“Leave this stressful world behind” in the North American wilderness slot Wolf Howl, developed by Microgaming partner Just for the Win. The Olympic-themed Immortal Glory was the last game we evaluated from JFTW, and it ended up being a decent commercial success for the developer. As an example, in the Jackpot function, a player can win 10,000 times their bet with just one click. Wolf Howl’s potential makes Immortal Glory’s look like spare change down the back of a couch, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for enormous jackpots.
Let’s keep the jackpot seekers waiting while we investigate the game’s mechanics. Using 5 reels and 10 fixed paylines, Wolf Howl follows several industry standards. The data involved here suggest to a game suited to players who like a potentially rewarding challenge. Starting with a solid RTP of 96.15% and a hit frequency of 22.46%, this model is extremely risky.
Whether it’s the aurora borealis or a forest fire, Wolf Howl’s golden-framed grid now sits in the middle of a snowy woodland that’s glowing golden. It’s a little murky here. It’s obvious that Just for the Win, like many other developers before them, was inspired by Pragmatic Play’s wildly popular slot Wolf Gold, as evidenced by the presence of similar wolf and moon icons. The fundamental rules are the same, but beyond that they are very different. Namely, three or more matching symbols on a payline, left to right from the first reel triggers a reward.
Low value playing card emblems and other wild animals make up the normal pay symbols, which can be activated at bets ranging from c/p 10 to €10 each spin. The Jacks through the Aces, a rabbit, an eagle, a bear (with a mullet), and a moose make up the lower values. Symbol values are acceptable for a game that has the potential to become a wild multiplier extravaganza. Five rabbits will earn you a 6x premium, while a line of moose would net you 20x your initial investment.
Wilds are plentiful, and in the standard game they can increase your bet by 1, 2, or 3 times. If you get five wilds in a row, it’s worth 30 times your wager, and if there’s more than one multiplier on a payline, all of their values are added together.
What Makes a Wolf Howl
The base game is very feature-light, so it’s helpful to know that the Scatter Adder feature, which appears at random, can help you unlock the extra game. When the Scatter Adder is activated, anywhere from two to four additional scatter symbols are added to the reels at random.
When 3, 4, or 5 moon scatters appear anywhere on the reels during a single round, the Wolf Howl extra game is activated. This unlocks 8, 15, or 30 bonus spins, depending on the option you choose. This, as the adage goes, is where reality kicks in. It’s possible to retrigger the bonus round if scatters keep showing up during it; 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 scatters in view triggers 2, 5, 8, 15, or 30 more free spins, respectively.
The Wild Call bonus is the key difference between the free spins and the regular game. Each visible moon scatter increases the multiplier of all neighboring pay symbols by one. Any scatter multiplier up to x5 is increased by 1 if a wild appeared adjacent to it. If a symbol is in close proximity to many scatters, it will receive multiple upgrades.
There is a significant detail about this function that you should be aware of. Before the Wild Call function is activated, any winners are tallied and paid. This implies the new or enhanced wild multipliers are added to the reels where they can be used in future spins. They are not applied to the spin they were formed on.
The bonus buy feature allows players to skip the main game entirely if they find it to be too repetitive. You can choose from 8, 15, or 30 free spins at 90x, 159x, or 314x the current bet. This action also increases the RTP to 96.42 percent.
Case Closed, Wolf Howls
Tell me the lyrics to the song by Ella Fitzgerald. Which is it, Wolf Howl or Wolf Gold, exactly? While they may share some cosmetic similarities, wolf aficionados need not worry; the two games play very differently. One could say that Just for the Win threw open the floodgates of possibility. If financial returns are your major concern, Wolf Howl’s maximum of 25,000 times the bet will make Wolf Gold seem inconsequential.
Whether or not size is important, it’s best if you enjoy simple games with high volatility in order to get through the base game. The Scatter Adder adds some tense moments, and the Wild Multiplier is available for when you need an occasional adrenaline rush. Wolf Howl also looks great, combining a contemporary style with several traditional slot features (including, of course, the sound effects).
However, Wolf Howl loses his mind in the bonus round. In tests, scatters occurred frequently during free games. It was common practice to provide twice as many bonus spins initially as the player had won. We were slightly dissatisfied to learn that the Wild Call does not activate wilds for the current spin but rather adds them to the reels for future spins. Even yet, the increasing number of wilds is useful in the later stages of the bonus.
Overall, Wolf Howl is a great choice for players who aren’t interested in a ton of bonus features or reel adjustments. It has a high production value, enjoyable gameplay, and generates the kind of drawn-out bonus games that are seen on the featured reels.