Wood You Be up for an Odin Setting?
As is traditional for Merkur, the game’s name is announced with short introductory music. This time the music is dramatic and full of impact, fitting for a Norse god. The 5 reels dominate the screen, leaving plenty of space for the images within. They aren’t transparent so really do take pride of place. The background is an indistinct picture of a field. There’s grass, tress and mountains but no real detail. It doesn’t quite have the tone of where a Norse god would live.
It’s more successful with the top and bottom of the screen. The Norse gods were associated with wood, so having the top and bottom with brown wood gets the point across. The lettering, while small, does have an unusual font which adds to the theme. The 20 paylines are either side of the reels. There are no diagrams for them on the paytable.
Becoming Familiar with the Norse Codes
You’ll always know you’re playing a Merkur game by the two green buttons at the bottom and the discrete small buttons placed around the screen. These include ones to make it full screen, change the volume levels and find an exact wording of the rules. You can also increase the pace of the game, something you’ll probably be tempted to do as the usual speed is quite slow.
The 20 paylines are fixed, but you’ve got plenty of variety on the betting value. The coin values (which change colour with the amount) are 0.10, 0.20, 0.50, 0.80, 1.0, 2.0 or 5.0. This isn’t a high roller game for sure. The Auto Start is the same as most other Merkur games. You’re offered up to 9 different options between 9 and 100. The payout rate is not too shabby 95.84%. Worth noting is that the Odin Runes take place when playing automatically, but the gambling feature will not. That is, unless you pause in time after a win.
Needless to say, Odin is top dog, or rather top god, here. Playing on the lowest setting is worth a maximum of 10 euros for 5 of a kind, with 1,000 euros when playing on maximum. The totals for all are helpfully calculated by the Max Button. The maiden, helmet and of course the hammer, are among the others associated with the theme. Ace, King, Jack, Queen and 10 all have different colours but have the same value. It’s a rather eye-catching paytable. The dark background really gives an air of authority.
There are Wildcards, Scatters, a Bonus Feature and a Gamble option so you’re plenty covered for extras. If you get 3 or more of the fiery caldron Scatters you get 10 Free Spins. The Wildcard, a gold and silver shield, replaces everything except a Scatter. The Magic Rune is the extra feature. Getting 3 planks on the first reel you get 2 extra re-spins, where the Wildcards and Odin Runes remain. When they land on a reel they will be replaced with the same symbol for each of the 3, which increases your possibilities of winning.
The other extras are more traditional to Merkur. After a winning hand you have two choices for gaining more. If you choose the Gamble Card, you have to guess whether the next card will be black or red. You can see what the last 4 cards were, to help you choose. You can also decide to bet half the amount. The Gamble Ladder goes up to 140, with the next two levels being 84 and 52. A light will flicker over 2 different amounts. If you select the higher one in time, you get offered the chance to win more up the ladder. Be careful though, as you can easily end up with 0.
Merkur really are specialists at fun low-risk games. This is no exception. While its spinning noises and bonus game could be more interactive, it’s bright visually, has an unusual theme, plenty of extras and the chance to win regularly. It’s hammer time!