Dark Vortex is a video slot from Yggdrasil Gaming, originally released in October 2018. The game has 5 reels and between 243 and 3,125 ways to win. You’ll be able to play this fantastic looking slots with its interesting features at online casinos such as ComeOn!, YoYo or Shadowbet.
The theme of Dark Vortex is rather appropriate for October: monsters, demons and dark magic. The setting looks to be a sort of gate into hell. It is framed by demonic carvings and on each side of the ‘entrance’ are stacks of magic books. Candles are scattered here and there. The soundtrack is a quiet piano, though added effects when the reels are rushing past remind us more of screams you might hear in hell.
This is certainly one of the best-looking and most well-designed slots Yggdrasil Gaming has ever delivered and we sometimes don’t know how they manage to keep outdoing themselves.
On the reels you’ll find various monsters. The red one, who looks mostly like the devil himself, offers up 6x our stake in winnings for a combination of 5-of-a-kind. The purple monster gives us 4x in such a combination as does the green one. The blue one with the many eyes and the horrible rat each give us 3x our bet for a 5-of-kind win.
Additionally, we find five magic books on the reels, which all have a tendency to bite when they become part of a winning combination.
Special symbols are the golden amulet, which can be considered the scatter here, and the pink and blue orbs that you can collect during the Vortex feature to add to your wilds and potential spins, if you manage to trigger the free spins.
There’s a golden wild symbol as well, but it only appears during the Vortex and Free Spins feature.
As already mentioned, this game comes with a standard 243 ways to win. But we have not mentioned yet, that this slot actually pays both ways: winning combinations of three matching symbols on adjacent reels from right to left as well as from left to right. We can’t think of another slot with 243 ways to win that pays both ways, which makes this one unique.
Additionally, when the Vortex feature hits, the reels are expanded to offer up 5 rows of symbols instead of three. Depending on how many Vortex symbols align to become part of the Vortex, you get between 2 and 5 reels that are five rows high and thus end up with between 675 to 3,125 ways to win – all both ways!
Another unique feature of Dark Vortex is the option to buy the free spins. You can do so for 80x your stake, if you have enough coins available.
There are two bonus features for you to play when spinning the reels on Dark Vortex: the Vortex Feature and the Free Spins. Here’s what to expect:
Vortex Feature – Any two golden bonus symbols that align on two adjacent reels anywhere will trigger the Vortex. When that happens, the reels that held the bonus symbols will expand to five symbols and wilds are added as well. You start the Vortex feature of with three spins, if you triggered it with two bonus symbols. Plus, blue and pink orbs appear randomly on the reels and are added to the counter on the left and right side, respectively. They determine how many extra spins and stacked wilds you might get should you trigger the free spins. Further adjacent bonus symbols to the already existing Vortex reels will expand the reels and you will get two additional Vortex spins. If you manage to expand the Vortex covering all five reels, you will activate the free spins.
Free Spins – You can either trigger them as described above, or you buy a round of free spins, if you have the coins. Either way, first you get to pick among a stack of cards to have stacked wilds added to the reels and then you get to pick among five more cards how many free spins you will receive. If you have triggered the feature through the Vortex spins, any additional wilds and spins you have collected, will be added to the spins and wilds you received because of the cards. Initially, you can get between 2 and 10 stacked wilds, and between 6 and 20 free spins. The free spins will then play through automatically on the 5×5 reels with 3,125 ways to win both ways.
The theoretical RTP (Return to Player) of Dark Vortex is 96.5 to 97%, depending on how many ways to win you play with. That is excellent value either way, but the game is quite volatile. Don’t expect huge wins and don’t expect them often. They are possible, though, and you could potentially win up to 7,318x your stake.
Dark Vortex has been beautifully designed and is a feast for the eyes. The background sound never annoys and sets the mood just right. And the features are not just interesting, they are pretty unique even for Yggdrasil Gaming standards. The Vortex feature is triggered regularly, at least every 50 spins, if not more often. Though we haven’t actually managed to play it through to a point where it would result in activating the free spins as well. Instead, we bought our way into the free spins. After all, if the option is available, why not use it?
Was it worthwhile? Not exactly. Just because stacks of wilds are added to the reels, they are not necessarily making an appearance. You seem them rolling by, but they may not do you the favour of stopping by. That means you are left wanting more. Indeed, we found the Vortex feature much more worthwhile and if we would have managed to trigger the free spins through it, we probably would have seen the true potential of the free spins and what you could win here.
Still, Dark Vortex is absolutely worthwhile playing. You’ll see what we mean when you’ve tried it out yourself.
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