Forget the post, these owls are transporting you to an enchanted forest, studded with emeralds and coins aplenty. Owls is the newest offering from Nolimit City, set in a mythical land where swords, gems and wisdom are the name of the game.
Owls is a 5 reel, 15 payline video slot with an RTP of 96.22% and a maximum win of 1374x your bet. The game also brings some very exciting features designed to help you bump up your coin purse. With mesmerizing dream spins, scatter loot and rewarding Wilds, you’ll be spinning the wheel into the land of possible fortune in no time.
The game title is a dead giveaway, owls dominate this slot. But it’s not just the staff-holding cape-wearing birds that will have you hooked. The design is highly immersive, built to encompass the feel of an epic journey with a distinct medieval theme. Liberally scattered with swords, chests, shields and stones, you’ll find yourself embroiled in the world of mystique and treasure.
The soundtrack in itself is an absolute delight. The orchestral, fantastical music overlaid with forest sounds and whimsical instruments aids your path into the exciting world of wise owls and quests. Even hitting the buttons to increase or decrease your bet sounds a little like a woodpecker going at a tree trunk, and a win is compounded by the gratifying sound of heavy coins landing in an imaginary Robin Hood-style coin purse.
The game itself is well designed with serene colours and beautiful graphics. I found the leaves cascading down from trees and the rhythmic breathing of the guardian owl as he watches over each spin quite soothing, not usually an adjective I associate with slots, but there you go. It’s all very immersive. When you hit Scatter Loot (more on this below) the guardian owl raises his magical staff in salute and an electrifying party erupts on your screen. It’s hard to pull your eyes away from the explosion of light and colour as you watch your winnings stack up.
While the number of special features on this slot might be fewer than you’re used to, they’re diverse enough to keep the game interesting and engaging. Across the reels are several symbols and icons including ancient books, frozen swords and intriguing chests. You’ll also come across three different owls, each with their own payout value. The one you really want is the mysterious looking owl shrouded in a red cloak. This guy offers payouts of 33.33 times your stake if you land 5 on a payline. The Wild (represented by a golden ‘W’ on a shield) offers those same payout amounts, substituting for all the standard symbols.
This lovely bonus comes in three styles and is awarded when landing three scatters of reels 2, 3 and 4 on the same spin. Land this and you’ll activate one of three extras at random, each coming with 5 free spins. Ember Dream means any flame shard or chest symbols that land in this round turn Wild. Frozen Dream will see all frozen shards, frozen swords and frozen owls visible transform into one of the frozen symbols, which can create some big matching clusters with payouts to get excited about. Emerald Dream causes any emerald shard or book symbols to transform into the higher paying Grove Owl symbol.
This happens when you land the stacked scatter fully visible on reel 3 (the middle reel). I found it a lot easier to land this bonus than a Dream Spin. Scatter Loot means you get to make bank based on whatever else is fully visible across the reels. Because of the Wilds, that can mean 6 and 7 symbol combinations, and the largest of these (featuring above mentioned owl in red cloak) can earn you an award of 100 times your stake.
Payouts and Wagering Limits
Payouts are fairly frequent but these range from small, and sort of insignificant, to big and very relevant. With the Scatter Loot feature you could score yourself some decent coinage due to the variance it offers of up to 7 symbols in the bonus round. There are also 3 free spin rounds with transforming symbols and a stacked Wild on the central reel.
Owls sits in the medium variance range, offering a balance of payouts. There’s a maximum of 1,374 times your stake to be won from each spin, free or otherwise. You can score a big win of 1.500 coins for 7 of a kind. Also, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 Grove Owls pay 10, 70, 400, 800 or 1.000 coins, respectively. Icons with a lower payout rating can produce 5 to 600 coins for combinations of 3 to 7 of a kind.
The Wilds definitely help to boost payouts because they can replace all other items except the Scatter. This makes a big difference on the Dream Spin when the middle reel is transformed into a strip of Wilds representing an appropriate Owl. Oh, and let’s not forget that 3, 4 or 5 Wilds will generate 15, 80 or 500 coins, respectively.
You’re most likely to win the jackpot during one of the Dream Spins versus during normal gameplay. As mentioned above, the red cloaked owl is the most valuable symbol, worth 1,500x your total stake.
While Owls does without a huge armoury of swooping effects and surprise features, that’s not to say it doesn’t offer its own brand of appeal. With a solid and unwavering theme and the potential for frequent big wins, I personally found it to be surprisingly great fun. The crazier slots sometimes leave me walking away feeling dizzy and mildly epileptic. Owls offers a softer alternative, a real break away from the mania we’ve come to associate with these games. I’ll take half an hour on Nolimit City’s Owls over five minutes on Headspace any day.