Rich Wilde, the face of Play’n GO and a seasoned explorer, returns to the world of Tome of Madness, a game inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, in pursuit of money and fame. If you are unfamiliar with this attractive Indiana Jones doppelganger, he has appeared in a number of other Play’n GO inventions, including Aztec Idols and Pearls of India, but is unquestionably best known as the “explorer guy” from the legendary slot machine Book of Dead. You’ll notice that Mr. Wilde is looking dapper as ever in his suit vest and red tie.
We are not transported to a historical location like in Wilde’s previous escapades. Instead, we visit the world of Cthulhu Mythos, created by the mind of American literary genius H.P. Lovecraft and controlled by the powerful and dreaded godlike entity Cthulhu. Tome of Madness is a cascading slot game where winning combinations are formed by landing 4 or more matching symbols horizontally or vertically in a connected cluster, and where winning symbols are removed and new ones are replaced after each spin. The Portal Effects bonus adds Special Wilds and gives you the chance to activate extra features. Tome of Madness may be played for anywhere from 10 cents to 100€ each spin on desktop computers, mobile devices, and tablets.
Inside a dusty old hall, Mr. Wilde proudly displays the ancient Book of Madness as he stands to the right. Stones of varying shades of green, blue, red, and purple bearing alien inscriptions serve as lower-value symbols on the reels. Cthulhu skulls, rings, daggers, and the octopus pendant are more lucrative, with the last offering 100 times your wager for a cluster of 10+ symbols. It’s important to keep an eye on the Portal Meter, which can be found to the left of the grid.
You can choose from three distinct wilds to aid you in your journey. To begin, there’s the book, which serves as the game’s default wild. Then there’s Rich Wilde himself, who acts as a multiplier wild worth x2. Finally, the alien octopus thing is the Mega Wild, and it only shows up in the bonus game.
Features of Tome of Madness (Play’n GO)
Eye Marks are random locations that emerge in strategic spots throughout the game. A pair of Special Wilds will be added to the following losing cascade if you get a victory on these tiles.
As with other Play’n GO grid games, the thrill mounts as the meter nears its maximum, at which point a number of features and modifiers become available. However, if you make a bad spin or cascade, the meter will reset to zero. Extras and capabilities are given out based on the Portal Meter’s readings:
There are seven signs: The game board receives two more Special Wilds.
There are now a total of 14 icons on the grid, including 2 Extra Wilds. In this phase, the Abyss Portal Effect is triggered if any Special Wild contributes to a winning combination.
A total of 27 icons, including 2 additional Special Wilds. The Void Portal Effect is triggered at this point if a winning combination contains any Special Wild.
42 glyphs: Once you get to this point, you’ll get access to the Other World Free Round bonus.
With the Abyss Portal Effect, a column or row will be cleared from the winning Special Wild symbol, and the Portal Meter will increase by one. For each instance of a regular symbol on the grid, the Void will pick one at random and remove it if the Void Portal Effect is activated.
When the meter reaches 42 symbols, you’ll get a free round in the Other World, where you can choose from three different Portal Effects. An extra Portal Effect will be granted for every three gathered winning symbols, up to a maximum of seven. When a cascade does not result in a win during the feature, a Portal Effect is triggered.
The Special Wilds feature provides four more Wilds to the board.
As you descend into the Abyss, you will be granted four Special Wilds. The Abyss Portal Effect is triggered whenever a winning combination contains a Special Wild.
Void: Add four Special Wilds to the field. The Void Portal Effect is triggered if any Special Wild contributes to a winning combo.
The Mega Wild works the same way as the Gargantoon in Reactoonz (Play’n GO), increasing your chances of winning. During the bonus round, you may see 11 or 12 Eye Marks. To activate the Mega Wild Cthulhu, players must make winning combinations on each of the game’s eye locations. It will then slide down with each cascade until dropping out of view, helping you achieve greater winnings.
Final Say on Tome of Madness (Play’n GO)
Cascading grid slots from Play’n GO are notoriously difficult to convey in words compared to how much fun they are to play in person. Tome of Madness takes inspiration from the Reactoonz design, with a few extras from other grid positions tossed in for good measure. The basic idea is the same; to activate features and bonuses, players must rack up consecutive wins to fill a meter. We find it curious that the makers settled on a maximum win of just 2000 times your investment, given that the game is as unpredictable as Play’n GO slots come.
Most people would agree that Play’n GO is exceptionally talented at making grid slots. The visual quality of Tome of Madness is on par with what we’ve come to expect, and the gameplay is just as fascinating as it always is. Brand recognition will definitely benefit as well, what with Rich Wilde being such a recognizable figure in the realm of online slot machines. With Mr. Wilde’s popularity and Play’n GO’s stellar reputation as a leading developer of grid-based slot machines, Tome of Madness is poised to become an instant hit. Although it’s not their finest work in the genre, it should satisfy Play’n GO’s legion of devoted followers.