Merlin and the Ice Queen Morgana Review

From Play n Go

Merlin and the Ice Queen Morgana is an atmospheric, ‘Book of’ slot from Play n Go with an Arthurian Legend theme. This slot has between 1 and 10 paylines, Wilds, Free Spins, Expanding Symbols and a medium-high volatility rating. Stacked Morgana Wilds come with multipliers up to 8x and the free spins round uses a classic Expanding Symbols mode like all ‘Book of’ games. Spin 5 reels packed with icy symbols and battle your way towards the 20,000x top prize.

OUR RATING:

Score
8.5

Name:  Merlin and the Ice Queen Morgana

Developer:  Play n Go

Paylines:  Up to 10

Reels:  5

Rows:  4

RTP:  96.2%

Variance:  Medium-High

Top Payout:  20,000x

Jackpot:  No

Release Date:  November 2021

Features:  Wilds, Stacked Wilds, Free Spins, Expanding Symbols, Gamble Game

About This Slot

Play n Go has brought two very familiar slots features to the table with their latest release, Merlin and the Ice Queen Morgana – the classic ‘Book of’ engine and the mythical legend of Arthur.

The ‘Book of’ format will be familiar to pretty much anyone with more than a passing interest in online slots. It’s one that started life in games such as Novomatic’s Book of Ra and Play n Go’s own Book of Dead and has been re-worked by everyone from Big Time Gaming to No Limit City and even Slingo Originals. Done well it is simplistic slots play at its best with few features but good use of Wilds and a free spins round with an expanding symbol that can help build bigger wins and famously produce the holy grail of a full screen of identical symbols.  Play n Go have a history of making great slots in this format so it’s exciting to load up another with their name on it.

Here they have wedded the format to a classic Arthurian legend with some nice storytelling to set the scene as Merlin goes in search of Morgana in some mythical icy landscape. The result is a truly atmospheric slot and an attractive design. There is a definite chill in the air as you load up the game and the cold snap continues as you spin these reels stacked with a bunch of icy symbols, including Moranga herself as an expanded icon taking over entire reels.

RTP, Variance and Top Payout

  • Morgana Wild – 250x for 5 on a line
  • Merlin Staff Scatter -250x for 5 on a line

Merlin and the Ice Queen Morgana takes place on a standard reel set with 5 reels and 3 rows of symbols and from 1 to 10 active paylines. Players can set their own payline level before each spin.

The symbols include rings, cauldrons, books and Merlin’s staff, along with Wild Moranga symbols. There are also some high cards to award the lower payouts of 1.5x to 2.5x your bet. The picture symbols will pay from 10x to 250x your bet with the Merlin symbol the highest-paying symbol in the game.  Note though that these figures can increase substantially if you land some good multipliers in either the base game or the bonus round.

The Wild symbol is Morgana and will substitute for all the other symbols in the game to create more potential winning combinations. The Merlin staff symbol is the Scatter and this can activate the Free Spins bonus round when you land 3 or more on the reels.

Symbols and Graphics

The RTP of this slot is set at 96.2% – pretty standard for most games these days – and the volatility level is medium to high or 7/10 by Play n Go’s own reckoning. This contains a relatively high element of risk, though not as volatile as other ‘Book of’ games such as Book of Dead. At the same time with variable paylines form 1 to 10 per spin, it is playable from just 1p which makes it a game those with a lower risk threshold can enjoy.

The maximum payout is very decent at 20,000x though let’s not get carred away. The odds of hitting that jackpot are 1 in 1,000,000,000. What you can expect though is wins of 1,000x + if you have a lucky run in the free spins round with stacked wilds and multipliers.

What We Like

  Compelling Arthurian legend theme
  Free Spins with Expanding Symbols
  Added Expander Wild with Multipliers
  High potential at 20,000x
  Start spinning from just 1p

What We Don't Like

  'Book of' games are not that original

Gameplay and Features

  • Stacked Wilds With Multipliers
  • Free Spins With Expander Symbols
  • Gamble Game

There are no real surprises here, just Play n Go doing what they do best. It’s a classic ‘Book of’ format with the addition of the Morgana Wilds with the multipliers in play.

Morgana Wilds

Morgana the ice queen is the Wild symbol in the game. This not only stands in for the other symbols to create more potential winning combinations, it also often lands stacked. When this happens, the Multiplier is activated adding a 2x, 3x, 5x or 8x Multiplier to all payouts.

Free Spins

Landing 3 Merlin’s scattered staff symbols launches the Free Spins round. You will get 10 Free Spins initially. Before this round commences, one symbol is selected to be the Expanding Symbol and it will appear fully expanded across an entire reel if it helps towards a win.

Importantly, Morgana Wilds can help here in their expanded format as they can also sub in for expander symbols in the free spins round.

Gamble Game

The gamble feature, also a regular in ‘Book of’ games allows you to gamble for more on any winning spin. If you choose to gamble, simply guess the colour or suit of the next card in the deck on screen. If you guess correctly, you’ll receive double your money for the right colour or quadruple your money for the right suit. Be careful though – a wrong guess means you’ll forfeit your winnings from the spin. It’s possible to gamble up to 5 times, so there is the potential to massively enhance your payout with this feature.

Our Verdict

The ‘Book of’ format is one of the most popular in modern online slots and Play n Go are one of the best slot providers when it comes to producing games of this nature. So it’s not really a surprise to see that they have done a great job with Merlin and the Ice Queen Morgana. Avoiding the well-worn Egyptian / explorer theme and opting for an Arthurian legend has paid off thanks to a nice narrative and some typically compelling graphics.

Play n Go get extra marks for the addition of the Morgana Wilds which sit nicely with the standard features of a ‘Book of’ game. Meanwhile, the slightly modified maths model has opened up this slot to a wider audience. With a choice of 1 to 10 paylines and a minimum stake of just 1p those with smaller balances can still take on this relatively high-risk game for a few kicks. Just keep in mind that the payouts will be pretty uneven and it can be a frustrating play. Of course you always have the Gamble Game which is used here, giving you the chance to add some big rewards at the turn of a card if you’re up for the risk.

Visually of course, Merlin and the Ice Queen Morgana is a feast, with the icy setting and Expanded Morgana Wilds particularly eye-catching. And if you are looking for a comparable game of this type then Book of Shadows by No Limit is a good alternative, also with a striking aesthetic whilst taking the ‘Book of’ series to new places. That one also has a higher top payout – over 30,000x – and a higher variance so may appeal to those with less aversion to risk.

In summary, Play n Go have delivered another quality slot that will be pleasing to anyone who likes getting stuck into an expanding symbol game. Sometimes the old ones are just the best!

 

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