Saddle up cowboys and girls: Our review of the new Showdown Saloon slot
Saddle up cowboy, because you are about to head out on a thrill ride on the exciting new Showdown Saloon slot, developed by Fortune Factory as part of their exclusive licensing agreement with Microgaming.
The companies first slot was the enjoyable Romanov's Riches slot, and it is fair to say that in terms of structure, if not content, the Showdown Saloon slot follows a very similar structure in terms of the features included in the game.
That's not a bad thing though as some of the best slots in recent times have been re-works of former games. Immortal Romance slot, famously, is a reworking of the hugely popular Thunderstruck II slot, so these games can work exceptionally well when a little thought is given in how to make the key changes to the original game.
So how does the Showdown Saloon shape up? Let's take a closer look at this brand new release, which hit Microgaming Casinos on December 4th 2018, shapes up.
- Game: Showdown Saloon
- Developer: Fortune Factory (for Microgaming)
- Reels: 5
- Pay Lines: 15 (non-selectable)
- Minimum Bet: 0.20
- Maximum Bet: 100.00
- Jackpot: 1500x
- Free Spins Bonus: Yes
- Other Bonuses: Yes
- Progressive: No
- Volatility: High
I have to say that in terms of presentation of their slots, Fortune Factory have blown me away with their releases so far for Microgaming. Romanov's Riches was nicely done, but Showdown Saloon if anything is even better.
The backdrop of the slot is the poker table in the erstwhile saloon, complete with cards and bullets all over the table, which clearly references the lawlessness of the Old West. The reels are beautifully animated and there is a fabulous western-styled musical accompaniment to the reels, which would not look out of place in any Spaghetti Western.
The main controls of the slot are located at the foot of the reels and it is very easy to set your bet level by using the coin selector and the number of coins you want to wager per spin. Once you have selected them, simply click the spin button, or use the Autoplay feature, to complete your spins.
There have been few better looking or sounding slots released in 2018 than Showdown Saloon, which is high praise indeed for this latest offering.
What is on the reels?
On the reels are the usual lower value symbols, of playing card symbols from 10 through to the Ace. However, unlike on other slots, their inclusion here makes perfect sense as the slot is based on a poker game in a western saloon. These offer lower value wins in the game with some of the three-symbol wins not offering you a return greater than your stake.
Higher value symbols include the dice, poker chips, a handgun and a bottle of whiskey with glasses. These offer higher value wins, but once again the value of the wins for three symbols means that only one win, the revolver, would pay you an equal amount to what you bet.
However, what you need to be aware of is that all symbols on the reels are stacked and on one spin, one symbol is Super-Stacked on the reels. This means that if you can land this Super-Stacked symbol, you can win across many of the 15 available lines on the slot, which drastically increases the value of your win, especially if you can turn at least the first three reels into the same stack.
This is the start of the bonus features of the slot, which we are going to explore in more details below.
There is one Wild symbol on the reels and this is the Poker Hand Wild and this can be used to substitute for all symbols apart from the Free Spins symbol. This Wild also offers its own pay chart and you can win 100x your total bet if you land five of the Wilds across a single pay line on the slot, which is the biggest value win in the base game.
Free Spins features
The Free Spins feature is triggered when you. land three or more stacks of the Free Spin symbol covering the complete reels, from the first reel, through to the third reel or beyond. How many of the stacks you land on the spin determines the Free Spins bonus that you play through.
Three Stacks will see you earn 5 Free Spins with 1x your stake used as the triggering bet.
Four stacks and that increases to 10 Free Spins with 2x your stake as the triggering bet.
Land all five stacks and you receive the maximum 15 Free Spins with 3x your stake as the triggering bet.
In addition to the Free Spins bonus, if you land two stacks of symbols on the first two reels, or more, then you will trigger the ReSpin Bonus in the base game. In this feature, the two stacked reels are held and when they reach three reels in length, they turn into a Jumbo symbol covering the entire three reels.
On subsequent re-spins of the reels, if you land a win by adding more symbols to those held, then you can re-spin again. Turn the next reel in sequence completely to your Jumbo Symbol, then it too will be held and form part of the Jumbo symbol. This continues until you either hit a spin that does not increase your win, or the size of Jumbo symbol, or you turn all of the reels completely Wild.
Best feature of the Showdown Saloon Slot
For me the most exciting feature of the Showdown Saloon slot isn't the Free Spins bonus, which I find a little too difficult to trigger, but the ReSpin Bonus. This bonus triggers a lot more frequently and though it can be hard to advance the bonus to the fourth and fifth reels, when you do, you often land a sizeable win.
The Showdown Saloon slot is another promising slot from Fortune Factory and there is no doubt Microgaming will be delighted with the stunning quality and presentation of the slot. The bonus features and innovative and very nicely done but I feel that the Free Spins bonus is a little too hard to trigger (I would have preferred to see it triggerable when you land three stacks anywhere on the reel, rather than across the first three reels, which makes it so much tougher). That apart, this is still a hugely enjoyable higher variance slot which, when played carefully, offers players a chance of a sizeable cash win.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.