Wild Cauldron (Quickspin): Overview
Quickspin is back to entertain players with their second tumble slot - Golden Glyph being their debut that took players on a feature-filled adventure to Ancient Egypt. Wild Cauldron, while just as feature-rich, is a lighter-hearted affair full of cute monsters, bags of charm, and has more than a dash of magic to it. Interestingly, Quickspin have purposefully been light with a back story. Instead of providing a complex narrative, Quickspin has gone all Roland Barthes to let players give meaning to the story. Whose lab is this, who is stirring the pot, how are the monsters involved? By the end of the review perhaps we can work out what it all means.
Wild Cauldron is hard not to warm to from the moment it loads up. Quickspin’s aim was to create a ‘warm and fuzzy atmosphere for the player to immerse themselves in’. And you will find that here. The grid is set in a magical lab that sits above a bubbling cauldron. Peppering the room is a bunch of miscellaneous esoteric paraphernalia such as globes, candles, books and telescopes. The room opens out on to the night sky full of stars, and the setting is a good one.
The game begins with 6 reels, 4 rows, and 4096 win ways. Though with all that blank space in the grid, you know there is chance it is going to increase. Players select bets from 10 p/c up to £/€100 to get the symbols tumbling. RTP is ever so slightly less than Golden Glyph’s but still respectable on 96.09%. The math model runs on high volatility that Quickspin has slapped a 5/5 rating on. Potential is also sky high which we will look at shortly. This all makes Wild Cauldron one of those slots that can easily send a session either to the moon or it can blow up in your face like the cauldron does from time to time.
The symbols are all custom built and new for the game. The low pays are 6 symbolic icons in blue, green, pink, red, orange and yellow. Picture things like pentagrams, moons, and lightning bolts. The high pays are 5 cute wee monsters – blue, green, yellow, red, and pink. Wins come in combinations of 3-6, and the pink monster is worth the most at 3.5 times the stake. The gold and red ‘W’ is the wild and can substitute for any pay symbol. When wilds are used in winning combos, they each increase the win multiplier by +1 up to a maximum of 7 on a single spin.
Wild Cauldron (Quickspin): Features
Overall, symbol value is relatively low due to the way the features work together. Key among them is the Locking Symbol Tumble feature. This is a cascade system that is a little different to how these things usually work. When a winning combination lands, the symbols involved are kept and dropped to the bottom of the grid. All other symbols are cleared to let a brand new batch fall into place. Each win also adds another row to the grid up to a maximum of 6x8 size. Reach that level, and the game has 262,144 win ways in play. This process repeats until no more winning combinations land. Then, the reels return to the original 6x4 size for the next fresh spin.
There is one more symbol in the game which is the green potion bottle. This is the scatter, and it can appear anywhere on the grid. When 4, 5, or 6 scatters land, they award 8, 10, or 12 Free Spins respectively. They get poured into the cauldron when they land causing an explosion. When the cloud of green smoke clears, the round begins. What makes the bonus round special is that the expanding reels and the win multiplier do not reset after a spin. They either stay in place or increase for the duration of the free spins. This can cause impressive numbers of similar symbols to stack up. If two scatters appear during the bonus round, they add 2 more free spins to the tally.
Wild Cauldron (Quickspin): Verdict
Quickspin has certainly achieved what they set out to accomplish. The atmosphere is indeed warm and fuzzy and includes a nice dash of magic where it can feel like anything is possible. Possibilities are provided by the well-designed features, and the animations during cut screens and wins only add to the charm. What tops off the ‘anything is possible’ vibe is a rock-solid potential of 21,120 times the stake if the cauldron is mixed just so. By that, of course, it is a matter of getting the Locking Symbol Tumbles working in conjunction with wilds and the Win Multipliers. On a good roll the wins can rack up exponentially. As to the back story; well, Quickspin has helped solve the mystery by dropping the hint ‘Alchemical Precious Baby Monsters’. But, we are still working on that one for now. Still, the reader-response approach is yet another deft touch by the creative team at Quickspin.
Over all, Wild Cauldron is a solid game and good follow up to Golden Glyph. No slot can rest solely on its charm, and Wild Cauldron backs up its personality with gameplay and looks that will appeal to a wide range of players. Dedicated gamblers will appreciate the math model; others will fall for the cute monsters and slick animation – not to mention the high potential. Stir in regents with care though. Wild Cauldron is a game that can be quite unforgiving and at times you can't help but feel there is still some work to do balancing the mathematical model which, at times, just doesn't seem as refined as some of the other titles in the tumble genre offered by Quickspin's competitors.
It might not be as well refined as some of the other titles in the tumble genre, but Wild Cauldron benefits from a solid audiovisual production and massive potential that makes with worth checking out.