Saucify is known for taking somewhat plain ideas, concepts and themes and combining them with excellent gameplay to create some high-quality slots that players love. Their Realms video slot is a good example of this process, and this game uses a medieval-fantasy theme with different colors of shields across a background of castles and countryside as a foundation. On top of that foundation, they have built up some low-volatility gameplay with a high hit-rate and features that don't hog too much value, so you'll get plenty of wins from the regular pay table.
The Basic Format
This game uses five reels and three rows, much like the majority of video slots that have been released inside of the past five to ten years. Coins range from $0.01 to $0.25 each, and you have the option to bet as many as five coins on each of the 10 paylines. The idea here is that you have multiple levels of customization for your bet size, so you can really get it down to the exact amount that you would like to wager.
It's worth noting that the paylines pay in both directions, and this is extremely important because of the way the wilds and other features are handled in this games.
The feature in this game that drives the gameplay the most is the expanding wild feature. Wild symbols show up as multi-colored shields with wings on them on the second and fourth reels only. When you get a wild, it will always expand to cover the entire reel. This triples your chances of getting big payouts that you wouldn't have received otherwise. What's important to note is that Saucify has set this game up in a way so that if you get both wilds on the reels at the same time, you basically only have to line up three more symbols on an activated payline to get a high-paying five of a kind win.
The Symbol Set
Instead of creating a split between high and low symbols, which is the normal way to handle the symbol set in video slots in today's industry, this game takes a different approach of using seven different symbols that all have a pretty flat pay structure. This helps to manage the volatility of the game and keep it from getting out of hand.
The "hotter" the color of the shield, the higher that symbol pays out in Realms. For example, the red, orange and yellow symbols are the top three, in order, and they pay 300x, 150x and 80x for five of a kind, respectively. The green and cyan shields pay 50x and 35x for five of a kind each, and blue and purple pay 30x and 25x as well. These are pretty flat payouts, and that's great considering how high the hit-rate is in this game.
Free Spins Bonus Round
There are also golden scatter symbols that show up on the reels, and while they don't have their own payouts, they do activate free spins. Picking up three of them will give you four free spins, four of the golden shield wins six free spins, and five of them wins eight free spins. There are no multipliers or extra goodies during these free turns, however, and that's a bit of a letdown, but it makes sense within the bounds of the game since they're going for a low-volatility experience.
Pros and Cons of Realms
The gameplay of this online slot is fairly straight-forward, though it is fairly strong in the sense that it's a high hit-rate game that offers plenty of chances to end sessions with small- to medium-sized wins. The swings are going to be very small in this particular title because of the structure of the game and of the pay table. While this is an advantage that many players will appreciate, it's also a double-edged sword.
The disadvantage of this style of gameplay is that there are no major jackpots to win, so you'll have to string together payouts on several spins in a row to get a big win. The fact that there is no major jackpot or chances to win huge amounts in the free spins bonus feature will turn some players off. However, this is the ying and yang of a low-volatility title, and it's a situation where play style will definitely come into the picture for players who are deciding if they want to check out this game or not.