Ashoka (ELK Studios) Slot Review
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Ashoka: Slot Overview
In this online slot review we will delve into the history of India. Where temples where built and dynasties ruled over the people of one of the biggest empires to this time. There was one emperor who took over the Maurya dynasty and its empire. This emperor, who had the tiger as his symbol, is the topic of ELK Studios’ game Ashoka.
Ashoka is played on 6 reels with 8 rows. To determine wins, Ashoka uses a game mechanic that is actually not that present in many games. This mechanic is called Scatter Pays. What this means is that at least 8 of the same symbol, anyhwere on the screen, will form a win. Symbols do not need to be adjacent or anything. Ashoka also uses Tumbling Wins, which means that symbols, that were part of a win, are destroyed and new ones fall into the grid. As for the bet sizes, these are ranged from 0.20€ to 100€ (or equivalent). These can, however, vary depending on where you play.
Usually ELK Studios are pretty creative when it comes to winning symbols. This time though, although this maybe sounds a bit harsh, they didn’t put in as much effort as we would have thought they would. So, you will find 9 winning symbols in total, with 4 of them on the lower end and 5 more on the higher end of the line.
The lower symbol spots are occupied by the classic winning symbols from J to A, which are pretty similar in payout. So for the J’s and Q’s you will be paid 3 times your bet size per 15 or more symbols. And next up are already the K’s and A’s for 5 times your bet size. And this already concludes the lower tier line of Ashoka.
Now let’s take a look at the higher paying symbols. Here you will find gems in various colours. So first there is the Blue Gem, paying you 15 times your bet size per 15 or more symbols. Next is the Green Gem, clocking in at 20 times your bet size. The Green Gem is then followed by the Orange Gem, netting you 30 times your bet size. After that, our second to last symbol will be the Red Gem for 50 times your bet size. And our top symbol will be the symbol of Ashoka himself, the Tiger, paying you 100 times your bet size for 15 or more of this symbol.
Ashoka: Special Symbols and Stats
Let’s see what Special symbols the ancient Indian emperor holds for us.
Although not necessarily Special symbols, we will list the Blocker symbols here. These symbols are easily recognizable through their monotone dark green colour. Blocker symbols will always drop in together with regular winning symbols and Special symbols at the beginning of a spin. As the name suggests, these symbols don’t actually have a function other than blocking. But they can be destroyed. Every winning combination will destroy vertical adjacent Blocker symbols. Horizontally adjacent Blocker symbols are not influenced.
Let’s take a look at the Scatter symbol. This symbol is portrayed by a skull, chiseled into a stone. If you get 3 of them on the screen at the same time, you will be granted entry to the Free Drops feature. Keep in mind, that Scatter symbols, that are chiseled into Blocker symbols, do not count, they will need to be freed first.
Of course we will also find a Wild symbol. Wild symbols are represented by a person that forms a „W“ with their arms, with a golden border. These symbols will substitute for any winning symbol except Scatter symbols. Wild symbols can have 2 different states:
- Charged Wild – These Wild symbols will last up to 3 tumbles
- Big Wild – Wild symbols can appear as 1×1, 2×2 and 3×3 symbols
Bigger Wild symbols additionally have the special interaction, that they will fill up any gaps underneath them with additional Wild symbols. This does only count for 2×2 and 3×3 Wild symbols though.
Multiplier symbols are vital in Ashoka. There are two types of Multiplier symbols. The first is a regular multiplier, which is displayed with a green background. These will activate once and add their shown number to the currently active multiplier. Once they have done that, they will lose any function. The second type of Multiplier is the Super Multiplier. This one has a golden border and a red background. The Super Multipliers will reactivate themselves on any tumble, adding their number to the currently active multiplier. Unfortunately we have no information about how high a single Multiplier symbol can be.
As always with ELK Studios, they do not publish many stats that we can tell you about. Ashoka comes with a base RTP of 94.00%, relatively far below the average of 96.00%. The max win potential of Ashoka is capped at 25,000 times your bet size, but unfortunately we have no information on how rarely this occurs. The game is rated with an 8 out of 10 volatility by ELK Studios, making Ashoka a pretty volatile slot. The hit frequency is around 23.1%, meaning that you will get a win once every 4 to 5 spins.
Ashoka: Feature Overview
Usually ELK Studios games come with a great amount of complex features, but Ashoka is not too hard to understand.
As we mentioned before, Ashoka features a multiplier. This multiplier is only active if a Multiplier symbol lands and a winning combination forms. If that is the case, all of the Multiplier symbols on the screen will add their number to the currently active multiplier. In the Free Drops feature, the multiplier gets another condition that must be fulfilled in order for it to take effect.
Free Drops Feature
3 Scatter symbols at the same time on the screen will let you enter the Free Drops Feature. As far as we know, more Scatter symbols will not yield any extra reward. You will be granted 10 Free Drops. These Free Drops are basically the same as the base game, but with one huge twist: the multiplier does not reset in-between spins. This leads to another condition for the active multiplier. In order to activate the multiplier on any Free Drop, you must land a Multiplier symbol and have a winning combination. If you only land a winning combination, you will not be able to benefit from your current multiplier
Retriggering is also possible, 2 Scatter symbols will reward you with 5 additional Drops, while 3 Scatter symbols will grant you 10 additional Drops. The feature will end once all of your Free Drops have been used or the maximum win potential of 25,000 times your bet size has been reached.
Super Free Drops
Ashoka also features Super Free Drops. In this feature, you are guaranteed to get a Super Multiplier, which is also sticky, so it will not be removed on a new spin. Unfortunately, this feature is only available through X-iter buys, which we will cover next.
X-iters are the bonus buy option of ELK Studios. In the case of Ashoka, you will have 5 different features you will be able to buy for a set prize. These are the options and their features:
|Bonus Hunt||3x||Increased chance to trigger the Free Drops feature|
|Charged Wilds||10x||Any Wild symbols will become Charged Wilds|
|Super Multiplier||25x||One game round with a guaranteed Super Multiplier|
|Bonus||100x||Guaranteed entry to the bonus game|
|Super Bonus||500x||Guaranteed entry to the bonus game with at least 1 Super Multiplier|
We have no information if the X-iter features have a different RTP than the base RTP of 94.00%. So we would guess that the RTP is the same.
Although Ashoka is not really a clone, it feels like one. That is because ELK Studios have released many games that feature similar features in recent times, Many of ELK Studios’ games nowadays feature some sort of multiplier that is not reset in the bonus game. And although the general idea of this will probably always be popular, it is getting a bit repetitive.
But don’t get us wrong, Ashoka is a really beautiful game. ELK Studios have really outdone themselves with the general design, beautiful background art, great background music, Ashoka has everything a game needs to be considered art. But gameplay-wise it also lacks something, and that is RTP. A 94.00% RTP is very bad and will affect your winnings in the long term. But if you don’t care about these stats you will most likely have lots of fun with Ashoka.
With that being said, Ashoka is definitely a fun game, but as we mentioned before, the concept of these „multiplier games“ is starting to get a little bit stale.