Here’s one for all you wannabe gumshoes out there. Detective Chronicles is a Sherlock-inspired, sleuth-tastic video slot from the Spiel gaming platform. The progressive 5-reeler leads you on a merry mystery tour of 19th century London, when men wore deerstalker caps and smoked clay pipes, and women smouldered under elaborate hats bearing decorative flowers. This is of course already a popular slot theme with titles like the Hunt for Blackwood slots.
Detectives Chronicles has 25 paylines and plenty of interesting symbols, including wilds and scatters. To scoop the jackpot, you’ll need to sleuth like you’ve never sleuthed before, keeping an eye out for the high-paying symbols and making the most of your free spins bonuses.
You needn’t be familiar with Arthur Conan Doyle’s oeuvre to grab a piece of the action: Detectives Chronicles is a game anyone can play. The betting parameters reflect this, as you can stake between 0.01 and 1 per line. The jackpot, meanwhile, is a cool 50,000 credits – although the progressive jackpot is, of course, always accumulating.
Visually, Detectives Chronicles plays into the love people have for Old London: cobbled streets, carriages, the whole kit and caboodle. The symbols have been well sketched, resembling illustrations in a graphic novel about Jack the Ripper. The 5x3 reel grid itself appears against a backdrop of the city skyline. Below, you can determine how many lines you wish to play – you don’t need to play on all 25 – and how much you want to stake per line. You can also activate the pay-table from this panel, and keep tabs on your bankroll.
I’m glad to report that there are no playing card icons in Detective Chronicles – every symbol sticks closely to the theme. Thus, we have a magnifying glass, positioned over a weatherbeaten document; a revolver and bullets; an old-fashioned carriage; a golden pocket watch; a Whitechapel street sign; a diamond; a blood-stained knife; and a snarling black dog. There are also five separate character icons: an alluring female; a police officer wielding a truncheon; and three separate males, one of whom is wearing a top hat and standing under the moon. Another man is chuffing a pipe, while the third has a cane slung over his shoulder. All of the symbols are cartoonised rather than photorealistic, although they’re very well drawn.
The man in the top hat is wild: as such, he substitutes for all symbols to help you form winning combinations. However, the wild does not substitute for other special symbols, of which there are three: a bonus symbol, a jackpot symbol and a free spins symbol.
The bonus symbol is that of the blood-soaked dagger. Land three or more anywhere on the reels to trigger the bonus round. This involves an array of hidden images, which you must uncover to activate instant wins. You might only win 50, but the maximum you can claim is an astonishing 50,000.
The jackpot symbol is self-explanatory. To win the progressive jackpot, you need to land five on an active pay-line. The snarling black dog represents the free spins symbol. In order to win 10, 20 or 30 free spins, you must land three, four or five on an active pay-line. Pretty generous, on the whole!
It’s rare to come across a game with quite so many bonus icons; but truthfully, this game would stand out even if it only included a wild and a scatter. The other symbols in the game pay extremely well. The two males pay best, with the pipe smoker paying the 50,000 jackpot for five and 10,000 for four; it also pays a handsome 1,500 for just three. The cane-wielding assistant, meanwhile, pays 20,000 for five, 7,500 for four and 600 for three. Then it’s the female (20,000/7,500/600), followed by the bobby (6,000/5,000/250).
The game’s least lucrative symbol is the magnifying glass, but it still pays a respectable 2,000 for five, 600 for four and 80 for three.
Spielo are on to a winner with Detectives Chronicles. Adventure-themed slots are ten a penny, but mystery-themed slots are less common, and this one’s definitely up there with the very best. Indeed, it’s one of the most feature-rich games I’ve come across, thanks to the inclusion of wilds, scatters and a dedicated bonus game. The lure of targeting that huge progressive jackpot is always enticing, too. Give Detectives Chronicles a go and see if you can crack the case.