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Columbus Slot Review

It’s time to jump in the ship alongside Christopher Columbus and sail the stormy seas, with the only difference being he is searching for new territories to claim discovery of, whereas we are hunting for big wins on the reels to boost our balance!

For those of you wondering who on earth this is (did you skip history class?), Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who completed four voyages across the ocean, discovering new countries along the way, but his legend has been shrouded in controversy that he stole credit for discovering America. Either way the adventure makes for a great slot machine theme, but unfortunately it hasn’t been executed well by Novomatic – feeling like it dates back to his era.

Columbus contains 5 reels and 9 paylines, but rather than featuring the sea as a background, it’s just like we are playing it in a brick-and-mortar casino. You won’t have to worry about bankroll management here as the bet per line can be adjusted from 1 (meaning a 9 credit minimum bet) up to 100 (for a 900 credit bet) – providing options to suit everyone.

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Ancient Symbols, Annoying Sounds

As we already alluded to, the symbols have a historic look about them, but there are no surprises about the most valuable symbol – its Columbus, and he is also the games Wild symbol substituting for all others apart from the three Scatters.

No surprise there on a slot revolving around him, and rightly so. Joining him is Queen Isabella who helped him achieve his dreams of voyaging from Europe to discovery new land by funding his adventures after several initial rejections, a luxurious Gold necklace, Sextant, three of the famous ships he voyaged on - Niña, Pinta, and the Santa Maria, plus these are all accompanied by playing card symbols that you’d find in a video poker machine – Ace to 10, making for a grand total of twelve different symbols.

I’ve harked on about it before and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I mention it, but the sounds in Columbus are quite simply terrible. They are just standard sounds we hear from many of the other Novomatic slots, completely unrelated to the theme and I’m just one of thousands of players feeling frustrated at their lack of effort in this regard – better sounds would vastly improve Columbus, and many of their other slots.

Ship the Spins

The one and only bonus feature to look forward to in Columbus is a free spins mode, but don’t fret, it actually occurs pretty regularly despite the symbol combination it requires to begin. This combination requires you to land a Scatter symbol (ship) on reel 1, 3 and 5 during the same spin.

This sees you rewarded with a total of ten free spins with the ships acting as additional Wild symbols – something that always results in large winning combinations. Another great advantage of the free spins mode is the fact that you can retrigger it while they play out so you can end up with much more than ten.

Columbus Conclusion

Novomatic have a long history for excellent brick-and-mortar slot machines so I was really excited to learn about Columbus being available online – what a great theme for an online slot, however I was left bitterly disappointed.

The whole presentation of the slot is poor. Despite it being a history based slot the design could have been improved by including an ocean backdrop rather than a dull fruit machine template, and don’t even get me started on those horrible sounds again.

While ten free spins is good and it’s great that they retrigger, it would have been so much better if the wins had multipliers attached to make up for it being the only feature in the slot. Nowadays a free spins game just isn’t going to entice players to play when there are so many alternatives that contain three or four bonus feature instead.

Thankfully Novomatic have saw the error of their ways with Columbus and released a much improved second version which is titled Columbus Deluxe. It contains all of the same symbols and the sole free spins bonus feature, but it does boast much more advanced graphics – not that it would have been hard to make an improvement on their first attempt.

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