeit the win.
Viking Smash: Slot Verdict
Like the style of warfare it portrays, Viking Smash is a simple yet effective game. One of its highlights is the 243 ways pay both ways. This doesn't really affect the long term return value, but it is an interesting pairing you don't see every day. The pay system fits nicely with the walking wilds feature as well. Since wilds are added at both sides of the grid, you can have them connecting wins on the left, or on the right, then from both sides when they're smashing their way through the middle. The whole idea has been lifted from NetEnt's classic slot The Invisible Man, though there has been a change by swapping the older game's 20 pay both ways lines to one providing 243 ways.
On a different subject, there wasn't a hugely obvious difference in the amount of walking wild action whether the Super Stake feature was switched on or off. Stakelogic supplies the average hit frequency for the Super Stake feature in the help files, so be sure to check this if you're thinking of using it, as doubling the stake makes a big difference. At the time of testing, this was not available. Free spins aren't hugely different from regular spins either, though wilds appearing everywhere mix things up and can elongate respins. Walking wilds remain the deciding factor in all phases, and the fact each move they make is a respin does mean you can end up getting a lot of bonus game for your buck.
Stakelogic might have got the idea of colliding walking wilds from elsewhere, but they've at least picked a theme that fits the feature like a glove. The result might not be as intense as standing shoulder to shoulder with your war brothers in the skjalborg, yet Viking Smash is an entertaining Norse war game nonetheless.
The result might not be as intense as standing shoulder to shoulder with your war brothers in the skjalborg, yet Viking Smash has what it takes to provide some thrilling moments nonetheless.