William Tell & the Wild Arrows: Slot Overview
William Tell might be most famous for shooting an apple on his son's head, but the Swiss folk hero had a deadlier side to him than that. According to legend (and Wikipedia), Tell engaged in a spot of tyrannicide by assassinating a Hapsburg Landvogt, Albrecht Gessler, kickstarting a rebellion and the beginnings of the Swiss Confederacy. He was pretty good at shooting arrows, too, hence why the rebellious chap stars in this online slot from developer iSoftBet called William Tell & the Wild Arrows. Let's notch up an arrow or two and take a look.
Switzerland certainly is a country smothered with stunning vistas. From the rolling hills, rugged mountains, water features, and quaint villages to the cows with bells on them. For William Tell & the Wild Arrows, iSoftBet has pulled in some of these things, and the view is quite inspiring without exactly breaking the sublimity meter. Perhaps it's because the realisation that we were getting into another one of these run-of-the-mill Hold&Win slots with a distinctly run-of-the-mill set of prizes indicated above the reels was a bit of a buzzkill.
Should notching up still be an attractive proposal, wannabe William Tells can do so on any device, picking a stake of 25 p/c to £/€25 per spin. When playing the game normally, the theoretical RTP clocks in at 96%, whereas those who are able to buy the bonus game can do so for 60x the bet and enjoy a raised return value of 96.4%. Mathematically speaking, William Tell is a medium/high variance slot played on a 5-reel, 3-row gaming area with 25 paylines for lining up wins along.
Winning combinations can be formed of three to five of a kind, and consist of William as the most valuable symbol, followed by what could be Gessler, then a lady character, and a soldier as the premiums, then two scenes of nature and a crossbow as the mids, before getting Ace down to Jack as the low pays. Hitting a five-of-a-kind winning combo pays 1-2 times the stake for the royals, 2.4 to 4 times the bet for the mid-pays, and 6 to 16x for the highs. Wild symbols help complete winning paylines by substituting for any of the regular pay symbols.
William Tell & the Wild Arrows: Slot Features
The centrepiece of William Tell & the Wild Arrows is its Hold&Win round, which is joined by a couple of random modifiers popping up in the base game.
William's Wild Arrow
At the end of any main game spin, William's Wild Arrow can randomly trigger. When this modifier is activated, up to 5 symbols are transformed into wild symbols.
At the start of any main game spin, Gessler's Greed may randomly trigger. When it does, all low-pay J, Q, K, and A symbols are removed from the reels.
Hold & Win Feature
The final symbol of note is the Respin symbol. Landing at least 5 of them triggers the William Tell & the Wild Arrows Hold & Win feature. The triggering symbols are carried over to the bonus round, where they are locked in place, displaying a bet multiplier. Once underway, 3 respins are awarded, and if new Respin symbols hit, they are locked in place and reset the spin count back to 3. Respin symbols can have values of 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 8x, 10x, 15x, 20x, 50x, or 100x.
If during the bonus, an arrow hits one of the empty grid spaces, it divides it into four. This is called Split Zone, and means up to 4 Respin symbols can land where once only one could before. If the arrow hits a Respin symbol, the symbol is split into 4 instances possessing the same value as the original symbol. It counts as a winning spin if Respin symbols are hit, meaning the spin count returns to 3, but not if an empty space is split. It is possible to land Special Prize Respin symbols as well; these have values of 20x, 50x, or 100x for the Minor, Major, and Grand, respectively.
William Tell & the Wild Arrows: Slot Verdict
This really is bread-and-butter stuff for iSoftBet. The studio has so much experience making games like this you get the feeling the studio could have designed William Tell & the Wild Arrows with one hand tied behind its back. In fact, the gameplay feels so familiar there were suspicions it might have been a clone. Perhaps if the game had been more exciting, more motivation might have been created to verify whether William Tell & the Wild Arrows was or not.
Then again, it's got the Split Zone, the division feature during its Hold&Win phase when arrows hit the grid. This feels somewhat new. Split Zone has a slight xSplit, Megaclusters whiff about it, though nowhere near as sophisticated nor as broadly intriguing as those other two mechanics were. The feature is quite rudimentary, really – an arrow hits a blank space, it becomes four mini-blank spaces, or, an arrow hits a Respin symbol, it becomes four Respin symbols. For sure, using it adds a dash of novelty to a game that is not exactly dripping with innovation or much in the way of hugely exciting bits.
When you think of heroes shooting arrows in slots, there's a good chance Robin Hood is the first character which pops to mind, so it is nice to see a studio branch out and go with someone else for a change. It's too bad iSoftBet couldn't have branched out further with the gameplay as well while they were at it. Had the team done so, William Tell & the Wild Arrows might have felt like a more original production, maybe not as headline-grabbing as a marksman hitting an apple on his son's head, but somewhat original. As it stands, William Tell & the Wild Arrows came across as fun for a bit, but hardly the sort of Hold&Win release that taxed iSoftBet's design capabilities.
William Tell & the Wild Arrows provides the sort of gaming that may struggle to quicken the pulse of any but the most ardent Hold&Win stalwarts.