Wild 1: Slot Overview
Okay, this is starting to get a bit spooky; here we've got another software provider taking players into a post-apocalyptic world. There's been a run of these sorts of games lately, so much so it makes you wonder… Is there something these providers know they aren't letting on? Or, conspiracy theorists, are they trying to alert the wider community in a subtle way via their games? Hiding in plain sight, as it were. Maybe yes, maybe no. What's clear is that for Peter & Sons' slot Wild 1, players are transported to a world of the future, and as is usually the case, something has gone wrong and reduced the human race to a base survivalist state.
In Wild 1, this black swan event is called 'the grand collapse', and as far as dystopian scenarios go, that is a great name, setting just the right tone. In P&S's vision of the future, there's talk about new wars being fought on ancient roads, and old machines becoming gods of the new era, and such like. This means players get a 6x4, 4,096 ways game grid set in a dusty old junkyard full of scrapped cars. Next to the reels is a grizzly bearded, turquoise skinned dude jammin' on a 'geetar', and a rock-heavy soundtrack giving off a honky tonk, cruising through the desert vibe. Wild 1's mood might be apocalyptic, but this is Peter & Sons, so everything is fully cartoon looking, coming across more floppy than frightening.
Peter & Sons has made joining the apocalypse possible on any device, where participants can select stakes of 20 p/c to £/€50 per spin. Tipping the scales at 96%, RTP is comfortably average, while hits come at a frequency of 26.79% - three to five matching symbols are required to do so. The action unfolds in a volatile manner, and though potential sounds quite high, what was achieved in simulated spins does cut anticipation down a notch or two - we'll get to it soon.
For now, a look over the paytable, which begins with spades, clubs, diamonds, crosses, and hearts as the low pays, joined by five characters on hot-rod symbols. Landing a six of a kind winning combination pays 0.3 to 0.5 times the stake for the low pays, or 0.8 to 3 times the stake for the highs. A variety of wilds appear in the game, mostly in conjunction with the game's features; let's take a look.
Wild 1: Slot Features
Wild 1 is built around a signature Wild Reel, running along the top of the main grid, dropping down various wild symbols via the cascade feature. On each spin, the Wild Reel can randomly display Wilds, Unbreakable Wilds, Expanding Wilds, blank spaces, and Multiplier Wilds, depending on which tier is currently active.
The cascade feature removes winning combinations from the reels, and new symbols fall down to fill in the gaps, potentially creating consecutive wins. What's important to know is that Wild symbols on the Wild Reel fall into gaps beneath them when a cascade occurs before regular symbols on the main reels do so.
When 2 scatters are in view at the end of a cascade sequence, they explode, removing symbols in a 3x3 block, thereby triggering another cascade. Also, after 2 Bomb triggers have occurred, players move up a tier:
- Tier 0 – Wild Reel can have Wilds or blanks.
- Tier 1 – Wild Reel can have Wilds, Multiplier Wilds, and blanks.
- Tier 2 – Wild Reel can have Wilds, Unbreakable Wilds, Multiplier Wilds, and blanks.
- Tier 3 – Wild Reel can have Wilds, Unbreakable Wilds, Expanding Wilds, Wild Multipliers, and blanks.
With a name like Wild 1, expect to bump into several wild types – all are able to substitute for any paying symbols. Regular wilds do what they say on the tin, Expanding Wilds expand to cover the full reel, and Unbreakable Wilds remain on the reels until cascades are over. Wilds with multipliers can have values of up to x10 and multiply any win they participate in.
Entry to the bonus round occurs when 3 scatters land, awarding 10 free spins. Each additional scatter in view awards +1 free spin. In free spins, the Wild Reel becomes Superpowered, meaning a greater frequency of wild symbols appear. Landing 1 scatter awards an extra free spin, 2 scatters trigger the Bomb feature, and 3 or more scatters award +10 free spins.
Wild 1: Slot Verdict
There's no denying the unique appearance, and the sounds are pretty rockin', but Wild 1 didn't initially grab us as tightly as Peter & Sons' slots usually do. There was something a bit thin about the studio's post-apocalyptic future. Sure, P&S has deliberately gone for a lighter-hearted, jovial representation of the fall of civilisation, or as they cleverly put it, the grand collapse. Like Kaiser's bobbing around in no man's land irreverent attitude, though, it does mean Wild 1 lacks the visceral gut-punch found in similarly themed games like Cash Truck, Nitropolis 3, or Mayhem, by comparison.
Then again, this is Peter & Sons; they prefer to staunchly do their own thing rather than follow the pack. Part of doing their own thing at the moment appears to be experimenting with Wild Reel type concepts, which had a similar showing in Valkyries. It didn't take long to rack up enough Bomb triggers to advance through the tiers, thereby adding more Wild types to the Wild Reel. So much so that the tier system felt a little superfluous, though it might give some players the incentive to power on.
What struck us was the low potency feel of the game as a whole. This was partly because P&S's end of the world scenario felt so easygoing, less chaotically energetic than other, stronger slots in this category. Cascades and Wild Reel symbol drops were plentiful yet rarely produced much of note. Even the promo videos accompanying the game were surprisingly unexciting. You'd expect a studio to use them to showcase something special, the game's max win perhaps, but no, they were pretty low key. While we're talking about max win, the paytable mentions winning over 10,000x, though digging deeper into the rules revealed that over the course of one billion simulated spins, a 5,000x result was achieved once.
Of course, figures aren't everything, and Wild 1's numbers are acceptably on par, yet they weren't inspirational either for some reason, perhaps because the game we'd previously reviewed (Remember Gulag) had much higher potential and a far more favourable max win probability. Still, cold, emotionless numbers don't stop Wild 1 from being a playfully unique post-apocalyptic experience. Yet, in the end, Wild 1 did kind of feel like one of Peter & Sons' less desirable games.
Wild 1 is as unique looking as ever and possesses some interesting gameplay, but a lack of edge makes it less immersive than its stronger post-apocalyptic slot competitors.