If you haven’t heard, ELK Studio is touring the world for three cities to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their international mega single Wild Toro. As the second scheduled release, Book of Toro is part of a series of Wild Toro-inspired video games. The first is Wild Toro 2, which greatly improved upon the original by including many of the same characters, gameplay, and features. Book of Toro, the second stop on this global tour, has the expanding symbols that players of these types of games have come to expect and love. But this isn’t just a matador-themed ‘book of’ slot machine. ELK has messed with the framework, fitting in a slew of Toro features to make a one-of-a-kind ‘book of’ game.
Since the game takes place in a typical Egyptian setting complete with sarcophagi and hieroglyph-covered pillars, you might not receive this idea at first. The game’s five reels and ten paylines are all well labeled. Since everything else is contemporary, this is more of a nod to the games’ classic roots. The sound design team at ELK deserves praise for producing yet another satisfying auditory experience. The music has an Egyptian flavor, but it’s more akin to the kind of thing you’d play with the ragtop down while driving through urban Cairo than to relaxing on the Nile banks and drawing pyramids.
You may play Book of Toro on any device, and wagers vary from 20 pence to £/€100. Volatility is high but not extremely so, scoring a 7 out of 10. While the 95% RTP isn’t precisely low, it’s also not very high; yet, there is just one RTP used throughout the game. There is no mention of the frequency of bonuses, but regular wins come when at least two high pay symbols or three low pay symbols land from the leftmost side.
While most of the symbols are standard Egyptian motifs, ELK has given each one a unique spin. The matador is the most precious in a series of symbols that includes 10-A royals, scarabs, jewelry featuring birds, the Eyes of Horus, and so on. Unlike in prior games, the matador plays a less role in Book of Toro. Book of Toro has a lot of action, yet the payout for a full house of five premium symbols is just 20–250 times the initial wager. Despite this, the game still has a lot of promise. A wild book scatter, a wandering wild, and a normal wild all make appearances. All can take the place of any other pay sign to help you win.
Video Slot Featuring the Book of Toro
In Book of Toro, a lot occurs. Toro Goes Wild, Mummy Respins, and up to five X-iter bonus buys are also available with free spins with expanding symbols.
The Insane Toro
The wild bull, Toro, appears only on the fifth and last reel. Each strike by Toro causes him to advance one reel to the left until he falls off the board, at which point a respin is triggered. The Toro Goes Wild bonus is activated whenever Toro is in view and a Mummy Symbol lands. Toro first travels up the screen, then across, destroying any mummy symbols in his path and leaving a trail of standard wilds in his wake. As an aside, while Toro Goes Wild, symbols from books tend to stay.
Respins the Mummy
When 2 or more mummy symbols appear, the Mummy Respins feature is activated. For the next respin, any mummy symbols that have shown will remain locked in place, and any additional mummies will do the same. Toro’s Goes Wild function is activated instantly after he scores a hit.
The book icon serves dual purposes as both a wild and a scatter. Three, four, or five books result in 10, 15, or 20 more turns, respectively. A pay symbol is randomly expanded at the start of the free spins bonus round. If they contribute to a winning combination, expanding symbols expand to fill a whole reel after standard payouts have been made. All lines, regardless of proximity, will be paid for expanded symbols. If you get at least three books to appear during the feature, you’ll get more free spins and a new expanding symbol will be chosen. Up to three expanding symbols can exist in the same space.
Toro, in a novel twist, can stand in for growing symbols. Even if Toro walks over a growing symbol, it can continue to grow and count toward a victory. Keep in mind that both the Mummy Respins and Toro Goes Wild features can occur at any time, including during the free games.
Users have the option of playing Book of Toro in either the standard or bonus mode. The X-iter bonus mode has the following five choices:
One spin with a guaranteed Mummy Respin (5x the wager).
One spin guaranteed to produce a Toro (25x the wager). Any book icons that appear during a respin will remain in place.
Mini-bonus (50x wager): 3 free spins with an expanding symbol chosen at random.
Free spins bonus (100 times your wager) unlocks the base game’s free spins round.
All book symbols are sticky, and there is a bonus game if you hit the super bonus (500x your stake). When an expanding symbol lands, it sticks on the reels until either another one lands or all five reels are filled with expansion symbols.
Judgment in the Book of Toro’s Slots
The fact that Book of Toro seems to be ELK’s first attempt at the ‘book’ category is already surprising. It would appear that up to this time, the studio could function quite fine without Ra. However, many creators give in, and the need to put their own spin on the genre must have been too much to ignore. Book of Toro is unique in that it offers several features that can’t be found anywhere else. Squeezing so many game-changing elements into a small space is a mathematical marvel that should not be taken lightly. It’s also impressive that ELK was able to successfully merge Wild Toro and ‘book of’ gaming into Book of Toro, which is a rarity in video games.
As for the features, there is so much action that it’s difficult to know where to start. First, let’s focus on the bright side by noting that free spins on a strong roll nearly seem unstoppable. Toro Goes Wild, multiplied expanding symbols, respin opportunities, and retriggers all add up to make for bonus games that may go for a very long time. Sticky expansion symbols are a brilliant idea, and it’s remarkable how well ELK has integrated so many diverse features. The combination of the two game styles is fantastic, and Wild Toro’s unique character always comes through in the ‘book of’ format.
ELK also has the ability to unleash brief periods of uncontrollable mayhem on the reels. This is best exemplified by games like Nitropolis or Nitropolis 2, but Book of Toro gives players a taste of what it’s like when all the engines are revved up and everything is being thrown into the pot. If you want the whole roller coaster feeling, buying the Super Bonus is definitely your best choice. Although the price tag is high, the 10,000x the bet payout potential is more than worth it.
We’ve raved over the best parts, but please don’t think Book of Toro is a guaranteed moneymaker. Not every bonus round was a home run, but ELK understands how to keep things under control. The return to player (RTP) issue is another potential source of player frustration. Putting that aside, it’s imperative that fans of Wild Toro and games in the ‘book of’ vein give Book of Toro a try. Everything you’d want from a crossover between Toro and ‘book’ gaming is there, plus more.