Updated: August 28, 2019VikingsVikings is the all-conquering slot from Net Entertainment that has managed to smash all other pretenders out of the way since its release in 2018. Look around any online casino and you are likely to find a few different Viking-based slots so it’s not a new theme, that’s for sure. However, there is something captivating about this new game from NetEnt that attracts players to the old Nordic battlefields. For one, it’s the official game based on the smash-hit TV show Vikings and so all of the characters and symbols are instantly recognisable. Secondly, it looks stunning, but not in an obvious way with bright, fancy graphics. The slot game is themed around a dark and eery Norwegian Viking battlefield and NetEnt have set the scene perfectly.Lastly, and the reason why many people enjoy playing this game is that it comes with a generous RPT of 96.05%. This rate suggests that for every £100 wagered on the game you can expect to see, on average, £96.05 back. Combine this with the fact that it also has a medium to high variance with huge potential jackpots and it becomes clear that you’ve got yourself a game that can be very lucrative. It also leads to the fact that payouts will be bigger on average although less frequent. In these situations, you are better off playing with a bigger bank balance that will see you through the volatile swings of the game in terms of payout frequency.Game PlayVikings is a visually appealing game and immersing yourself into the old Nordic battle environment will bring a lot of joy for the fans of the show and slots players in general. The backdrop sets the scene with the mountains and ocean in the background and the banners and shields in the foreground. The black crow perched on top of the fence seems ominous to begin with but it does come to life later on as you get more involved in the game. In terms of the slot structure, you’re playing on a 5×3 layout with a total of 20 active paylines so it’s quite a standard setup for a NetEnt slot. It offers 243 ways to win in the base game alone and then a huge total of 78,125 ways to win in the 7-reel bonus round.You can play Vikings from as little as 0.20p to £100 a spin with various options in between using the multiple Coin Value and Bet Level options. The low-paying symbols are in keeping with the Viking theme with blood-stained forged iron designs of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 symbols, plus the famous V symbol that all fans of the show will recognise as the Vikings logo. The V symbol is also the most rewarding and offers up to seven times your stake at the maximum bet. However, it’s the leading characters that take centre stage as the remaining full stack symbols with King Ragnar Lothbrok, shieldmaiden Lagertha, their son Bjorn Ironside, and the enigmatic boat-builder Floki all recreated with lifelike graphics and animation.Other gameplay features include the Auto-Play function that allows you to set the game to run freely from 10 to 1000 spins. A useful addition to this is being able to set the Auto-Play feature to stop in relation to how much you win or lose. For example, you can set the game to stop whenever you trigger the High Raids bonus round, if a single win exceeds a certain cash amount, or even when your balance increases or decreases by a set amount. NetEnt gives you full control over your slots play and this helps you to keep within your limits. You’ll also find audio and graphics settings plus the help and paytable guides in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.Vikings Slot Bonus ModesIt’s in the bonus rounds where players will start to see their cash balance shoot up and this Vikings game comes with several bonus features to take advantage of. The Scatter Pays, Hotspot, and Shield Wall features all help to keep the cash prizes rolling in but it’s the Raid Spins feature that you want to trigger, as this holds the key to the biggest payout on the game. Let’s look at these bonus features in closer detail and see how they can help you to win more:HotspotThe Hotspot feature is triggered when one of the fully stacked character symbols lands completely on the third reel. You’ll find that sometimes only a third or two-thirds of the symbol will appear and it’s only when the character takes up the whole column will the Hotspot feature come to life. So, if either Ragnar, Lagertha, Bjorn or Floki land on reel 3 then all of the other Viking symbols on the remaining reels will transform into that same character symbol. The Hotspot feature opens up various levels of scatter pays from 3x up to a staggering 243x your stake!Shield WallThe Shield Wall feature can be triggered in the base game and also during the special Raid Spins bonus round. You’ll notice the Shield Wall straight away as a cluster of battle shield symbols appear on the screen. Several spears fly out from behind the cluster with a defiant roar from the Viking warriors behind. After a short moment, all of these shield symbols will transform into a random symbol and you’ll be rewarded with the relevant prizes.Raid SpinsThe Raid Spins feature holds the key to winning big on the Vikings slot. The Big Wins and Super Mega Wins can be found here and the only way you can access this feature is by landing three Raid Spin symbols on the reels. In doing so, you’ll unlock the bigger and more rewarding 7×5 bonus round layout which offers that huge possibility of 78,125 ways to win! The layout includes three Hotspots available on reels 3, 4, and 5 and you’ll get a total of seven free spins every time you trigger this bonus feature.The Raid Spins feature focuses around the Hotspot area in the middle of the 7-reel bonus round layout. The aim of the game here is to land one of the full stack character symbols inside one of the Hotspots. If you do, sit back and reap the rewards. Just like in the base game, when a Viking character lands fully inside this middle area, all other Viking character symbols on the 7 reels transform into the same character as in the Hotspot. The 7×5 bonus round layout means that there is huge potential for multipliers and here is where you could get really lucky and win up to 10,000x your stake on each spin.Vikings Strategy & Advice GuideVikings has a reasonable RTP (96.05%) with a medium to high variance and this suggests that there should be a good mix of medium and large payouts with occasional access to the features and bonus round. Be sure that you’ve got a big enough balance to play through the swings of the mid-high variance though. You’ll go through long periods of not winning but the payoff should hopefully be worth it when you do trigger one of the features or bonus rounds. Good advice is to walk away if you do win a big prize on volatile slot games as the chances of winning again soon are slim.A slot’s RTP rate, the variance, and whether it’s a standard or progressive jackpot style will all contribute towards how you should best play the game. Always keep your bets within your bankroll and play within your means. Chasing the big prize on a slot with a medium to high variance could leave you with an empty balance quite quickly due to the fewer number of payouts. You should always set the Bet Level to maximum, in this case to 10, and then alter your total bet stake using the different Coin Value options. In doing this, you’ll always ensure that you’re playing the game at the true RTP rate.Our VerdictThe Swedish gaming studio, NetEnt, didn’t have to look far for inspiration when they secured this lucrative deal. It must be said that they definitely nailed the Norwegian Viking theme and captured the essence of the famous TV show perfectly. The graphics and audio bring that old Nordic atmosphere to life and the full stack character symbols look incredibly lifelike. One downside is that the slot only contains one or two bonus modes, but this also means that the rules are easy to understand for everyone. However, the extremely lucrative Raid Spins make up for this lack of features and will keep players entertained as they hunt down that huge 10000x jackpot. The NetEnt team have successfully recreated the popular TV show into a slot game format and that is something that other studios have failed to do in the past. All in all, Vikings is a fantastic slot game with some huge cash prizes available. The game does require a longer playing session due to its volatile nature but if luck is on your side then who knows what the Nordic Gods will have in store for you?