Ice Cave Slot from Ash Gaming
Many online slots these days have multiple bonus rounds, on-reel features and jackpots. My first impression of Ice Cave from Ash Gaming was that with just one special feature (and no break out games at all), this would be a little dull. It turned out that I was wrong.
This game does only have one central idea, which involves ice wilds and a hammer wilds that smashes them.
What Ash Gaming has done is to take this, put it into a dark and brooding Viking themed slot – and made it into an engaging and atmospheric slot.
Chill with the Ice Cave Base Game
You’ll see a very normal looking 5-reel slot with 3 rows of symbols on each reel. The number of win-lines crossing the reels is low by the standard of today’s slots – at only 20. You can change this number, though keep in mind that this will reset any locking wilds. You can spin from 20c and up, and you’ll see the option to increase your bet to include the feature.
There is a simple on / off button above the spin button which appears to the right of the reels. What this does is add the ability of ice wilds to appear on reel 5, as well as reels 3 and 4. You will pay 50% more than you would have done otherwise for this. For example, a $1 spin is now $1.50 for the same number of lines. I think this is worth doing – see the feature section below.
Wins are triggered by some Vikings, with a very sinister looking bearded guy paying the biggest single prize. This is 250 coins for 5, 50 for 4 and 10 for 3. The blonde female Viking is next, worth 100 coins for 5 on a line. There is a Viking long shop, a raven and an extremely fierce looking wolf joining this couple on the reels.
Instead of playing cards as the filler / smaller win symbols, there are Viking runes. You will find 5 of these in total, ranging from what could be an F to a square looking ‘o’.
Ice Wilds and Hammer Wilds – The Ice Cave Feature
Wilds are the only feature for this game – and have been created as an important one.
There are two parts to this, locking wilds and a special symbol that clears all of these from the reels.
As you play you will collect ice wilds. These look like blocks of ice, and appear on reels 3, 4 and (of you paid the extra) 5. Each time one lands it will become locked in place. The symbols around it will spin as usual, with the ice wild remaining on the reels. It is possible to get a lot of these, over a run of spins. If the symbols in reels 1 and 2 land favorably, you can find yourself triggering several winning combinations at the same time. I have seen 5 of these on the reels at once – though it is possible to get even more than this.
Even better, these wilds will bring a 3x multiplier to all wins they are involved in.
These will remain active until you get another wild on reel 2. This shows a hammer, and it will smash all of the ice wilds when it hits. Before you lose all the wilds, it will join with them to make a bigger win at times. I enjoyed the random nature of this, it can come after 1 wild – or you can get a long run with 4 or 5 on the reels before it makes an appearance. The hammer wild also multiplies win by 3x, though the 2 types do not multiply together (you will not find 9x for creating a win including both types).
Brooding Viking Design
Around the outside of the reels is an ice cave. This comes complete with towering pillars of ice. The reels contrast with this, having a dark stone like look which is almost bleak. The symbols are detailed, and the wolf and raven symbols stood out for me. When you create wins these sparkle, as if surrounded by ice.
Sounds are top quality. There is a chilling ambient sound track, which grows in tempo as you add more wilds to the reels. There are also satisfying crunches with the ice and many smaller effects on top.
Should You Pick the Ice Cave?
There is little doubt this is a quality slot, though if you are expecting multiple different features and bonus games you might be disappointed. The game balances intensity with the opportunities for big wins – with the single locking wild feature worth checking out. If you enjoy Nordic / Viking or generally atmospheric slots, this one is a must-play.