Silk Road is a 243 ‘reel power’ slot machine from Aristocrat. The theme is the old trade route between Asia and Europe, which took in a lot of the middle east. If anything, this slot feels more Arabic in flavor than either Asian or European. Like many Aristocrat games, this is a simple setup. There is only one feature (a free spins round with multipliers) and the graphics are plain to the point of being a little retro.
On the plus side, Aristocrat slots are strong on the basic game-play, and offer the chance of big payouts – though the variance can be on the high side. If you are familiar with Aristocrat slots, this one is quite similar to the other ‘reel power’ games including Choi Sun Doa and the Roman themed Pompeii.
Symbols include a friendly look Arabic trader, moth, scroll and an oriental looking ship. There are many of the hallmark features of Aristocrat slots included in this game. The galloping clicks when the reels stop, the playing card symbols and the computer-generated tunes which come in when you win are all standard. You’ll also find the same playing card symbols as the other slots, plus the opportunity to gamble wins on the turn of a card.
There are no win-lines to select from. With 243 ways slots, any consecutive combination from left to right is a winner. Choosing your spin amount involves selecting your denomination(from 1c) and credits per spin (up to 125). You’ll be able to spin from 50c in many casinos, and from 25c online. You will have the option to set an autospin, which can be stopped at any time.
The symbol you will be hoping to line up 5 of is the Arab trader. This is worth 2500 for 25 credit spins for 5 of a kind, with the fort symbol worth 2000 for 5. The ship and basket are the next standard symbols, with the playing cards supplying a lot of smaller wins.
Special symbols are the moth, which is the scatter and also triggers the bonus game, and the silk scroll, which is wild. Unusually, the wild symbol, which only appears on lines 2 and 4 in this game, does substitute for the scatter (as well as any of the other symbols).
You can win between 10 and 20 free games by hitting 3, 4 or 5 scatters (moths, scrolls or combination of these). During the bonus feature, any win which includes the scroll gets a multiplier of between 2x and 5x, this can add significantly to your wins – particularly if the scroll makes multiple winning combinations with different symbols.
The free spins can be retriggered while playing the feature.
The original silk road covered more than 6,000 kilometers, starting in China and ending in Europe. Its name came from the fine silks which were transported along the road, though it was used to trade many other commodities. It is thought to have begun during the Han dynasty, which started in 206BC. Many civilizations used this route during the next 2000 years. While transport is different today, parts of the original Silk road have been named as World Heritage sites.
This is a nicely put together game, though nothing to get excited about of to make it stand out from the crowd. I like the simple game play, which is very characteristic of Aristocrat slots, the 243 ways setup is easier to ‘read’ than the old win lines once you get used to it. There is nothing that could keep someone playing this slot for long, especially with more modern slots introducing more interactive features – both on the reels and as break out bonus games.