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Walking Wilds Slot Feature

Victory is often fleeting when playing slot machines. No matter how good the reels look after one spin, they’ll be reset for the next one, and all of those promising symbols will be replaced by new ones – for better or for worse. It’s part of what makes these games so exciting, of course; still, at the same time, we’d often be happier if we could at least keep our best symbols around for another spin or three.

Thankfully, there are a few occasions when games allow us to keep some of our most valuable symbols on the reels for a while. One of the more interesting is known as “walking wilds,” a feature that will see substitute symbols work their way across the screen spin after spin, while you sit back and watch your winnings come in.

Walk on the Wild Side

The Walking Wilds feature offers players a chance to earn some free spins at any time they get a substitute symbol on the reels. Generally, games that have this special bonus will start off by playing out regular spins as normal: you’ll try to match symbols across the reels, collecting prizes if you do.

The extra action kicks in when you hit a wild somewhere on the screen. After paying out any wins, that wild will shift one position to the left or right and you will get a bonus spin, free of charge. The process will then repeat itself over and over again, with the wild continuing to travel in the same direction. Once that symbol leaves the display, you’ll get one last free spin, after which you will return to normal play.

Depending on the game, the feature might see these walking wilds move left, right, or potentially in both directions. Also, the bonus round can continue for much longer than you would expect: should more substitutes appear on the screen during this period, you’ll continue to get free spins as those icons also walk across the reels.

Rare, But Powerful

This element is definitely an interest twist on gameplay, as it makes the appearance of these wild symbols very exciting. However, that isn’t all positive, and it is important to understand both the positives and negatives of the walking wilds.

Obviously, the positive is that every time you see a wild on the screen, you know you’re in for a potentially huge win. However, this knowledge is also tied to the one downside of this special feature: because wilds are so powerful in this system, they are necessarily rare. On most machines, substitute symbols are a dime a dozen. But if you were to see them on every other spin and then watch them walk across the reels, you would quickly bankrupt the casino! That would be fine for you, of course – but we all know that operators aren’t in the business of just giving away their money for free.

The result is that this is a feature that is extremely powerful, but somewhat rarer than a standard wild symbol. That’s hardly a problem, however, as it just makes their occasional appearances all the more exciting when they do show up.

Where to Play

Right now, this component is primarily found in games developed by NetEnt. For the moment, we know of two machines they have made they include this twist. Here’s a breakdown of how this factor is utilized in each game:

Jack and the Beanstalk: This gambling take on the classic fairy tale features giants, axes, and treasures galore. A five-reel, 20 line slot, the Walking Wilds feature is implemented rather simply here: every time you see the “Jack and the Beanstalk” logo, it will fill in for any winning combination, and then move to the left and trigger free spins. You’ll watch the logo move to the left until they are all off the screen, enjoying as many free spins as possible along the way!

The Invisible Man: Based on the 1993 film by Universal Studios, The Invisible Man features not one but two special symbols that can walk across the display. One wild, the policeman, will start on the first reel and move towards the right during your free respins. On the other hand, the main character – known as Griffin – will start on the fifth reel and work its way to the left. With these special symbols flowing all over the screen, and the ability for players to score wins in both directions as well, there’s always a chance to score a massive win every time you play this game.

Walking wilds is a very interesting feature, one that can lead to one of the more exciting outcomes in slots: the combination win, where you get spin after spin of big prizes that never seems to end. Knowing that there’s always the potential for yet another wild to hit the reels and extend the bonus round is a thrill, even when you’re playing in practice mode. If you’ve never tried one of these games, it’s worth playing a few spins just to see how exhilarating this bonus can be!

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