Cyberpunk lives on in Microgaming's latest new release Shogun Of Time slot
I must admit that when I saw the title of Shogun of Time from Just For The Win, who released the game as part of their deal with Microgaming for exclusive content, I was expecting another run of the mill ancient past Oriental-themed slot.
However, in contrast what we have here is a neon-lit slot of the future, complete with time-traveling teleportation devices, a female cyberpunk lead and of course, a Shogun from the past, who is probably wondering what in goodness name is going on.
Some slot games you go to review and it is patently obvious from the title what it is going to be about. I mean, the last Microgaming slot I reviewed was The Great Albini and I knew from that title alone that the slot would be about a magician or something along those lines, and I was proved right of course.
He wasn't the only one as I was very surprised to see just four reels on screen when the game loaded up and indeed the base game does have just the four reels with 81 ways to win in play, although this does expand to five reels when you trigger either of the bonus features (and with the five reels you also get 243 Ways to Win).
This slot was heavily featured at the recent ICE 2019 event in London and was released very shortly thereafter, so let's take a look at whether this futuristic cyberpunk-ancient warrior fusion slot hits the mark.
- Game: Shogun of Time
- Developer: Just For The Win (Microgaming)
- Reels: 4 (5 in Free Spins)
- Pay Lines: 81 Ways to Win (243 Ways in Free Spins)
- Minimum Bet: 0.10
- Maximum Bet: 100.00
- Jackpot: 12x (base game) 2717x (Free Spins)
- Free Spins Bonus: Yes
- Other Bonuses: Yes
- Progressive: No
- Volatility: Medium
In terms of presentation, the Shogun of Time slot is very nicely done. Set in a strange looking lab complete with a teleportation device (presumably that is how the protagonists time-travel), the four reels are lit in soft hues of purple and blue and the effect is excellent giving the slot a futuristic feel.
The musical accompaniment is also nicely suited combining traditional music of the Orient with a more modern feel, not an easy thing to accomplish but Just For The Win managed it rather nicely with the game and credit to them for that.
The main controls of the slot are on the right hand side of the reel and you can wager from 0.10 up to 100.00 per spin. It's fair to say though that the slot isn't going to make you super-rich unless you bet more as the top base game prize is just 12x your stake, which means that it is a game that is not likely to appeal to big jackpot hunters, but those regular wins will appeal to players that prefer smaller but more frequent prizes.
What is on the reels?
When it comes to what is on the reels, for the lower value symbols we have the familiar playing card low symbols from the ten through to the ace, all of which have been jazzed up to give them a more Oriental-inspired look. I was a little disappointed with this as while these symbols are now almost universally recognised as low value symbols on slots, I don't think it fits in well with the theme and would have preferred to see something more fitting as the lower value symbols.
The higher value symbols are better with a number of different items including fans, coins, Shogun warrior armour, face masks and helmets on the reels. The highest value of the standard symbol is the Shogun of Time logo, five of which across the reels will reward you with the biggest prize in the base game of 12x your total stake.
The presentation of the Shogun of Time slot is nicely done and ticks all the right boxes and things get a little more interesting when it comes to triggering the main bonus features of the slot.
There are two Wild symbols on the reels. There is a single Wild symbol, which features our cyberpunk heroine of the game and the Wild is also available as a stacked symbol which is three symbols high and can appear on any reel.
One disappointing aspect is that the Wild does not award any multiplier with wins it is part of, instead it simply replaces other symbols to help you land a win across the lines. If you manage to land a four-symbol combination win across the four reels in the base game, then you can trigger the Reel Split Re-Spin feature, which is one of the highlights of the slot.
When this bonus triggers, a fifth reel will appear on screen in between the second and third reels. This additional reel will then be re-spun, complete with Wild and Stacked Wild symbols on it and if you land more of the same symbol as your original winning spin, or the Wild symbols on the reel, then you can trigger a much bigger value win for landing five symbols across the reel.
Free Spins features
The Scatter symbol is the pink flowers symbol and if you can land three or four scatters across the reel in the base game then you will unlock 8 or 16 Free Spins respectively. When you do land the Free Spins bonus, the reel set changes into a five-reel game and the number of ways to win increases too from 81 to 243-ways.
During your Free Spins bonus the middle reel is completely Wild on every spin, which can land you some sizeable wins, with up to 2,717 times your stake available to be won during the Free Spins bonus game, which is considerably more than you get in the base game.
Best feature of the Shogun of Time slot
While the Free Spins feature is the key to unlocking the higher value wins in this game and is certainly the feature to target, it can be somewhat difficult to unlock at times and I found the Reel Split Re-Spin feature to be easier to hit and the source of my better value wins most of the time. It can be frustrating to trigger the bonus and then not land an increased win, but that is mitigated by the fact that as a re-spin, you don't pay for that spin, so you are still a winner.
It is nice to see Just For The Win trying to come up with something more than just your atypical five-reel slot game with 243-ways to win and Shogun of Time is a well conceived and executed slot. It is simple to follow and easy to play and while the base game is not the most rewarding, you can land some sizeable prizes in the Free Spins bonus round if you are lucky. With great visuals and sound it is also a game that is easy on the eye and as a medium variance game, it is not one that is going to wipe out your bankroll in double quick time.
You can play this fantastic new slot at any of our Mega Moolah casinos.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.