War is among the most disgusting of human acts; the settling of political and territorial disputes with mass killing is a stain on us as species.
And we also find it very entertaining. And have done for a long time, it would appear.
And this game takes us to an ancient battle that has become a modern totem (with some of the twisting of history that is necessary to make myths, of course).
The story of the 300 Spartan warriors who took on an impossible task and achieved it has strolled its well-oiled body from graphic novels to movies to video games and now to slots.
This 300 Shields slot is an impressive looking game, with lots of good-looking extras, from one of the giants of the online video slots world, but should you strap on your sword and rehearse your war cries to join this battle?
Let’s take a look in this 300 Shields slot game review.
NextGen are, in gaming terms, an Empire to rival the Greek or Persian ones of ancient history.
They have nearly 250 online video slots on the UK casino market at the moment and many of them are big titles.
This game, 300 shields, is, at the time of writing in July 2019, the most popular of their titles, but you can find plenty more of their titles, like Medusa Megaways, Jackpot Jester 50k, and The Wild 3 in the top 500 titles in the UK.
NextGen Gaming is part of the SG Digital group, which is itself part of Scientific Games. SG are a gigantic American corporation with their headquarters in Las Vegas who make all sorts of gambling products and made more than $3billion in 2017.
They’re not going to go bust and run off with your cash. NextGen are themselves licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
These are big, highly trusted names.
This 300 Shields slot game was released in 2014, so it’s a testament to it doing something right that it is still so popular.
However, its theoretical return to player of 95.3% is also somewhat of its time, and most games these days are up above 96%. That said, RTP is a very inexact measure because it records a game’s expected performance over its lifetime, and these are small differences that will almost certainly have no perceptible impact on your playing experience.
Its high variance rating means that it is (slightly) more likely to pay out larger prizes, but to do so slightly less frequently than the average. Again, this is a technical measure, but some players do report enjoying one sort of game or another.
The big prize here is a 300,000 coins top prize. You can bet from 1p to £5 (0.01 coins to 5 coins – always check for up-to-date coin values, prize sizes, and pay-out limits at the site you’re using).
A classic three-by-five grid is crossed by 25 pay lines.
The reels sit in the centre of the screen with a field of wheat leading up to an Acropolis-style structure in the background.
Paylines are numbered up and down the side of the reels.
The controls, labelled in stylized Greek characters, run along the bottom.
At the left, a red info button opens up the paytable, an Autoplay button allows you to set up your clickless games. Plus and minus buttons sit by a pay line meter, allowing you to choose how many lines to stake on. A max button takes you to the top; then another max button allows you to opt quickly for the top stake, with plus or minus buttons to the right of the neighbouring window.
A gamble button runs that feature, before a green spin button in the bottom right-hand corner.
Cards sit at the bottom of the pay-table, with pairs (9-10s, jacks and queens, and kings and aces) all paying the same.
Then arrows and swords are paired. Finally, ships and archers are paired.
Wilds and scatters (a helmeted head, shouting, and shields respectively) also award prizes of up to 1,000-times stake and trigger bonuses.
If you know NextGen games then you’ll know that they always have plenty of bonus games.
The first is a gamble feature on wins, with a card-picking choice for double or quits.
The main bonus game is a free games round.
This is won by scoring three or more scatters, a shield symbol. Free games are awarded in sets of five.
In this bonus game, all the wins on warrior symbols are doubled.
Two or more shields in the bonus game award a set of five more free games, with a multiplier on warrior wins of five.
Six or more shields award the third set of free games with a 25-times multiplier on warrior wins.
Finally, 12 shields award the fourth series with 300-times multipliers on the warrior wins.
This is called the Battle Feature.
Into battle, we go!
NextGen have a long-term winner on their hands here, and to keep a game charting for five years or so is a genuine achievement.
There’s no need to look far to find out why. It’s a great tie-in with a movie and book franchise that has struck a chord in the modern world (for all the wrong reasons if you ask us, but you didn’t, so on we go).
The aesthetic is strong, and the game looks and plays as well as players have learned to expect from NextGen games.
Fun bonuses with absolutely adrenaline-pumping chances of big wins take things to another level again.
On the downside, the RTP isn’t the highest and the look is a little of its time.
But this 300 Shields slot is a game to enjoy, so get stuck in and enjoy it – and remember to tell your children never to feel glee at the news of massacres.