We knew it was coming in June and it has now finally arrived, bubble wrap removed and all shiny, the newest game from Elk Studios, Ivanhoe. For the Swedes, Ivanhoe is an integrated tradition for them, knock on the door of any house in Sweden on January 1st, and you’ll find families slumped in front of their television screens, eating far too much pizza and watching the Ivanhoe movie as a means of nursing their hangover, after the New Year’s celebration. Depending on your outlook on life, this is either bonkers or a moment of utter bliss.
Ivanhoe, for those unfamiliar, is a historical novel set in 12th-century England by Sir Walter Scott. It tells the story of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe a Saxon whom pledges his allegiance to the Norman King at the time, Richard the Lionheart. King Richard vanishes during a return from one of the Crusades and low and behold, Ivanhoe will become a hero, add a dash of romance for good measure, though not between him and the king, and some fighting and there you have a very brief idea of Ivanhoe.
Retro gaming battling the modern competitors.
We had been waiting patiently for this one, slowly rubbing our hands together to see what could be produced by Elk Studios, as their very brief catalogue of games thus far have been fantastic productions and designs, with such offerings as Sam on the beach, Hong Kong Tower and the brilliant Poltava Flames of War.
Ivanhoe seems to follow, most certainly in a diverse way, with Elk Studios always looking to create something different to their last venture. Ivanhoe is very much the classic style old school 3 reel slot machine and the game shines in this format, sure they could have done an epic 5 reel game to house the grandness of the 12th-century, but no, it’s not necessary. The old fashioned dot matrix display banner is enough to bring this retro game alive, with its orangey brown colours, embossing the name Ivanhoe, whilst landscapes move in the background."Ivanhoe is very much the classic style old school 3 reel slot machine and the game shines in this format"
The Ivanhoe slot is just more than 3 reels that hold the classic fruit symbols. So what else does it offer? Options galore for one. The game menu gives you a bet total table so you can select your betting stake amount going from 0.20 to 100 as a wager. Now the stand out point in this menu is the betting strategies section, boy oh boy, this does look good!
Strategy 1: the optimizer allows you to bet on the percentage of your balance. Casual players marked at 1% and high rollers at 10%, the bet level will change automatically, adapting to your selected percentage.
Strategy 2: the leveller settings allow you to raise your bet stake by two levels after 5 consecutive spin losses that then resets after a win. So for example, spin one at 0.20 will then, if no wins are had, jumps to 0.60 on the 6th spin and then up to 2.00 if still no wins on the 11th spin and so on.
Strategy 3: the booster option raises your bet level after each loss and again resets after a win. The choice will only go as far as 10 times your original value, so the booster will only go through 4 levels.
Strategy 4: the jumper, this selection and the last one from Elk, give you the option to raise your bet level automatically after every win until you have reached 4 bet levels above your original value, the settings restart after each loss in the game.
So this is just the game settings and it has to be said it’s pretty impressive stuff for those that either wish to feel they control the game, or for those that feel there is a way to win and it’s not pure luck.
Helmets on, Swords at the ready, lets capture the bonuses!
Ivanhoe comes with a bonus game, Ivanhoe Bonus. The dot matrix display will play wonderful dot animation to introduce the round and play a role throughout the feature.
The Bonus level will give the reward of 5 free spins should you land 3 of these symbols, but this is Elk and nothing is as simple as that, so how about bonus game levels? Sure, let’s take a look. So firstly for every bonus symbol that comes around during the bonus game, you’ll receive an additional free spin. Now of the 5 bonus game levels, you have:
1: The Ambush! Here all wins come with a multiplier of 2 and 5 free spins. Score 2500 to level up to the 2nd round.
2: The Joust pt.1, all wins are multiplied by 3 with an added 3 free spins, score 8000 to level up to the 3rd round.
3: Robin’s Rescue. Here all wins are multiplied by 4 with 3 extra spins rewarded. Score 20000 to go to the next level.
4: The Joust pt.2, all wins multiply by 5 and 3 added free spins, score 81000 to reach the final level of the bonus round.
5: Return of the King. In this last level, all your wins are multiplied by 6, you’ll also receive an additional 3 free spins, and the maximum win is 300,000!
It’s a fantastic looking game and yet another success by Elk Studios. The graphics work beautifully with the theme of the game and it oddly packs a lot in for something that seems so small.
Ivanhoe comes with an RTP 96.3% and is available to play at online casinos now. Fancy a few spins? We suggest stopping off at either Royal Panda, Wild Sultan, Casumo, LeoVegas or Mr Green.