Whilst the fictional icon Sherlock Holmes may be the most famous detective of all time, we have to say that he’s an unlikely inspiration for a video slot game.
Such reservations didn’t deter the software house Yggdrasil, however, who launched the excellent Holmes and the Stolen Stones to rave reviews back in September 2015.
Make no mistake; this five-reel, 20 payline slot game packs a real punch, whether you consider its competitive return-to-player (RTP) rate of 96.8% or the presence of five local and progressive jackpots that offer access to huge cash prizes.
The game’s dark and edgy Victorian theme also helps it to stand apart in the current marketplace, as you spin the reels against the backdrop of London’s dimly-lit alleyways and crowded squalor.
The Victorian soundtrack also adds a layer of authenticity to the game, as you join Holmes and his erstwhile sidekick Dr. Watson in exploring the capital’s locked doors and recovering a set of stolen diamonds.
This mid-variance slot also features some fun and wholly relevant symbols, including high-value icons such as Holmes, Dr. Watson, a sleek bound book and the detective’s trusty magnifying glass.
Unsurprisingly, it the Holmes symbol that remains the highest paying on the game, and landing five of these eye-catching icons on a fixed payline will trigger a payout of 4,000-times your original stake.
This is an impressive base game prize and one that’s indicative of a rewarding and enduringly popular video slot.
It has certainly built a cult following over the course of the last three years or more, and it remains a highlight in Yggdrasil’s outstanding games’ library
Where to Play Holmes and the Stolen Stones
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Given the intriguing nature of this slot, we wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to jump in and get playing right away!
However, you’ll first need to understand the mechanics of the game so you can make the most out of its quirky mechanics.
At first glance, this mid-variance slot has a relatively restricted betting range, whilst the maximum base game jackpot of 160,00 coins also pales in comparison to many other titles out there.
To set your stake, you’ll need to select a coin size within a range of 0.5 and 2, although you can only bet a single coin per individual payline. Then, choose the precise number of betways that you want to activate, with a total of 20 available to players.
So, if you select the lowest values, you’ll lay down the minimum stake of £0.20. Conversely, players who choose a coin value of two and activate all 20 paylines will wager £40 per spin, leading to some significant base game and bonus round payouts.
If we take the aforementioned Sherlock Holmes symbol, for example, landing five of these on a single payline will trigger a payout of 4,000-times your stake. If you land this winning combination having staked the maximum amount of £40, you can boost your bankroll to the tune of £160,000.
If you are a high-roller pushing for the biggest wins possible, you should also consider deploying the so-called ‘Bet Max’ feature. Use it sparingly though, chasing your losses with this can lead to some devastating results.
At its core, Holmes and the Stolen Stones is a simplistic slot, and one that features a single bonus game and free spins round.
Whilst this sparseness of bonuses and the absence of a wild symbol may deter some players, these features do offer value in terms of the multipliers and prizes on offer.
But how exactly does the main bonus feature work? Initially, it’s triggered when you land three or more of the blue keyhole bonus symbols anywhere across the reels, at which stage you’ll be transported to a large, eerie warehouse location.
Here, you’ll see a large stack that contains up to 18 mysterious boxes, each of which contains a random and invisible reward. Then, you’ll simply select boxes at random and bank a selection of cash prizes, multipliers and diamond shards, the latter of which will be transferred to the base game when the bonus round ends.
This bonus will continue indefinitely until you select a box that includes a smoke bomb, at which point it will end abruptly as you return to the base game.
This brings us neatly onto the free spins round, which can be triggered in two different ways during the base game and additional bonus feature.
For example, if you’re able to collect five matching diamond shards during the bonus round, you’ll instantly unlock 10 free spins. At the same time, the precise colour of the shards that you’ve collected will populate the area above the five reels, and once you’ve gathered five of the same hue, you’ll compete for one of the game’s five, local jackpots.
Whilst this is undoubtedly the best and most rewarding way of triggering the free spins round, this objective can also be achieved simply by landing three or more of the slot’s scatter symbols anywhere in view.
This will also reward you with a total of 10 free spins, whilst all line wins incurred during the bonus round will benefit from a three-times multiplier.
This is offset slightly by the fact that the bonus cannot be retriggered during the free spins round, but it’s still possible to boost your bankroll significantly and potentially land a huge jackpot prize in some instances!
As we’ve already touched upon, the betting limits associated with this slot are typical of a mid-variance game, whilst they’re more than capable of helping players to earn impressive base game and bonus round wins.
At the same time, a competitive RTP rate of 96.8% also guarantees regular and recurring wins during the heat of the base game, and this should be music to the ears of casual players.
In simple terms, you can wager between £0.20 and £40 per spin when playing Holmes and the Stolen Stones, whilst stakes should always be set according to your bankroll and underlying appetite for risk.
To explore this further, let’s consider how these betting limits impact on specific winning combinations? Let’s say that you land three of the iconic magnifying glass symbols on a single payline, and immediately unlock a payout of 40-times your stake.
In instances where you land this winning combination after staking £0.20 on the previous spin, you’ll earn the relatively modest (but rewarding) sum of £8.
Conversely, players who land this combo after staking £40 will bank a cool £1,600, and this represents a marked difference that may encourage players to wager somewhere between these two extremes.
The key is to tailor your stake and betting strategy to suit your bankroll, however, whilst refraining from deploying the ‘Bet Max’ feature unless your engaging in the free spins round with three-times multipliers.
Also, you may want to consider reviewing the Holmes and the Stolen Stones paytable before you get start, as this helps you to understand the value of winning combinations and each individual symbol.
When evaluating the maximum wins on offer in Holmes and the Stolen Stones, it’s important to consider the various stages of the slot’s gameplay.
The base game offers a top prize of £160,000, when you stake $50 and grab five of the Sherlock Holmes symbols on a single payline. This symbol carries a 4,000-times multiplier, which we reckon is impressive by anybody’s standards.
Similar prizes are on offer during the free spins round, although it’s important to note that three-times multipliers are also available every time you shift the reels.
Don’t forget the game’s five progressive jackpots either, which are arguably the jewel in the game’s glittering crown. This means that prizes well in excess of six figures are available to lucky players, although it’s fair to say that such wins are few and far between overall.
Holmes And The Stolen Stones On Mobile
As Holmes and the Stolen Stones is a relatively recent slot, its graphics and gameplay are both ideally suited to the demands of mobile gameplay.
The slot also continues to benefit from regular software updates, which means that it’s compatible with instant play platforms and advanced technologies such as Flash and HTML5.
So, you can access Holmes and the Stolen Stones through any type of desktop and mobile browsers, guaranteeing a seamless gameplay experience wherever you may be.
This certainly makes the slot more accessible, as you can enjoy everything that it has to offer whether your chosen casino operates native iOS and Android apps or not!
Our Xpert Review
On the face of it, Holmes and the Stolen Stones is unlikely to be the most impressive slot game that you’ve ever seen.
After all, there’s a pronounced lack of bonus features on offer to players, whilst the absence of any wilds is also unusual in the contemporary library of slot titles.
However, there’s more to this beguiling slot than meets the eye, from its compelling theme and high paying symbols to a competitive RTP rate that guarantees regular base game wins.
Then there’s the presence of five local and progressive jackpots, which dangle the carrot of huge cash prizes in front of players who are able to collect five diamonds of a single colour during the base game and bonus rounds.
This undoubtedly gives the slot a unique, competitive edge, transforming a seemingly simple and restricted mid-variance game into one that’s capable of engaging even the highest-rolling players.
Holmes And The Stolen Stones one of those rare games that we’d recommend to everyone, as the minimum bet limit of £0.20 also allows casual players to stretch their bankroll as far as possible.