Nolimit City’s online slot Blood & Shadow may strike fear into the hearts of gamers familiar with the developer’s other titles due to the combination of the two names. It may also be exciting to imagine preparing for battle with one of the industry’s most divisive game creators. The team’s innovative spirit shines through in Blood & Shadow, a horror-themed slot full of unexpected twists in key areas including gameplay and statistics. Let’s turn on the lights and see what we can find.
The similarities between Blood & Shadow and Nolimit City’s earlier release Book of Shadows are immediately apparent. Both games explore the occult and the spiritual, therefore spiritual is an appropriate adjective. Esoteric symbols, sticky candle wax, and lashings of skulls are all visual hints. Still, Blood & Shadow is never too tame for its own good. Compared to games like “Mental” or “Serial,” for instance, the tone here is undoubtedly more lighthearted. This is not a happy journey through the countryside, though, complete with chirpy sprites and symbols. Go ahead if you’re into games with a darker, scarier tone.
On the numerical side of things, Blood & Shadow has been rated ‘Extreme’ when it comes to volatility (10 out of 10), although RTP is option and play style dependent. The highest RTP is 96.13 percent while playing in the standard mode and wagering 20 pence to £/€280 per spin; other values are indicated below when purchasing features. Blood & Shadow may be played on any device thanks to its grid, which by default consists of 5 reels, 4 rows, and 1,024 chances to win.
The Ritual Bar meter in Blood & Shadows is not something commonly seen in Nolimit City slots. The Ritual bar can advance in a number of ways, including with medium or high paying winning combos. Winning symbols of any kind are eliminated from the board, making room for other symbols to fall down and fill the empty spaces. The top payouts feature five supernatural figures, the middle payouts have five less supernatural characters, and the bottom payouts feature five occult symbols. A victory with five of a type pays 0.15-0.60 times the wager for the lows, 0.9-1.5 times the bet for the mids, and 3-8 times the stake for the highs. Wild icons aid in this effort by standing in for normal pay symbols.
Playing the Blood & Shadow Slots
Apart from the aforementioned Ritual Bar, Blood & Shadow also has Candle Spins, Sticky Wilds, xSplits, the Baphomet Rite, Cursed Spins, and the Nolimit Bonus.
Bar of Rites
Every medium symbol win adds 1 point to the Ritual Bar, every high symbol win adds 2 points, and every scatter symbol win adds 10 points. There are a total of five resetting levels, however any accrued points will be carried over to the next one:
Starter Kit: 20 points
Second Level: 30 Points
Three Stars: 40 Points
Score 60 to reach Level 4
Score 80 to reach Level 5
At each tier, the lowest paying symbol is taken from the reels and the middle and high earning symbols are upgraded. In preparation for a new round, the Ritual Bar is cleared.
A Candle Rotates
Up to level 4, two Candle Spins are granted whenever a new level is reached on the Ritual Bar. Cursed Spins is the last level of the bar, and players who make it there are rewarded with 6 free spins. The Ritual Bar functions normally while Candle Spins are enabled.
Clingy and Icy
Reels 2–5 are the only ones where Sticky Wilds can appear. During Candle Spins, any wilds that land at the base of the screen will remain there for the duration of the feature. When a winning combination contains a sticky wild, it is removed from the board.
During Cursed Spins, xSplit icons become available. A landing xSplit will either divide the reel it lands on or the row it lands in, doubling the value of any symbols it splits. Multiple xSplits might appear on the same reel if they land on different rows.
Level 3 is unlocked and +6 Candle Spins are awarded when you purchase the Baphomet Rite. There are three high-pay icons in place of the low- and medium-pay ones.
Cursed Spins grants an additional six spins upon activation. Cursed Spins occur on a larger 5×5 grid with 3,125 possibilities to win and only high symbols, and the Ritual Bar disappears for this bonus. One additional free spin is awarded if a scatter symbol appears throughout the session.
With the Nolimit Bonus, you can skip the main game by purchasing one of four different features. This includes:
The maximum return to player for Baphomet Rite is 96.1%, or 66 times the wager.
10 Cursed Spins at 500x your wager with a maximum return to player (RTP) of 96.1%.
The maximum return for levels 1–5 of Lucky Draw is 55 times the wager, or 96.01%.
The maximum return for Lucky Draw Levels 3-5 is 96.04%, or 166x the wager.
Justice in the Blood and Shadows Slot
Symbol collecting/progress bar games aren’t really Nolimit City’s forte, but it seems the studio has been doing some research in this area. A well-balanced progress bar system, like the one employed in Blood & Shadows, should provide both immediate and future benefits to the player. Although other games demand a significantly greater time commitment to achieve pleasure, our time with Blood & Shadows did not give us the impression that this was the case. It’s worth noting that the level of dedication required to get the most out of the Ritual Bar is unusual for an online slot.
However poetically we frame it, numbers may be more illuminating in this case. Candle Spins are theoretically very unlikely to occur, hence their triggering wasn’t a major concern. That’s a peculiarly helpful number for Nolimit City. Cursed Spins can be triggered naturally once every 10,030 spins, so don’t go eating any tofu burgers just yet. When combined with the relatively low maximum payout of 6,666 times the initial wager at Nolimit City’s tables, the prospect of playing there might be intimidating. To be fair, it’s tough to disagree with that assessment.
It’s not all darkness and bloodshed, though. In the same vein as Print Studios’ slot Reapers, it may be beneficial to take Cursed Spins less seriously and just enjoy the ride. The good news is that the journey is a fun one, with frequent enough strikes and feature triggers to keep the action going, and a lush, beautifully designed occult setting in which to take it all in. When comparing Blood & Shadow to the studio’s more recent efforts, it seems like Nolimit City may have had a different type of gambler in mind. Even while it may be more difficult than normal to identify the specific gambling taste this caters to, those who are intrigued by Blood & Shadow should be delighted, or chilled, by the result.