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Upgradium Slot

Online slot machines with abstract themes and symbols can become pretty successful, with Starburst from NetEnt being a great example of a game where the symbols are mainly just colorful crystals. Playtech now have their own, err, spin, on things with Upgradium: a 5-reel, 25-line game where strange shapes and magic minerals are all we see on the reels. But why call it Upgradium? The answer lies in the way that symbols in winning combinations can be upgraded by a special wild symbol, paying out higher prizes than they normally would, while a reels respin feature sees all wins upgraded to the next level.

It’s a strange design, but as Starburst has proven, this type of slot machine can be a big hit with the players. Like all games from Playtech, it manages to look quite impressive with its sharp graphics, along with plenty of color. There’s also a background image that changes from a frozen cave to a fiery underworld when the respins are triggered. A tinkling soundtrack plays along as the reels spin, which adds to the likable nature of the game. You can try out for yourself in free Upgradium video slots mode before playing for real cash bets.

Games developer Playtech is one of the biggest names in the online and mobile casinos business, with most players being familiar with the range. Like all of its games, Upgradium is a slot that can be trusted to deliver fair results, with each spin being determined by Random Number Generator software to give us a high return-to-player percentage. The best way to decide if it’s time to upgrade to Upgradium is to take a closer look at these crystal-clear crystals and see how it all works.

Winning With Upgradium

Dark blues and purples are the color palette of choice in Upgradium, which makes the greens, reds, oranges and yellows of the higher-paying symbols stand out. The lower-value symbols are less colorful and smaller in size, but whatever you land, you’ll need 3 of a kind across any of the 25 paylines from the left side to win anything.

A purple pyramid is worth 5x, 10x, or 25x the equivalent of your stake per line when it’s on 3, 4, or 5 reels. Diamonds and blue shapes also fill out the bottom half of the pay table, culminating in a rough circle which is worth 25x, 50x, or 100x the line stake.

A series of 3 even more intricate green crystals are next up; a spikey yellow object pays out 60x, 120x, or 400x the line bet; and the even spikier orange crystal returns prizes of 75x, 150x and 500x when it’s across a line. The best wins, however, are claimed when the red wild symbol appears. This pays 100x when it stops on the first 3 reels of a line. 4 across the line will pay out 200x, and there’s a very nice prize of 1,000x the line stake when it’s right across the reels.

Win More From Wilds

The wild symbol is a special icon in a couple of ways. Firstly, it’s able to act as all others and complete winning combinations by filling in any gaps in a run of matching symbols. Secondly, the upgrade bonus feature is awarded any time it does so.

Here’s how it works: if the wild symbol becomes part of a winning combination, the value of the prize will be upgraded to the amount of the next symbol in the pay table. For example, if you land the spikey yellow crystal on reels 1 and 3 across a payline with the wild on reel 2, it will upgrade the payout from the standard 120x to 150x the line bet reward that the orange crystal would pay.

If the same thing happened with the orange crystal, you would receive the top awards that the wild on its own would pay out. It’s a unique feature that makes the Upgradium video slot such an interesting game to play, but this isn’t the only bonus, as free reel respins are also available.

The Crystallization respins occur when the orange crystal lands on a Hot Spot. This is the center spot on the middle reel, highlighted as a purple square. You are initially awarded a single free respin, during which all symbols apart from the wild are upgraded in value to the next one up. Extra Hot Spots are added to the middle reels, and if the orange crystal lands in any of them, another reels respin plays out. The wild symbol upgrades are still in effect, which can lead to big boosts in the value of any winning spins.

A Wide Range of Betting Options

All 25 lines are active by default, so all you need to do is adjust the coin values to suit your bankroll. With options ranging from a low limit of just 0.25 per spin right up to 250.00, there’s bound to be a level that works for all players.

Useful control buttons activate a Turbo mode which simply speeds up the action. Upgradium comes with an Autoplay function that sees the reels spinning on their own for between 10 and 99 times. The Autoplay can also be set to end whenever the reels respins feature begins.

Other Abstract Distractions

We’ve already mentioned Starburst, and the similarities are striking. But if you haven’t come across this hugely successful game from NetEnt, it’s well worth tracking down. It’s a 5-reel game with 10 paylines that pay both ways, leading to lots of winning spins when the symbols of yellow, blue, purple, green and red crystals appear. A multicolored star is the wild symbol, and when it’s seen on reels 2, 3 or 4, it will expand to cover the whole reel before awarding a respin, with up to 5 respins in total if it keeps turning up in the right places.

The Bejeweled 2 video slot from Blueprint Gaming is another classic where colorful gems and playing card symbols line up to create winning combinations. The special wild symbol is a multiplier that doubles the value of any line it helps to complete, while a Bejeweled Bonus round follows the pattern of the classic mobile game and pays out when you match 3 or more of the same jewel across an 8x8 grid. Winning symbols disappear, allowing new ones to drop into the voids. With a bit of luck, it will create new wins in a process that can go on and on.

It also comes with a free spins mode where special win multipliers are in play. But that’s not all, as you can even claim some big wins from a Wheel of Riches which spins up prizes that can be as much as 500x the total bet size.

Worth Upgrading To

If you like the style and strange theme of Upgradium, then you’re sure to like the gameplay. Reliable wins from landing 3 or more of the same symbol begin to add up whenever the wild is in the right places. And don’t forget that it can also stretch a winning combination further across to the right-side reels for even higher payouts.

With an unlimited number of free respins triggered by Hot Spots, there’s some great winning potential in this mobile-optimized game that comes from one of the best-known developers in the business.

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