Stormforged Slot Review
Slot Provider: Hacksaw Gaming
RTP: 96.41% | Variance: High | Maximum Win: 12,500x
Our Score: 8.8
Reviewed by: Mark Wadie
Published Date: 5th July 2023
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.
Stormforged is a Norse-themed high variance slot from Hacksaw Gaming with 5 reels and 14 paylines. The action switches between ice and fire – the realms of Midgard and Muspelheim – and involves Surtur, a fire giant, and several Viking Warriors. Central to the gameplay are expanding wilds with multipliers of up to 200x and two free spins rounds with sticky wild reels which drive wins of up to 12,500x.
Stormforged Game Information
- RTP: 96.41%, 94.28%, 92.35% or 88.46%
- Variance: High
- Maximum Win: 12,500x
- Progressive Jackpot: No
- Reels: 5
- Rows: 4
- Paylines: 14
- Minimum Stake: £0.10
- Theme: Norse
- Features: Expanding Wilds, Free spins, multipliers, sticky wild reels
Stormforged Review Scores
- Gameplay and Features 9
- Maximum Win 9
- Theme and Design 9
- Paytable 9
- RTP and Variance 8
What Our Reviewer Says ...
"A high class Norse-themed slot with some familiar features and plenty of opportunities to score big wins"
Our Score: 8.8
Stormforged Pros and Cons
What We Liked
- Treasure Chests worth up to 2,500x
- Huge multipliers - up to 200x
- Sticky wild reels bring big potential
- Great artwork in bonus rounds
- Higher top win than most Hacksaw games
What We Didn't like
- Option for low RTP settings
- Very tough to unlock bonuses
Theme & Design
Our Score 9
With its classic Norse imagery and storyline, Stormforged follows in the footsteps of many Norse-themed slots that have come before it, including Microgaming’s classic Thunderstruck 2. The icy backdrop represents the realm of Midgard – basically the known world in Norse Mythology. But the action quickly shifts to the firey realms of Muspelheim if you unlock the free spins rounds.
As with all Hacksaw slots the production is impressive, particularly the animations that show portals to Muspelheim opening on the reels, the Hammer of Thor hitting the reels in the bonus round, and the Viking Warriors themselves on the wild reels.
Hacksaw have also found a way to represent yet another terrifying character in one of their games – Surtur, a fire giant who doesn’t look entirely unlike Anubis from Hand of Anubis. Maybe another duelling slot in the making there ….!
Altogether, a great looking slot doing justice to the theme and epic potential.
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.
Casinos will run Stormforged at one of FOUR available RTP settings: 96.41%, 94.28%, 92.35% or 88.46%. The optimum setting of 96.41% is good, but you don’t want to be playing at any of the lower RTP levels if possible. We verified the RTP of Stormforged at five UK slot sites to see what setting they had chosen for the game. This is what we found:
- Casumo (independent): 94.28%
- BacanaPlay (Skill on Net): 92.35%
- Barz (White Hat Gaming): 94.28%
- Pub Casino (L and L Europe): 94.28%
- MrQ (independent): 96.41%
Therefore, If you want to play Stormforged at the optimum RTP then we recommend that you play at MrQ.
Stormforged is a high variance slot, similar to Hacksaw Gaming slots like Hand of Anubis and Itero. The balance of payouts may be uneven, but the game has the potential to kick out some big win sequences where sticky expanding wilds, multipliers and free spins combine.
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 Stormforged is 12,500x which is the highest maximum win available for a Hacksaw Gaming slot at time of writing (July 2023). Other Hacksaw slots with a 12,500x max win are RIP City and Cursed Seas.
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Symbols and Paytable
Our Score 9
Stormforged is a 5 reel slot with 4 rows and 14 active paylines in play on every spin. Wins are triggered in the ususal way when 3 or more identical symbols drop onto a payline from left to right, starting at the left-most reel.
This slot has an impressive paytable, with some strong values across the board. All the more impressive when you consider how much uplift can also be experienced from the multipliers available in the game’s features.
Low payers are the cards Jack through to Ace. They are valued at from 0.1x for 3 Jacks up to 6x for 5 Aces. Premiums are the swords, axe, helmet, rams head, raven and wolf, valued at from 0.5x for 3 swords up to 50x for 5 wolves.
There is also a Wild in Stormforged that substitutes in for all other symbols to complete winlines and pays out at 100x for five on a line, a Treasure Chest that pays out up to 4x for 5 on a line, and two scatters that unlock the free spins rounds.
Features and Gameplay
Our Score 9
Stormforged’s format of expanding wilds with multipliers and two free spins rounds will be familiar to Hacksaw Gaming fans. But the addition of wild reels and a treasure chest is novel and adds new dimensions.
Expanding Wilds – Portals to Muspelheim
Central to the gameplay are expanding wilds, woven into the narrative of the game here as ‘Portals to Muspelheim’. These are triggered when a Hand of Surtur scatter lands on any reel. When it drops, if by expanding downwards as an expanded wild it would form part of a winline, then it does so. The space where the expanded wild appears is known as a Portal to Muspelheim.
If the portal passes through a Wild then that Wild takes on a multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 7x, 8x, 9x, 10x, 15x, 20x, 25x, 50x, 100x or 200x. This multiplier is applied to all winlines passing through the portal.
The portal may also pass through a Treasure Chest, smashing it open in the process and awarding its content as prizes. Treasure Chests have a massive range of prizes from 5x up to 2,500x your bet.
And … if the portal passes through a Wild AND a Treasure Chest then the two multipliers are combined for the payout.
Surtur’s Vengeance Bonus Round
For the first of two bonus rounds, landing 3, 4 or 5 Surtur Scatters gets you 10, 12 or 14 free spins. For Surtur’s Vengeance the first Wild to land on each reel is sticky for the whole round and any Wilds that were on the reels when the feature was awarded are carried over though only one sticky Wild is allowed per reel.
During Surtur’s Vengeance, the Frost Sword Scatter takes on the role of the Hand of Surtur Scatter from the base game – it drives downwards to create a portal if by doing so it would create winlines. It also acquires multipliers from any wilds it passes through and opens any Treasure Chests too.
This round can be enhanced by landing 2, 3, 4 or 5 further scatters to earn 2, 4, 6 or 8 extra spins.
Warriors of the Storm Bonus Round
The second bonus round is triggered by landing 3, 4 or 5 Viking Scatters to earn 10, 12 or 14 free spins. Now, the Hammer of Thor may land, turning any reel it drops onto into a fully wild reel filled either with a Viking Warrior or a Storm.
Viking Warriors come in 3 formats and are wild for the whole round – Rogue has a multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x or 5; Shieldmaiden has a multiplier of 6x, 7x, 8x, 9x or 10x; Berserker has a multiplier of 15x, 20x, 25x, 50x, 100x or 200x.
Storm Reels are wild for only the first spin after they appear. Then they move one reel to the left, pushing any other Storm Reels further left as they do. If there is no available space to the left of the Storm Reel then it stays where it is.
This round can be extended when 2, 3, 4 or 5 Viking Scatters earn the player 2, 4, 6 or 8 extra spins.
The Final Verdict
Our Score 8.8
Stormforged is an excellent high variance slot from Hacksaw, arguably one of their best to date. The theme is a little over-used, and the design style less unique than Hand of Anubis for example, but we quickly set those reservations aside. And whilst Stormforged utilises features that we have seen in other games by this provider, what sets it apart is the addition of further triggers that can push wins up to new heights.
For example, the expanding wilds, or Portals to Muspelheim as they are here, have appeared as Siren Wilds in Beast Below, and Cursed Chests in Cursed Seas, with equally high multipliers. But on this occasion, Hacksaw have added in the chance to trigger Treasure Chests with huge potential as the symbols expand downwards. And in Temple of Torment we had Sticky Wild Scarabs during free spins, much like the Sticky Wilds that appear here, but this time they appear alongside the Frost Swords that combine with Treasure Chests and Wild Multipliers once again. So, not just a case of treading the same ground, but more evolutions of ideas in this case.
The stand-out feature is the Warriors of the Storm Round which we played with Bonus Buy on the Hacksaw site. With potential for Sticky Wild Reels with multipliers up to 200x on multiple reels, you can see how this round can stack up massive wins.
And big wins are definitely going to be possible here – the high values in the paytable, huge multipliers and big Treasure Chest all point in that direction– though they will be rare things.
So, overall, a high quality, if volatile offering from Hacksaw, and one that fans of the studio, and high risk slot fans in general, will definitely enjoy.
Boom or Bust? 200 Spins On Stormforged
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 rattled through 200 spins in just 14 minutes whilst testing Stormforged at Pub Casino from L and L Europe. Here are the numbers from that session.
- Spins: 200
- Stake Size: 10p
- Start balance: £16.90
- End balance: £6.94
- Biggest Win (excluding bonus rounds): 46x
- Free Spins rounds: 0
- Session Time: 14 minutes 8 seconds
As you can see, Stormforged was unforgiving, with no free spins rounds in 200 spins. Even Expanding Wilds were a rare occurrence, though on one occasion when they came into play the slot kicked out a 46x win.
Although 200 spins is only a relatively small number of spins to go on, this experience is in line with what you would expect from a particularly tough high variance game which saves back a lot of payouts for the big wins moments.
Here is how the Warriors of Storm bonus round looks when played for free through the Hacksaw Gaming site.
Highlights Video From Testing Including Free Spins Round
Compare Stormforged With Similar Slots Picked By Us
Here are more games like Stormforged compared on configuration and features. Click through to read a review of each one.
|Slot Game||Provider||Theme||Min. Stake||Max. RTP||Variance||Paylines||Top Payout||Jackpot|
|Hacksaw Gaming||Animals||£0.10||96.31%||Medium||Scatter Pays||5,000x||No|
|Hacksaw Gaming||American Prairie||£0.10||96.36%||High||10||10,000x||No|
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