If there's one trend that continues in popularity regardless of the innovation that hits the iGaming sector, it's a book game. No matter how many new mechanics, techniques, and skills we are showcased on a monthly basis, players continue to go back to, and enjoy, the classics. Book games are the epitome of “classic”, and almost every provider has got one under their belt. Pragmatic Play themselves have a few book games already within their catalogue, including the 2020 hit Book of Tut, part of the John Hunter series. This year, Pragmatic are continuing to build their extensive selection of games with Book of Vikings, a nordic, highly volatile (rated 4.5/5) book game, with wins of up to 5,500x bet on offer, an RTP of 96.50%, helped along the way with a 1 in 3 hit frequency.
Visually, Book of Vikings is dark, with hazy blue and purple skies in the background. Clouds move across the skies, broken up only by lightning bolts. Nordic ships are barely visible to the bottom of the screen, rocking one the deep blue seas that are ravaged by storms. These seas are dangerous and the tension is paramount, as light, folksy audios play through the background.
Book of Vikings Base Features
Taking place across 5 reels with 3 symbols on each, Book of Vikings has 10 fixed pay lines, with wins formed by matching at least 2 or 3 of a kind along a win line. Symbols helping to form wins include 10, J, Q, K and As, appropriately styled and rewarding players with between 10 and 15x bet, for a 5 of a kind win. At the premium end, horns, helmets, and a female character pay between 75 and 200x bet, again for 5 of a kind, but also paying 2 ways. Finally, the viking pays between 1x bet for 2 of a kind, and a huge 500x bet for 5 of a kind.
The purple book acts as both the Scatter symbol and the wild symbol, substituting for all symbols. 3 or more books anywhere on the reels trigger free spins, whilst also paying a trigger value:
- 3 Scatters: 2x bet
- 4 Scatters: 20x bet
- 5 Scatters: 200x bet
Book of Vikings Bonus
Upon triggering free spins, the book will open in the centre of the screen, flicking through the pages until it lands on one symbol, which becomes the designated Special Expanding Symbol. During free spins, if a regular symbol has been chosen to expand, 3 or more landing anywhere on the reels will expand to fill all positions, and pay across all lines, taking 5 of a kind A's from a 15x bet win in the base game to a 150x bet win during free spins, for players who manage to land 5. If a premium symbol has been chosen, 2 or more landing anywhere on the reels will expand. With 10 fixed lines, 5 of a kind expanding Vikings becomes 5,000x, helping us to see how it becomes easier to get closer to that 5,500x win cap.
Landing 3 or more Scatter symbols during free spins retriggers the feature, awarding 10 extra free spins. When the feature is re-triggered, no additional special symbol is selected, and players instead carry on with their already selected symbol.
Players in appropriate regions can choose to buy the feature at a cost of 100x bet, wherein at least 3 Scatter symbols will land on the next spin. For those unable, or unwilling, to purchase the feature, free spins will land on average 1 in 174 spins.
What can be said? I don't think at this stage in the game any provider is releasing a book game and expecting it to receive acclaim from players globally. Book games are solid. Statistically, we can usually expect them to be good, and Book of Vikings is no different. A hit frequency of 1 in 3, free spins on average 1 in 174, and RTP of 96.50%, high volatility and maximum wins of 5,500x bet – what's not to like?
From an understanding point of view, players won't need much prior experience to pick up Book of Vikings. Compared to some of the more complex games being introduced this year, it's a breath of fresh air, particularly for new players, or well established fans of the ‘book of' mechanic. Visuals keep things modern and well executed, with a clear distinction between regular and premium symbols, to add to the ease of understanding.
Book of Vikings probably isn't going to be as talked about as other Pragmatic releases this year, such as Fruit Party 2, but it still remains a solid addition to their continually expanding catalogue.
*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.