In an increasingly competitive market, slot game developers are always looking to find new approaches to make their products more appealing to new generations of players.
The Wildcano slot by Red Rake Gaming, a company new to the online casino market, is one such attempt.
The below is a promotional video for Wildcano
However, different doesn’t always have to mean better.
Wildcano diverges from this idea and instead presents you with three spinning circles (the smallest on the inside and the largest on the outside). They have branded this innovation as ‘Orbital Reels’.
These circles contain symbols, just like you’d expect from a slot machine. Once you hit the spin button, circles will start spinning and will stop after a couple of seconds. It is worth noting there is no option to manually stop the spin before it reaches its natural conclusion.
Once the spin has ended, you’ll be paid according to combinations located on one of the eight fixed paylines (two vertical, two horizontal, and four diagonal). There are only two possibilities of getting paid:
- Matching three symbols on a single payline
- Matching six of the same symbols on opposing paylines
According to Red Rake, Wildcano features the 96.3% Return to Player (RTP), which is in a middling region overall. This kind of RTP isn’t bad, but it isn’t anything to get overly excited about, either.
Graphic & sounds
While the gameplay of Wildcano is undoubtedly unusual, the graphics and sound deserve a special mention. First and foremost, the symbols, which have a tropical volcanic island feel to them (exotic fruits, the mysterious totem serving as the bonus symbol) have been done in a rather low resolution. It seems that this is what the designers were going for, but if user reviews are anything to go by, the idea doesn’t quite work.
Wildcano became somewhat strenuous on my eyes after a while because the symbols are really small and hard to discern. Furthermore, once the reels start spinning, all the symbols will become illuminated as they go in circles. I found after a few dozen spins I was getting a little dizzy. Perhaps I needed special astronaut training or something similar. Other players may not get this affect, but some have according to internet forums.
The sound isn’t bad, as you hear the waves bouncing off the cliffs and tropical birds chirping in the background while the slot is idle. When you press the spin button, tribal music dominated by drums will take over. When special features are activated, they’ll be announced by a scary, deep voice, which does add to the suspense but feels a bit too dramatic for a slot otherwise dominated by bright colors.
Wildcano special features
One thing this game doesn’t lack are special features you’ll get to enjoy while playing. Most of them are triggered at random, and there are four of them, plus the bonus (free spins) feature.
- Magma – two paylines will be filled with lava, and new (same) symbols will appear
- Pyroclast – pyroclasts will shoot from the volcano, and where they land, the Wild symbol will appear
- Earthquake – between one and three paylines are rotated again, giving a new chance for a win
- Sacrifice – symbols on paylines with no wins are removed and replaced with new symbols
Free spins are triggered when three bonus symbols land anywhere on the reels, as long as they land on one of the eight paylines. If the bonus symbol lands between the paylines, it will not count.
While all of these bonus features come with some pretty cool animations and accompanying sounds, they don’t seem to pay a lot. Pyroclast is certainly the best feature you can trigger, as a few well-positioned wilds can help you form the six-line, which is the only real way Wildcano can pay big.
The Wildcano slot by Red Rake Gaming certainly features an interesting idea, but it seems that designers failed to account for certain important aspects. From what I could see, and from what others are saying, it is hard to play this game for any prolonged period of time because of its dizzying affect on the eyes.
Additionally, due to the fact these circular reels spin, there is no the well-familiar “near miss” feeling, which takes away from the overall gaming experience.
All in all, it is an imaginative attempt and Red Rake should be praised for trying to push the boundaries, but I don’t really see it becoming the slot “that will change everything.”
That being said, it is probably worth checking out for its boldness alone. You can play Wildcano on Red Rake’s website in demo mode, and make up your own mind.
The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and not Casinopedia
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