We were just talking about how charming rather than scary Halloween slots tend to be. While this comment may have been made in the context of a review of NetEnt’s Don’t Eat the Candy, it is applicable to a far wider variety of video games. Well, developer Print Studios has utterly impaled that premise, so poke a pin in it. The developer calls Darkness “Halloween gaming beyond the expected,” so the team clearly succeeded there. They all say that, right? Then they give you a game with cute kitties, candles, and maybe even a scary pumpkin or two. In contrast, Darkness’s climax moment during free spins is so…dark…that players who are easily frightened should think twice before trying to activate it.
Players must utilize a slider to modify the display’s literal blackness before entering the abyss. If things get too dark… or too light… this may be adjusted during play. The action takes place in an unidentified ancient home, where the ritual appears to have already gone awry, unleashing an Eldritch nightmare into a dimension it was never meant to inhabit and turning everything it comes into contact with into a biological shambles of branches and bones. It’s all a little eerie, and I don’t mean in a generic way like a slot machine. “Pleasure to me is wonder—the undiscovered, the unexpected, the hidden, and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability,” said author and philosopher C.G. Jung. If that line from H. P. Lovecraft speaks to you, you may have the kind of morbid curiosity that will lead you further into Darkness to discover the true horror that lies underneath its horrific veneer.
There are three methods to set the mood for terror in the abyss. The first is to play as you would normally, by selecting a wager anywhere from 20 p to £/€50 and clicking “play.” The second is to boost your wager by 50% by using the Scatter Boost feature. By activating Scatter Boost, the odds of triggering free spins are increased from 1 in 300.38 spins to 1 in 122.19 spins. Finally, you can pay 100 times your initial wager to receive 10 free spins. The return to player (RTP) ranges from 96.14% while playing at standard stakes, to 96.4% when using the Scatter Boost, and to 96.79% when purchasing the bonus feature. The level of volatility is somewhere between high and mild.
A five-reel, four-row game panel is situated in the midst of the action. Even with the brightness turned all the way up, it’s still rather gloomy, but the unconventional approach works well with the rest of the game. There are a total of 26 paylines in play, all of which pay from left to right beginning with the first reel. The regular pay symbols include vials, daggers, chalices, Isadora, and Agatha, while the special ones include Light Wiccan Twigs, Vibrant Wiccan Twigs, Noble Wiccan Twigs, Eldritch Wiccan Twigs, and so on. If you get 5 of these symbols in a row, you earn anything from 0.12 to 2.5 times your wager. Dirge Wilds are worth 5x your wager for a full screen of them, and they may stand in for any other normal pay symbol.
Slot Functions in the Shadows
It seems to reason that in order to carry out a ritual, one must first collect the necessary items; in Darkness, this means activating the Dark Ritual Bonus, which awards free spins and the aforementioned SuperSpinners and Giant symbols.
SuperSpinners are the digits that appear in the empty spaces between the symbol columns; they are a registered trademark of Print Studios. There are a total of 14, and each one acts as a multiplier if a winning payline crosses over it and the SuperSpinner is positioned to the left of a winning symbol. Each SuperSpinner applies their number sequentially, even if there are many of them on the same winning line.
On every given spin, you may get a giant symbol. Giant symbols range in size from 3×2 to 5×4, and any space that is completely occupied by one counts as one occurrence of a normal-sized sign.
Bonus for performing a dark ritual
If you get 3, 4, or 5 scatters, you’ll receive 10, 12, or 14 extra turns, respectively. At the start of each game, the playing grid takes the form of a pentagram. When a Dirge wild lands on any of the pentagram’s five points, it remains there until the game ends, granting an additional two free spins. If the top five slots are filled with locked Dirge Wilds that continue to chant throughout the bonus round, Lucifer is called upon and reels 2, 3, and 4 go wild.
Conviction in the Dark: Slot
If the market for online slots were a high school, Darkness would be the introverted, black-clad outcast whose songs would make his or her grandparents both shocked and sad. The tone is so dark that some gamers may be turned off just by the subject matter. You’re ready to enter the Lucifer bonus round, and it’s 2 in the morning on a dark and stormy night with the wind whistling through the trees and the rain pattering on the glass. Hashtag cold feet. No, if you’re easily frightened, it’s probably best to stick to spinning Darkness during the day, in a public place where there will be many of people around in case your gadget opens a portal to the underworld and lets in something scary and its accompanying wizards.
We may have gone a little too far, but the singularity of Darkness prompted us to ponder such things. Slots like Royal Potato, Royal Potato 2, Pine of Plinko, Cash Defense, and Reapers demonstrate Print Studios’ track record as a masterful world builder. Darkness is just another one of those games that manages to crawl under your skin. The features and gameplay in Darkness are just as important to the experience as the deceptive exterior. Some of the characteristics may not seem particularly novel when considered apart from the other aspects and the context of the game in which they appear. However, when combined with the ominous robes they wear, the combined total is intimidating, though not exactly comforting.
If the ritual is successful, Darkness can produce payouts of up to 20,000 times the initial wager. Players who are brave enough to take on the scariest slot (so far) in Print Studios’ library will be rewarded handsomely for their efforts, as this game enters the ranks of other frightening online slots like True Kult and Blood & Shadow.