Elements: The Awakening Basic Information:
Most pokie games out there are based on a very specific theme or design. From films to locations, these are often a great help in determining the shape which a developer want their pokie to take. Every now and then, however, a developer will go out of their way to create something fresh and new. Something from their own imagination rather than something which already exists. Sometimes this can turn out very well, other times it illustrates why some designers are better off working from an established framework. Is Elements: The Awakening one of the good ones, or would have been better off left alone? Read our review to find out…
This game operates under the use of the NetEnt gambling software system. The talented programmers and designers from NetEnt are well known for going the extra mile in their creations, and Elements: The Awakening is no exception. This game was released on the 11th of November, 2013.
The NetEnt system is compatible with a great many devices which are capable of running Flash. This means most PCs, Apple computers and tablets, along with a variety of other mobile devices. Check if your device supports flash, if it does you should be able to run games from NetEnt.
Elements: The Awakening comes with a total of 20 paylines over 5 reels in a 3×5 layout.
- The minimum coins bet sits at 20
- The maximum coins bet sits at 200
- Minimum coin size sits a 0.01
- Maximum coins size sits at 0.50
- The return to player offered by this game is 96%, which is around average.
By clicking on the spanner icon towards the lower left of the game screen the player can access the options menu. This brings up a menu with 5 different sections. These are as follows:
Enabling this option speeds up the spinning of the reels. This means that these is less time spent waiting around between the time you click spin and when the reels come to rest, speeding up the entire experience.
- Intro Screen
This option disables the intro screen from appearing the next time the player starts the game.
When selected this option will prevent the intro animation from playing the next time that the player loads the game.
This option cuts the animations out of the main game. This has two advantages. The first is that it cuts down the time waiting before the symbols come to rest. The second is that cutting out these animations can help the game perform better on older or less powerful machines.
- Ambience sound
This option toggles the background noises from the game. While these are rather atmospheric they might be annoying for some players.
- Sound effects
This option simply toggles off all sound effects when selected.
- High, Medium and Low
The different graphics settings here serve an important purpose. The higher these are set the better the game will look, but the more demanding it will be on older or less powerful devices. Because of this players should probably set the game to medium or low when experiencing performance problems on their chosen devices.
- Spacebar to spin
This option lets the player start the spinning of the reels with a simple press of the spacebar, in addition to the regular methods.
Additional options can be accessed by clicking on the autoplay button. The basic options here allow the play to select from 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 250, 500, 750 or 1000 autospins.
The player can also click on the advanced settings button to further customise when their autoplay will end. There are five different stopping scenarios to choose from here:
- On any win
- If Free Falls are won
- When a single win exceeds an entered amount
- If cash increases by an entered amount
- If cash decreases by an entered amount
Other Helpful Additions
Elements: The Awakening also comes with question-mark and paytable help icons. Both of these detail much the same thing, basic game and winning information, but the paytable button does this within the game and the question-mark opens a secondary text page. The page accessed by the paytable button also lists all payout information, paylines and bonus info.
The game can also be muted by simply toggling the sound button located on the lower right of the game main screen.
As this is an entirely unique creation by the folk over at NetEnt there isn't really a background to go into. If I had to guess, and I do, I'd say that it appears to be based around a wasteland where the only living creatures seem to be avatars of the four-element system.
Other Features and Bonuses
The first of the features we need to touch on here is the avalanche feature. This occurs whenever a winning payline is won. After the payouts are tallied the winning symbols will vanish. Following this the above symbols will then drop in, with the process repeating until there are no more winning combinations available.
The wild symbol in Elements: The Awakening comes in many forms, most of which include the above appearance of a patterned cube. In the main game the regular form of this symbol can only appear on columns 2,3,4 and 5. It can substitute for all symbols.
The avalanche feature appears only when in the main game. This increased by 1 for each successive fall containing at least one bet line win up to a maximum of 4 avalanches. The colours shown on the avalanche meter match the leading element in the current round.
The above is known as the energy meter. This shows the leading element for each spin. The section which the most filled indicated which free falls mode will be entered when this mode is activated. This energy meter will fill when a winning combination gains one or more different types of energy, as dictated by the symbol types.
As mentioned above there are four different elemental wilds which can be won when playing this game. Each of these have different effects when gained, which are listed below.
The fire storm wild can only appear on reels 2, 3 and 4. When in fire storm mode they can also expand to reels 1 and 5. These wilds can spread in any direction on one of the reels, transforming any adjacent symbols into wilds on the way.
The air storm wild comes in sets of 2 which can fall randomly onto the reels when in the first free fall bonus. When these appear they will remain on the reels for the entire air storm mode. This mode is activated after the first fall, where the symbols will move randomly to adjacent positions for each fall or avalanche.
The earth storm wild in Elements: The Awakening can only appear on columns 2,3 and 4 in earth storm mode. These symbols remain on the reels until they have been included in 1 or more winning combinations, in 3 avalanches or until there are no more wins remaining.
The water storm wild in this game can only appear on reels 2, 3 and 4. This is in water storm mode. The water storm wild is an expanding wild will expand vertically to cover the entire column when it appears.
The free falls bonus game is activated whenever the player gains 4 or more consecutive avalanches. When this occurs the player will enter 1 of 4 of the free fall varieties based on the energy meter. Each win of this game will result in 10 free falls.
How to Play:
Basic play for Elements: The Awakening is as simple as a player selecting a coin value and level and clicking spin. Alternatively the player can maximise their possible bet by simply clicking on the Max Bet button to the right of the spin icon.
Clicking the autoplay button allows the player to go through a selection of different amounts of autospins. From here the user can also click on the advanced settings button in order to manually select different stopping scenarios. These include on any win, when free spins are won, if a single win exceeds an entered amount, or if cash increased or decreases by an entered amount.
Overall Design and Usability:
The design of Elements: The Awakening is a busy one, but one which works very well. The theme of the game revolves around these living elements, and the wasteland in which they dwell. This is one of the rare games where every facet of the design has been customised to fit theme, and it works exceedingly well. From the symbols themselves to the background graphics, playbar and animations – everything here has been crafted with both talent and intent. Whether you appreciate this design depends entirely on your own taste, of course, but there can be not doubting the quality of what is on display here.
In terms of usability this is another areas in which Elements: The Awakening excels. This is a game which responds very well, quickly and showed us no issues regarding reliability in our testing. Especially useful are the multitude of graphics options. These are often overlooked, which is unfortunate as they do a lot to open the game up to players on older or less powerful hardware. Great work all around here by NetEnt.
Where to find it:
NetEnt games stand with Microgaming as some of the most popular available. If you already have a favourite gambling website then check out if they offer NetEnt games, if they do then you might be able to find Elements: The Awakening there. If it is not available, or if you want a more direct list then check out the links below.
One of our favourites on offer by NetEnt. This is a game which looks fantastic, runs well and offers a bonus structure far above what many pokies could even dream of. Whether you're on the lookout for something new, or just want an example of what pokie developers can really be creatively capable of – we can absolutely recommend this game. We only wish more pokies would aim for the level that NetEnt went for with this one.
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