How are you with sequels? Some of the best cultural artefacts in history – The Godfather, Robocop, liberal democracy – have been sullied by bad sequels. There have been some great ones too (Godfather II is wonderful) and online video slots players are now getting used to game families and series.
To make it to a second title, an original game must be doing something right. This Thunderstruck 2 slot game – with its Norse/Viking theme – is from Microgaming, and they’re in no danger of going out of business by making bad decisions.
The company pretty much invented online casino gaming, and they now have a portfolio of not just hundreds of games, but hundreds of sites in their network. So you can expect to find this game, which is the company’s third most popular game in the UK market at the time of writing (the end of January 2019), despite being on the market since 2010!
That sort of longevity is no doubt helped by a big top prize, and some excellent gameplay. Plus, it seems the people and culture of Scandinavia never go out of fashion with gamers.
Should you don your horned helmet and pick up your throwing axe and mead horn?
Let’s take a look in this Thunderstruck 2 slot review.
Always make sure that you check prize levels, coin values, betting limits, and so on at the site you are playing at. These figures can be tweaked, and you owe it to yourself to have an accurate picture of a game that you are playing.
The first figure that jumps out here is the 2.4million coin top prize. Prizes in the millions are usually the purview of a big progressive jackpot, but we reckon that coin value settings in this game bring the prize down to 600,000 real currency units, which is far from inconsiderable!
There are plenty of pay lines in this Thunderstruck 2 game using Microgaming’s 243-ways-to-win system. That delivers a 96.65% return to player, medium variance performance (both long-term measures) performance that’s at the top end of industry trends.
As you enter the world of Thunderstruck 2 slot you’re introduced to the Paytable Achievements that are a new feature in this game.
Once inside you’re greeted with a wall of stone with the 15 symbols on it.
The controls at the bottom of the screen are rather crowded compared to the current trend for big, mobile-friendly design.
From left to right: a “view pays” button to open up the pay-table over your balance window. Next is the 25-digit (with a 6 level non-linear scale) bet level window. To the right of that is the coins window, that allows you to put up to 10 coins into the pot, to make the next window hit the bet max, of 75.00 (on the version we played – check at the site you’re playing).
Finally, a Win window sits over a green spin button. In the frame, you’ll find the “options” for sound and so on, stats on your game, and the autoplay settings, which are hidden in an “expert mode” setting that Microgaming used on a number of its games a while back.
The pay-table opens with cards. Nines and 10s pay 5, 10, and 100x stake. Jacks and Queens pay 7, 15, and 125x stake. Kings and aces pay 10, 20, and 150x stake.
A longboat pays 15, 60, and 250x stake. The floating city pays 15, 60, and 300x stake. The Valkyrie pays 20, 80, and 350x stake. Loki pays 20, 80, and 400x stake. Odin pays 30, 100, and 450x stake. Thor pays 30, 100, and 500s stake.
The hammer bonus pays 1, 2, 20, and 200x stake from a pair of symbols. The game logo pays 75, 200, and 1,000x stake, it is a wild.
The bonuses are complicated and based around a big free spins game called The Great Hall of Spins. This is triggered by three, four, or five hammer bonus symbols. These games add up along a meter to trigger further bonuses.
In the Great Hall of Spins, the Valkyrie game opens first, with 10 free spins, all with a 5x multiplier on wins, and retriggering.
Next up is the Loki bonus, (beginning from five triggers of the free spins) with 15 free spins and a Wild Magic bonus, that “randomly transforms symbols into additional substitutes”, which sounds to us like the clumsiest ever way of saying it scatters wilds across the reels. You can retrigger Loki respins, but only to a maximum of four more spins.
Odin Free Spins, which comes after you have triggered the spins 10 times, come with wild ravens that turn symbols into multipliers with a maximum of 6x.
The final level here is the Thor bonus, which you can access after 15 instances of the free spins round have been triggered, this grants 25 free spins, with the rolling reels (a type of Respin) feature and a multiplier on wins that climbs from 2x to 5x.
It’s not hard to see why the Thunderstruck 2 slot game is popular. After all, it’s got a massive prize and some lovely touches, including nicely done graphics and theming, and even some relatively non-offensive music.
But boy is it complicated?! Not to play – you can just click and spin happily enough – but to fully understand, you really need to get your head around those bonuses. Some of the features and controls feel overcrowded and old-fashioned on the desktop version, and if we were Microgaming, we’d be looking at a revamp – hint hint, Microgaming!
But wins are wins, and you can garner a lot of those with the generous RTP and volatility, and they could be very big if you start to hit bonuses. And, if you like a game with a bit of depth to its gameplay then this has a genuine through-line and narrative that is really compelling.
One of the best Viking games around, we think you should go berserk for this at your favourite online casino site now.