This is a game that plays a bit differently to the majority of slots out there. You’ll be able to give yourself a head’s up in order to understand what’s happening when you load it up by reading our full review of it here.
Crystal Forest HD boasts a couple of different features that you’ll want to get your head around before playing it so that you know what you’re looking out for. Here’s an explanation of how they all work:
Tranquil Lake Wilds
The Crystal Forest HD game features a Wild symbol that looks a bit like a Tranquil Lake. It will substitute in for any symbol apart from the Jackpot. The Wild symbols will only appear on the final four reels, so you won’t get any on reel one.
Mixed Pay Lines
Wilds are an obvious way to make winning lines, but there’s another way that helps Crystal Forest HD stand out from the pack. Instead of needing to hit a consecutive series of the same symbols, this game can pay out on Mixed lines of specific ones. These are the Fairy, the Unicorn, the Butterfly, the Ladybug and the Mushroom. Get three or more of them on an active line and you’ll be on the receiving end of a payout that is dictated by the size of your stake.
This is a feature that you’ll have seen on other slot games, perhaps under the description of something like ‘Exploding Reels’. If a line produces a winning group of symbols then, after your winnings have been counted, they’ll disappear to be replaced by new symbols. If new winning lines are formed then you’ll get paid out on them and they will also disappear. This will keep happening until there are no more winning formations.
Cascading Reels Feature Game
There are two reasons why you’ll be hoping that your reels keep winning, disappearing and cascading new symbols in to their place. The first is that you’ll obviously be winning money with every successful line, but the second is that if it happens more than four times consecutively then you’ll trigger the Cascading Reels Feature Game. It works in much the same way as ‘Free Spins’ would work on a more traditional game, with the number of consecutive Cascading Reels you’ve had reflecting the number of Free Plays you get.
If you’ve had four Cascading Reels then you’ll get seven Free Plays, with five equalling ten Free Plays, six meaning fifteen, seven receiving twenty-five and eight or more getting the maximum of fifty Free Plays. If you get some consecutive Cascading Reels during the Feature Game then the corresponding number of Free Plays will be added to your game. A different reel is used during this game, though the active pay lines and stake amount remains the same. Sometimes the Feature Game will be triggered randomly during your playing time, even without the necessity to have consecutive Cascading Reels. If that happens you’ll get seven Free Plays.
Crystal & Toad Stool Jackpots
The Crystal Forest HD boasts two different jackpots of a sort. The first involves landing five toadstools on the play screen at the same time. If you manage that then you’ll get 150x your stake money awarded to you. That’s as nothing compared to what happens if you get five Crystal Jackpot symbols, whereupon you’ll be rewarded with 750 times your line bet.
Gameplay & RTP
As you’d probably expect from a game with ‘HD’ in the title, there’s no questioning the graphics in play with Crystal Forest HD. It’s a brilliantly put together game, looking full of quality from the moment that it opens up. The symbols are rich in detail and look really smart, each of them having some sort of link to the theme of an enchanted forest. The various major symbols like the Fairy, Butterfly and Unicorn speak for themselves, but there’s also the likes of the Wand, the Lantern and the Bottle, which seems to have an interesting creature inside it. The way the game plays is unique, with all of the symbols ‘dropping’ out of the reels as though a trapdoor has been released. New ones then ‘cascade’ in from the top of the reels, slotting into place very smoothly. The game might be graphics heavy but the under-the-hood system is more than able to cope with it all, meaning that it never looks as though anything is blurry or appearing a bit naff. It’s a game that will unquestionably appeal to players that like things that look as though they’re well-made and intelligently thought out.
We’ve already mentioned the theme and it’s worth drawing attention to the fact that it’s consistent throughout. The colour scheme is mainly deep purple, which can be found on the tiles down the lefthand side of the reels that informs you how many Cascading Reels you’ve hit consecutively and how many Free Plays you’re in line for. It’s also present in the outline of the boxes down at the bottom of the screen, ensuring that even the Spin and Paytable buttons fit in to the rest of the game. The reels are sitting in front of the Crystal Forest, complete with the edges of the Crystals themselves peaking over the top of the game board. It all works very nicely, including if you’ve got the sound on when you can hear the noise of the game taking place every time you spin the reels and play the slot. If you wanted to level a criticism at Crystal Forest HD then you could maybe talk about the fact that it takes place inside a smaller amount of screen real estate than most slots. This means that either side of the reels are two white bands, taking you out of the game environment somewhat.
That is a minor criticism, of course, and most of you won’t be bothered by it. It’s certainly worth putting up with for the game’s excellent gameplay, which is enhanced even further by the Return To Player average of 96%. That’s not as good as the 98% that we think is the magic number for the very best slot games, but it’s a decent increase on the 94% that is most common in the majority of slots. If you’re basing the slots that you play on their RTPs then you’re not going to be overly disappointed, just as you won’t be disappointed with Crystal Forest HD if you base your slot selections on the way the games themselves play. It’s a perfect combination as far as we’re concerned, with a relatively small starting stake likely to see you able to play for a good while and enjoy yourself whilst you’re doing so. It’s far from the perfect game, as we’ve already outlined, but a 96% Return To Player average on a game that boasts exceptional graphics is nothing to complain about. Give it a few goes and you’ll likely return to it several times. It’s designed to be much more than just a minor distraction and, on that front, it does its job well.