Microgaming are teaming up with Stormcraft Studios to bring us another Thunderous, Norse themed slot, packed full of features and free spin choices, alongside impressive jackpots up to 15,000x bet in size. The team have tackled the Norse god of thunder, sky and agriculture twice before with Thunderstruck and Thunderstruck 2, the latter of which established the idea of progress unlocking more free spins features, which we'll see in this new release: Thunderstruck Wild Lightning. Stormcraft are carrying the torch solo now (or perhaps, the hammer?), with 11 years of the team's iGaming history, along with centuries of literal history on this new, high volatility release with an RTP of 96.10%.
Visually, Stormcraft Studios are keeping things relatively simple, yet bold with this release. Thor himself seems to have gotten a makeover, looking less like the Norse God and closer to Chris Hemsworth's more recent style in the Marvel Avengers universe. Despite the reels being quite small, the rest of the screen is used to track progress in other areas, such as the Link&Win feature, or the Wildstorm collection. Jackpots remain in view at the left of the reels, alongside the maximum win. After a few hundred spins it does feel that some of these could be removed, or even reshuffled, to allow the reel space to be bigger, but for now it keeps things clean and easy to understand, and Stormcraft have stated the game has been designed with mobile users in mind. Players can click the playlist button at the bottom of the reels to choose between 5 separate audio tracks, helping to break up the monotony we all feel listening to the same music on loop.
Taking place over 5 reels with 40 pay lines, wins pay from left to right on Thunderstruck Wild Lightning. Symbols available at the lower end of the pay table are 9, 10, J, Q, K and As, paying between 2 and 3x bet for 5 of a kind. Despite being the most common low paying symbols, all are carved into stones in colours relevant to the current feature, making this selection quite difficult to distinguish between. At the premium end, purple, blue, green, and yellow stones are worth between 5 and 15x bet for 5 of a kind. Red stones are the highest paying regular symbol, coming in at 25x bet, again for 5 of a kind.
Wild Thor symbols are available, substituting for all symbols except Scatters (Thor's hammer) and Thunderball symbols. Landing a Thor wild on any position across reels 1-5 can have multiplier of x2 or x5 attached, capable of being stacked. 3, 4 or 5 wild Thors forming a winning combination awards players wins of 2x, 10x or 200x bet.
Thunderstruck Wild Lightning Base Features
7 or more Thunderball symbols in the base game triggers the Link&Win™ feature, moving players from the main reels to a separate game space. Here, Thor will build us a new reel space, 5×8 in size. At the start of this feature, the top 4 reels will be locked, and players begin with 3 spins. As the reels spin, any new Thunderball symbols that land stick in place and reset the spin counter to 3. The additional 4 top rows can be unlocked as Thunderball symbols continue to land:
- 15 Symbols: Unlocks Row 5
- 20 Symbols: Unlocks Row 6
- 25 Symbols: Unlocks Row 7
- 30 Symbols: Unlocks Row 8
Thunderball symbols during the Link&Win feature can display Mini, Minor or Major jackpot values, and filling all positions awards the Mega Jackpot.
- Mini: 25x bet
- Minor: 50x bet
- Major: 150x bet
- Mega: 15,000x bet
If none of the Jackpots are displayed, a regular cash win value will be displayed. Any symbols that triggered the feature are held in place during the feature, which ends either when all symbol positions are filled, or there are no spins remaining. Once the feature ends, the win values are awarded.
Thunderstruck Wild Lightning Bonus
Landing 3, 4 or 5 Scatter symbols, represented by Thor's hammer, triggers free spins, with wins of 3x, 20x and 200x bet respectively. Players can choose between 5 different free spin features, but must unlock them first, done so through triggers.
- Jotunheim Free Spins is available from the first free spin trigger. Players are awarded 15 free spins, with wild win multipliers of x2, x3 or x5. Free Spins can be retriggered, and wins of up to 2,000x bet are available.
- Vanaheim Free Spins will be available after 5 free spin triggers. Here, 12 free spins are awarded, with wild win multipliers of x2, x4 or x6. Free Spins can be retriggered, and wins of up to 2,125x bet are available.
- Alfheim Free Spins unlock on the 10th free spin trigger, awarding players 9 free spins, with wild win multipliers of x3, x5 or x8. Free Spins can be retriggered, and wins of up to 3,250x bet are available.
- Nidavelllir Free Spins are up next, unlocking upon 15 free spin triggers. 6 free spins are on offer, with wild win multipliers of x5, x8 or x12. Free Spins can be retriggered, and wins of up to 3,500x bet are available.
- Finally, players can unlock 1 Svartalfheim free spin by collecting 2 scatters 20 times over in the base game. Progress for this feature can be tracked at the lower left of the main game screen, beside the Link&Win counter. When this collection has been completed, upon the next free spin trigger players have the option to choose this feature instead of one of the others. Svartalfheim awards just one free spin, with a guaranteed Wildstorm feature. Wildstorm can turn up to 5 reels wild, allowing for wins up to 8,000x bet in size. After this feature has been played, the scatter collector is reset. If no win is achieved, the scatter collector is refilled.
The Wild Lightning Feature is the final feature to discuss, available in all features except the Svartalfheim Free Spin. Land a wild symbol on reels 2-4 to trigger this feature, in which the triggering wild activates its respective symbol position. If a second wild symbol then lands in that position, it expands to fill the reel and is wild for that spin. There is also a chance for random symbol positions to be activated upon entry to a bonus feature.
Stormcraft Studios have improved upon a lot within the Thunderstruck series, not the least of which is the graphics, which are impressively sharp within this release. The Thor character that we can see both during the Link&Win feature and free spins has a 3-dimensional effect, showing the thought that has went into this game behind the scenes. Although the addition of this character is just a bit of fun on desktop as the slot was designed with mobile users in mind, those playing on a desktop device will inevitably notice the precision and style.
Considering the features, the Link&Win feature keeps things ticking over in a base game that could otherwise be quite mundane. Although wilds can have multipliers attached, Link&Win is what really turns the base game around for players, especially given the jackpots on offer during this feature. RTP is a fair 96.10%, and although the maximum wins of each individual free spins feature isn't quite as lucrative as the jackpot values, a 15,000x bet Mega jackpot available for filling all symbol positions on Link&Win is exciting for players of any stake within the 0.20/16 bracket offered.
Thunderstruck Wild Lightning continues the theme established by the team more than a decade ago, by improving upon these particular elements. Importantly though, it seems Stormcraft Studios can recognise when they're already onto a good thing, and as such they haven't packed this release full of big changes just for the sake of it. Thunderstruck 2 was a popular game for the team, who seemingly have acknowledged this and chosen to just make small upgrades on some of the features available in this predecessor. Overall, Thunderstruck Wild Lightning is deserving to be the third in the Thunderstruck trilogy, with enough excitement along the way to make it worth a players time to await the final feature.
*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.