Many Aristocrat slots have free game features, or even break-out bonus rounds. Werewolf Wild adds in some in-reel behavior, which is a rarity for this software provider. This takes the form of the ‘Claw Swipe’ feature, which turns a number of the reels wild at random. This slot started off at live casinos, and is now also available online.
The setup is the standard 25 win-line Aristocrat slot machine. The background is Victorian London, with gas laps and a foggy city in the background. The noises are a mix of the usual Aristocrat beeping tunes and a loud chime when the full moon scatters come in. This did get a little jarring after a while, though overall the slot is very good. You’ll be aiming for the free spins feature while playing this slot. Up to 27 spins are possible, which can be retriggered during play. The click-click sounds, playing cards and ability to gamble after a win will all be very familiar to fans of Aristocrat games.
Win lines are not selected in this game and are fixed at 25. To determine your total bet, you just choose a denomination, which is multiplied by 20. Options start at 2c, giving a minimum spin amount of 50c. High rollers can bet up to $4 per line, or $100 per spin. There is an autoplay option available and a ‘Bet Max’ button too.
The top symbol in this game is the werewolf (the face, rather than the full moon silhouette). This can win you 1000 coins for 5 in a row, and also acts as the wild symbol. As usual the wild substitutes for everything except for the scatter, the special coin symbol can also not be substituted. The 3 people symbols (man, woman and portly policeman) are next, with 500 or 400 coins for all 4. The carriage, lantern and then playing card symbols make up the rest of the winning possibilities.
It is the scatter symbol which brings the overly loud chimes. This is the full moon, and you are after 3+ to start the free spins round. This symbol also has a small payout of its own. The coin only appears in line one, if you combine this with one or more werewolves, then you get a bonus prize as a multiple of your spin amount. This can be up to 40 times your bet.
There are two specials to cover here. The ‘Claw Swipe’ and the free spins bonus round.
While you are playing normally, a giant werewolf will appear from the left of the screen, with its shadow disappearing to the right. Next, between 1 and 5 random symbols on the screen will appear to be scratched by a claw, these then transform into wilds. I am happy to see Aristocrat introducing this type of in-reel element to their games – which other slots makers have been using for many years.
The free spins feature on this game has a great extra – contagious wilds. This is triggered by the scatter symbols (3 = 9 spins, 4 = 18 spins and 5 = 27 spins). While you are playing the werewolf is able to create more werewolves. Any time a werewolf lands next to one of the humans, that human (including the policeman) becomes a werewolf. This continues if the new werewolf is next to yet another human. As you can imagine, this has the potential to lead to a lot of wilds on the screen – and some big payouts.
Having a werewolf appear and ‘claw’ some more wilds may not seem like that big a deal – though I think this is a significant move from Aristocrat. They have acknowledged that today’s slot fans demand in-reel features as well as free spins. If you combine this with the newer ‘break out’ bonuses on slots like ‘Let’s Go Fishin’ or Red Baron, a future where Aristocrat slots are far more involved looks possible.
This is a solid slot, with a nice contagious wild system in the free spins. I did end up turning down the volume (those chimes are just a little too loud), though all-in all I recommend this game to anyone looking to give Aristocrat slots as try.