Gemma, the flaming-haired adventurer from the first game in Thunderkick’s Crystal Quest series, comes returning for the sequel. This time, she sets off for a mysterious tower in the wilderness known as the Arcane Tower in search of riches. If you’re looking for excitement, the runner-up spot isn’t it. It would appear that Thunderkick has taken it easy on Deep Jungle, providing it only a new skin and not much more. Arcane Tower is fairly close to the original, with nearly identical statistics and only a single feature switch.
The promise of free spins and an infinite multiplier raises eyebrows, but the fact that it looks remarkably identical to the original game raises even more doubts. The next step involves entering the game itself, which is laid out in a 6×4 grid with 4,096 possibilities to win (a common and effective layout, we should add). At first glance, this structure doesn’t seem like an Arcane Tower at all. As symbols fall in on each spin or are blown off the grid using the Avalanche function, a tower is seen in the background, framed by some ancient trees, candles, and books. Arcane Tower’s theme is very different from Deep Jungle’s, which is good because there isn’t much else to differentiate them.
The betting range on Arcane Tower is rather large, from 10 p/c up to $100/€100 each spin, and the mathematical model yields statistics that are statistically close to those of the original release (with the exception of the potential win). The return to player (RTP) has gone up from 96.14% to 96.17%, and Gemma is still as erratic as ever (and maybe much more so, strictly speaking), but the change is negligible.
When three or more identical symbols line up from left to right on the first reel, a win line is shown. The exception is the sorcerer, who awards a payout for landing at least two of him. Five of a type with him pays 20 times the wager, followed by the henchmen knight and the mid-pay crystals in red, green, and blue. The lowest five gems on the paytable are pink, orange, yellow, green, and blue, and they all have lower payouts. The round, light blue gem tile is the wild, and it can replace any other symbol save the scatter if it appears. During the upcoming bonus round, it gains a new useful ability.
Slot Functions in Crystal Quest: The Mystical Tower
With five different features accessible via Arcane Tower, it’s clear that Thunderkick spared no expense. With the help of Linked Reels, free games, and the Wild Explosion feature, you can expect to see avalanches and multipliers pop up frequently.
With the Avalanche feature, winning pay-way symbols are completely wiped out and immediately replaced by brand-new symbols that cascade down from above. As long as more victories occur inside the same spin sequence, avalanches will keep happening. Simultaneously, a victory multiplier is always in effect. Each time the Avalanche function is used, the multiplier begins at x1 and escalates by 1.
Linked Reels is an additional feature that can happen at random, and it causes up to six neighboring reels to spin together at once. Each Linked Reel is an exact replica of every other one. When an Avalanche sequence is in progress, this element does not show up.
Three of the treasure box scatter symbols anywhere on the reels triggers 12 free games. There is no cap on the number of free games that may be won during the bonus round; for every two scatters in view, three more free games are awarded.
There are two advantages to free spins that are not present in the regular game. One distinguishing feature is that the win multiplier does not reset between spins. Second, an option called “Wild Explosion” activates. All wild symbols on the reels will erupt when there are no winning combinations, clearing the screen of all pay symbols in a vertical or horizontal line. This sets off the Avalanche mechanism.
The Final Say on Crystal Quest’s Arcane Tower Slot
Crystal Quest: Arcane Tower stands on its own as another polished and enjoyable release from Thunderkick. Symbols fall into position with smooth animations and terrific crunching sound effects, while winners blast off the screen for added excitement. The characteristics are at their best when they interact with one another, building to an exciting climax. To sum up, Crystal Quest: Arcane Tower is a fun game that will keep players engaged.
In spite of this, as the next installment in the Crystal Quest series, it feels like a lot of the same old thing. With the exception of a few tweaks to the numbers, it’s essentially a tower version of Crystal Quest: Deep Jungle. Of course the visuals have been updated to reflect the new setting, but the gameplay itself is mostly same. The primary change was switching out the Mystery Symbols with Linked Reels, but the win mechanism, grid layout, and most of the features are still the same. One can’t help but wonder whether the remainder of the series will adopt a similar design philosophy, with minor tweaks to the outside packaging, feature swaps, and rebranding occurring with each subsequent installment.
The visuals of Crystal Quest: Arcane Tower are colorful and wonderfully animated, and the game’s premise is unique. Potential is huge with Gemma, since winnings of up to 15,000 times the stake are attainable, and she comes along a number of interesting bonuses. One has to consider if it’s worthwhile to create a variety of games if they’re all going to be so identical. Instead than putting out a number of meh products, why not focus on developing one truly outstanding one? However, Thunderkick might surprise everyone by pushing the Gemma series in a completely new and surprising path with the next game, thereby ending any criticism about the series.