Your doom is written in stone… The mystery slot Fate of Fortune by ELK Studios opens with this foreboding message. It’s a rather broad subject area. Your thoughts will go in all directions if you spend too much time considering the truth of fate and the consequences of accepting or rejecting it. For the time being, let’s ignore them and maintain our focus on Fate of Fortune, an out-of-the-ordinary slot machine that yet has a number of familiar nods to previous titles.
The first exception from convention is the unusual grid layout of the game’s five reels (5-3-1-3-5). To win, you need at least three of a kind, making the middle position incredibly important for making connections between lines. The remaining perspective is wholly magical, taking place in a mystery forest setting reminiscent of Delphi, and including artwork and music that evoke a Celtic atmosphere. While we’re on the subject of music, I must say that the ELK sound team has once again excelled themselves, this time by adding heavy metal sounds to key moments in Fate of Fortune that, given the theme, shouldn’t work at all.
More about the game’s five X-iter variations and how they affect players’ betting selections in Fate of Fortune below. The minimum bet is currently set at 20 p/c, while the maximum is currently set at £/€100 per spin. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “the fickle finger of fate;” well, you may expect some of that when you play Fate of Fortune. During testing, its very erratic mathematical model swung wildly from lining up regular bonus rounds to exhibiting no remorse as it battered the balance.
Despite having just one symbol in its center row, Fate of Fortune compensates in various ways, including by paying both ways. When three or more identical symbols appear on any of the 81 paylines, either from left to right or right to left, the player is awarded a prize. Due to the smaller grid size, there are only six standard pay symbols available: three Q, K, and A tiles for lower payouts, and three enchanted ladies for higher payouts. Payouts for winning lines of five premium symbols are just one to two times the wager. Finally, we have the standard wild sign, which may occur on any reel and replace any other paying symbol. All wild symbols on a payline are worth as much as the top paying symbol.
Features of the Slot Machine Based on the Laws of Chance
There’s a ton of content in Fate of Fortune, so let’s dive in. The first is a feature called Expanding Wilds. These unique wilds show up on either Reel 2 or Reel 4. When they fall into place, they extend to the adjacent reel, increasing the likelihood of a payout.
The following phase involves mystery symbols, which can occur on any reel save the center one. All visible Mystery Symbols will change into the same matching symbol when a win is being calculated. As you’ll soon learn, Mystery Symbols play a crucial role in the bonus spins round.
A whirling crystal ball sits directly beneath the reels. The current spin may have a Fortune’s Favour feature activated at random. These benefits are bestowed by the crystal ball:
When you use the woman Swap ability, all of the premium symbols in the game are replaced by the selected woman.
Any payouts are multiplied by a random number between 1 and 50.
Wild Reel: When a wild symbol lands on reel three, free spins are triggered. The wild will split in half on the first respin, switching to reels 2 and 4 respectively. When the two wilds leave the playing field, the respin feature ends. While this is happening, further Fortune’s Favour elements may activate.
With Locked Wild, a wild symbol is locked onto the center reel for one respin. If a win does not occur, the multiplier for the wild will rise by one each time. When a Locked Wild appears, it can activate bonus features like the Lady Swap or Multipliers.
When 3 or 4 scatters appear anywhere on the board, you get Unlimited Nudge Spins. Instead of a predetermined number of free games, players who land 3 scatter symbols will receive 1 Mystery Stack, and players who land 4 scatter symbols will receive 2 Mystery Stacks. It is possible for more Mystery Stacks to appear during the bonus round, and they can occur on any reel than the central reel.
Mystery Stacks go down one position and reveal the same paying symbol with each free spin. In addition, a win multiplier is applied to all free spins throughout the feature, beginning at x1 and escalating by 1. The free spins multiplier is increased by any further multipliers won via the Fortune’s Favour feature. You can keep getting unlimited Nudge Spins until you can see no more Mystery Stacks.
The X-iter feature is the last one, and it has 5 distinct feature purchase modes that players may use:
Each round of play returns 5x the initial wager, guaranteeing a winner every time.
Three consecutive spins with a Fortune’s Favour symbol worth 100%. There will be a fee equal to 50 times the wager.
The bonus round is guaranteed if 3 or 4 bonus symbols appear, and the bonus award is 100 times the initial wager.
If you get 3 or 4 bonus symbols during a game, you’ll enter a bonus round where all wins are multiplied by 5. The price tag equals two hundred times the amount wagered.
If you get 3 or 4 bonus symbols during a free spin, you’ll trigger the Fortune’s Favour feature every time. The price is 500 times the wager.
The Random Outcome of a Slot Machine
Fate of Fortune is enjoyable on its own, but it has echoes of previous games that make it seem familiar. This is somewhat subjective, but listening to the music while playing on the Twisted Turbine grid from Fantasma Games made me think of Rise of the Mountain King. There’s a lot going on here in terms of potential inspirations, but Fate of Fortune still manages to stand out and provide its own unique flavor of reel-based fun.
Because it’s so novel, it may take some getting used to. It’s easy enough to get the hang of the game’s fundamentals—simply align like symbols on the crosshatched grid—but the game’s unique elements may take some getting used to. Demoing is the means to not only learn how everything functions, but also determine if Fate of Fortune is a good fit.
Now we come to the good stuff: the bonus game, where the banks of pushing Mystery Stacks give things a Razor Shark vibe. As the feature scrolls endlessly down, extended sequences of two neighboring stacks might work to your benefit. Then, one only needs to tap the center symbol and wait for the money to pour in. The secret to maximizing profits is, as you may guess, win multipliers on top of Fortune’s Favour multipliers. However, coordinating all of these variables may be difficult, and Fate of Fortune often backfires in embarrassing fashion, much as Ron Weasley’s damaged wand. When it does, you may win up to 10,000 times your original wager, making you feel like lady luck is on your side.
There is no denying that ELK are now on a creative high. Games like Fate of Fortune and Night Trax illustrate that the team isn’t afraid to experiment with the fundamentals of slot machine design along with dreaming up brand-new features. Unfortunately, not everyone is drawn to the excitement and adventure that comes with life on the cutting edge. Even if ELK sprinkles in some more traditional slots here and there, Fate of Fortune should be on the to-play list of everyone who enjoys pushing the boundaries of slot machine design.