Sword of Shoguns
Game Studio Thunderkick
Release date Available Now
RTP 90.0% - 96.15%
RTP Feature Buy 96.40%
Volatility Very High
Min Bet 0.10
Max Bet 100
Max. Win 25,200x
Over the years, we’ve been treated to hundreds – and I mean literally hundreds – of ‘book games‘. You know the type – Scatters that act as Wilds, expanding symbols, and maybe some additional expanding symbols if you’re lucky. One example of this comes from Thunderkick in their 2019 release, Sword of Khans. Now, the team are revisiting this release, and the ancient weapon that comes alongside it, in Sword of Shoguns.
According to Thunderkick, this ancient weapon bears the symbol of bravery and honour, having been carried by the mightiest, passed down through countless generations, and now lying in rest waiting for the next great Shogun. If you want to prove yourself worthy, you’ll have to duel the aforementioned expanding symbols and Wild symbols – simple.
With RTP options up to 96.15% (96.40% feature buy), this very highly volatile release can produce wins up to 25,200x bet.
Things in Sword of Shoguns will immediately look familiar to fans of Sword of Khans, but there have been a lot of obvious improvements.
Firstly, graphics have had a major overhaul, which was always going to be the case when we’re revisiting a nearly 4 year old release, but also we get to see more of the landscape today – with a grand temple, some cherry blossoms to the side of the reels, lanterns in front, and snow capped mountains in the background beneath a full moon. Finally, a bold soundtrack comes in – both fitting for the theme and memorable.
Sword of Shoguns Base Features
Taking place across 6 reels, wins are formed on Sword of Shoguns by matching at least 3 symbols on adjacent reels, beginning with the leftmost reel. Symbols available begin with non premiums, with 9s, 10s, Js, Qs, Ks, and As, awarding wins between 0.20 and 0.30x bet for 3 of a kind matches, increasing to values between 1 and 1.30x bet for 6 of a kind wins.
At the premium end, we have swords, fans, armour, and helmets. Land 3 of a kind of any premium to see wins of 0.50x bet, increasing to values between 2 and 3x bet for 6 of a kind matches. A male character (presumably the Shogun) is the highest paying symbol and the only to pay for 2 of a kind. Land 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 of a kind to see wins of 0.50, 1, 1.50, 2.50, or 5x bet respectively.
Random Reel Heights
Like most book style games, there isn’t a lot happening in the Sword of Shoguns base game, but there is one interesting aspect – Random Reel Heights. There are 6 reels, which hold 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 symbols.
Across every reel, there are 5,040 ways to win – but the order of the reels change on every spin.
Additionally, the Sword symbol acts as both the Scatter and Wild symbols, substituting for all symbols except Expanding symbols, which we’ll get to next.
Sword of Shoguns Bonus
Land 3 Sword symbols anywhere in view to trigger the Bonus Game. The reel height configuration that is active when the Bonus Game is triggered will be fixed for the entire Bonus.
Before the Bonus Game begins, players are awarded 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, or 12 Free Spins at random, and a special symbol is chosen at random to act as the Expanding symbol.
This can be any symbol except the Sword symbol.
During Free Spins, the Expanding symbol will expand to cover all positions on its respective reels if enough land in view. There is a minimum requirement of 3 in view for every symbol except the male character, which will expand if 2 or more land in view.
Once symbols have expanded, wins are calculated according to the pay table, regardless of which reels they have landed on. The Sword symbol continues to substitute for all symbols to form wins during Free Spins, but it is never involved in an expansion.
Land 3 Sword symbols during Free Spins to trigger an additional +3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 Free Spins plus be awarded an additional Expanding symbol.
Up to 4 Expanding symbols can be won during the Bonus Game. Once all 4 Expanding symbols have been won, Sword symbols are removed from the reels.
Players in appropriate regions can skip straight to the action with the Buy Feature option, wherein for a cost of 120x bet, 3 Sword symbols are guaranteed to land in view, triggering the Bonus Game.
In the 96.15% overall game setting, RTP increases slightly to 96.40% when using the Buy Feature option.
The maximum win available in Sword of Shoguns is 25,200x bet. If the sum of a single game round exceeds this, the game round will end and 25,200x bet will be awarded.
You wouldn’t think we could still see new aspects being brought into the book game landscape, but Thunderkick have managed it with Sword of Shoguns and random reel heights.
It’s not the biggest change in the world, but it is enough to keep things feeling fresh. In the base game, this gives players opportunities to trigger huge wins, especially with Sword symbols acting as both Wilds and Scatters.
Free Spins are where things are kicked up a notch though, with up to 12 Free Spins available and a randomly chosen Expanding symbol. Of course, the opportunity exists to trigger an additional 3 Expanding symbols for a total of 4, along with a minimum of +3 spins for reach retrigger.
Couple this with sticky reel heights according to the triggering spin, and there’s plenty to get excited about. No official word on whether it remains possible (as it was in Sword of Khans) to trigger the same symbol again for a x2 multiplier, but we didn’t see this in testing and symbols are fixed at 4, with 4 individual holding spots, so it’s a fair guess that this aspect has changed. Regardless though, when the right combinations occur, wins are possible up to 25,200x bet.
Finally, maths is described as very highly volatile and RTP options are available up to 96.15% (96.40% feature buy), so as always it’s worth checking this. Whether you were a die hard fan of Sword of Khans or not, Sword of Shoguns offers just enough changes to a saturated mechanic to make it worth your while.
*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.
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