It’s not just the bets that are larger in Barcrest’s big bet games: the controls are bigger too. Quite why this is the case is hard to know, but whatever; the fact remains that the playing controls stick out a mile. To the left of the reels are the green and red arrows to adjust the stake which can be set between 0.01 and 50. With 10 lines, this works out at a maximum possible stake of 500.00 per spin.
The ‘i’ button in the top left of the screen leads to a text box containing basic playing information while a hamburger menu a little lower down the page accesses audio controls. To the right of the reels is everything else: a blue button with another ‘i’ for paytable information, a purple BB for big bet and a green spin button.
In the base game, 3, 4 or 5 matching symbols will grant you a win. Five playing card symbols are worth 100x your stake, whereas 5 wolves are worth 120x and 5 owls 200x. Wild, appearing as a red moon, will apply a maximum 500x multiplier for 5. Wild will substitute for any of the regular playing symbols except for scatter, which appears as the enchanting Moon Queen.
Scatter paves the way for free spins. The queen will appear on reels 1, 3 or 5 to award 10 free spins. If she appears on the reels again during free spins, you’ll be awarded 4 or 8 extra spins. One other thing happens during free spins: a symbol is selected to serve as wild for the duration of free spins.
Big Bet Game
If you’ve played any of Barcrest’s other slot you should be familiar with the big bet game. It comprises 5 spins delivered one after another, a bit like playing on autospin. The difference is that at the end of the 5 spins you’ll be awarded an accumulative win, based on the symbols that have appeared on all reels and paylines. You can elect to play 5 big bet spins for 10 credits or you can play them for 20 credits, which will activate all 20 paylines; in the standard game, conversely, just 10 paylines are available.
The RTP for the game stands at 96%, but this increases to 98% in the big bet game. The lure of the big bet feature is obvious, but some players will balk at relinquishing control for a full 5 spins – the waiting can seem interminable. If you’re not a fan of this feature, up the stake per line instead and elect to spin manually. This way you’ll feel more involved, and will still be afforded the opportunity to win big bucks when the free spins kick in, summoning the Moon Queen from the shadows.
With the Northern Lights glimmering in the night sky and a full harvest moon hovering overhead, the backdrop for Moon Shadow is a beautiful one. Barcrest have outdone themselves in this visually arresting game.
The features aren’t as inventive as those to be found on other Barcrest big bet slots, but then you can’t have everything and what you do get here is very pleasing indeed. A soothing slot from Barcrest? It must be magic.