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Let’s face it–as much as you enjoy playing real money slots, you find some slots more fun and exciting than others. This review will introduce you to an online slot experience that is not only completely different from anything else you have played but so mesmerizing that it can only be properly described by its title–Spellcast!
Get ready to enter a spooky and spellbinding yet magical world where the sound of a sinister looking sorcerer laughing at you is a good thing because it accompanies you winning.
The spooky background sets the stage for the weirdness that’s yet to come even before you start playing. At the bottom of the reels, there’s a rocky wall, while overhead and to the sides you will see a blue-violet nighttime sky with streaks of lightning. The reels are flanked by a witch on the left and a wizard on the right. Who will prevail in the timeless battle of good vs. evil? Will your starting stake magically multiply so much you’re laughing all the way to the bank? There’s only one way to find out!
Spellcast is an online video slot by NetEnt consisting of five reels, three rows, and 20 fixed paylines. It is one of this prolific gaming manufacturer’s early releases, having been introduced back in 2006. Therefore, the graphics, animations, and gameplay are relatively simple compared to what you will find in some of NetEnt’s newer slots.
If you are accustomed to playing more intricate slots with lots of bells and whistles, Spellcast doesn’t measure up. It offers only one bonus game–a hard to trigger free spins bonus. But like all NetEnt slots, Spellcast stays true to its theme, and in this case, it’s a theme that will get your complete attention. With both the wild symbol and two scatter symbols, which pay double your bet, popping up frequently, there’s never a dull moment, even in the base game.
High RTP and low-medium volatility
Like virtually all other NetEnt slots, Spellcast does not offer a progressive jackpot. The one exception is Divine Fortune. However, most players don’t mind because another feature that NetEnt slots are known for is their exceptionally high return to player (RTP).
Spellcast has a published RTP of 96%. Although that is at the low end for NetEnt slots, it is still superior to most Pennsylvania online slots. Keep in mind that the RTP is calculated based on statistics gathered over the course of thousands of spins, so your own results for any given playing session might be quite different. However, for any player who is watching his or her bankroll, playing slots with a high RTP vs. slots with an average or below average RTP is highly recommend. The simple reason is that frequent small payouts still keep you in the game even when you’re not winning.
Spellcast also has a low-average volatility level. There’s enough variance to keep the game from getting overly predictable to the point of being boring but not so much that you feel you’re on a roller coaster ride. As long as you enter the game sufficiently capitalized for the stakes you have selected, the chances of depleting your bankroll playing Spellcast are minimal.
Spellcast bet size
Spellcast can be played either for real money or in demo mode.
The game must be played with all 20 paylines. However, you can adjust the cost of each bet by moving the bet level or coin value (line bet) or both up or down within the allotted range.
The bet levels range from 1 to 4. You also need to select a coin value from one of the following: .02, .05, .10, .25, .or .50.
The total cost of each spin is your line bet (your bet level x your coin size) x 20 (the number of paylines). Therefore, the minimum bet per spin is 40 cents (1 X .01 X 20), while the maximum is $40 (4X .50 X 20).
While the 40 cents minimum bet is low enough for everyone but the very smallest players, the maximum bet of only $40 is likely to be disappointing if you are a high roller. $40 per spin isn’t cheap by any means, but most online slots offer a much higher maximum bet to appeal to the high end slot players who can handle it.
Spellcast consists of 11 regular symbols plus a wild symbol and scatter symbol. With the exception of the playing cards 9 through ace, which are a common fixture in online slots regardless of the theme, all of the other symbols in Spellcast clearly relate to the magic theme
The five higher paying regular symbols include the following:
- Spooky castle
- Witch stirring a bubbly cauldron
- Yellow potion
- Book of Spells
- Magician’s wand
The highest paying of these symbols is the castle. Five of them across a payline will return 750x your line bet.
In contrast, the Book of Spells and wand only return 250x your line bet.
The six remaining lower paying regular symbols consist of the playing cards 9 through A.
Winning combinations occur for all of these symbols when three or more like symbols land adjacently (horizontally or diagonally) from left to right on consecutive reels, starting with reel 1. However, the castle, witch, and 9 symbols also pay out (though minimally) when just two like symbols land in the same manner.
The wild symbol is a bearded wizard wearing a Harry Potter style hat. As such, it performs two roles.
First, it is capable of substituting for any other symbol except the scatter symbol to help form or improve upon paying combinations. This will evoke an annoying laugh from the wizard, but get used to it. He’ll also wave his magic wand to double the amount of your payout!
Secondly, by itself, the wild symbol is the game’s highest paying symbol. Two or more appearing adjacently on consecutive reels starting with reel 1 will produce a payout. Of course, you’re much more likely to get two in a row, for a payout of 10x your line bet, than five in a row. But five is 1,000x better. Five wizard wild symbols in a row will return the maximum possible payout of 10,000x your line bet!
The scatter symbol is a crystal ball. If two, three, four, or five of these symbols appear simultaneously anywhere on the reels, you will win 2x, 4x, 25x, or 500x your total bet, respectively. Two scatter symbols aren’t bad at all. Two will show up quite frequently, and apart from any winning combinations that might occur otherwise, a payout of 2x your bet is guaranteed. Your ability to get double your money back each time two scatter symbols land is a big contributor in letting you stay afloat during the base game even when you’re down on your luck
However, what you really want to see happen is for three or more scatter symbols to appear because that will immediately trigger 15 free spins with all winnings tripled! (see below).
Spellcast free spins feature
Spellcast only offers one special bonus feature, but it’s a good one. As mentioned above, anytime three or more crystal ball scatter symbols simultaneously show up anywhere on the reels, two great things happen. First, depending on whether the total number of scatter symbols is three, four, or five, you get an immediate payout of 4x, 25x, or 500x your bet.
But that’s not all. Next comes the fun part–15 free spins. There’s nothing for you to do but relax and hopefully watch the screen light up with lots of wild and scatter symbols. This is the part of the game when your winnings can add up big time. And if you’re really lucky, three or more scatter symbols will show up again during the free spins, so when the existing 15 finish, you get another 15 free spins. Yes, the free spins feature can be retriggered!
The bottom line
While Spellcast doesn’t offer a progressive jackpot and it also lacks some of the bells and whistles characteristic of some other NetEnt slots, there are plenty of reasons to play this slot. Among them are a high RTP, simple but never boring gameplay featuring a ton of fast paced action, creepy characters with a creepy soundtrack to match, and a potentially lucrative bonus round.
The bearded wizard doesn’t like being bored with nothing to do. He is waiting in the wings to wave his magic wand and cast a spell on you. So let the magic begin!