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The creative team at Novomatic decided it was time to give us a big surprise with their new slot, Tidal Riches™. Here they’re seen to depart from their usual 5×3 layout and super high volatility that has given us countless exciting games such as Book of Ra and Lucky Lady’s Charm. This time, they dug deep into their treasure chest and designed a fun summer game with cascading symbols that, together with medium-to-high volatility, has all the ingredients to become a players’ favorite throughout the year.
Gone are the times to play on a rigid grid with a fixed amount of reels, rows and paylines. Bring in the era of expanding game windows with up to 50 paylines in a 5×6 format. Got your attention? Then keep on reading to discover an entertaining gaming experience with wins in a single spin of up to 1,500x stake.
Colors and Numbers
Tidal Riches™ takes us on a snorkeling tour in sparkling-clear ocean waters to admire colorful corals and an intricately designed game window that increases in size after hitting winning combos, setting off the high tide. The game mechanic sees the game window grow with each consecutive winning cascade from the usual 5×3 format to a 6×3, 6×4, and ultimately to a giant 6×5 grid with 50 paylines. Bet sizes range from a low roller-friendly 0.20 credits to a risky 100 credits per spin.
Welcome to the Wonderful Ocean World
Expect high-quality graphics combined with crisp animations and mysterious water sounds, interrupted only by typical win count noises. The reels are populated with the usual card set of 10s to As at the low end, continuing on the high level with angelfish, pufferfish, sea turtles, red octopuses and dolphins. Wild symbols are transparent tiles with the word ‘Wild’ across them, substituting for all symbols.
For more excitement, players can look forward to wild substitutions, a Hi-Roller mode, and an Arrow Trail that leads to free spins with added Treasure Chests which unveil a common pay symbol when they land on the reels.
Let the Tide Rise
At the beginning of each spin, the game has five reels, three rows and 20 paylines, with a water plant covering the sixth reel as well as rows four and five being inactive above the water level. Pay symbols cascade in from the top and scoring a winning combination will see the winning symbols burst, letting new ones drop in place.
After the first win, a friendly octopus will pull the plant aside to uncover reel six. Once the new symbols have dropped in place, any new combos will burst again, setting in motion a rising tide that will activate row four of the game grid and increase the paylines to 40. The game reaches the high tide point after the third consecutive winning cascade, maximizing the game window to six reels, five rows and 50 paylines. Any further winning cascades will trigger the free spins round.
But that’s not all. Starting with the unveiling of the sixth reel, the slot transforms into a pay-both-ways game. All wins are paid left to right and vice versa except for six of a kind, which are awarded one way only.
Roll ‘Em High
Ready for an extra kicker with more risk but also potentially much higher rewards? Then activate the built-in Hi-Roller mode to substantially increase the chance of bagging super mega wins and reaching the free spins. The game offers two options where players can choose between Silver and Gold mode.
The first is betting five times the standard stake for three spins, while the latter is ten times the standard stake for the same amount of spins. Double-sized Mega Wilds are added in both modes, while in Gold mode the arrow trail leading to the free spins is not reset after a losing cascade, making it easier to trigger the bonus round.
Light Them Up
The game has an Arrow Trail with seven arrows on top of the game window which leads to the free spins feature. Each winning cascade will light up an arrow, while a cascade with no win will reset the trail. Reaching arrow four will trigger the free spins. Four arrows will give five Free Games with 1×1 Treasure Chest symbols, while five arrows will see the Treasure Chests appear in stacks of two. With six arrows lit up, the Treasure Chests increase to a 2×2 size. Finally, all seven arrows will cause the Treasure Chests to appear in a 3×2 mega size.
Any Treasure Chests landing in free spins will unveil a matching symbol, providing a higher potential for consecutive winning cascades. The excitement is not over yet, as a new arrow trail appears during free spins. Lighting up a minimum of four arrows will award additional free spins on each occasion. The trail is reset after each non-winning cascade. Four arrows will give you four additional free spins, and five arrows will earn you six additional free spins. Meanwhile, six arrows award eight additional free spins, and seven arrows will see you enjoy ten additional free spins.
All or Nothing
Need even more thrills? Then use the “Gamble” feature after any win to try and double up with a 50/50 chance by choosing between black and white from a deck of cards.
Other Games With Expanding Reels
The concept is still rather new as expanding reels are much more demanding than standard 5×3 games. Developers have to find a fine balance along all phases of a spin, requiring complex math models for every increase in paylines or reels.
Kaiju from Elk Studios is another fine example of math ingenuity with 243 to 7776 ways to win fitted into a game window with up to five reels and six rows. Or take White Rabbit from Big Time Gaming for a spin as it goes up to seven symbols high on five reels, creating up to 16,807 ways to win. During free spins, that can increase to twelve rows for up to 248,832 ways to win. And that is still not the end. It gets even crazier on Laser Fruits from Red Tiger Gaming, which expands from 243 to a massive 60,466,176 ways to win with up to ten reels and six rows.
Ready to put on the snorkeling gear for a serene diving experience to discover untold hidden treasures in Tidal Riches™? Playing this new Novomatic creation certainly holds potential for mega wins well in excess of 1,000x your stake. The game designers made sure to give us highly entertaining slotting sessions. Watching those reels open up and the arrow trail progress towards the free spins feature is time and again suspenseful. As with all other Novomatic games, expect to have the odd dozen or more spins without a single win as they all trend towards high volatility. In other words, this slot warrants higher risk, but playing it may also lead you to reap bigger rewards.