Thunderstruck II is a very visually appealing game. It has 5 reels, and you play all 243 ways. The theme for the game is the Norse religion, and all the symbols stay true to the theme. The major symbols all have very nicely done animations when you make a winning combination with them. The minor symbols just flash on and off when you get a winning combination. The game offers 4 different types of free games. In my case, all 4 were enabled when I triggered, but they are not supposed to be enabled until you have triggered the free games enough times. I did not get to see all the 4 different types of free games, because I did not play enough games to trigger the free games 4 times. If I had an account with the online casino offering this game, I would need to trigger 5 times in order to even see the second option of free games. The third option for free games is enabled upon triggering the bonus 10 times, and the fourth option is enabled after the 15th time the bonus is triggered. You have to invest a lot of time and money into this game in order to even have a chance at seeing the 4th type of free games.
The screen of this game is a very simple screen, that is supposed to be cast on a blue stone. The minor symbols look like they are sculpted from the stone. The major symbols are very elaborate pictures that come to life when you get a winning combination. You can get reel full of wilds randomly on a spin. When you trigger this feature, the sky becomes overcast, Thor drops down onto the screen, and awards you with 1 to 5 reels full of wilds. The help screens say that when this feature occurs, you cannot trigger free games. This leads me to the conclusion that they are using a different set of reels when the feature is triggered than they use in a normal game. This is not my preference, but it is what it is. One thing I found especially appealing about this game is that the wins are spread out. By wins, I am not referring to games games where I would bet 300 cents, and then “win” 2 cents back. Somehow, those games don’t make me feel like I won anything. No, this game gave true winners. The winners didn’t feel anti climactic coming only after a litany of losing games. Although I did get many more losing games than I did winning games, I found I spent much of my time on the positive side of the winnings. I triggered the free spins 3 times, which is a very respectable trigger rate.
The features of this game include the Wild Storm, in which the sky becomes overcast, and Thor drops down to award the player some wild reels. I triggered this feature twice. The more appealing features are the free games. As I mentioned before, there are 4 different types, but I only got to play 3. The first one that is enabled from the very first time you trigger the bonus is the Valkyrie free games. In this variation, the player is awarded 10 free games, each one having a 5x multiplier. The help screens say that these free games can be retriggered, so retriggers must go by the same rules as the base game.
Although I did get many more losing games than I did winning games, I found I spent much of my time on the positive side of the winnings
The second variation of the free games is enabled after free games have been triggered 5 times. I am not sure if retriggers count as triggers. In the second variation of the free games, the player receives 15 free games where there is a special wild symbol that is only available on reel 3 which transforms other symbols to wilds. Although you can retrigger, the number of games that you get from a retrigger is different from the number of games awarded from the base game. I wish I could describe how exciting it is to get the special wild, but in my session, I did not see the special wild at all during my free games. The reels during these free games spin in an unusual way. This is a nice departure from the norm.
For the third type of free games, the player receives 20 free spins. During the free spins, one, or two ravens may award wilds with multipliers. The animation for the ravens is very well done. The help screens make no mention of retriggers, but the scatter symbol is available on the reels. So, I am not sure what happens if you get 3 or more scatters during these free games. You need to trigger the free games 10 times before these free games are enabled.
The first time I triggered the free spins, I chose to play the first option of the free games. I won 147.8 times my original bet, which is a very nice win. The second time I triggered the free games, I chose the second option. This time I won only 4.5 times my bet. The third, and final time I triggered free games, I chose the third option, and this time, I won 43 times my bet. I also triggered the Wild Storm bonus twice. The first time I triggered it, I just got my bet back. The second time I triggered it, I got 9.6 times my bet. The observed trigger rate for free spins is 1 spin every 167, and the observed trigger rate for the Wild Storm bonus was 1 spin every 250.
|Thunderstruck II Bonus Results|
|Bonus||Resultant Win (as multiple)|
|Freespin – Valkyrie||147.8|
|Freespin – Loki||4.5|
|Freespin – Odin||43|
|Wild Storm 1||0|
|Wild Storm 2||9.6|
The feel I got from this game is that it is well balanced. The RTP of the game is not so heavily weighted towards the bonuses that the base game is comprised of a cavalcade of losing positions. I triggered the bonuses with a good frequency, and I managed some impressive wins from some of the triggers. Even the two triggers that were disappointments returned me at least my bet. I also observed that I did not spend all of my time in the red. Though, I saw no advertisements on what the return of the paytable was. So it is possible I was playing on a paytable that is meant to entice me to play for real money.
My biggest bone to pick with this game is that the help screens seem incomplete to me. Not just because, as mentioned above, I don’t know whether or not I can retrigger free games with some of the variations. I think this needs to be explicit. Also, there is a feature, which has a description displayed prominently when you start the game that tells you that when you achieve a winning combination, that combination turns to gold on your paytable. This is to help you to keep track of the combinations you have achieved. After you click the “Okay” on this announcement, it goes away, and you can continue playing. If at some point later, you are wondering how much each symbol pays, and you go check the paytable, you will see that some of the awards are blue, and some are gold. That’s because of the feature, so if you took the time to read the advertisement, and remembered what it said, props to you. If you are like me, you will wonder why the pays on the paytable have two different colours, and there is no description anywhere explaining on that screen, why there are two different colours for the pays.
My next complaint is the Loki free games bonus. As I mentioned, it has a special wild that turns other symbols into wilds. Well, in my case, I never saw the special wild appear. I played my 15 free games, and was left to wonder what would have happened had I gotten to see the feature. Lastly, I think that in 500 games you should get to see at least the 3 of a kind of every symbol. In my case, I never saw three of a kind wilds in my session. For the last type of free games, the player is awarded 25 free games with rolling reels. I never got to play this version of the free games, and the help screens make no explanation of what “rolling reels” are. Judging from the phrase “Rolling reels can award multiple consecutive wins”, I assume this means that symbols participating in winning combinations disappear from the screen, the symbols above those that disappeared drop, and the empty spaces are filled with new symbols. Each time a win happens, a multiplier is increased up to a maximum of 5. Once again, the help screens make no mention of retriggers. To enable these free games, you must trigger free games 15 times.