A modest Canadian studio by the name of Side City worked together on Polterheist.

They’re not complete rookies, either; you may find Venice Magic and Fortunes of the Dead among the games they offer. When I found out that this new NextGen spot was the product of a team effort, my enthusiasm level plummeted. Indeed, we have no idea why renowned game producers like Microgaming persist in trying to collaborate with lesser-known teams, a strategy that has consistently backfired. Is Polterheist going to be the movie to bust our theory? The only way to know is to investigate.

Polterheist is a five-reel, four-row video slot with a hundred fixed pay lines and a return to player percentage (RTP) of 96.6%, which is slightly higher than the norm for NextGen slots (95%+). This ghostly western-themed slot is playable from €0.50 up to €50 and offers two random main game features in addition to a free spins game that can provide an infinite number of free spins.

Visually, it’s fairly infantile looking which is likely to be a bit of a turn off to some gamers. Nonetheless, it’s a reasonably well-made slot set to an appropriate old western theme. The game’s playability has been fine-tuned, however it might have benefited from a faster pace.

Features and Symbols of a Poltergeist

The low-value symbols are the letters A through 10 and the numbers 1 through 10, while the high-value symbols are the Hauntin’ gang, a group of ghosts in various colors. If you get five of the Golden Sheriff ghosts on an active pay line, you will win 10 times your wager. Normal mode rewards are modest since no symbols show stacked on the reels. The wanted poster-shaped Wilds appear exclusively on reels three, four, and five in this game.

To break up the repetitive nature of the game, two key elements have been introduced. Both of these triggers are entirely at random, so they might happen even before the first spin. The Haunted Wild feature will place a random amount of wilds on the middle three reels, while the Ghost Break-In feature will place stacks of a randomly selected ghost on the reels, with all other ghosts transforming into that ghost.

Theft-Related Free Games

In Polterheist, the free spins bonus round is where all of your patience and perseverance will be rewarded. Players may win 8 free games by getting the Golden Safe Scatter on reels 1, 2, and 3. In the free spins bonus round, players use the identical reels as the main game, but a random multiplier is applied before each spin, increasing their potential payout by 2x, 3x, or 5x.

In addition, the Ghost Break-In feature, which can result in a whole screen filled with the game’s highest paying symbol, is present and actually appears more often here than in the base game. If this appears alongside the 5x multiplier, you’ll be able to celebrate a victory of 5,000 times your initial wager. There’s also the potential for an infinite number of spins (at least in principle), thanks to the scatter symbols that provide additional free games upon appearing on the reels in increments of 1, 2, or 3.

The End of the Poltergeist

Even though we haven’t seen a data sheet, we’re going to presume that Polterheist has a finite number of free spins. It’s unrealistic to expect the free spins to last forever or for players to consistently hit 4-5 full screens at the maximum multiplier, resulting in 25,000x winnings. Big Time Gaming or another supplier with similar track records deserves a little more praise than we’re giving them here, but we’re being more reserved. For all we know, the ceiling may be set at 2000x.

The game was sluggish and dull, and the two random aspects didn’t assist much. The main game is poor, but the chance for a 1000x win outside of the bonus makes up some of the difference. Polterheist isn’t the worst team effort we’ve seen, and it’s really one of the better ones, but it still falls short in the end.

Introduction to the Royal Currency

What took so long is a mystery to us. David Reynolds, Game Publisher at Microgaming, described Cash of Kingdoms as “being built on a strong game engine that will give players an action-packed escapade with fantastic payouts” when it was launched on the third day of the ICE Totally Gaming conference in early 2018.

Since ICE is such a major iGaming convention, many software developers use it as a promotional opportunity to showcase their newest and greatest offerings. Looking back, we wonder why Microgaming showcased Cash of Kingdoms when competitors like NetEnt were showing off their prowess with powerful branded titles like Narcos and Vikings.

Although they have fallen behind in recent years, Microgaming is still held in high esteem by many gamers, thus any announcement of new slots from the Isle of Man-based producer always catches our interest. However, when initially catching a peek of Cash of Kingdom, any prospect of a new amazing Microgaming slot was all but gone. But is it fair to assess a slot machine by its front panel? The only way to know is to investigate.

The Cash of Kingdoms slot machine is a five-by-three, 15-payline, both-ways-paying online slot with a fantasy/medieval theme. As it turns out, it’s really a Slingshot Studios project so what we’re looking at here is another one of those dreadful Microgaming partnerships. It appears that Slingshot Studios, a tiny independent developer founded in 2016, is making its debut with the release of this slot machine.

Symbols of the Kingdom and Their Payouts

Loot, powder barrels, bows and arrows, magic books, and swords and shields are the five low-value icons on the reels. The game has a cast of heroic companions that can be purchased for a price and help the player during the adventure. If you get 5 Knights on an active payline, you’ll win 10 times your wager. The symbols always come in pairs, making it impossible to get a complete screen of any one.

The paytable is simple and gets right to the point, showing cash payments that scale with the player’s current wager. There is no need to do any mental math on coin values. What an achievement! Speaking of wacky betting ranges, this slot machine allows stakes as little as €0.15 and as high as €480. However, since it has a low standard deviation, many players may be tempted to try their luck at bigger stakes.

Invasive Species

The wild symbols in this slot machine are quite important, because they only show up on reels three, two, and one. The Invading Wilds bonus is activated once reels 2 and 4 are completely covered by wild symbols. Then, the stacked wilds will multiply to cover an additional reel in wilds. This element comes into play in the free spins game as well but with extra bonuses. Interestingly, Microgaming (or Slingshot Studios) have trademark protected the name of the feature, which, to be honest, comes off as a bit silly considering that it’s far from an original concept.

Free Games in Cash of the Kingdoms

Free spins are triggered by seeing three or more Scatter symbols anywhere on reels 2, 3, or 4. You get 10 free spins to play with. Each Scatter triggers an additional free game during the bonus round. The paytable does not provide a maximum amount of free games, therefore we will have to presume there is a limit.

In the free spins bonus round, players can take advantage of super stacked wild reels, which increase the frequency with which stacked wilds emerge. In addition, a 2x multiplier will be given to the total win if full stacks of wilds appear on reels 2 and 4, which will cause wilds to invade reel 3 as well.

Final Cash from the Kingdom

This dismal slot machine has no business representing Microgaming’s current work, and it’s a shame that it was ever launched under the developer’s watch. We can’t fathom what was going through the brains of Microgaming’s employees when they decided to include this game at ICE. Cash of Kingdoms is shockingly poor, and all it does is prove that Microgaming has completely lost touch with reality.

The payments are the worst we’ve seen in a long time, and they’re devastating. The primary game is a waste of time and has zero promise. With a maximum win potential of roughly 250x every spin, the free spins game is not much better. The game comes off as generic, flat, and dull at best due to the lack of any original or innovative concepts.

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