Summer may barely be over, but Big Time Gaming are already getting into a spooky mood as they gear up for their upcoming release – Castle of Terror. If you haven't guessed by the name, Castle of Terror is a seasonal release – specifically Halloween, but don't worry, it still has the classic Big Time Gaming touch you've come to know. With wins available up to 61,720x bet, this release is highly volatile, with a fixed RTP of 96.72%.
Visually, things are feeling suitably Halloween-y. There's definitely a vibe of Transylvania, kind of like Dracula might live in the castle on the hill, but it's all very refined. Interestingly, this season release is set during the day, which does take away from the terror slightly – skies are clear blue, and the sun is breaking through the gaps, which makes things quite pleasant, even with the tombstone in view. Audios do a good job of tying everything together, fitting for the theme, but retaining the BTG trademarks that we recognise.
Castle of Terror Base Features
Taking place across 6 reels, wins are formed on Castle of Terror by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel. There are always 4 symbols present on each reel, giving a total of 4,096 ways to win. Symbols available begin with non premiums – 9s, 10s, Js, Qs, Ks, and As. Landing 3 of a kind of any non premium will award wins between 0.10 and 0.20x bet, with these values increasing to between 0.30 and 0.50x bet for 6 of a kind. At the premium end, we meet four characters – as usual they are green, blue, red, and purple in colour, and are a gardener, a maid, a gentleman, and a lady. Oh, and they all have an evil side – it is Halloween, after all. Land 3 of a kind of green, blue, or red premiums to see wins between 0.25 and 0.30x bet, increasing to values between 0.60 and 1x bet for 6 of a kind. Purple ladies are the only symbol which pay for two ways, awarding wins of 0.50, 1, 2, 3, and an impressive 50x bet, for 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of a kind wins, respectively.
There are no Reactions in Castle of Terror, but there are two main elements to break up base game monotony – firstly, Holy Water, which is where we meet Wild symbols for the first time. On every spin, there is a chance that Holy Water will be triggered, and splash onto the middle four reels. At least two positions will be splashed, and if one of the four premium symbols (a gardener, a maid, a gentleman, or a lady) land in a splashed position, they will turn Wild, and increment the win multiplier by +1.
Wins are evaluated after symbols have turned Wild, and Wilds will substitute for all symbols except Scatters. Before the next spin, the win multiplier will reset to x1.
Next, it's Win Exchange™. With Win Exchange, whenever you win 100x bet or more, you have the option to exchange 100x bet for 12 Free Spins. If you have won more than 100x bet, only 100x bet will be exchanged, and the remainder will be added to your Free Spins win.
If you win between 25 and 99x bet, you have the option to exchange the entire win for a chance to be awarded 12 Free Spins – by gambling. The chance of winning the gamble is represented by green on the wheel, and the chance of losing is represented by red. The higher x bet the win, the more green will be present on the wheel.
Castle of Terror Bonus
There are two Scatters present in Castle of Terror – a regular Silver Castle Scatter, and a Gold Castle Megascatter, which can only land on reel 6. Land 3 or more Scatters to trigger 12 Free Spins, plus an additional +3 spins for every Scatter beyond the third. If one of the triggering Scatters is a Megascatter, 12 Enhanced Free Spins are awarded. Scatters do not appear during Free Spins.
During Free Spins, the win multiplier begins at x1, and does not reset between spins. Alongside this, Holy Water is guaranteed on every spin, with this multiplier continuing to increment by +x1 for every premium symbol that lands in a position splashed by Holy Water. When the win multiplier reaches a multiplier of x20, an additional +6 spins are awarded.
During Enhanced Free Spins, the win multiplier begins at x2, and again does not reset between spins. Holy Water is guaranteed on every spin, but now the win multiplier increments by +x2 for every premium symbol that lands in a position splashed by Holy Water. When the win multiplier reaches a multiplier of x20, an additional +6 Enhanced spins are awarded.
Players in appropriate regions can get stuck straight into the action with two Bonus Buy options:
- 70x bet – 12 Free Spins
- 200x bet – 12 Enhanced Free Spins
Big Time Gaming do not usually add a win cap to their games, but the maximum simulated win observed in testing is 61,720x bet.
Castle of Terror feels like exactly what you'd expect from Big Time Gaming – very volatile, and somewhat deceiving. Deceiving, because when playing Castle of Terror it's hard to imagine how those huge wins are possible, much less the maximum simulated win of 61,720x bet. That said, this is Big Time Gaming, and they frequently release games where wins seem to come from nowhere, with players left puzzled how such an amount was even possible.
Things are pretty simple in both the base game and free spins – trigger Holy Water, land premium symbols in symbol places splashed with said Holy Water, and build the win multiplier. There are no Reactions or re-spins, so it really is all about building the win multiplier with a single symbol drop in the base game, but when we move into Free Spins things heat up a bit, with the win multiplier not resetting between spins. At this point, things feel mildly reminiscent of Opal Fruits, with re-triggers awarded each time the multiplier reaches a threshold – although this time its multiples of x20, not x10.
Seasonal releases are always the hardest to do. You need to build a game that ties into the theme, but is simultaneously interesting enough for players to contemplate playing out of season. If you're looking for something typically BTG, Castle of Terror fits the bill – highly volatile and pretty simple – topped off with a fixed RTP of 96.72%.
*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.