The conclusion of the 19th century draws ever closer, and with it, the Western Era of gunslingers and cowboys…but Kane isn’t done yet.
Elk Studios have returned with their fourth instalment in the Elk Gold Series with Black River Gold Slot, a tale of a man trying to find his fortune, and whether it’s legal or not is none of his concern.
Elk Studios are a provider with some big and diverse instalments. From the Gold series we have Voodoo Gold, Tahti Gold and Ecuador Gold, all of which have been massively popular amongst players. They’re also the brains behind other exciting games undoubtedly favoured by many, such as Cygnus and IO.
Truly Elk has proven that they’re capable of brilliance, but how does Black River Gold fare against the rest of their games?
The Black River
Elk Studios have created a nice-looking game with a stunning backdrop of a mountainous region prominent in the distance, along with fields and a western train bridge. The reels are enclosed either side by pillars and columns that support such a bridge.
Maybe Kane is lying in wait for a train heist? The new world brings with it new opportunities. The music is typical of a western game, but nothing really noteworthy in terms of audio.
Black River Gold is a game that starts off with 4096 ways to win, meaning that as long as symbols match consecutively from left to right, you’ll get a win regardless of their position.
As expected, players will have an array of betting options to choose from with a minimum of 0.20 and a maximum of 100.
Those who have played Elk Studio games before will be more than acquainted with their betting strategy mechanics available to select, but for those who aren’t, it works like this.
- Optimizer – Bets a % of the balance
- Leveller – Raises after 5 consecutive losses
- Booster – Raises on loss
- Jumper – Raises on win
The Base Game Of Black River Gold Slot
Straightforward in terms of play, Black River Gold slot pays from left to right and every spin will start with a standard 4,096 ways to win. 12 regular symbols exist, of which Kane is the top symbol, with various other treasure or western related symbols coming in as other high paying symbols.
Low paying symbols consist of A, K, Q, J and a wild is also present, substituting for everything but the scatter and the Wild Compass.
All symbols part of a win will explode and disappear, and new symbols will fall in via an avalanche and will continue as long as new winning combinations are made as a result.
1 extra row is added per avalanche, which heightens the potential for more hits and will reach a maximum of 8 rows for massive 262,144 ways to win. If no winning combinations are made, then the reels will automatically default next spin to 4,096 possible ways.
- 4 Rows: 4,096 ways to win
- 5 Rows: 15,625 ways to win
- 6 Rows: 46,656 ways to win
- 7 Rows: 117,649 ways to win
- 8 rows: 262,144 ways to win
Ways to win in Black River gold can also deviate with the presence of a big symbol on screen.
Every low, mid, and high-value symbol including wild symbols exist in four sizes…
- Super 2×2
- Mega 3×3
- Epic 4×4
All big symbols will count as the number of 1×1 symbols it covers. For example, a super 2×2 will consist of 4 standard 1 x1 symbols. These may drop down on any spin.
Big Symbols can also turn into a revolver symbol in certain circumstances.
Big Symbols can absorb smaller symbols below, becoming a Revolver. This will happen if a win occurs and an empty space is left behind underneath the big symbol.
A Revolver will represent all symbols that have been absorbed and will become Wild when it has loaded the cartridge with 6 symbols.
If a symbol within the Revolver would contribute towards a win, then the relative symbol will be used and removed from the cartridge.
The Wild Compass is another interesting feature present within Black River Gold. This can also drop on any spin and will turn the symbols on each end of its axis Wild if they match. If the compass manages to reach the bottom of the screen, it itself will turn into a wild.
Avalanche Free Drops
3 or more bonus symbols will trigger the free drops. 3, 4, 5, & 6 scatters can award 10, 15, 20 and 25 drops respectively with the opportunity to also retrigger within the game.
In the bonus games, all of the captivating features that we see involved in the base game are also present, however, a safety level will be set. The safety level will always start at 4 rows and will advance one row for every new free drop initiated that resulted in a win.
The maximum safe level is 8 which brings with it 262,144 ways to win. Sticky Wilds also feature in this bonus. Sticky Wilds will be collected and kept at the bottom when a free drop ends and will remain in play until they are a part of a win.
Our Verdict Of Black River Gold Slot
It’s easy to see that Black River Gold is packed full of features to keep the game interesting, and does its job in adding in unique features that make it stand out from the other Gold Series Games.
The features at play including the Avalanche, Wild Compass, Big Symbols and Revolvers make for a fun experience, bringing with them massive potential for them big wins under the right conditions.
The theme is one we’ve seen time and time again, and it falls within a category that means it has to compete with the best of it’s genre like NetEnt’s Dead or Alive II.
Unfortunately for Black River Gold, games like Dead or Alive II have much more potential in terms of max win, so will definitely come out on top as a favourite for those looking for a Wild West experience.
Despite this, Black River gold offers an immersive experience with great visuals and will definitely scratch the itch if you’re a fan of the Gold Series games.