When it comes to NextGen, it’s like opening a Kinder Egg for iGaming. The game might be fantastic (rare) or terrible. When NextGen announces a new game, fans of their previous work like 300 Shields, Medusa II, and Cash Stampede become excited. The point, however, is that quality is highly inconsistent and variable, and that we haven’t seen a game as fantastic as those stated above in years.
Shields of the Wild is a five-reel, three-row slot machine with ten fixed paylines. Low- and high-stakes players both will like the wide betting range of €0.10 to €100. Like Novomatic, NextGen slots feature a somewhat lower RTP than those of most other well-established game producers. The 95.5% RTP isn’t the worst we’ve seen, but it’s also not particularly generous in comparison to other options.
There are rolling hills and mountains in the background, and a knight and monarch stand on either side of the reel set, creating the sense that an epic battle has just taken place. With an opening sequence reminiscent of Vikings Go Berserk, this service is a visual feast.
Symbolic “Wild” Protection Shields
It’s a relic from the past designed to throw off modern gamblers that the rewards are listed in coins’ worth. No one should get their hopes up after taking a look at this salary scale. There aren’t a ton of paylines, and the symbols aren’t worth much. There is no clear delineation between low-value and high-value symbols; everything just blends together like a mound of dog crap. For instance, even a complete screen of the top symbol (the wild) is only worth 250 times the wager.
The eight standard emblems all have shields of varying sizes and designs. The game’s logo appears on the wild shield, while a sword serves as the scatter. In addition, during bonus games, a “upgrade” symbol may occur.
Protection Wall Function
In the main game, the Shield Wall function occurs at random. When activated, arrows are fired at the reels, and all symbols receive a boost. This process may be repeated up to eight times until a final tally is produced after the most recent update. You might win 250 times your bet if you get a number of wild symbols.
Wild Stacks Bonus Spins
We apologize in advance for the length of this explanation, but the Marching Stacks free spins game is rather complex. Although this slot’s symbol upgrading mechanism is similar to others, it takes a somewhat different tack. Any three, four, or five scatters anywhere on the reels activates the free spins bonus round. There is no set number of spins given for free. Instead, it allows the upgrading mechanisms to take their course.
At the start of the bonus round, reel 5 will be stacked with symbols. The amount of scatters that triggered the free games will determine which icons will appear in this bonus round. For instance, if you obtain 5 scatters, the two least valuable symbols will be completely gone, and your chances of getting an initial upgrade all the way to the Silver Wolf Shield symbol will increase.
The symbol stacks advance to the left by one spot with each spin. That’s right; after just 2 rotations, reels 4 and 5 will be completely stacked with the same symbol. Now, the stack stays put and the stacked symbols get a boost whenever a scatter symbol appears on the reels. Below the reels, you can observe the evolving set of symbols. When all 5 reels are full with stacked symbols, the Marching Stacks bonus round is over.
If you get a retrigger after your free spins have ended, you’ll start the process over, but this time with your enhanced symbol. To unlock this slot’s full potential, you must do this. The potential for the free spins to be retriggered looks to be infinite.
The Last of the Wild’s Shields
To have a chance at the maximum payout, players need to either get fortunate with retriggers or land upgrade symbols frequently throughout the free spins, ideally until upgraded to the Wild symbol. After playing for almost 25 bonus rounds, we finally unlocked the second-best normal symbol, which paid out about 100 times the initial wager.
We think Shields of the Wild is one of NextGen’s best-looking games ever made because of how beautifully it was created. It’s surprisingly enjoyable to play with a feature that is pretty exhilarating and the risk of a random retrigger at the end adds another taste to the meat. This is certainly not a slot that will create many 2000x+ winnings, but it seems to be a respectable wagering slot with a pretty high enjoyment factor.
NextGen’s Shields of the Wild has not yet been released, but we anticipate its release within the next few months. Seeking additional slot machines from NextGen Gaming? Try out our NextGen section.