Have you ever longed to be a Wild Hunter? To return to a primordial state, in which the only preoccupations are finding your next meal, killing your next meal, eating your next meal? OK, that’s a rather savage question to ask right right out of the gate, but you’re gonna have to comprehend it if you wanna play Wild Hunter, the five-reel video slot by Playson.
Wild Hunter rolls back the clock on civilisation, returning players to the open plain and asking them: what you gonna do, tough guy? This Indian-themed 3D video slot is all about throwing tomahawks under bright afternoon skies and living like a proud Wild Hunter. Think you’ve got what it takes? Then read on to find out more.
As drums beat steadily through the speakers (yes, you can mute at any time), you’ll be shown a 5x3 grid upon which lie many symbols relevant to the game’s theme. OK, not all the symbols are relevant – there are playing card symbols too – but some of them are. You’ll see a teepee, a drum, the Wild Hunter himself (shirtless, carrying an axe, face painted tribal-style with feathers sprouting from his head, he also wears a loincloth), an eagle, a bison and a tomahawk.
In the background, you can pick out blades of grass on the open expanse, and you can see hills looming in the near distance. The sky is a bright, bright blue: it looks like the perfect day to kill some prey. Or make a killing money-wise, one of the two.
The graphics are needle-sharp, and the attention that has gone into the reel grid itself is something else. Studded along the frame of the reels are decorative wood carvings. Along the top, meanwhile, is the game logo, Wild Hunter. Fired arrows jut from the grid posts while the brawny Wild Hunter stands to the side, goofily smiling at the camera.
Have you deduced that the object of the game is to hit matching combinations to trigger pay-outs? Probably, but we’re gonna tell you anyway, and we’re also gonna tell you that all wins pay left to right except the scatters, which pay any. You can choose to play all nine pay-lines, or switch them off one by one. You can even play on a single line. Along the bottom of the screen, you’ll find all the typical controls to determine your betting parameters. The coin values go from a minimum of one, right up to 20 credits.
A cursory glance at the pay-table reveals that the game’s wild is the Wild Hunter himself: he substitutes for all symbols in the game except the three variants of scatter symbol. The Wild Hunter also holds the key to the game’s jackpot, which is set at 5,000 credits. Players must find five Wild Hunters to scoop the lot. Four hunters pays 1,000 and three pays 100.
The three scatters, incidentally, include the tomahawk, the bison and the painted totem. Land the tomahawk on reel one, and the buffalo on reel five, and you’ll trigger the free spins feature. You are allocated ten free spins, but importantly you’ll get to watch the Wild Hunter pursue a buffalo across the reels. At this point, the stationary tomahawk can become a spinning wild tomahawk, able to substitute for all symbols except the three scatters.
If the wild tomahawk appears adjacent to the eagle symbol, it activates a random multiplier, which can go from 2x to 50x. The spinning tomahawk flits across the reels and only stops when it reaches the edge, or is halted by a buffalo skull.
Incidentally, the totem scatter also provides pay-outs. If you hit three you’ll win 5x your total bet; hit four for 20x your bet and five for 100x.
After each win, a player can elect to activate gamble mode. It’s not very stirring stuff, in truth: all you need to do is select a card higher than the dealer’s to win. If you lose, of course, you squander your winnings.
You may challenge the gamble function up to five times in a row. In case of a tie, the cards can be re-dealt or you can take your winnings and hot-foot it back to the base game.
Wild Hunter is enough to restore one’s faith in slot games. It is fun, well-made, silly and immersive, with wilds, scatters and multipliers. It’s a highly volatile game, though, so do be careful and stick to your limits, if you want something a little more tame in the same genre, try Amaya's Native Treasure.