Tidal Riches House Review
Tidal Riches from Novomatic is a new take on the video slot gameplay, a departure from its standard fixed reel games such as the popular Lucky Lady’s Charm and Book of Ra. Tidal Riches is a medium variance fun game using an expanding game window with cascading symbols that switch from 5×3 to 6×5 reels depending on the number of winning combinations. It might just turn out to be a player favourite when it gains more attention. Find out more about it.
Tidal Riches uses an ocean theme, although not in the same way as Hook’s Heroes, although it is also fun. The initial setting is a high-quality depiction of the ocean with sparkling white sand and corals with the blue sky visible. As the game progresses, the scene switches to the deep waters with mysterious shipwrecks, relics, treasure chests, and caves, accompanied by an oceanic soundtrack punctuated by winning combo notifications.
The game begins with a standard 5×3 reel visible just below the water line with 20 paylines, with an extra reel covered by a water plant on the right. Instead of spinning, the symbols drop down from left to right, and then drop out of sight when there are no winning combinations. The effect is pretty much like playing a game of Tetris without the manipulation.
Each dropdown comes with a total wager between £0.20 and £100 that a player can play on a mobile or desktop device. Winning combinations result in involved symbols to wink out of the reel (much like a clusters form in Lost Relics), leaving empty frames, and the symbols above drop down to fill them, at which point they may or may not form more winning combinations and result in more cascades.
When a player lands one winning combination, a strangely cute octopus pulls away the water plant to revel the 6th reel, expanding the reel to 6×3. If the next dropdown does not result in a winning match, the octopus lets go of the water plant, and the reel reverts to the starting 5×3 reel.
On the other hand, if the next dropdown results in a winning combination, it causes the tide to rise and the reel then expands to 6×4 frames and 40 paylines. A winning combination in the next dropdown causes the tide to rise even further, expanding the grid to 6×5 frames with 50 paylines. Winning combinations at this point will trigger the free spin feature. A non-winning spin at any time in the base game results in the layout returning to the original 5×3 grid, except during the Free Spin bonus.
The symbols used in the reels include the alphanumeric playing card icons 10, J, Q, K, and A, representing the low-paying symbols. Denizens of the deep represent higher value symbols such as pufferfish, angelfish, octopuses, sea turtles, and dolphins as well as Moorish idols.
The wild symbol is simply the word “Wild” scrolled across a transparent tile, which of course substitutes for any symbol except for the treasure chest (which only comes out during Free spin mode and shows matching symbols) to form winning combinations when possible.
When the 6th reel is revealed in the base game, it activates the pay-both-ways feature. This means that winning combinations can run from left to right and right to left, as opposed to the usual left to right orientation. The only exception is a 6-match combo, which only pays one way.
As mentioned earlier, winning combinations landed when the reel is fully expanded to the 6×5 configuration triggers the free spin feature and the appearance of treasure chests. Players can keep track of the potential number of free spins by following the Arrow Trail displayed on the top of the reel.
There are 7 arrows, and each winning combo will light up one arrow. If the player manages to collect four consecutive wins, this guarantees free spins. Additional spins will result in more free spins as follows:
4 Arrows = 4 free spins and 1×1 treasure chests
5 Arrows = 6 free spins and stacked treasure chests
6 Arrows = 8 free spins and mega treasure chests (filling 2×2 frames)
7 Arrows =10 free spins and colossal treasure chests (filling 3×2 frames)
A non-winning combination will stop the progress through the Arrow Trail and the player enters Free Spin mode. During this mode, the player can continue to collect arrows for additional spins. A non-winning drop down before reaching the 4th arrow will reset the Arrow Trail with no additional free spins awarded.
When all free spins are exhausted, the player is given the option to collect free spin winnings or choose to click the Gamble feature. Guess the colour of the card (red or black) correctly, and the player can collect double the winnings. Guess wrong and the player loses it all.
Another feature that can make this game more interesting for, well, high-rollers, is the Hi Roller option. This mode essentially allows players to bet more than the maximum amount in the game. This is a risky move, but has potentially big rewards.
The Hi Roller button is available at any time during the game except during free spin mode and when autoplay is active. With this feature activated, the player gets to choose to play a Silver or Gold game. A Silver game raises the wager by 5 times for three dropdowns while the Gold game raises the wager by 10 times for three dropdowns. While in Hi Roller mode, mega (filling 2×2 frames) wilds are available. Additionally, the Arrow Trail does not reset after a losing spin in a Gold game.
The unusual configuration and gameplay of Tidal Riches is guaranteed to pique the interest of new and experienced players alike, and actual gameplay is quite enjoyable. The retriggerable free spin feature and medium variance certainly makes a respectable payout more likely, but the real fun of the game is watching grid expand as the tide rises. Most people would probably want to steer clear of the Hi Roller mode given its RTP .
Overall, Tidal Riches is a breath of fresh air in the world of standard spinning reels in video slots. It would be worth playing it at least once.