Conan the Barbarian has been the subject of numerous movies, books, comics and games over several decades. At the height of his popularity, the character was even played by the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now the muscle-bound character is bursting into the slot scene, potentially offering something a whole lot more tangible than entertainment value alone. The 6 reel, 24 payline slot from NetEnt is luring players in with its top prize of over 2,000 times the stake. But let’s dig into the details and find out whether or not this big guy should have stuck to the silver screen.
CONAN - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Large wins are possible during the base game
- Highly animated slot with many special features
- There are 3 different free spins bonus games
- RTP is slightly lower than average
- Even when activated, the special features don’t always pay out
- It takes a while to land enough Scatters to trigger the bonus games
|TYPE||Branded Video Slot|
|REELS AND PAYLINES||6 reels, 24 paylines|
|GAME FEATURES||Tower Wilds, Mystery Symbols, Battle Wilds, Expanding Symbols, FreeSpins, FreeSpins Mode Choosing, Multiplier, Mystery symbol, Random Wilds / Additional Wilds, Wild|
|VOLATILITY||Medium to High|
|RANGE OF BET||0.20 - 200.00|
|COIN VALUES||0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.04, 0.05, 0.06, 0.07, 0.08, 0.09, 0.10, 0.12, 0.15, 0.20, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 2.00, 2.50, 3.75, 5.00,10.00|
|MAXIMUM WIN||2,016 x your bet|
|PAYOUT||96.01% - 96.65%|
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Conan - Theme and Background
The famous storyline appears to have remained largely unchanged with characters you might recognize and an appropriately buff and unrestrained Conan battling snakes and brandishing a mighty sword. He’s accompanied across the reels by Valeria, the pirate and adventuress, and Thoth-Amon, evil wizard and arch nemesis to Conan. Across the reels are images of Conan, Thoth-Amon and Valeria sitting alongside symbols of helmets, swords, grappling hooks, falcons, lions and snakes. I really liked the fact that each symbol was original and carefully crafted, the designers choosing not to rest on generic card suits or Royals.
The soundtrack is very cinematic and dramatic and altogether made for pleasant background noise. It seems NetEnt chose to channel the original cartoon graphics with fantastically drawn features set within a snow-capped village backdrop.
Conan - Gameplay
Initially Conan’s gameplay came off as unnecessarily complex and tricky. However, after some exploration I realized that it’s because the reels are divided into 3 sections, each one connected to a unique feature. These features are triggered whenever a winning combination lands in the section it belongs to. Here’s some more information on how it all works:
This feature belongs to reels 1 and 2 and is triggered if a blue tower wild lands. The Wild will then expand to either partially or fully cover the reel.
Mystery Symbol & Mystery Multiplier
This feature belongs to reels 3 and 4 and carries the highest win potential. Once landed, the mystery symbol (and you can land more than one at a time) will transform into random matching symbols. What you really want to hope for is that the symbol appears fully stacked, because then Conan himself will run out onto the grid and do battle with a giant snake. For each blow the snake receives, a multiplier will increase by 1 x. The minimum multiplier awarded is 3 x, while the maximum is 7 x.
This feature belongs to reels 5 and 6 and is triggered when the red Battle Wild lands on either of these reels. If you achieve this then the Battle Wild will expand sideways to adjacent reels for up to 3 positions.
This feature is triggered randomly during the base game. Any 2 of the 3 reels pairs will light up to indicate that the feature is active. When this happens the lit reels will produce matching symbols to increase your chances of making winning combinations across the whole grid. During free spins (more on this below) this feature can produce up to 6 linked reels.
If a Mystery Symbol lands in combination with a Tower Wild and Battle Wild then you’ll trigger the Thoth Amon feature. When activated, between 3 and 6 mystery symbols are randomly added to reels 2, 3, 4, and 5 for potentially very large wins.
3 Free Spins Games
Landing 3, 4, 5 or 6 scatter symbols anywhere on the reels will give you 10, 15, 25 or 50 free spins respectively. You’ll then be asked to choose one of the following games:
City of Thieves Free Spins – at medium variance, players will benefit from tower wilds appearing on any reel. These can expand to cover the reels both partially and entirely.
Walls of Tarantia Free Spins – also at medium variance, this game will cause Battle Wilds to appear on all reels, expanding up to three positions sideways.
Temple of the Serpent Free Spins – this the slightly more volatile option out of the three, but offers the greatest win potential. Mystery symbols, both single and stacked, can land on all reels. These will trigger the mystery multiplier to give you a multiplier of up to 7x. If you land between 5 and 9 mystery symbols, then the Thoth Amon feature is triggered.
Conan - Payouts and Wagering Limits
The biggest payouts are hiding behind the 3 free spins games. The optimum strategy is to always opt for the Temple of the Serpent Free Spins feature as the multipliers can lead to the biggest payouts available in this slot. That’s because, during the game, the slot’s RTP is boosted to the maximum 96.65%. When it comes to symbol values, unsurprisingly the most rewarding is Conan, who pays out 0.75, 2, 5 or 6 times your bet depending on how many matching symbols you land. Most of the time the slot runs on Medium variance, offering a big prize of 288 x your stake if you fill the reels with the high value Conan symbol. This can be increased to the slot’s maximum potential is 2,016 x if you succeed in layering the 7 x multiplier on top.
Conan - Final Verdict
Let it never be said that NetEnt’s Conan is a dull slot. The game designers have gone out of their way to make the experience as engaging and memorable as possible. But is this enough of a reason to keep players coming back for more? Many players might be of the opinion that the 3 section feature split is an annoying and unnecessary complication. Personally, I felt the complexity added excitement to the game and caused me to stick around longer.
What I was disappointed by were the low special feature payouts, as I made more money from base game wins. A great slot if you enjoy detailed gameplay, but a little frustrating if you’re chasing that big top prize.