Our ability to recognize patterns where none exist is a fascinating aspect of the human mind. This phenomenon, which includes spotting animal forms in clouds or faces in a bush, has a name: pareidolia. The difference between a win and a loss in online slots often comes down to the player’s ability to recognize true patterns. Luckily, slot patterns like clusters or win lines are quite simple, at least until certain developers begin chopping things up, a.k.a. Nolimit City. This time, however, it’s Pragmatic Play’s chance to throw some curveballs with their game North Guardians, which has a wild symbol pattern-based element.
We use the term “unusual” instead of “unique” since the studio only recently employed the same idea—random chaotic patterns—in Eye of Cleopatra. When a device’s lights went on, it revealed where wild symbols would be put. North Guardians is comparable yet performs in somewhat different ways due to minor adjustments. The Wild Pattern Wheel is the name of the feature in question, and it may be engaged at any moment during gameplay, though its full potential will be on display during free spins.
The action is driven by a Viking theme, which Pragmatic Play presents very well. The images aren’t anything groundbreaking, but the combination of the carved-frame gaming board, the lighting braziers, and the icy outside environment is suitably Viking. The game relies on its two main protagonists, rather than a swarm of berserkers, and succeeds admirably because of this.
Played on a 5×5 grid with 50 fixed paylines, North Guardians is an extremely unpredictable slot machine. The RTP might vary from one operator’s settings to the next, with the 96.38% version being the most generous. It’s interesting to note that purchasing free spins reduces the return value to 96.29% from 100%. Bets start at 50 pence each spin and go all the way up to £/€100.
On the reels, you’ll find eleven different standard pay symbols, all of which pay from left to right, beginning with the leftmost reel. Five runic items symbolize the low-value symbols and are worth exactly 0.48 to 0.8 times the investment, whereas five axes, horseshoes, horns, or coins are valued between 1.2 and 3.6 times the stake for five of a type. Finally, a five-of-a-kind win with either the female or male Viking premium symbol will net you 6-10 times your wager. The Odin-like wild can appear in any position and stands in for other normal pay symbols. When five wilds appear on an active payline, the reward is 15 times the initial wager.
Slot Functions of the North Protectors
Let’s begin with North Guardian’s crown jewel, the Wild Pattern Wheel. On the primary grid beneath the standard symbols, the two sides of a’marking rectangle’ emerge in a different location with each spin in the base game. The wheel next to the reels rotates when both halves land in the same place. If it lands on “Level Up,” it spins again at the following level; otherwise, it either stops at a pattern or continues spinning. Wild symbols are added to the game board in a manner determined by the spin of the wheel. The higher the difficulty, the more impressive the pattern. There are five tiers, and if you are lucky, the wild symbols will cover the entire screen.
When 3, 4, or 5 scatters appear, the player receives 5 free games and a payout equal to 2, 10, or 100 times their initial wager. The Wild Pattern Wheel is in play on every bonus round spin. The wheel always begins at level 1 and does not reset after a Level Up outcome. Additionally, +2 extra free spins are awarded if a player advances to Levels 2, 3, or 4. At the fifth level, you’ll receive one extra free spin.
Pay for Extra Spins
When this choice is available, players can immediately access the game’s primary feature by clicking the bonus buy button. As was noted before, doing so reduces RTP by 0.11% and costs 100 times the entire stake.
Judgment for the Slot, North Guardians
Not much time has elapsed since we reviewed Eye of Cleopatra, and based on the similarities between the two games, we suspect they were both developed simultaneously. North Guardians seemed a lot more bonus round centered than the prior game, which had more dispersed excitement. Since the normal symbols didn’t present much of a challenge, it was simple to ignore them in favor of the moving half of the rectangle. The Wild Pattern Reel initially yielded little results due to the fact that the rectangle only came together twice in the first couple of hundred spins.
I’m not claiming that wonderful things never happen in the main game; I’m just saying that the free spins had a lot more going on. They may be quite black and white, once again. There isn’t much room for mistake after the first five spins, so let’s hope that the Wild Pattern Wheel is feeling kind and produces several strong wild patterns in beneficial spots around the board. It’s a bonus game where the potential for full-screen wilds increases exponentially the farther you advance through the levels, up to a maximum of Level 5. That’s worth 750 times your wager, but North Guardians might win you up to five times your money. If your bonus round payment reaches this amount, you will lose any remaining free spins.
Overall, North Guardians is an engaging pattern-based game that, in the proper hands, could be very well received. Unlocking higher levels with their many wild symbols has the potential to be quite a journey, but it may be more challenging to get North Guardians’ better moments.