Fear of the Dark
Horror-themed slots are never going to score highly for originality, but then they don’t need to. You don’t play these sorts of games to encounter new terrors: you play them to come face to face with the ghosts of horror films past, present and future, the sort of macabre figures whose familiarity makes them no less unsettling. Below the reels, a pair of red eyes gleam demonically from a coffin every time you spin the reels, while a vampire enchantress stands seductively to the left of them.
Cobwebs, stone turrets and other dark flourishes complete the backdrop to the reels, whose symbols are every bit as sinister. Dark Spin is a 15 payline, 5-reel game with a bet per line that can be set between 0.03 and 3, resulting in a maximum stake of 45 per spin. You’ll find these controls behind the gear wheel icon in the top left of the screen. While you’re there, you can adjust the number of active paylines and set autoplay preferences.
Playing card values rendered in gothic lettering make up the lower value symbols in the game, followed by Dracula’s castle, bats flitting against a full moon and finally an ancient tome accompanied by a candle and wine glass. Of these symbols, the bats are the most valuable, commanding 1,500 for five in a line. That just leaves two symbols to lord it over the rest: wild and scatter.
You’d expect these symbols to look intimidating, and they don’t disappoint, scatter in particular. It’s played by a red-eyed vampire in top hat and cape and is worth 3,375 for five. You’ll generally have more use for scatter as a means of claiming free spins, achieved any time you land three or more symbols in view. Wild, meanwhile, is a lion’s head door knocker and is worth 16,500 for five. It will of course substitute for all symbols except for scatter.
Be Very Afraid
While Dark Spin’s retro-tinged vampire schtick will tire eventually, it’s mighty entertaining at first. The graphics are detailed, the animations are nifty and the organ music is chilling. As for gameplay, well, Booming Games don’t tend to offer a whole lot here, preferring to let wild and scatter do the brunt of the work. You can gamble with every win you accrue though by electing to enter the Double or Nothing round, gambling up to 10 times in a row, with a 50% chance that you’ll succeed on each bet you place.
You’ll receive 10 free spins for three or more scatters in view, but you can gamble with these, just as you can with regular wins generated in the base game. The 50-50 gamble takes the form of a liquid that will turn red or blue once you’ve made your guess. Is it an elixir of life or one of death? If the red liquid is Dracula’s blood, it must surely be an elixir of immortal life.
Rated as a medium variance slot, Dark Spin will naturally appeal to horror aficionados. Other games in a similar vein – pun intended – are Dracula’s Family by Playson and Hotel of Horror by Viaden.
There’s plenty more where that came from; give House of Dracula a try if you can track it down. It’s a 20 payline slot that exudes a similar vibe to Dark Spin. Also along the same lines, albeit not quite as refined, is Barcrest’s Ooh Aah Dracula.
For simple unadulterated thrills, Dark Spin takes some beating. It isn’t new or novel, but it’s an undeniably satisfying slot to play, one that will keep you coming back for more wins, more creaky coffins and more sinister organ music. Booming Games could really do with adding some features to their slots beyond the Double or Nothing feature that comes as standard, but that’s the only real criticism that can be levelled against this satisfying, spooky slot.