Remember the Vikings? Despite or perhaps because of their terrible lifestyle, we can’t get enough of that band of rascally raiders. They are the stars of innumerable slots. The time has come for everyone’s favorite horned helmeted warriors to take their place on the reels of Barcrest’s slot machine. Or, extortion, if you will. Slot machines by Barcrest are sometimes infamous for the wrong reasons; let’s see how well Viking’s Ransom does.
There are 40 fixed paylines in Viking’s Ransom, which are played across 6 reels and 4 rows. In the background, players may see a Viking Longship bouncing around the waves in the dead of winter, a time when the Vikings traditionally hibernated in preparation for the summer raids. There is a vast range of bets on offer from 10 p/c up to $/€500 each spin. Be wary, low rollers: while the return to player (RTP) is a healthy 96% for bets of $/€2 and above, it drops to 94% for stakes of $/€1 and lower. Is that a reason to wager more, or to forego wagering altogether? In addition to that disheartening number, the low-to-medium volatility is extremely un-Viking. This is not a berserker of a game.
Mobile slot players typically prefer playing in landscape orientation. This allows the viewer to take in more of the setting without having to sacrifice screen real estate. The slot machine called Viking’s Ransom is one of the few exceptions to this rule. You’ll want to play this one in landscape mode to get away from the nauseatingly poor background animation. The symbols and animations are very poorly drawn and feel like they were made in 2005. Whether they are intentionally retro or just cheaply made is unclear.
The depictions of both male and female Vikings are passable. The warrior on the flaming background is the most expensive symbol, paying out five times the wager for a full house. He is followed by a not unpleasant Skade-looking warrioress. These two are called character symbols which crop up again during the features. Then we have the standard fare of Norse symbols: a pair of crossed axes, a horned helmet, a hammer, and a drinking horn. Four bright card suits (spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds) represent the low payouts. The abundance of wild symbols facilitates the formation of winning combos. We have standard 1×1 and 2×2 wilds, as well as 1×1 and 2×2 Berserker wilds. They can be used in place of any other icon besides the scatter.
Slot Machine Features in Viking’s Ransom
The features might be triggered at any time or can occur at random. The Reel Link Bonus will be awarded first. During the main game or the bonus games, lightning can strike the reels at any time and connect two of them. It might be Reels 1 and 2, Reels 3 and 4, Reels 5 and 6, etc. On these interconnected reels, the largest symbols are either 2×4 character symbols or 2×2 normal symbols. If the same reel is hit by lightning twice, only huge 2×4 wilds will appear.
In the Berserker Free Spins feature, everything boils over. If you get 3, 4, 5, or 6 of the Viking ship scatter symbols anywhere in view, you’ll win 8, 12, 15, or 20 free games. They can be activated again in the same fashion while the functionality is active. The special feature of the bonus round is the inclusion of Berserker Wilds. When a Berserker Free Spin ends, the Berserker Wild Bonus may activate if any wild symbols are still in view. If this happens, a random number of Berserker Wild symbols will be added to the reels. Moreover, if the Colossal Symbols are in play, they can be converted to a colossal Berserker Wild.
So, where to start? It’s difficult to get into Viking’s Ransom because to its dated, clumsy visuals, lackluster statistics, and untapped potential. There are a plethora of slot machines with a Viking theme, so why play this one? That’s not a thought experiment; it begs an actual response. For sure, it’s not for the potential. A mediocre 200 times the wager is the reward for landing a screen full of the premium symbol. Any Viking crew would revolt at the sight of such a haul.
Given proper credit. All of the character icons and wilds look great. The fact that free spins can be retriggered is always a plus, and the ginormous symbols do provide some comic relief. But the benefits simply can’t justify the severe drawbacks in the long run. One of the worst slot machines we’ve ever played is Viking’s Ransom. If you insist on playing this slot machine disaster, be sure to bet no more than $/€2 per spin to qualify for the slot’s insulting RTP rating. That way, you can try to imagine what it was like for medieval villages and priests to endure a Viking attack.