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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Slots

One of the best known fictional characters of all time, Sherlock Holmes is widely known as one of the greatest detectives to ever live – even if he was only ever a creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The first stories about the consulting detective appeared in 1887, and though the original series of novels and short stories ended in 1927, many films, video games, television shows, and other media projects have starred this character over the course of more than a century.

One of the latest cinematic interpretations is the focus of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows by IGT. This new slot machine is based on the 2011 film directed by Guy Ritchie and featuring Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Holmes. Given the film’s success in theatres worldwide, it’s easy to see why IGT would choose this as the basis for one of their casino slot machines. What you might not expect is for the game to feature as many twists and turns as one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original mysteries, with enough hidden features to keep players busy discovering them for days.

The Game is Afoot

The Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows video slot machine is typically housed in a small bank of machines that features plenty of images that look like they could have come right out of advertisements for the film itself. These include photos of the stars, including Downey and Jude Law, who played the role of Watson. While these machines are normally penny slots, they do offer a max bet of as many as 600 coins, so you can potentially play them as either low limit or somewhat high limit machines. However, this game is not available at online gambling sites, so you won’t be able to try a play for free option – at least not anytime soon.

This game uses one of the more unique layouts we’ve seen in the industry, even when considering the many styles of games available at online casinos. Players will be playing on five reels, but these are broken up into two standard 3x5 grids, both of which are played independently – at least to start each round. This game uses an all ways system, meaning you will start play with 243 ways to win on each half of the playing field.

The object of the game, as always, is to make matches from left to right across the reels. High-paying symbols include four main characters, including both Holmes and Watson, while smaller payouts can be earned by lining up bombs, books, hats, chess pieces, and other icons. Of particular interest are the wild symbols, which can appear on the final four reels and substitute for any regular prize winning symbol.

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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A Three Pipe Problem

Here’s where things start to get interesting. All of the high value symbols, as well as the wilds, can appear in special jumbo versions that are four positions high and two reels wide. When these hit entirely on the screen, they’ll actually merge the two halves of the game into one large set of reels. Because of the all ways system where all winning combinations count, this makes it a lot easier to achieve some huge payouts, especially if the jumbo version matches stacked symbols on other reels.

Gamblers will also want to keep an eye out for the always important bonus symbol. Hit all three, and you’ll be taken into one of four different free spins rounds, each of which has its own sort of flavor taken from the film. Each one of these bonus features will give you eight spins, with the possibilities including:

  • Gypsy Party: In this game, a full jumbo symbol will turn wild if it appears on screen.
  • Stag Party: This version features a special wheel jumbo icon; hit it, and you’ll get to spin a special wheel that will either award a multiplier on your winnings or some instant bonus credits.
  • Treachery on the Tracks: When a jumbo hits in this feature, all regular Holmes and Watson symbols will upgrade to a combined version, then hold over for a reel re-spin, setting the player up for some potentially massive rewards.
  • A Game of Shadows: This time, a jumbo symbol that hits fully will trigger a special game board with 12 options to choose from. Players will pick until they match two of a kind, at which point they will win an associated prize.

Elementary, My Dear Watson

The Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows video slot is not a game for the impatient, especially if you want to have a meticulous understanding of the game rules before you play. There are dozens of pages of rules, thanks mostly to the fact that the payouts – which are a bit non-standard to begin with because of the unique format – change in each of the free spins games.

Surprisingly, however, this machine wasn’t actually all that hard to follow once we got into the gameplay. The expanded symbols and merging of the two halves of the screen might seem convoluted, but they’re actually a lot of fun, and they add a ton of anticipation to every spin. If you enjoyed the movie this game is based on, if you like Sherlock stories in general, or if you just want to check out the unusual format, this one is definitely worth playing a few spins on if you see it on your next casino trip.

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