Although a retro styled slot, the backdrop to the game reveals a burning orange sun casting a hazy sunset on crystal clear skies. Add to this the gentle sound effects of lapping water and a soft, ambient soundtrack. This is as relaxing a slot experience as you are going to get!
So having set the backdrop to the SunTide slot from Microgaming, what else does it have to offer? Well, the basics are that this is a 5x3 reel game that has a total of 9 paylines in operation. You cannot select the number of paylines, but you can alter the size of the bet you make from 0.09 up to a maximum bet of 22.50. This puts this slot firmly in the region of the mid to lower stakes punter in particular.
The retro feel of the slot may not be obvious with the set up, but once you take a closer look at the symbols on the reels then things do get markedly clearer. There are a huge number of retro symbols on the reels including five lower paying fruit symbols (Cherry, Strawberry, Lemon, Melon and Orange) and there are four higher paying symbols also that are etched into slots history (Bar, Bell, Lucky 7 and a Diamond).
Between them, these symbols offer a payout of up to 2,500 coins on a single payline, which is a sizeable jackpot, especially for a game that offers just nine paylines. However, this is by no means the largest amount of money that can be won on the slot but to access these much bigger wins, you need to trigger some of the key features of the SunTide slot.
The first of these is the Wild symbol, which is a golden coin. This serves as a standard wild symbol in that it can be used to replace any of the high or low value symbols on the reels to help create additional winning paylines. However, the Wild can also be a winning symbol itself with five wilds on a payline offering you the biggest base game win of 25,000 coins.
However, the Wild symbol also has another feature and that is during the base game, the Wild can Expand across Reel three to cover the reel completely whenever it is landed on that reel. However, this only triggers when the Expanding Wild will help land a winning payline that wasn't previously available.
The other big bonus feature of the SunTide slot is the Free Spins bonus round, which is triggered by landing three, four or five of the Scatter symbols anywhere across the reels. When this occurs on a spin, you will land yourself 15 free spins, which you can re-trigger by landing the three or more scatter symbols again during the bonus round.
In addition to triggering Free Spins, you also receive a win from 112.50 up to a maximum win of 2,250 when you hit five scatters. Two scatters, although not triggering free spins, also offers a pay out of 45.00.
During Free Spins, the Expanding Wild is also in operation only this time, the Wild does not only expand on Reel three, but also reel two and reel four also. This can lead to some truly epic sized wins and is the best way to land some of the biggest jackpots in the game, which can be as much as 3,333 times your stake.
However, key to enjoying this slot is having excellent bankroll management as although the SunTide slot may sound and play in a somewhat relaxing fashion, it is actually a more medium variance slot and it can take a good deal of time and patience to unlock the bigger wins available in the game.
Generally, most of the base game wins are small and rather infrequent, however what tends to happen is that after a lengthy spell of poor performing spins and low wins, you will find you hit a medium to larger sized win which will give your bankroll a much needed boost.
You do need to be patient however to realise these chances as it can take a good number of spins to hit a decent win and triggering the Wild bonuses and the Free Spins can be equally as frustrating as the slot doesn't like to give up its money quite so easily as it would lead you to believe.
The best feature is the free spins bonus, which can be re-triggered once to give you a maximum of 30 free spins which if you can hit, is your best opportunity of hitting it big on the relaxing and gloriously warming SunTide slot.
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