300 Shields

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Published: 30/01/2013

Inspired by Frank Miller’s graphic novel and the subsequent 2007 Warner Brothers film called “300,” this 5-reel, 25-payline slot game from NetGen Gaming was released in early 2011. It takes up the theme of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, one of warfare’s most famous fights. That’s when the Spartan King Leonidas took his small force of 300 warriors into a narrow mountain pass to defend Sparta against the massive Persian army led by Xerxes.

The slot version, 300 Shields, features a peaceful background motif in contrast to the bloodletting action that occurs on the reels. A field of grain waves gently in the wind, while trees, tranquil hills and quiet temples can be seen on the horizon. A few birds appear flying now and then in the sparsely clouded blue sky on the left as the sun rises on the right.

To begin a game of 300 Shields, the number of active paylines from 1 to 25 must be specified by using the +/- toggles below the second reel. Next, the amount of the line bet must be set from €0.02 to €5.00, again using +/- toggles below the fourth reel. Under the third reel are buttons for setting the lines and wager at “Max.” With 25 lines in play at €5 each, the maximum total wager is €125.

The basic reel symbols on 300 Shields are the standard cards, Nines through Aces. They pay line multipliers from 4X to 150X whenever three or more are matched on an active payline. Higher awards are paid for catching three or more Arrows or Swords, from 12X to 200X. Only two or more of the Archer or Ship symbols are needed to win a payout of 2X to 250X.

The Warrior symbol is wild in 300 Shields. It substitutes for all other symbols except the Shield Scatter. For catching 2, 3, 4 or 5 Warriors in a row the payout is 5X, 25X, 250X or 1000X, respectively. The Shield Scatter is worth a multiplier of the entire wager at levels of 2X, 5X, 12X and 100X whenever 2, 3, 4 or 5 appear in any positions on the reels.

All of the symbols animate to some degree when they appear in winning combinations. Most of them simply enlarge, making it easier to see the stains of blood that are omnipresent. The Archer draws an arrow, ready to shoot. The Shield Scatter opens to reveal a Spartan chopping with his sword from right to left, while the wild Warrior is a southpaw who chops from left to right with his sword. Bloodcurdling shouts and dramatic music accompany the mayhem.

The Battle Feature Free Games Bonus is triggered whenever three or more Shield Scatters appear simultaneously on the reels. During the free spins, the wild Warrior starts off by doubling any line wins in which he is involved, but this multiplier can be increased by reaching higher “Stages” of the bonus, of which there are four in total.

The first stage awards the player 5 free spins. Each spin begins with blood cascading down the five reels. Every time a Shield Scatters appears, it is drenched in blood and the blood seen on the blade of the Sword counter displayed to the right of the reels rises. If at least two Shield Scatters can be collected be fore the five free games expire, five more free spins are awarded for Stage Two and the value of the Warrior multiplier increases to 5X. Reaching Stage Three requires collection of six or more Shields. Then five more free spins are granted and the Warrior’s value goes up to 25X.

And if a dozen Shields can be obtained before the free spins expire, Stage Four is attained, worth five more spins and a Warrior that pays 300X. Also, the feature can be retriggered with five additional free spins added any time three or more Shield appears on the same spin. Setting Autoplay below the first reel for 5~500 spins makes it possible to run both the normal game and the bonus automatically.

Published on: 30/01/2013

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