We preview the new Showdown Saloon slot game
It's been a busy few months for slots development giants Microgaming. While my money is on for a December release of at least one Christmas-themed slot, Microgaming have also given players a sneak preview of one of their most eagerly anticipated new slot games.
That slot is called Showdown Saloon and it is already shaping up to be a crackerjack of a slot.
This year Microgaming have announced several collaborations with individual game studios to produce exclusive content for them, we have also seen a raft of new releases in recent times including the Astro Legends Lyra and Erion, Crystal Rift and Icy Gems slots, all of which have been released in the last two weeks or so.
Head Back to the Wild West
With the popularity of the recent console game release Red Dead Redemption 2 hitting record highs for console gamers, the wild west is still very much in the forefront of many people's minds at the present moment in time. The three Golden Globes nominated Westworld TV series was also a massive hit. That makes Showdown Saloon slot's imminent release all the more sensible as there is already a thirsty market wanting more 'spit and sawdust' action at the local saloon.
What we do know about the latest offering is that Showdown Saloon will be a 5-reel slot with a total of 15 lines in play. We also know that the minimum bet will be 0.20 per spin, with a maximum bet of 100.00 available. The slot will also be available on desktop, as well as smartphone and tablets if you prefer to play from your mobile.
The fact that we don't have the standard single coin per pay line bet in operation on the slot (as if we did, the minimum bet would be 0.15), does suggest that there is a little more to the slot than the standard offering from Microgaming and that is certainly true, as for one thing, this is going to be much higher variance game than we tend to get from the company. That means you are going to need to be prudent with your bankroll to ensure that you get the best out of the slot.
The inspiration from the slot has come from the Old West Poker games that you tended to see in films such as Maverick and plenty of old John Wayne classics. In these films, you usually find the hero at the table when something untoward happens, the card table gets turned over and a gunfight ensures, in which the hero usually prevails, and the bad guys get their comeuppance.
To accentuate that, Microgaming have a number of different symbols on the reels. They range from the standard playing card symbols, from the 10 through to the Ace, which for once, fits beautifully in with the theme of the slot. Then to emphasise the old West style of the slot we have other symbols such as dice, poker chips, whiskey and guns included on the reels too, which all act as the higher value symbols in the game.
The Wild symbol on the reels is the Poker Hand and this can substitute for any of the other symbols on the reels except the scatter symbol. The Wild is just one of the main bonus features of the slot as there are a couple of others which are well worth taking note of.
Showdown Saloon Bonuses
The first bonus to note in the Showdown Saloon slot is the Mystery Stacks feature. On every spin of the reels, one of the symbols on the reels will be selected to be stacked on that reels. This can of course lead to multiple wins across numerous lines from a single spin but can also see you trigger the Re-Spin bonus feature.
When you land these Mystery Stacks on the middle three reels of the slot then you will trigger the Re-Spin Bonus. On this bonus, the stacks that have triggered the bonus will lock into position on the reels and you will receive one free re-spin of the other reels. If you land Mystery Stack symbols on the other reels on your re-spin, then they will turn into the same symbols that are locked on the reels. Each time you add a symbol to those you have already landed, you will trigger an additional re-spin on the reels.
Get lucky enough and you could even turn all five reels completely to the same symbol, which is when you can land some of the bigger value wins in the slot.
The Free Spins bonus feature is also triggered using the Mystery Stacks feature, only this time, you need to land the Mystery Stack on the first reel with the other stacks following on from there. Land three, four or five stacks across the reels and you'll trigger a bonus of 5, 10 or 15 Free Spins respectively. Furthermore, if you land three, four or five stacks, you will also play with 1x, 2x or 3x your standard stake for those Free Spins respectively.
Obviously, that means that you want to try and land five stacks across the reels as this would trigger 15 Free Spins, each played at 3x your standard stake for the duration of the bonus game.
What is great about this bonus feature is that during Free Spins, you can still trigger the Re-Spin bonus, and when you do, this is effectively an additional Free Spin each time you land a Re-Spin, not to mention, the potential for landing a decent sized win in the Free Spins bonus game grows with each Re-Spin attempt you can land.
The jackpot amount on the Showdown Saloon is reported to be around 750 times your total stake, which is a decent amount, especially if you are a higher roller who enjoys the thrill of higher variance slot games, playing for the maximum 100.00 per spin, that means you could possibly win 75,000 playing the Showdown Saloon slot. That will keep you and your posse in plenty of gutrot whiskey for some time to come.
If you have played the recent release Romanov's Riches then the game-play and bonus features on the Showdown Saloon slot will be very familiar to you, although it looks like Showdown Saloon will be a higher variance game than the Russian royal family themed slot.
Keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks as we will bring you our full review of the Showdown Saloon slot when it is released across Microgaming Casinos very shortly.
UPDATE 5/12/2018: Here is our review of the Showdown Saloon slot.
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