WMS (Williams Interactive), a subsidiary of Scientific Games, has upgraded the Crystal Forest land-based slot game to a High-Definition (HD) online game that boasts an updated console design, more crisp and intricate graphics, and some reimagined symbols. The online HD version of Crystal Forest still offers the same features that helped to make the original game popular like cascading reels and free cascading spins.
|Number of paylines:||25|
|Game theme:||Crystals, magic forest|
|Min/Max bet:||0.25 / 125.00|
|Maximum standard win:||2,500|
|Maximum jackpot win:||3,750|
|Free spins:||Up to 50|
Theme and visuals
This magical forest, soaked in soothing blue and purple hues, is dense with beautiful growing crystals and mystical creatures like fairies and unicorns. As a departure from loud and action-packed slot games, Crystal Forest is an almost ethereal and relaxing game to play.
The five most valuable regular symbols (fairies, unicorns, butterflies, ladybugs, and mushrooms) can create winning combinations with matching symbols or mixed combinations with any of the five different symbols.
An intricate border around these five symbols makes them easy to spot. Other special symbols, also surrounded by borders, include wild symbols that can also appear on the reels as stacked wild symbols and jackpot symbols that are the highest paying symbol on the reels.
Other woodland creatures fill the reels like rabbits, flowers, and toadstools, and symbols like magic wands, flower wreaths, fairy lanterns, and firefly bottle lights are the lowest value symbols on the reels. You won’t see a single playing card symbol in Crystal Forest.
There also aren’t any scatter symbols on these reels. Scatter symbols typical trigger free spins bonus rounds, but in Crystal Forest, the free “cascading plays” bonus rounds are triggered by consecutive wins on a single cascade play.
A meter on the left side of the reels gets activated when the minimum number free plays are activated and continues to track how many free plays are awarded if the number increases, up to a maximum of fifty free plays. Jackpot symbol hits are also tracked next to the free play meter.
The game sounds are ethereal and new age with some forest animal sounds mixed in, making for a textured and relaxed backdrop that feels pretty appropriate for the game.
Betting options and paying combinations
Five reels and three rows (5×3) of cascading symbols fall onto 25 lines in Crystal Forest. Although you must play all 25 lines, you can choose how much you want to bet per spin. The minimum bet is 0.01 per line for a total bet of 0.25, and the maximum bet is 5.00 per line for a total bet of 125.00.
Choose your bet value per line (Bet/Line) by using the up and down arrows in the “Classic” screen view. Or, choose your Total Bet per spin by using the slider bar in the “Quick Bet” view.
The paytable is dynamic, so when you change your stake the paytable changes to display the accurate payouts for the current active bet value. The jackpot symbols are the highest paying symbol on the reels, which pay out 7.50 on a minimum bet and 3,750.00 on a maximum bet for five matching symbols.
The highest paying regular (non-jackpot) symbols pay out 5.00 on a minimum bet and 2,500.00 on a maximum bet for five matching (or mixed) symbols, and the lowest paying symbols pay out 0.80 on a minimum bet and 400.00 on a maximum bet for five matching symbols.
Top symbol paytable values (for five symbols on a maximum bet):
- Crystal Jackpot symbols – 3,750
- Fairy/Unicorn/Butterfly/Ladybug/Mushroom – 2,500 (matching or mixed)
- Rabbit – 1,250
- Flower – 1,000
- Toadstool – 750
- Magic Wand – 500
- Lantern – 500
- Bottle – 400
- Floral Wreath – 400
Autoplay options can be customized for a maximum number of spins, number of minutes played, win amounts, stakes, and changes to your account balance. The reels spin at a comfortable pace and all of the win lines and the total win are clearly displayed before the next spin starts.
The RTP (Return-To-Player) percentage for Crystal Forest is a solid 96.00%, which is average compared to other WMS games.
What jackpots are available?
Symbols displaying crystal formations and the word “Jackpot” pay a jackpot prize. The “jackpot” values vary depending on your active bet and how many jackpot symbols land on the reels.
The jackpot payout for five matching jackpot symbols is x30 your bet. Compare that to the highest paying regular symbols on the reels, which pay out x20 your bet for five-of-a-kind, and the next symbol level down pays out x10 your bet. Based on this, we would view the “jackpot” as the highest paying symbol on the reels instead of a true jackpot.
These jackpot values are not on par with the big jackpots that many slot enthusiasts seek out, and there are no other progressive or local jackpots available in this game.
Additional features and bonuses
Cascading reels are responsible for most features in this game. The cascading reels can trigger multiple new winning combinations on a play and trigger the free plays bonus game.
Instead of standard spinning reels, symbols cascade down onto the reels in “plays”. When a winning combination lands on the reels after the win is calculated, the symbols burst, and new symbols cascade onto the reels to replace the empty spaces.
This cycle continues, with winning combinations disappearing and new symbols replacing them on the reels until there are no new winning combinations on the reels for that play.
Wild Symbols / Stacked Wild Symbols
Wild symbols display the word “Wild” over a beautiful grotto background. Wild symbols can appear as single symbols or as stacked symbols that can cover an entire reel. Wild symbols substitute for all symbols and are on every reel, except for reel one.
Feature Game (Free Spins Bonus Game)
Free “plays” are awarded when at least four consecutive winning combinations land on the reels during a “play”. Icons on the left of the screen light up indicating how many free “plays” you qualify for as the reels cascade.
Consecutive Cascade Wins / Free Play Awards:
- Four consecutive wins award 7 free plays.
- Five consecutive wins award 10 free plays.
- Six consecutive wins award 15 free plays.
- Seven consecutive wins award 25 free plays.
- Eight or more consecutive wins awards 50 free plays.
Free plays can be retriggered. During the free plays, at least four consecutive cascade wins award additional free plays that will be added to the remaining free plays. Winning combinations and payout values are the same for free plays as in the base game.
Who is this game ideal for?
Although fans of the original Crystal Forest land-based casino slot game may be surprised that some of the familiar symbols are different in this online HD version of the game, there are many visual enhancements for seasoned Crystal Forest players to appreciate.
The serene theme and soothing sounds would also be ideal for players who are looking for a more relaxed playing experience and a game this is easy to play. On the flip side, this would not be a good match for players looking for a game that is high on action and advanced, interactive features.
Similar games from WMS
Crystal Forest is a rare online HD game release with a relatively unique theme for WMS. However, despite boasting an entirely different theme and some aging graphics that are definitely not HD, the game specs and features in Invaders from the Planet Moolah are almost identical to those in Crystal Forest.
The Invaders from the Planet Moolah slot stars intergalactic cows that have descended upon a farm to zap winning combinations off of the cascading reels (and suck the farm animals into their spaceships). Both games share the same structure, cascading reels, free play awards, jackpot values, and the same payouts for winning combinations on the reels. The two games also share the same Return-To-Player (RTP) value of 96.00%.
HD Quality – The graphics are of high definition quality.
Cascading Reels – Cascading reels can land multiple new wins on a single spin as winning combinations are replaced with new symbols. Consecutive cascade wins can also trigger the free spins game.
Free Spins Bonus Game – Up to 50 free spins are triggered (and retriggered) by consecutive wins on the cascading reels, instead of by scatter symbols.
Stacked Wild Symbols – Wild symbols can be single wilds or randomly stacked on any spin to fill up an entire reel (or multiple reels).
No Playing Card Symbols – The reels are filled with Crystal Forest themed symbols, without a playing card symbol in sight.
Easy To Play – The options and features are simple enough for anyone to play.
Limited Bonus Features – Bonus features are sparse outside of the cascading reels and free spins bonus game.
Limited Free Spins Features – The free spins reels and payout values are exactly the same as in the base game.
Small Jackpot Values – The jackpot symbols on the reels do not award huge jackpots. Instead, the “jackpot” values are the highest paying symbol on the reels.
- Graphics and Design- 3.5/5: As one of the only WMS online games that have been released in High-Definition (HD), the difference between the graphics quality in this game compared to other WMS online games is noticeable. However, some of the graphics look finely pixelated and there are certainly games with more advanced out there, so we’re going with an above average rating overall.
- Sound Effects- 3.5/5: The sounds effects compliment the game nicely. The new-age ethereal forest and fairy sounds are easy on the ears and we don’t feel compelled to hit the mute button while playing. Some players may find the audio to be too soothing and boring, though.
- Jackpot Value- 1/5: Thumbs down on the jackpot value. Players looking for big jackpot payouts will be disappointed by the jackpots in this game. We think WMS would have been better off using a specialty symbol as the most valuable symbol on the reels instead of advertising it as a jackpot, so we wouldn’t expect a bigger jackpot.
- Replay Value – 3.5/5: Our replay value rating is moderately high for this game due to the HD graphics and some more advanced features like cascading reels that also trigger the free spins bonus game. Fans of the original Crystal Forest land-based casino slot are likely to be repeat players as well, despite some minor game modifications, given the superior HD quality. A big drawback is the low “Jackpot” value, which could kill the replay value for some players.