- A unique reel layout with horizontal reels
- Expanding Wilds make the most of the horizontal reels
- The theme is a little bland but the gameplay is solid
Sidewinder slot is a new game brought to you by Microgaming and utilizes the idea of horizontal reels in addition to the standard vertical reels. In doing so, not only do you change things up but also allow more ways to win which can be quite exciting. There’s a lot to like about this concept, but we have seen it before so have Microgaming done enough to make this slot stand out?
When it comes to the design, they’ve kept things pretty simple here. Too simple perhaps? Maybe for some, especially considering Microgaming aren’t exactly a small developer, but it doesn’t look bad and the gameplay is quite clearly supposed to be the main attraction to Sidewinder slot. Speaking of the gameplay, in order to play the game you simply need to spin the reels to try and get a winning combination from left to right using the base symbols. With this particular slot, the reels could also be horizontal depending on whether they’re active, and I’ll explain more on this shortly. This is a list of the base symbols in ascending order based on their value:
- Stars, Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds (lowest value)
- Red Sevens (highest value)
As well as these base symbols, Sidewinder slot features a set of Wild symbols that each have different properties, kind of like we saw with Rainbrew slot that we reviewed not too long ago. First of all we have the Regular Wild symbol, a golden symbol that substitutes for all other symbols in the game apart from the Free Spins symbols, and only appears on the horizontal reels. The Top Wild symbol appears only on reel 2 and the bottom horizontal reel during the base game. Lastly, there’s the Bottom Wild symbol that appears only on reel 4 and the top horizontal reel.
Sidewinder Slot Bonuses and Features
Sidewinder Feature. The Wild symbols I just mentioned do more than just appear in different places and play an important role in the Sidewinder Feature. The Top Wild symbol will activate the top horizontal reel, while the bottom Wild symbol will activate the Bottom Wild reel (no surprise there). This will increase the number of ways to win and offer the chance to land more Wilds. The Sidewinder feature can only be triggered by Wild symbols or Free Spins symbols, but not both.
Free Spins Bonus. The Free Spins symbol in this game is shown as a Sidewinder symbol. If you manage to land one on reels 2 and 4 simultaneously, both of the horizontal reels will activate and spin. Additionally, if you land 3 Free Spins symbols, you will be awarded 6 free spins, while 4 Free Spins symbols will grant you 10 free spins. Both the horizontal reels are active during the free spins, meaning you have a whopping 1125 ways to win. The Free Spins symbol and the Regular Wild symbol are only available on the horizontal reels during the free spins. The Regular Wild symbols can actually be used to create expanding Wilds if they land on the same position on both horizontal reels, with the positions in between them turning into Regular Wilds. You also have the chance to win additional free spins (though not many) by landing another Free Spins symbol which will give you an additional free spin.
Sidewinder slot is certainly an interesting concept, but one that we’ve seen before and bares a strong resemblance to it. The slot in question is Rainbrew slot, and while I did give that slot some well deserved praise, to create a near identical copy isn’t really a good idea. I’m not saying that the horizontal reels shouldn’t be copied, that’s a great concept that should be used more regularly to change things up. But the additional features like expanding Wilds could be more unique, or different features could have been included to make it more exciting and original. For me, Microgaming haven’t really showed much innovation with this slot but if you enjoy the idea of horizontal reels I see no reason why this game won’t work well for you.