This is Sparta! Alright, I haven't actually seen the movie, so I don't really know the context of that line, but I'm guessing its the sort of one liner that fits in anywhere. Here's hoping, because my knowledge of both History and Geography are not established enough without pop culture references, and today we're looking at Sparta. That's right, Light and Wonder are back with another 300 Shields release, and this time they're adding their latest mechanic into the mix, for 300 Shields Mighty Ways. With a default RTP of 95.99%, this highly volatile release is capable of producing wins up to 30,000x bet, so let's dive straight in.
Visually, things are much the same as the original, but much, much better. Graphics have had a serious upgrade, and although the symbols themselves are more or less the same (with the addition of a new helmet premium symbol), they just look sharper and brighter – which is to be expected from something like this. Audios are as triumphant as we remember them, helping to set the tone well, keeping us excited, and creating this feeling that something good really might be coming. We also now have impressive big win count up imagery – which kind of reminds me a bit of Bushido Ways xNudge, both in content and stylising.
300 Shields Mighty Ways Base Features
Taking place across 6 reels, wins are formed on 300 Shields Mighty Ways by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the left reel. Reels begin with 3 symbols on each, producing 729 ways to win, but this can increase as high as 262,144 ways to win with the help of the Mighty Ways mechanic, which we'll get to in a moment. For now, let's take a look at the symbols available, beginning with non premiums – 9s, 10s, Js, Qs, Ks, and As. Land 3 of a kind of any non premium to see wins between 0.05 and 0.15x bet, with these wins increasing to values between 0.50 and 0.90x bet for 6 of a kind matches. At the premium end, we have spears, swords, ships, and helmets – awarding wins between 0.20 and 0.50x bet for 3 of a kind, up to values between 1.50 and 5x bet for 6 of a kind. Rounding up the regular pay symbols are archers, awarding wins between 1 and 10x bet, for matches between 3 and 6 of a kind.
Alongside all regular pay symbols, Warrior symbols are available. Warrior symbols act as Wilds, substituting for all symbols except Shield Bonus symbols. Warrior symbols appear on reels 2-6, can substitute for multiple symbols in one spin, and pay out for each win they are involved in.
The first thing to cover in 300 Shields Mighty Ways is the Cascade feature. On every spin, all symbols involved in a win will be removed from the reels. All remaining symbols will then drop down to fill the spaces, with any remaining spaces being filled by new symbols dropping in from above. Cascades continue until no more wins are formed.
Working hand in hand with Cascades is the Mighty Ways mechanic. For every symbol that forms part of a win, the associated reel will increase in height by 1 symbol before the next Cascade. Each reel can meet a maximum height of 8 symbols – or 262,144 ways to win across all reels. Ways reset back to 729 ahead of the next spin.
300 Shields Mighty Ways Bonus
Land 3, 4, or 5 Shield Bonus symbols to trigger 5, 7, or 10 Free Games. During Free Games, all wins involving Warrior Wild symbols are awarded a multiplier of x2. Alongside this, Shield Bonus symbols can continue to land, and are collected throughout Free Games:
- Collect 2 Shields – An additional +5 spins are awarded, with Warrior wins x5 during the additional spins.
- Collect 6 Shields – An additional +5 spins are awarded, with Warrior wins x25 during the additional spins.
- Collect 12 Shields – An additional +5 spins are awarded, with Warrior wins x300 during the additional spins.
Remember, as always the multiplier only applies to wins involving Warrior symbols, and is not an overall win multiplier. Landing 3 Shields in any one spin will award +5 additional spins, at the current multiplier stage, as well as adding to the Shield counter.
Landing 6 Shield Bonus symbols will trigger 5 Super Free Games. During Super Free Games, all Warrior wins are awarded a multiplier of x300, however shields are still collected:
- Collect 2 Shields – An additional +5 spins are awarded.
- Collect 6 Shields – An additional +5 spins are awarded.
- Collect 12 Shields – An additional +5 spins are awarded.
Warrior wins are multiplied by x300 at all stages throughout Super Free Games. Landing 3 Shields in any one spin will award +5 additional spins, again with Warrior wins multiplied by x300, as well as adding to the Shield counter.
Players in appropriate regions can fast track to the action with two Buy Pass options:
- 50x bet – 5, 7, or 10 Free Games
- 1,566x bet – 5 Super Free Games
The maximum win available in 300 Shields Mighty Ways is 30,000x bet. If the sum of a single game round exceeds this, the game round will end, and 30,000x bet will be awarded.
Light and Wonder's Mighty Ways mechanic might be one of the strongest things they've released in a long time, and it seems the team are aware of this as they are applying this mechanic to as many of their releases as possible. On this occasion, it works – very well. The concept of 300 Shields has benefitted hugely from Mighty Ways, especially in a release where the end goal (reaching x300) seems to come so rarely.
Of course, with the addition of Super Free Games this multiplier can come as often as you like, although I'm not sure it works in quite the same way. Sure, I saw some huge wins in Super Free Games when testing the game, but it feels like the essence of 300 Shields is missing in this option – the feeling of building, getting ever closer to that ultimate goal, and momentarily forgetting if you're out of luck, or if you have another 5 spins to go – it all goes away when you buy Super Free Games. Still, if you're impatient and you don't mind being 1,566x bet out of pocket, you'll maybe have stronger feelings towards it.
Things are highly volatile, with a default RTP of 95.99%, although versions as low as 90.0% are available so as always, be sure to check this beforehand. Wins are available up to an impressive 30,000x bet – although I think it's fairly obvious these aren't coming from Mighty Ways alone, and will definitely require progression to x300 and a few Warrior symbols to seal the deal.
It's a strange journey in 300 Shields Mighty Ways. In the one cascading spin you can see a win of 500x thanks to a x300 multiplier, followed by a measly 1x, finished off with 100x when you've increased your ways enough. It's up and down, and a bit all over the place, but in a really exciting way. The progression remains overall though, and the goal is clear – reach the x300, and hope for a Warrior. If you liked the original, you'll love this one.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.