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Ever since Novomatic kicked off the ‘Book of’ slot craze with their ground-breaking 2004 release Book of Ra, developers have scrambled to concoct their own rival slot interpretations that attempt to apply Novomatic’s blueprint in all manner of ways. Like Book of Ra, the majority of games occupying the category tend be set among the familiar plains of Ancient Egypt - arguably the most worn out of all slot territories.
As the market matures and tastes broaden, so must developers keep pace and look to diversify their back catalogues to keep players entertained. Premier software house Nolimit City take us off in an entirely different direction altogether with their own 2020 ‘Book’ offering, which has precisely nothing to do with Ancient Egypt, or any of its associated Gods.
Swapping the arid North African desert for somewhere altogether colder, darker and damper, Book of Shadows is nonetheless a riveting game that retains much of the ‘Book’ DNA, while adding a fresh new twist to the category. Let’s see how the software suite’s first foray into Book territory stacks up.
Upon first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking the game retells a classic horror story, borrowing from the likes of cult favourite Immortal Romance, perhaps. But any similarities to such titles end there. Nolimit City have applied a healthy dash of occult flavour to this original release - felt at various junctures throughout the game. A case in point is the paytable that comprises lower paying Royals plus an eclectic collection of symbols like Eyeballs, Butterflies, Goat Skulls, Purple Cats, and Female Goths, while an atmospheric Arabic soundtrack cuts through the action to crank up the mysterious vibe with the help of chilling wolf howls.
An impressive top payout worth 500x your bet is up for grabs in the base game for landing five Female Goths in any given spin.
Wins are are achieved by lining up matching symbols across a minimum of 3 reels sat adjacently, from the left outer reel in Book of Shadows.
Nolimit City have generously loaded the game with bonus features.
In standard Book fashion, the Scatter symbol doubles up as a Wild in Book of Shadows, helping you form winning combos, while triggering the game’s bonus round when showing up in threes.
The Lucky Locks feature lets players hold up to 4 reels in place on subsequent spins for an adjusted fee - especially useful whenever you catch 2 Scatters across separate reels to set up you for a possible Bonus trigger. But do be prepared to pay a higher cost for the privilege.
As mentioned, catching sight of 3 Scatters arriving in the base game is enough to warrant access to the game’s Free Spins bonus round.
Your starting free spin haul depends on the number of rows you have activated, awarded as follows:
In classic Book fashion, one ‘Golden’ symbol is chosen at random prior to the commencement of the round to represent the Expanding Wild for its duration. Nolimit City have kindly bolted on a second chance feature here, letting you shuffle the pack if you’re not happy with the selection. (Hint: always gamble for another symbol if it selects a low paying Royal!)
Whenever at least 2 of these symbols show up on separate reels, they duly expand to cover the entire reel, making for a top payout worth 10,000x whenever Female Goths fill the whole screen.
Following every win, players have the option to chance their haul in exchange for some free spins by landing the Wheel of Bonus on a highlighted segment. The size of the segment is proportionate to the win amount - so the bigger your win, the higher your chance of scooping up some extra spins.
For a fee equivalent to either 60x, 90x or 120x your stake, you can bypass the base game requirements to activate the ‘Nolimit bonus’ instantly. This furnishes you with 10 spins, and either 3, 4 or 5 rows to contend with throughout the round.
This being a Book slot at heart, the game comes with the customary Gamble Feature that gives players the opportunity to double their winnings in a classic red/black showdown - or risk walking away empty-handed.
The slot has been configured to be playable on all modern gaming platforms. Whether you prefer to get your gaming fix on tablet, mobile or desktop, enjoy Book of Shadows’ same engrossing gameplay and impressive audio-visual output in equal measure.
Book of Shadows has been given a medium volatility rating, designed to broaden its appeal to seasoned gamblers and wide-eyed newcomers alike, along with those enchanted by the occult - or indeed ‘Book’ slots. What that means is moderate payouts tend to arrive with a fair degree frequency, punctuated by the odd big win.
Nolimit City’s ambitious contribution to the long line of Book slots offers an engrossing interpretation of the original formula. The developers summon the sorcery of the occult to produce one of the original video slots of 2020, while paradoxically applying some tried and tested game mechanics.
Book of Shadows’ off-piste concept, paired with thrilling gameplay, combine to stir the emotions in ways not achieved by many competing titles.
A max win worth 30,338x your wager is yet one more reason to add this game to your shortlist.
Min/Max Bet: 0.20 – 100.00
Volatility: High (10/10)
Platform: Desktop & Mobile
Developer: Nolimit City
Game Type: Slots