Wild Gambler is an interesting slot with a theme based around the wildlife of Africa. There are a couple of fun things about the game that sets it apart from most of the others out there, which you can read about in full if you check out our in-depth review.
There are a couple of different special features that you’ll come across when playing Wild Gambler, so read about them here and then you’ll know what you’re doing if they’re activated once you’ve pressed ‘Spin’:
The Lion Wild can land anywhere on your reels and will substitute in for any of the symbols on the board. That obviously means that a losing line will become a winning one thanks to the presence of the Lion. The Wild spins can also be a win in and of themselves, if there are five of them in a line.
Lock & Spin Wilds
The fun of the Lion Wilds doesn’t just end with them helping to form winning lines, though. Wild Gambler also has another feature, whereby you can choose to Lock the Wilds in place before Spinning the reels again. This increases the chance of you hitting a winning line, so the cost of the spin goes up accordingly. If you want to play with your Wilds Locked then make sure you press the ‘Lock & Spin’ button rather than the normal ‘Spin’ one. The price of each spin will be displayed alongside the relevant symbol.
Lock & Spin Wilds – Play It your Way
There’s one more variation of the Wilds Feature that we need to tell you about, which is the ability to ‘Play It Your Way’. You can click any symbol in the entire board and turn it into a Wild. This means that you can come up with your own pattern of play and play with the same Wilds time and again. You can either play with Auto-Locking Wilds, whereby new Wilds be locked along with the others each time they arrive on the screen, or you can choose to disable this and the only Wilds will be the ones you’ve selected.
Meerkat Free Spins
At any point during the game between one and five Meerkats can appear on the reels. If it’s all five of them then you’re in luck – you’re about to receive eight Free Spins, denoted by the fact that they’ll be holding letters that spell out ‘Bonus’. The number of Free Spins is always eight, regardless of anything else. During the Free Spins Wilds will be locked in place, allowing for more and more of them to appear during the the bonus game.
Gameplay & RTP
If you’ve played Wild Gambler, Arctic Adventure before then you’ll already have a really good idea of what Wild Gambler entails; after all, it’s essentially exactly the same game but this one is set in Africa rather than the Arctic. The Return To Player average here is 97%, which is very decent indeed. If there was a casino game that saw the House have an edge of 3% then it would be very popular indeed. Blackjack has about that, for example, with roulette being closer to 5%. All told, then, there’s plenty to like about the RTP average of Wild Gambler. Is that enough to get you to play the slot? That depends entirely on how important or otherwise you think an RTP average is. You’re not going to find a whole heap of games out there that boast higher than 97%, though are a few that come in at around 98%. Generally speaking you’ll be looking at closer to 94%, making this a very nice amount indeed. Yet only a few of you will allow the Return To Player average to dictate whether or not you engage with a game, whilst the rest of you are far more interested in how good the gameplay is. So how good is it?
On that front we don’t think you’re going to be disappointed at all. Let’s start by looking at the theming of the slot, which is actually one of the best on the Virtue Fusion network. The reels sit in front of a barren and dry looking African landscape, with the only greenery you’ll be able to spot coming from the leaves on the trees. The reels themselves are located inside a rectangle made out of wooden branches and tied together with rope, suggestive of a game made by explorers who’ve been caught bored on a Safari or something. Yet it’s the little touches that make this such a classic, like the use of rocks for the ‘Spin’, ‘Lock & Spin’ and ‘Options’ button or the bare skull that you’ll find the Pay Table information through. Even the pay lines are made out of colourful rocks wrapped with rope. The symbols, meanwhile, are mostly made up of animals you’d expect to see in an African desert, like Zebras, Rhinos, Leopards and others. The 10, J, Q, K and A symbols are made up of animal print too, finishing off an already excellently worked out theme.
Ultimately, though, neither the theme nor the Return To Player average will decide whether or not most players return to a game more than once. The only thing that will do that is how good the gameplay is, which is why we like Wild Gambler as much as we do. The reels spin nice and cleanly before landing solidly, meaning that the graphics aren’t so heavy that system can’t cope with what’s being asked of it. The mini-games are also good fun, with the Lock & Spin mode allowing you a really good opportunity to win on a regular basis. Play It Your Way is a little bit like people who like to select the same lottery numbers every week, setting a pattern for the Wilds and seeing if it pays off – literally. It’s the Meerkats that make the whole thing that little bit more amusing than you’ll find with most slots. If you see less than five then they’ll look around for their mates, disappearing back down again if not enough of them are there to spell the word ‘Bonus’. It’s just one small part of the game that adds up to a whole that’s really good fun. Add in the decent RTP average and you’re talking about a game that is well worth spending a bit of time playing.