The game’s protagonist, the alchemist, can best be described as “Harry Potter in 50 years”. The wizened wizard, complete with rounded specs, a bald pate and a fine white beard, looks every inch the sorcerer. Just to add credibility, his laboratory apparatus surfaces as symbols on the reels along with his spellbook and other props. Behind the reels, a series of bubbling potions and other concoctions can just about be made out, housed inside a gloomy subterranean lair.
While not an ugly looking slot by any means – there are way worse offenders out there – The Alchemist’s Spell doesn’t really show off the flair that characterises Playtech’s better games. Thankfully, a well rounded range of features gives this slot depth and helps compensate for its basic interface.
The game is stated by Playtech as having 243 paylines – hence the stated 243 ways to win. The only control affecting the cost per spin is the one dictating your total bet. It can be set from as low as 0.30 all the way up to 300. There doesn’t appear to be a Max Bet button, but if you click on the blue Total Bet tab one will appear above it, allowing you to crank up the bet per spin in a single press of a button.
When it comes to autospin, you’re greeted by a vast number of choices: a pop-up window will allow you to specify the number of autospins or to dictate that the reels stop after a win of a specified value. An adjacent tab will allow you to control other game options and will also reveal your playing stats including the number of spins, the total session time and your 5 biggest wins. A word about the sound effects incidentally: there aren’t any worth talking about. A few basic sound effects are all you get. If you want a thumping soundtrack, you’ll need to crank up your own tunes instead.
The playing card symbols that form the lower value symbols are embellished with hearts, diamonds and other related playing card shapes; at least Playtech have made an effort here, even if the flashing animations that occur when you match 3 or more symbols are as basic as it gets. Free spins will provide your most common route to riches; The Alchemist’s Spell will grant you 10, 15 or 20 free spins for matching 3-5 red crystal symbols, which are the game’s scatter. As for wild, there are in fact three distinct wild symbols: bronze, silver and gold piles of bullion.
The bronze wild will appear on reel 2 to apply a 3x multiplier. The silver wild will appear on reel 3 to dispense a 3x multiplier and the gold wild will appear on reel 4, triggering a 5x multiplier. There’s more that can be scooped with the aid of wilds however as the various symbols will multiply together when you land more than 1 on the reels. As a result, it’s possible to achieve a multiplier of up to 30x and this feature can even be retriggered. Wild will also substitute for regular playing symbols including the red crystal scatter symbol – which is referred to as a trigger symbol here.
Fireworkz Blitz, another Playtech game, is probably the closest slot out there to The Alchemist’s Spell. It’s got a similar RTP – 94% – and similar spec in terms of free spins and multipliers. Alternatively, you might wanna try Chain Reactors by Gamesys.
As legend would have it, alchemists were adept at turning things to gold. Whether you succeed in taking a few credits and transforming them into a glittering prize remains to be seen. There’s certainly no shortage of ways to achieve that feat in The Alchemist’s Spell. It’s not the most elegant slot you’ll ever play, but Playtech rarely release bad games, and there’s certainly enjoyment to be derived from this fantasy-filled 5-reel slot.