The Wild Chase is a new slot from Quickspin that shares its theme with games like NetEnt’s Mega Fortune, or perhaps Quickfire’s High Society. It follows a conventional 5 reel, 25 payline design but bakes it with an unconventional ‘conman’, white collar crime, jet set, ‘catch me if you can’ style theme. To be honest I have spent the best part of 30minutes trying to research and characterise this theme and the best I can do is to suggest you go watch the TV show ‘the Hustle’ [ED – The British version!] or try and imagine an amalgamation between The Sting, Ocean’s Eleven, and Casino Royale. Still not there? No neither am I to be honest.
Essentially the theme of the game is a band of high class bandits looking for a big score. The symbols are either the bandits themselves, or jewels, or money, with the exception of a car key, which is presumably a key to a multi-million Euro car. The scatter symbol is a vault symbol, which in and of itself is neither jewels, nor money, but vaults are definitely associated with both. The backdrop of the game is a beach resort city during the base game.
If during a game round you accumulate 3 scattered vault symbols, then the celebration screen to signify the start of the free spin bonus, is that our gang of thieves has unlocked a bullion vault. The backdrop during free spins is a night scene at an expressway in different coastal city from the one for the base game.
All 4 bandits in the gang look like prime specimens. In fact, they look so well groomed, well dressed, and physically appealing that one imagines that they are masters of their craft. The lower paying symbols are not presented in a very ornate way. The diamonds look okay, but the watch does not look like it fits in well with the rest of the theme, because it doesn’t look like it would set someone back an annual salary’s worth.
The backdrops for the base game and the free games change to look blurry as though you are moving forward fast when the game is cascading, which means your win is being improved. After the improvements to the win finish, should the win be large enough, a celebration screen appears to show the player his, or her large win amount. At the conclusion of the bonus, the player is treated to a scene with a yacht, and then the size of the win before returning to the base game.
The rules of the game are simple. Although the player won’t figure out the game by simply looking at the board, everything is easy to understand once you play it and see the features in action. The player must play all the paylines. All the paying combinations must occur on one of the 25 paylines. When winning combinations occur, the symbols comprising these combinations lock, and the reels respin replacing the non participating symbols with new symbols. If there is an improvement to the player’s combination, the reels keep spinning, until a spin yields no improvement. At that point, the board is evaluated, and the player is paid. One quirk was that even-though the game is 5 reels, the symbols spin independently giving the impression there are 15 reels. This makes sense when you factor in the re-spin as possibly occurs because it adds complexity in the build…But it just feels a little weird on the first spin.
The top of the board has 4 multiplier values, all faded out at the beginning of a spin. These multipliers are: 2, 3, 4 and 5. When a wild participates in a winning combination, it locks alongside the remaining winning symbols, and the first multiplier (2) is lit up. For each wild that participates in a winning combination, the multiplier is incremented once, until it reaches 5. When the round ends, all the awards are multiplied by the multiplier.
No cascading game would be complete without free games, and The Wild Chase does not fail to deliver. When in the base game the player receives 3 scattered vault symbols, ten free spins are awarded. You don’t need to get the three scatters all at once. You just need to get a total of 3 during the cascades before the round finishes. Free spins cannot be re-triggered. During free spins, a wild is placed on the board while the reels spin. So, the player is guaranteed to have at least one wild on the board on every free spin. If this wild ends up participating in a winning combination, it will increment the multiplier. Aside from the lack of scatter symbols, the guaranteed wild, and the backdrop, free spins follow the same rules as the base game.
I played 500 games at 1 Euro per game. I ended the session down 173.64 Euros which meant that the RTP for the play-through session at a measly 65.3% compared to the published RTP of 96… The reality is that the game never felt like it was going to move too afar away from this point which would probably mean a relatively low standard deviation. My largest single spin win was 26.80 times my bet. I triggered free games 2 times. This means that free games were a bit more elusive than I expected them to be. During free spins, the free wild is nice, in that it helps to make the wins more frequent, but as can be seen from my largest win from free games, the help given by the free wild is limited.
|# Free Spin Session||Wins|
For each game I was playing €1. I win more than 5 times my bet 14 times, and the largest of these wins was 26.80 times my bet. Overall, my largest win was 35.92 times my bet, but this win was the total from 1 of 2 free spin sessions. This means that I was losing 34 cents per game on average.
I never received a combination multiplied by 4, or 5, which leads me to believe that the game is quite volatile. That is to say, a large portion of the RTP comes from very rare large wins which based on the play session triggers the bonus on average ~1/250 spins. The long dry spells, extenuated by the re-spin happening every ~1 /3 spins on average gives further credence to my suspicion that the game is highly volatile. As for the wins, most of them were smaller than the amount I wagered, so, I was losing on those spins, just not the wager in its entirety.
As always, playing a new game has its charm. I enjoyed figuring out the rules but the long dry spells really get tiring. It is also annoying that the wins are shown as a single cumulative win, as opposed to an itemised win by payline. The free spin trigger has the different behaviour that rather than locking for the cascade phase alongside the line symbols, it gets counted, and the count saved for the duration of the cascades. If 3 scatters are accumulated during one round, the free spin bonus is triggered.
The 5 of a kind awards did take place in my session, with surprising frequency, but a winning screen required lots of awards to match the amount bet.
This game is a new presentation on an old concept. The cascades add an element of excitement, as the player knows an award is coming, and each cascade contributes a little bit to the award. The 5 of a kind awards did take place in my session, with surprising frequency, but a winning screen required lots of awards to match the amount bet. Also the high volatility of the game made for long dry spells that create boredom.