Will the new Sidewinder slot slither into your must-play game list?
I must admit, when I heard the name of the new Microgaming slot, I did wonder if the dev team had watched too many Black Mirror episodes to produce a game based on a sideways moving rattlesnake.
However, when I loaded the game up, I had a deflating moment when I saw the game as there was not a single snake anywhere in sight. Instead, what you have is five reels, with an assortment of symbols and what looks like two sets of arrows floating above and below the reels.
Now a little while back, I reviewed the Rainbrew slot by Just For The Win, an Irish themed slot which boasted two additional reels at the top and bottom of the screen, where additional Wild symbols could be added. It was then I realised that my sense of deja vu when I saw these additional reels, was based on this.
As what you have here is essentially a replica of the Rainbrew slot, just with a slightly different theme. It is not the first time Microgaming have done this, the popular So Much Sushi slot is a clone with the So Much Candy and So Many Monsters slots and all three of these games fared well with slot fans.
So how does the Sidewinder slot stack up, even if it isn't the most original? Let's take a look and find out.
- Game: Sidewinder Slot
- Developer: Just For The Win for Microgaming
- Reels: 5
- Pay Lines: 243 Ways to Win with up to 1125 Ways to Win
- Minimum Bet: 0.10
- Maximum Bet: 100
- Jackpot: 2720x
- Free Spins Bonus: Yes
- Other Bonuses: Yes
- Progressive: No
- Volatility: Medium
It's fair to say that the Sidewinder slot isn't the most innovative in terms of looks and presentation, although I like the scroll through opening screens which highlights the main game features before the slot loads. You have the five reels in the middle of the screen and on top of each you have the additional Sidewinder reels, where those additional Wilds can appear.
The controls are on the right-hand side of the screen and what is pleasing about the Sidewinder slot is that everything is very clean and simple. You have your reels, a simple purple backdrop and your main control buttons on the right and nothing else bar your bet size and total balance displayed.
The music that accompanies you as you play is relaxing and chilled and is pleasant enough without really grating on your nerves. As such, this is a game that you will enjoy more with the sound up, rather than muted.
Be warned though, this is a medium volatility slot which if you play for too much money per spin, can see your balance dwindle very quickly. The good news is that there is a wide range of stakes available to play from, (0.10 to 100 per spin) so it is a game you can easily budget for.
What is on the reels?
There are a number of simple symbols on the reels and these start with the five lowest value symbols, which are the star, spade, heart, club and diamond and these offer wins from 0.4x your stake up to 2x your stake for five across any of the lines in the game. All five of these symbols offer the same level of win.
Higher value wins are available with the other five standard symbols on the reels and these are the Bar symbol, three four leafed clovers, a trio of horseshoes, three bells and lastly the triple 7s. Wins on these symbols range from 0.8x your stake up to 8x your stake.
Alongside these standard symbols, there are three other symbols on the reels. Two different Wild symbols, Top Wild (which only appears on the second reel) and the Bottom Wild (which only appears on the fourth reel). There is also the Sidewinder Scatter, which can appear on any of the five reels in the base game.
Let's now learn more about how these features access the main bonuses on the Sidewinder slot.
The Top and Bottom Wild symbols that appear on Reels 2 and 4 are the key to the main feature of the slot. Land a Top Wild and it will remain in place on the reel and also spin the Top Sidewinder reel on the top of the screen. This increases the number of possible winning lines in the game and if you can land one or more of the standard Wilds on this reel, then it could lead to a pay out.
Similarly, the Bottom Wild symbol when landed on the fourth reel, will trigger the Bottom Sidewinder reel to spin and you can also land Wilds on this reel to create more pay lines and of course, more chances of a win.
In addition, if you land a Bottom Wild on the Top Sidewinder reel, or a Top Wild on the Bottom Sidewinder reel, this will also set the other Sidewinder reel spinning to increase the number of Wilds available and also the number of pay lines from 243 Ways to Win to the 1125 Ways to Win maximum.
Furthermore, if you spin both Sidewinder reels and land a Wild symbol over the same reel, this will turn that entire reel Wild for that spin.
Obviously, the more Wilds you can land in this bonus feature, then the greater your chances of a sizeable win. However, it should be noted that not all Sidewinder reel triggers result in a win and this is a little deflating at times.
Free Spins features
The big money on the Sidewinder slot can be won in the Free Spins bonus game and that is triggered by landing three or more of the Sidewinder Scatters across the reels. If you land two on the second and fourth reels, you will set the Sidewinder Reels in motion, this time with Scatter symbols on them. Land a third or fourth Scatter symbol and you will trigger either 6 or 10 Free Spins respectively.
During your Free Spins, the Sidewinder reels will have more Wilds on them and will spin on each of your Free Spins and these reels also have Scatter symbols on too. Land Wilds in the same position on top and bottom reels and you can turn one, two or all of the middle three reels Wild and you can trigger some massive wins.
In addition, for every Scatter you land in Free Spins, you will also receive one additional Free Spin added to your total.
The wins in the Free Spins round dwarf those you usually land in the base game, so it is a slot that is worth investing time and patience in to trigger the Free Spins bonus.
Best feature of the Sidewinder slot
Without doubt the Sidewinder reels are the main feature of the slot although I think their value to the player is somewhat limited in the base game. However during Free Spins you can land some massive wins when you hit multiple wilds on both of these reels and when you do, that is when you will see this game reward you with a sizeable pay-out.
If you enjoyed the Rainbrew slot, then there is no doubt you will find plenty to enjoy here with the Sidewinder slot. The games are very similar, just on different themes, and there is no doubt the addition of the Sidewinder reels gives an added edge to the five-reel slot. This is certainly one game well worth a closer inspection if you are keen to try something different to the norm.
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.
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