Firebird Spirit is a new online slot from Pragmatic Play and their collaborators at Wild Streak Gaming, and it takes place in the great outdoors. It may sound like a sophisticated marketing term created to mask a hold ‘n win type event, but it’s actually pretty different. If you’re up for a little bit of bushwhacking, we’ll look at that and everything else Firebird Spirit has to offer in this review.
Since Wild Streak Gaming already has Mayan Ruby under its belt, we’ll assume that Firebird Spirit is an Aztec or Mayan-themed slot. It has all the right trimmings: a step pyramid in the background and creepers covering its six-reel active panel. The only other visual element is a female figure—a priestess, a queen, a warrior, perhaps—holding a bright orb and standing next to the grid. They aren’t particularly evocative, but they do the job.
While there are six reels in total, only the first five are used for regular play, with the sixth serving primarily as a bonus round. There are five possible symbols on reels 1, 2, 4, and 5, whereas reel 3 can only have three pay symbols. When three or more identical pay symbols appear on successive reels, starting with the first reel, players are awarded one of the game’s 1,875 possible ways to win. Firebird Spirit is extremely risky (ranked 5 out of 5), but it offers three different RTP models (94%, 95%, and 95%), the highest of which remains constant even when purchasing free spins.
There are ten standard pay symbols on the board, with six paying out lesser amounts and four paying out premiums, with wagers ranging from 25 pence to £/€125 each spin. The 9-A card ranks make up the low-paying group, with payouts ranging from 0.2 to 0.32 times the initial wager for a full house. The premiums, however, are the three jeweled animals and the female protagonist. A premium win for five of a kind is worth between 0.4 and 2 times the wager. In both the regular and bonus games, the wild symbol is represented by the Firebird from the story. Wilds can stand in for any other icon outside the Connect & Collect tile.
Slot Functions Inspired by the Firebird
When the Connect & Collect icons appear on reels 1 through 5 in any of the available locations, players win. The cells at the very top and very bottom of the third reel are the special ones. When two or more Connect & Collect symbols, appearing anywhere from the first to the fifth reels, land in vertical or horizontal adjacent positions and contact a symbol appearing on the sixth reel or in the special locations, the combination is paid out. The sixth reel and the bonus places can have any of the following symbols:
This one may be collected quickly if it lands on the third reel’s bonus cells. The Connect & Collect feature adds symbols on reels 4 and 5 that lead to a reward on reel 6.
Spin again; the third reel has the bonus spaces. If it lands, you’ll have five free respins during which whatever Connect & Collect you get will stick. The result of any connections is given when the respins stop.
Places where you may win money, from 2x to 800x your wager.
Payouts range from 50x to 4,000x the original wager for the Minor, Major, and Grand prizes, respectively.
The Add Wilds feature substitutes random symbols for wild ones on reels 2, 3, 4, or 5.
Win 2 times your wager plus 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, or 25 free games with the free spins feature.
The conditions for free spins are similar to those of the regular game, and the Connect & Collect function is used. With one notable exception, when reels 1-4 stop, their symbols align with one another, and when reels 4-5 stop, their symbols align with one another. When Connect & Collect is linked to the free spins symbol, more free spins may be triggered. Free spins can be won at random or purchased for 100x the entire stake by qualifying players.
Judgment of the Firebird Slot
Wild Streak Gaming, a partner of Pragmatic Play’s, is fond of their hold ‘n win style of play, as seen by a number of their previous releases including Cosmic Cash, Gold Party, and Amazing Money Machine. Firebrand Spirit represented a welcome departure from the studio’s usual formula. The special spots on reel 3 and the subsequent division of the methods to win made the interface feel a little clumsy at first. Instead of needing to link Connect & Collect symbols all the way through to reel six, special symbols can now be activated from anywhere in the grid.
The Connect & Collect function was functional, generally speaking. It was encouraging to see Wild Streak Gaming take some risks, as has been indicated. Connect & Collect symbols sometimes snaked their way across the board to reach an intriguing destination. The Grand prize is the highest possible cash award, however winning even a smaller one might be quite a feat. Firebrand Spirit may only increase by a maximum of 4,250 times the initial wager, therefore there’s no way for the network effects to spiral out of control. Including a slew of non-monetary special symbols is also a smart decision. They weren’t exactly common, but at least they’re there to shake things up a bit.
Firebird Spirit ended up being a fun game that offered a unique set of characteristics. Maybe if the gameplay had been coupled with a more out-there concept, more people might have taken notice. It’s tough to be very critical, though, because Firebird Spirit clearly displays some innovative ideas. Although Firebird Spirit wasn’t a game that made me feel an overwhelming want to play it again, there is material here that may spark interest in the appropriate person.