What happens when slots meet dog racing? We think Play’n Go may be the only game design studio to ask this question, but we also think players will like their answer. Wildhound Derby is released on 9 January and we might be the first sleeper hit of 2020!
One of the first casinos to have Wildhound Derby up and running will almost certainly be Casumo. Just login or sign up for a new account and get ready to head to the races!
In addition to an unusual theme, this slot also has some unusual mechanics. Here is what you need to know before you play:
Wildhound Derby – how it works
Wildhound Derby is rated as “very volitile” and at first glance it looks pretty typical, with a five reel, four row layout and 30 pay lines.
Low symbols are card values (J, Q, K, and A) and high values are dog race-related symbols (a racing form, tickets, rolls of banknotes, and a rosette). There is also a Wild symbol, represented by a golden winner’s cup.
So far so normal, but things start to get very different very quickly when it comes to the bonus game.
Instead of scatters, the Wildhound Derby bonus game is triggered when players fill reel five with Dog symbols. These symbols are always stuck together, so triggering the bonus game effectively requires Dog 1 to land on the top row with Dogs 2-4 below it. When this is possible, Reel 5 lights up like reels on games requiring three scatters do after the first two scatters have landed. At least one dog symbol will land when this happens, but often just dogs 1-2, or 2-4, etc. All four need to land and fill the entire reel for the free spins to be awarded (see our screenshot above).
If the four dogs do all land together the bonus game is triggered and the race begins!
The bonus game – off to the races!
Before the bonus round begins players are asked to bet on one of the four dogs taking part in the race (named Braveheart, Daring Dex, Beadles Teabag, and Oh My Dog).
The bonus round begins with each of the four dogs lined up on the right of the reels. With each spin a rabbit symbol appears to the left of the reels on at least one of the four rows. Dogs advance one reel to the right with each rabbit symbol, until one makes it all the way to the far right of the screen (it will make sense when you see it).
Unusually, the bonus round has no set number of free spins. The spins simply continue until one dog is declared the winner.
In addition to the dogs advancing ever rightwards, players rack up wins with every spin as normal. If a player has correctly selected the winning dog, the game finishes with a spin of the Winner’s Wheel, which awards a multipliers for all winnings during the bonus round (x2, x3, x4, x5, x10 or x15).
Wildhound Derby – our reaction
There are several things about Wildhound Derby that are pretty quirky. For example, the choice of the theme is pretty unexpected considering how controversial the sport of dog racing has become.
The mechanism for triggering the bonus game also seems a bit random. Sure, every part of a slot is technically random, but this is not random in a 100% satisfying way. However…
We found the bonus game itself to be huge fun. We also really like the fact that there is no set number of spins – fantastic!
Wildhound Derby also benefits from the quality look and feel that all Play’n Go slots possess. Even if players do not want to stick around with this game for the long term, we think they will enjoy it for a session or two.
Where can you play Wildhound Derby
This game is set to hit online casinos on Thursday 9 January. Play’n Go titles tend to get picked up quickly, so it may appear everywhere eventually. We think this one might not spread as rapidly as more anticipated Play’n Go titles like Legacy of Dead, so players eager to play it quickly may want to try Casumo on Thursday.
Sign up for an account with Casumo and not only will you get 30 wager free spins on another Play’n Go slot, Book of Dead. Make a first deposit and get a 100% match in bonus funds up to £300. For more information check out our in-depth guide to the Casumo casino welcome bonus, or read our player guide to the best casino bonuses.
*18+. New UK customers only. Opt-in required. 30 free spins on Book of Dead game upon registration with NO wagering requirements or deposit required for spins AND 100% deposit bonus up to £300: Min deposit £10 and 30x wagering requirements apply on bonus (game weighting applies). Max bet applies. T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly, begambleaware.org