One of ELK Studios’ many strengths as a creative team is the ability to generate memorable characters for use across several games. The puppies from Nitropolis, the bull and matador from the Toro series, and, of course, Kane’s legendary set of Gold slots are just a few recent examples. Sam, Sandra, and their troll daughter Maggie are another cute family. Games like Electric Sam and Sam on the Beach show that this is one family who has a good time amid the bright lights. So far, though, they haven’t been as successful as the three slot machine series I discussed before. The third installment, Book of Sam, may prove to be a watershed moment in this regard. Yes, it’s another ‘Book of’ slot, but the ELK cast and crew pulled it off by blending classic and contemporary elements.
The wit of Book of Sam is immediately apparent. The Book of Sam is replete with Egyptian symbols, yet Sam and his family have neither gone back in time nor flown to Egypt. The family is whisked away to an imitation of Las Vegas, complete with a parodying “Welcome to Sam Vegas” sign and a building that looks like “Sandras Palace,” where the game is played. The music is the frosting on the cake, making you want to get up and dance like Sam and the crew had just arrived in Vegas to check in before exploring the facilities.
Join Sam and his family as they try their luck in either Normal or Bonus mode, playable on any device. In the regular mode, you may choose a wager between 20 pence and £/€100 every spin. To activate the bonus mode, press the X-iter button and select one of the five available choices. Both channels are extremely risky and have a high potential return value of 94%. Although it has more bells and whistles than your average ‘Book of’ slot, Book of Sam still uses a traditional grid layout of 5 reels, 3 rows, and 10 paylines.
Payouts for regular combinations start on the leftmost reel and go across the screen to the right. For the lower paying 10-A card symbols, you’ll need at least three, while the better paying cat, Maggie, Sandra, or Sam symbols will require only two. When five of a kind are hit, the payout ranges from 5x the wager for the cheap symbols to 500x the bet for the premium ones. As you might have surmised, the book icon in Book of Sam serves as both the wild and the disperse. The book acts as a wild, substituting for other symbols in a payline and matching Sam’s value if the line consists entirely of wilds.
Featured Slot Games: Book of Sam
Book of Sam is a slot machine that joins the lengthy line of ‘Book of’ games with a twist or two, including free spins in which randomly selected symbols grow, as well as three types of Electric Treats and five X-iter possibilities.
Sweets that Electrify
Both the main game and the optional bonus game use Electric Treats. When one of the trolls in the family produces a victory, they go off as follows:
Sam – the Sam Electric Treat is activated when two or more Sam tiles are used to win. The sticky book icon is rewarded re-spins. In the event that this happens during the bonus game, the additional book symbol will act as an expanding wild.
Whenever two or more Sandra tiles are used to win, the Sandra Electric Treat is activated. Multiplied re-spins are given out.
Maggie: The Maggie Electric Treat is activated by a Maggie win on two or more Maggie tiles. After all Maggies, cats, and low-pay symbols have been eliminated, we do a symbol redrop. The symbols that expand are kept.
No Risk Turns
In standard mode, 8 free spins with 1, 2, or 3 expanding symbols are awarded for landing 3, 4, or 5 book scatters. The expanding pay symbols are selected at random. When a victory is calculated, the symbol expands to fill the entire reel. Two high-paying symbols or three low-paying symbols growing on separate reels are required. When fully developed, these symbols provide a win in any situation.
If 3 or more book symbols appear during free spins, you’ll receive an additional free spin and up to 5 expanding symbols. Even during free games, you can trigger Electric Treats. The multiplier that Sandra awards during an Electric Treat remains in effect for the duration of any subsequent free spins. When the Treat finishes, it goes dormant but may be revived with a fresh Electric Treat. During respins triggered by Electric Sam, the book icon expands to fill the entire reel.
If the opportunity to purchase in-game features is available, users can do so by pressing the X-iter button.
Double your chances of winning in the Bonus Game by betting twice as much on a spin with Bonus Hunt.
For a single spin, you may get 10 times your stake with Electric Treat.
All symbols grow on each spin, resulting in a payout equal to 50 times the initial wager.
Bonus Game: 100x the wager for one spin, unlocking free games permanently.
All symbols enlarge during free games when you trigger the Super Bonus, which awards 500x your stake for a single spin.
Sam’s verdict on the slot machine
Elk Studios proved its mettle by creating the innovative Book of Toro, and it has now followed up with another ‘Book of’ game that is easily on par with its predecessor. The pace of the primary game is fast, and the Electric Treat modifiers fit in seamlessly with the action when they go off, albeit they do draw attention to the rarity of premium symbol payouts. When Electric Treats did occur, they were almost always beneficial, whether by increasing the win multiplier on subsequent respins or by triggering Electric Sam’s free games feature.
After entering the bonus game, the Treats began to activate more regularly, and when they did, they meshed nicely with the growing symbols bonus. The growing symbols are the lifeblood of each ‘Book of’ slot, and here there may be up to five of them shining brightly at once. Or, for 500x the wager, you may purchase the Super Bonus from the X-iter, in which every pay symbol is also an expander. The X-iter selections were also welcome improvements, since they worked well with the features rather than against them. They provide players who qualify with a quick introduction to the more luxurious aspects of Book of Sam, or more broadly, the more luxurious aspects of ‘Book of’ video games. The added bells and whistles aren’t for show thanks to a win ceiling of 10,000x the stake, but the return to player value is such that it can leave some players feeling underwhelmed.
The gameplay in Book of Sam is solid enough on its own to interest ‘Book of’ series aficionados, but ELK Studios has also packaged the game nicely, which is something the developer excels at. Despite the lower than usual RTP, this slot breathes fresh life into the ‘Book of’ genre because to its jazzy attitude, the brilliant lights of Sam Vegas, and the pacey blend of old and modern components.