- Game Name: Ice Cave
- Software Provider: Playtech
- Paylines: 20 customisable paylines
- Jackpot: Regular – 250 coins up to CAD$100 000
- Game Type: 5 reels
- Progressive – No
- Payout Percentage – Return to Player percentage 96.11%
- Unique Sticky Wilds
- Great graphics & imagery
- Mobile & Tablet Friendly
- 3 separate Bonus features
Introduction to the Game
‘Ice Cave’ is wonderful example of what Playtech can do turning an interesting theme – in this case, Norse and Viking mythology and iconography – into an elegant, sophisticated and stylish online gaming experience. This slot takes a step into the future with superb technological development (a step back from the recent retro and ‘old school’ slots developments) to deliver a cutting-edge game that is still in tune with millennia old legend. In that vein, ‘Ice Cave’, welcomes you into a Nordic winter wonderland in Scandinavia and invites the player to get to know its creatures, Vikings characters and runes. It is a beautifully designed online slot, a unique and fascinating world. Great appealing and iridescent graphics which entice your eyes and imagination with its different aspects of Viking culture subtly hint at the rewards on offer when you win. Despite the modern and relatively recent release of ‘Ice Cave’ (only from July 5 2017), as a player, you are very nicely transported back in time in this animated escape from the hurly-burly of modern everyday life. There is something extremely calming in the ‘Ice Cave’ design.
This game has an extremely high theoretical RTP of 96.11%. ‘Ice Cave’ is a 5 reel slot that comes with 20 paylines and a good range of betting limits. You can bet 1 coin on each payline, with the value of the coins varying between CAD $0.01 and CAD $1.00. Consequently, it is readily apparent that the game was created with budget-oriented players in mind, and the big attraction on ‘Ice Cave’ of sticky wilds reinforces that point (but more on the sticky wilds later).
Audio and Visual
From the get-go, players will notice that ‘Ice Cave’ looks and sounds stunning. This game is elegantly produced to represent a tour of a Scandinavian Ice Cave, using high-quality 3D graphics that gives the cave backdrop an iridescent, yet realistic icy glaze. The audio is almost trance-like and it is very calming, the sort of soundtrack you might imagine listening to whilst doing Tai Chi, Whale Song Meditation or getting a Thai massage.
Playtech’s design team has elegantly created a world that instantly teleports the online player deep inside a large cave game world that features massive stalagmites and stalactites. Symbols are lit with colourful backgrounds and feature Jarl, Valkyrie, Fenrir, a Raven, a Longship, and several different Norse mythological symbols. When landing a winning combination, symbols are splashed in the light of a shimmering and sparkling light blue glow. It’s a very nice visual representation of what a win might feel like in a mythological Viking environment.
As previously mentioned, the music is outstanding. Haunting melodies that feature a crystallised echo-chamber sound fit in elegantly with the Norse and Viking themes of ‘Ice Cave’.
The genius of Playtech’s Audio and Visual presentation and design team is that in game play, ‘Ice Cave’ feels less like an online casino game and a lot more like a sense titillating entertainment experience, like an IMAX theatre or a 3D movie.
Mobile Version Available
Being a 2017 released game, it only stands to reason that Playtech’s ‘Ice Cave’ has been purpose-built as a mobile-first game and it is 100% mobile device-friendly. The browser-based design ensures compatibility with all major brand smartphones and tablets, including on both iOS and Android product platforms. As with the majority of most current and modern online casino game releases, Playtech has decided to make this game appeal to as many players as possible worldwide. Playtech has empowered the game-playing public by making ‘Ice Cave’ available on multiple platforms in/on multiple media forms.
‘Ice Cave’ is available for play at many Online Casinos including two of our recommendations for Canadians; William Hill Casino and 888 Casino.
Features and symbols
As ‘Ice Cave’ takes its game theme inspiration from Norse and Viking culture, it’s clearly apparent that the symbols have been created in a similar vein. There are many symbols in this game and as a general rule, they depict a range of Viking characters, iconography and runes. The symbols can be loosely classified into three distinct categories, these being Low Paying, High Paying, and Special.
The Low Paying symbols consist entirely of Nordic runes, five in total;
The High Paying category consist of Viking Gods including Thor, the God of Thunder; Lady Sif, Thor’s wife; Fenrir, a monstrous wolf; one of Odin’s ravens, and a Viking longship.
Other than the Standard symbols, there are also two special symbols that need to be mentioned. These are the Ice Wild and the Hammer Wild symbols. They have special and significant interactions during the ‘Ice Cave’ gameplay, which we will discuss later in further detail.
Gameplay, Tips and Strategies
It is worthwhile to note that Ice Cave does not have any free spins, bonus rounds or progressive jackpots on offer. While this might appear to be a little disappointing at first, it’s pertinent to bear in mind that there are special features in ‘Ice Cave’ that more than make up for it.
For example, as mentioned above, there are two distinct types of Wild symbols on offer in ‘Ice Cave’ – the Ice Wild and the Hammer Wild – and a ‘Feature Bet’ option
The Ice Wild serves purpose as a traditional Wild symbol, in the sense that it can be a substitute for any missing symbol in a payline. However, the Ice Wild is a nifty little device that is multipurpose and its handiness does not end there.
Whenever you score a win on a payline that has an Ice Wild, your winnings will be multiplied by 3 times. Ice Wilds spin on the third and fourth reels and will then freeze, or in other words, stay in place (i.e. become a ‘sticky’ wild), until they are broken by a Hammer Wild. The wins continue to accumulate non-stop until then.
The Hammer Wild is a Wild symbol that spins on the second reel and will subsequently multiply any winning payline in which it participates by 3 times. Whenever a Hammer Wild stops on the reels, it will smash all Ice Wilds that are frozen on the other reels after the winnings have been awarded.
A ‘Feature Bet’ option can function to enable Ice Wilds to appear on the fifth reel, however, in choosing the Feature Bet option, this increases the size of your bet by 50 per cent. This can result in a double-edged outcome providing potential advantages and disadvantages, depending on the type of plays you prefer to make.
Since the maximum bet size is relatively low compared to many other online slot games, this feature offers up the potential to win significantly more than you normally may. On the flip side, if you are on a budget, it may cause you to burn through your bankroll faster.
As a general rule of thumb, in my testing, I found it helped me stay in the game for longer periods of time which helped me get closer to a big win on several occasions. I found it possible to win more than 450 times my bet on the Ice Wilds reels, although even higher payouts maybe possible.
Our verdict on ‘Ice Cave’
Once you get up-and-going and used to using the wilds, ‘Ice Cave’ is straightforward and fantastically enjoyable – the graphics, audio and animations are all works of art that tie in sweetly with fluent and intuitive gameplay. Obviously, both Ice and Hammer Wilds are your keys to winning big on ‘Ice Cave’ and getting a few Ice Wilds for a few spins will provide the bigger wins. There are enough small wins on offer to keep you in the game for long periods until that larger win comes.
That is precisely where ‘Ice Cave’ comes into its own – the theoretical RTP percentage of the game stands at 96.11% and it is right at the top of the RTP tree for a non-progressive online slot.
Playtech have optimized ‘Ice Cave’ for play on the go and is available across Playtech casinos (William Hill Casino and 888 Casino) that are compatible with iOS and Android-based devices.
5 out of 5 from us – Good Luck with ‘Ice Cave’ and Great Gaming!