Book of Shadows Slot Review
Slot Provider: Nolimit City
RTP: 96.01% | Variance: High | Maximum Win: 30,338x
Our Score: 9.0
About Book of Shadows
Reviewed by: Mark Wadie
Published Date: 1st September 2020
How We Review Slot GamesWe test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.
Book of Shadows is a 5 reel ‘Book of’ slot from Nolimit City with an original horror theme. It uses the classic 5 reel and 10 payline set up but in this case players have the option to expand the reels to 4 or 5 rows at 2x bet. You can gamble to double-up any win and in the free spins round one symbol is chosen to expand whenever it lands if it can complete paylines. It is possible to fill the entire screen with top paying premium symbols in this way. The maximum win is a blockbusting 30,338x and spins start at 10p.
Book of Shadows Game Information
- RTP: 96.01% | 94.09%
- Variance: High
- Maximum Win: 30,338x
- Progressive Jackpot: No
- Reels: 5
- Rows: Up To 5
- Paylines: 20
- Minimum Stake: £0.10
- Theme: Horror
- Features: Free Spins, Locked Symbols, Wheel of Bonus Gamble
Book of Shadows Review Scores
- Gameplay and Features 10
- Maximum Win 9
- Theme and Design 9
- Paytable 9
- RTP and Variance 8
What Our Reviewer Says ...
"A totally original take on the famous Book Of ... slots genre. Typically dark and deadly from NLC with an impressive top win and the opportunity to configure your own paylines and RTP."
Our Score: 9.0
Book of Shadows Pros and Cons
What We Liked
- Superb horror-theme take on Book of game
- Choose your paylines, rows and RTP
- Very high value premium symbols
- Re-triggers in free spins
- Massive 30,338x stake max win
What We Didn't like
- Extreme volatility is tough to play
Theme & Design
Our Score 9
It’s Book of … But Not As You Know It
Nolimit City take the hugely popular ‘Book of’ format to new places with Book of Shadows, moving away from the classic Ancient History theme and into a darker arena. The design looks like its based on The Blair Witch project, set in a dark woodland with dead trees and cold grey skies all around. The reel set is peppered with symbols from a witches lair, like goats head skulls, eyes in jars and black cats. There is also a grim looking goth girl and the famous Book symbol has been turned into the witches handbook – the Book of Shadows.
It’s eerie, but a bit tongue in cheek, with a slightly comical haunted house theme tune with chimes and the occasional owl hoot! I think it looks superb and if you want to play a ‘Book of’ game in a different context, this is it.
RTP and Variance
Our Score 8
What is RTP?RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next. Read more here.
What is Variance?Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.
At the normal stake level Book of Shadows has 2 RTP settings – 96.01% or 94.09%. Your casino can choose to run the game at either of these levels. There is not much to choose between them – you wouldn’t notice the difference over 200 spins for example. But it’s better to play at the higher level where possible. I verified at the RTP at four slot sites that we regularly use to test games. This is what I found.
- Barz Casino (White Hat Gaming) – 96.01% RTP
- MrQ Casino (Independent) – 96.01% RTP
- Duelz Casino (SuprPlay) – 94.09% RTP
- Casumo (Independent) – 94.09% RTP
For the best chance of a positive return I would therefore play at Barz Casino or MrQ.
It hardly needs to be said that this is a volatile slot – rated Extreme and 10/10 on Nolimit City’s own website. Like all NLC games, and most Book of … games for that matter, much of the RTP will be held back for the bonus round where Expanding Symbols can do wonderful things.
Another interesting stat from this game is the Hit Frequency which comes in at 1 in 3 spins on average. So you can expect a win of some kind (can be very small) on 30% of your play.
Our Score 9
What Is Maximum Win?Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.
The maximum payout in this slot is 30,338x. That makes it one of the highest paying Book of slots we have reviewed. You can try Book of Duat (32,760x) from Quickspin if you want to target bigger wins. Or, check out our list of Nolimit City’s highest paying slots including their record-breaking 300,000x max win game, Tombstone RIP.
Symbols and Paytable
Our Score 9
Book of Shadows has an interesting reel configuration.
The standard format for ‘’Book of …’ slots is 5 reels and 3 rows, with 10 paylines. And this is what you get for your standard bet on Book of Shadows. However, you can also increase your bet to 1.5x of 2x to give yourself 4 or 5 rows and 15 or 20 paylines respectively. This also improves the RTP. Therefore, 96.01% becomes 96.07% for 4 rows or 96.19% for 5 rows.
This is a nice trick for those who like to bet bigger, and well suited to the NLC audience.
As ever, wins are triggered by landing 3 or more identical symbols across the reels from left to right. And as you would expect, the paytable shows some great value at the premium end. Low payers are the cards, 10 through to Ace. These are valued at from 0.5x for 3 10s up to 25x for 5 Aces. The premiums are the eye, the butterfly, the goats head, the cat and the goth girl. These are valued at from 0.2x for 3 eyes up to 500x for 5 goth girls.
And finally, as ever with ‘Book of’ games, the Book of Shadows symbol acts as BOTH Wild and Scatter. It substitutes for all other symbols to create wins and pays out 500x when 5 land on a line.
Features and Gameplay
Our Score 10
The name of the game here is getting into the free spins round. It won’t be easy – it never is with these games! But along the way you get some help.
Lucky Locks Helps Land More Scatters
In your goal of getting to the bonus round, after EVERY spin, you get the chance to lock up to 4 reels. This means you could lock two Scatter symbols and try to hit a third on the next spin to trigger Free Spins. The cost of doing this is variable (no, it’s not free!). It will depend on what is on the reels you lock and the odds of landing wins based on that.
Gamble On Every Win For More – A ‘Book of’ Classic
You see this feature in pretty much every ‘Book of’ game. After ANY win, you can gamble to double it on the turn of a card. Guess red of black. You can do this up to 5 times which gives you the chance to turn a small win into something much more substantial. But keep in mind that you can lose it all too.
Or Gamble To Enter Free Spins Via The Wheel of Bonus
There is another Gamble option if you win 60x or more on one spin. Now, you can gamble on a Wheel spin. The wheel is segmented and if the pointer hits the correct segment on the Wheel of Bonus, you’ll get 10 Free Spins at your current row height.
And the Headline Act is … Free Spins
It’s tough to reach the free spins round. I managed it twice in testing but that is lucky. Sometimes it can take 300 or more spins. To do so you need to land 3 or more Book of Shadows symbols. That gets you 10 spins.
Like all Book of Games, before the round starts, a symbol is chosen at random to become an expanding Golden Symbol. If you don’t like the symbol you have you can shuffle it and you might land a higher value one. Or not. You can shuffle once. You can also choose the configuration of spins and rows for your round. So, you start with 10 spins at 5 rows, but you can drop to 3 rows and get 14 spins, or 4 rows with 12 spins.
Once the spins start, if your Golden Expanding Symbol lands and by expanding it can trigger a win, then it does. These symbols do NOT have to be on adjacent reels to complete paylines. As with all Book of games the configuration of this round means you can land a full grid of the top paying premium symbol, scoring you a 10,000x win in the case of our goth girl.
And finally, it is possible to re-trigger by landing 3 more Scatters.
The Final Verdict
Our Score 9.0
Book of Shadows is a great choice for fans of horror themes and high variance play alike. There are so many Book of .. games on the market right now so to make splash you have to do something a bit different and NLC did just that thanks to their quirky witches brew of a game narrative.
It’s all about unlocking free spins and we recommend utilising those Lucky Locks to try, though remember, they do come at a cost. Once you’re there, you should aim to land a high value Golden Symbol to get the max wins. It can be worth a shuffle if you are not happy with the first expander that is chosen. I tried it and upgraded from a 10 to an Ace for example. Remember, it’s the goth girl who has the highest value, so she is the one to aim for.
One of the parts I liked best about this game was the ability to choose your own configuration of lines, row and RTP. It’s certainly a game for those who like to consider their bets before placing them. And its another feature that sets Book of Shadows apart from the rest. So think carefully before you spin.
Boom or Bust? 200 Spins On Book of Shadows
To give you an accurate and honest assessment of the games we review our writers play 200 spins. Whilst this is a useful tool to help us review games and to give an example of what might happen when you play, keep in mind that 200 spins is only a very small sample and cannot be used to accurately predict what might happen over another 200 spins. The outcome of all slots play is always random.
I played 200 spins on Book of Shadows in demo mode at Casumo Casino to test the game and this is what happened.
- Stake Size: £0.1
- Start balance: £10,000
- End balance: £9,848.8
- Biggest Win: 23.8x
- Free Spins: 2
- Session Time: 14 minutes 13 seconds
Interestingly, the biggest win I scored in 200 spins was NOT in the free spins round but on a base game spin including 4 Kings and a Wild. It was not spectacular – just 23.8x – but better than anything the free spins round produced in 2 attempts. This is evidence of the power of that high value paytable. You CAN get good wins on single spins in the base game.
The free spins triggered twice. That is good going over 200 spins on a slot like Book of Shadows. First time I went in at 10 spins with 5 rows for maximum RTP and paylines and that brought up a 20.1x win. The expander was the Jack in this case. In the second free spins round I went in for 14 spins on just 3 rows and that brought up a 19.8x win with the Ace as the expander. Not much to choose between the two and in reality, whichever configuration you go for, you are in the hands of the NLC gods as to how it plays out.
Ultimately though, this was an enjoyable 200 spins. The smaller wins were regular – about 30% as described in the games stats and there were enough teases to showcase the bonus round and give a taste what might happen on a better day.
Useful Tips When Playing Book of Shadows
Remember, online slots are games of chance, there is NO strategy that can improve your odds of winning. However, reading our review and following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing this slot game.
1. Look Out For Wilds In The Base Game
You don’t have to be in the free spins round to score big wins here – though it helps (!) – the Book of Shadows Wild can be really helpful in completing paylines in the base game and pays 500x for 5 on a line.
2. Choose A Sensible Stake
Start out at a low-ish stake – even the 10p minimum – to stretch your balance further and give yourself the best chance of hitting the free spins round.
3. Consider Playing With 5 Rows
One of the best parts about this game is the option to play with 4 or 5 rows for more paylines and higher RTP. I like the idea of making that choice. If you can afford it, consider the higher bet level and better return.
4. Only Play At Licensed UK Slot Sites
I recommend that you only play at sites licensed in the UK like the ones on this page. They are regulated under UK law and all games have been audited for fairness and security.
Who Made Book of Shadows?
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