Queen of the Castle

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18+. New Player, £10+ deposit, no e-wallets/prepaid cards, up to 500 Free Spins, 40x wagering on Free Spins winnings. Terms apply. www.BeGambleAware.org 

18+. New Player, £10+ deposit, no e-wallets/prepaid cards, up to 500 Free Spins, 40x wagering on Free Spins winnings. Terms apply. www.BeGambleAware.org 

Queen of the Castle Slot

Queen of the Castle Slot Machine

There’s 576 different ways to line up symbols for a win in NextGen Gaming’s Queen of the Castle video slot, which sets the action between the turrets of a cartoon castle and can pay you a king’s ransom when some the right combinations land in place. Although it comes with the standard 5 reels, there’s no paylines running across them and the reels are unequal in size, with the number of symbols in each being in a 3-4-5-4-3 format. All that’s needed to get a win is to land 3 or more of the same symbol across adjacent reels from the left, but NextGen Gaming have filled this castle up to the ramparts with extra features, such as mystery prizes, locked reels, scatter pays, wilds, free spins and nudges.

Unlike many slots in the NextGen Gaming range, Queen of the Castle comes with relatively simple graphics, where playing card symbols, gems and a smattering of picture symbols, such as a throne, corgi dog and coin bag returning the higher-value prizes. But it’s got the high return to player percentage and reliability that comes as standard with slot games from this UK-based developer, plus it’s fully certified for fair play by independent testing labs, and it’s fully mobile optimised for players who use smartphones and tablet computers.

If you play on a phone, a little of the background detail is lost, but it’s just a view of some hills and lakes behind that castle, so gameplay isn’t affected at all. Despite straightforward graphics, it’s a nice-looking slot game that comes with smooth animations and has a nice orchestral soundtrack to accompany the sounds of spinning reels.

Royal Rewards in the Castle

Lining up enough symbols returns multiples of the coin value, and starting at the lower end of the paytable, there’s the J, Q, K and A, each of which returns 4, 5, or 6 coins when they are on 3, 4, or 5 reels from the left side. Green and purple gems pay out 5, 6, or 7 coins, while blue or gold gems are worth 6, 7, or 8. Heading up in value, the throne (well, more of a posh chair actually,) is worth 6, 7, or 9 coins, and then we have the bag of gold coins, a corgi and the game logo on a banner, which pays you the top wins in the base game of 10, 15, or 20 coins.

These relatively small rewards are offset by the rich variety of bonus symbols and special features that can significantly boost winnings. It’s also possible to land multiple winning combinations in a single spin, so don’t be put off by what appears to be quite low-paying symbols. The Queen is a wild symbol, who will be stacked on any reels she lands on, helping to complete winning lines by plugging any gaps in a sequence of matching icons, although she doesn’t actually have any value on her own, and can’t substitute for the bonus or crown symbols.

Something else that can lead to extra wins in the base game is a Locked Reels feature, which can occur in any random spin. You will see vines grow up around the middle 3 reels, which then spin together with matching symbols across them. If the same symbols are anywhere on reel 1, you are guaranteed a 4 of a kind winning combination.

Mystery Chest Awards

Treasure chests are traditionally packed with riches and the ones in the Queen of the Castle video slot are no different, helping punters to more 4 of a kind wins whenever they fill reel 1 on the left side, or reel 5 on the right. If the red chest fills all of reel 1 at the end of a spin, then all playing cards in view will first be replaced by more red chests, and then transform in to a single type of medium or high-paying symbol, either a gem, or picture icon. The new combinations are then re-calculated and with a little luck, you get some higher-value prizes paid out.

If the purple chest stops across all of reel 5, all gem symbols and any other mystery chests, will be replaced by the top-paying throne, money bag, corgi or banner symbols and once again, the new combination will be re-evaluated for any wins. To help you fill reels with either mystery chest, the symbols can be nudged into position, so even if they only partly fill a reel after a spin, the feature can be triggered.

Should both features get triggered at the same time, all red chests become purple chests before the bonus sequence begins.

Free Spins with Enhanced Reels

The shield bonus symbol will pay out 120 coins when it’s seen in any 3 or more places at once, but more importantly, it starts a unique free spins feature which can get better and better as the bonus games progress. An initial 14 free spins are awarded, which seems a somewhat random number, but never mind, as it can be easy to get more spins added on.

All bonus symbols that appear on the middle 3 reels during the round are replaced by a crown and each crown is counted on the right-side tower, which slowly gets filled from bottom to top throughout the games. If you get 3 crowns in the tower, 2 additional spins are added, while all the middle reels get an extra symbol position each, which makes it easier to land matching symbols across the game, with 1125 ways to win.

If you get 4 crowns in the tower, another 2 games are added and more symbol positions are seen on the middle reels for 1944 ways to win, while 5 crowns add more bonus spins and the reels will grow to give 3087 ways.

Betting Options

A simple bet matrix gives you the option to wager from a coin value of 0.01, which equals a total bet of 0.40 per spin, up to a high limit of 2.50, for a total bet of 100.00. Free Queen of the Castle video slots are also available, but most gamblers will want to play for real cash and make the most of the winning potential that comes with this slot machine.

More Medieval Machines

If you’re into castles, then the ultimate game has got to be the Castle Builder video slot, from Rabcat, which is a unique game where you get to gradually create a castle when the right symbols appear across the 5 reels. You also get to marry off the Princess, collect medals and build a kingdom along the way.

There’s also the appropriately-named Castle, from MGA which sets the reels within the walls and rewards spinners with free games and wild symbols as 3D animated characters turn up in a high-quality slot.

The Verdict on Queen of the Castle

This game is one that any player should review, as it’s really got very little wrong and just about everything right. Some of the low-value symbols are a bit plain, but when that’s the worst we can say about a slot machine, then it’s worth checking out.

The rich variety of in-game and separate bonus features, smart design and flexibility of being mobile and desktop optimised should ensure that the Queen of the Castle video slot rules online casinos that carry the NextGen range.

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