Wild Hike: Slot Overview
The great outdoors is a calling in Wild Hike, an online slot from software provider Relax Gaming. Nature slots abound, no need to labour the point, but rarely is the emphasis so explicitly on hiking in them. Trust the creative minds at Relax Gaming to come up with that angle. However, Wild Hike is not a colossally creative game when taken as a whole, as the features are relatively unoriginal for a Relax Gaming production. If the lower-than-usual novelty for this studio and a gaggle of dangerous animals isn't putting you off the hike, why not lace up, and let's take a look?
It actually appears as though the day's hike has been done when Wild Hike hits the screen. The action takes place at night time, while a campfire crackles in a woody spot, where marshmallows or meat or whatever foodstuffs take your fancy can be toasted. It's a secluded spot, ideal for getting away from the rat race, forgetting about the 9 to 5 for a bit, and kicking back with nature. Trigger free spins, and the camera pans upwards, above the treetops to a star-studded night sky. Clearly, we are a long way from 'civilization', as evidenced by the bracing absence of light pollution.
Wild Hike might not be one of Relax Gaming's flagship releases, far from it actually, but that doesn't stop it from boasting a respectable set of numbers. It will suit players who prefer highly volatile slot machines, a Relax Gaming speciality really, and produces a different return value depending on how you approach the game. When regularly betting 10 p/c to $/€50 per spin, the RTP clocks in at 96.09%, rising to 96.51% when buying standard free spins or 96.54% for Wild Free Spins. Costs and details will be covered soon on these.
First is Wild Hike's grid set-up, which consists of 6 reels, 4 rows of symbols and 4,096 ways to win. Landing identical symbols across at least three adjacent reels, starting from the left, creates a winning way and triggers a payout. Payouts vary from 1x the bet for hitting six of the 10-A card royals or up to 1.8-10 times the stake for six owls, deer, boar, bears, or wolves. Present on the four central reels are howling wolf wild symbols, which replace any regular pay symbol as per usual.
Wild Hike: Slot Features
What's not as common as the features used in this game, however, is that when wilds land on reels 3 or 4, they become Expanding Wilds. These wilds expand to cover their entire reel and trigger a Re-spin. Expanding Wilds also have multipliers which increase by +1 on each consecutive Re-spin. Re-spins continue as long as there is a win, and Expanding Wilds remain sticky throughout them – scatters are also sticky during Re-spins, as well. Multipliers on both Expanding Wilds multiply each other when applied to a win. Multipliers reset in the base game when Re-spins end.
Landing 3 or 4 scatter symbols awards 7 or 10 free spins, respectively. During free spins, when multipliers are created via the Expanding Wilds/Re-spins feature, they remain saved until the round ends. The multiplier values are displayed above the third and fourth reels when no Expanding Wilds are in view. Each scatter landing during the bonus round awards +1 additional free spin. If free spins are activated from a Re-spin round, any multipliers achieved from Re-spins are carried over to the free spins round.
When buying free spins, players get two options to choose from. One is a regular free spins round, triggered by 3 or 4 scatters for the cost of 75x the bet. The second is Wild Free spins, costing 150x the bet. This one is also triggered by 3 or 4 scatters, but the difference is that at least one win is guaranteed on double Expanding Wilds.
Wild Hike: Slot Verdict
A few clicks on the interwebs was all it took to find out that hiking is the most popular outdoor activity in the United States and no doubt highly popular in other parts of the world, too. The prevalence of outdoor nature slots comes as no surprise then, though few are as explicitly linked to the activity of hiking. Not that Wild Hike is either, really, it feels closer to a camping slot than a hiking one, but yeah, we might be splitting hairs with this train of thought. Let's leave the theme for now and concentrate on Wild Hike's action side of things instead.
As for gaming, Wild Hike is not one of Relax Gaming's trailblazers. Quite often in the past, the studio has based a slot around a fairly simple concept, like, say, Wild Chapo 2, for example, but has done so in an innovative way. Wild Hike, not so much, since its Expanding Wilds/increasing multiplier bits saw the light of day in the Expanding Wild free spins option in Iron Bank - alongside a number of other features. Like Iron Bank, the mechanic has the ability to get wild and crazy, complemented by both the ways to win pay system and the fact Expanded Wild multipliers multiply each other. Potentially so much so that Wild Hike employs a win cap of 20,000x the bet, and since Relax Gaming slots have a reputation of crushing their max wins, there's little to no doubt Wild Hike has the firepower to do so as well.
Witnessing slots delivering their full potential is something of a numbers game, though, meaning theoretically, the more people who play them, the greater the chances of something special happening. For example, paradigm shifters like Money Train 3 have punters lining up to have a go. By comparison, while Wild Hike is technically sound, it is far from being a major Relax Gaming stand-out, so a question mark hangs over how popular it will end up being.
Wild Hike may be something of a placeholder slot by Relax Gaming standards, but one which can get pretty wild in terms of both theme and reel-bound action.