Hercules, son of the god Jupiter and the mortal Alcmena is the Roman adaptation of the Greek hero Heracles, who is probably most well known for his 12 Labours. You know, slaying the Nemean Lion, slaying the Lernaean Hydra, and slaying the Stymphalian Birds. He did do more than just slay, by the way, but the tendency to do battle is what drives much of Hercules 10K Ways, an online slot from software provider ReelPlay. Released in conjunction with partner studio Yggdrasil Gaming, Hercules 10K Ways’ central feature is a hold ‘n win round, which includes Hercules going toe to toe with a fearsome melange of monsters.
One thing tying 10K Ways slots together is their Megaways-ish looking gaming panel. Hercules 10K Ways’ matrix has 6 reels that spin vertically and a 4 symbols reel running side to side on the top. Unlike Megaways, the same number of symbols land on each and every spin producing the same number of ways to win – 10,000, hence the name. For setting, Hercules 10K Ways is held in a golden-hued land of Greco-Roman structures, mountains, sunbeams, and so forth. It’s an okay view, nothing overly special, but when the bonus game triggers, be prepared to witness Hercules in all his raw pec-poppin’ splendour.
When it comes to ruddy great hold ‘n win games, 10K Ways slots don’t tend to sit in the upper echelons of the scale. More sort of mid-tier, technically speaking. Part of this assessment in the case of Hercules 10K Ways is due to a medium-high volatile math model, capped with decent, if not stunning winning possibilities. The game is available at four RTP levels; the highest is 96.1% which has a hit frequency of 24.52%. Wins pay from the leftmost reel onwards, provided matching symbols land on adjacent reels, and the bet levels are 20 p/c to £/€40 per spin.
Hercules 10K Ways low pay 9-A card royals look like they’ve been recycled straight from Thor 10K Ways, though the 4 high pay beast symbols are new. Getting a winning line of 6 card rank symbols is worth a payout of 0.5 to 1.2 times the bet, rising to 2 to 100 times the stake for landing a 6 premium symbol win. Hercules appears on the top reel only during the base game, where he can be used to substitute for all symbols except Golden Apples.
Heracles 10K Ways: Slot Features
Hercules 10K Ways’ base game relies on cascades as its main feature, only really kicking up a gear when at least 5 Golden Apples land to trigger the Hercules Battle Spins Feature.
Each symbol in a winning way is removed by the cascade mechanic and replaced by symbols from above or to the side (on the top reel). This process repeats until no new win is created after a cascade.
Hercules Battle Spins Feature
Each triggering Golden Apple symbol awards its displayed value, and each one of them gives Hercules +1 life point, up to a maximum of 10. The first opponent appears on the opposite side of the grid to Hercules, and its life points are also displayed. The order of the opponents is Boar, Hydra, Cerberus, then Lion, each starting with 3, 4, 5, or 6 life points, respectively.
Now, 3 respins are initially awarded, making up a Battle Round. Only the current monster’s symbols, Hercules symbols (displaying a prize value), or blanks land during a Battle Round. When Hercules or monster symbols land, they are sticky until the end of the Battle Round. When a Battle Round ends (either spins run out or all positions are filled), symbols on the grid are processed left to right and top to bottom. When a Monster symbol is processed, it reduces Hercules’ Life points by 1. When a Hercules symbol is processed, it reduces the monster’s life points by 1 and awards its prize.
If Hercules’ Life points reach 0 before all symbols are processed, then the symbol processing ends, ending the bonus round. If the opponent’s life reaches 0 before all symbols are processed, the remaining unprocessed Hercules symbols change to Golden Apples, which add Life points to Hercules and award their prize. Then the next opponent appears (up to Lion). If a Battle Round ends and Hercules still has life points, another Battle Round is triggered, awarding 3 more respins. At the start of a Battle Round, the grid is cleared.
If the Lion is defeated, a Victory Prize is awarded, and the feature ends. The Victory Prize will be the Grand, Major, Minor, or Mini worth 2,000x, 250x, 50x, or 10x the bet, respectively. Golden Apples and Hercules symbols during the round display either a non-bonus prize of 1 to 100x the bet or the Grand, Major, Minor, or Mini.
Hercules 10K Ways: Slot Verdict
First off, a quick tip of the hat to ReelPlay for reaching into its bag of tricks and doing something different with the 10K range. It won’t be to all tastes; players who prefer the Money Train side of the hold ‘n win spectrum might find Hercules 10K Ways a bit slow-paced, a bit lightweight despite all the battling happening in the bonus round. Although, players who don’t want to dodge runaway freight trains may prefer the video game slash cinematic quality that Reel Play has worked into Hercules 10K Ways.
Not so much in the base game since there are no features other than cascading wins, meaning Hercules 10K Ways cranks along in a cyclical manner, churning out dead spins and ways wins. With its large number of ways, the base game is technically able to produce a decent result when the right symbols show up. This leaves the Hercules Battle Spins feature to pick up the slack, and this it does better than first presumed. After reviewing a few of these 10K Ways slots by now, the supposition was that Hercules 10K Ways would deliver another fairly dry bout of landing money symbols and then collecting them at the end. Instead, we were treated to a rather unique round of Hercules battling monsters instead. At times, the titanic struggle between two massive entities on either side of the game grid felt like Gods vs Gigablox or Monsters vs Gigablox from Hot Rise Games, another Yggdrasil Gaming associate. What’s less titanic when compared to the bigger hitters in the hold ‘n win game, though respectable enough, is an advertised max multiplier of 6,108 times the bet.
While there have been ups and downs amongst the 10K series, as a whole, it has come across as a bit samey. Not always; there have been exceptions. Thor 10K Ways is one which sticks in the memory banks, as does Bucks and Doe 10K Ways with its unique hunting-centric bonus round. Hercules 10K Ways, too, is one that might not shake up the industry but does enough to raise its buffed, broad shoulders above the 10K Ways pack.
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