Spearhead Studios, located in beautiful Marbella, Spain, is responsible for the espionage-themed slot machine Book of Spies Mission X. We’d call them a creative team, but they didn’t work alone on Book of Spies. You can probably guess from the ‘Book of’-inspired title that expanding symbols play a major role in the free spins bonus round. But that’s not the only thing that draws in the crowds. Licensed by Nolimit City, it works in tandem with their array of branded features, including xNudgeTM Wild Multipliers and xWaysTM Mystery Symbols.
Spearhead’s packaging is where they’ve put their stamp on things. Lara Jones, who turns out to have been in earlier Spearhead games, steals the stage. Her name is a hybrid of the names of two famous adventurers, Lara Croft and Indiana Jones, suggesting that she is a risk-taker. In Book of Spies, she faces a gang of high-tech computer criminals and will need to use her hacking abilities to defeat them. She’s got a strong support system and a lot of resources on her side.
The deciphering takes place on a 5×4 grid, for a total of 1,024 possible outcomes. Even crazier when you consider the pay-all-way increasing symbols and the fact that Nolimit’s on-loan features can increase it. The game grid is surrounded by firearms, bullets, and computer drives, while the background is a hazy cityscape. Book of Spies has a current espionage flavor thanks to a music reminiscent of Mission: Impossible, not dissimilar to The Vault from Snowborn Games.
Players may solve crimes on any device, with wagers ranging from 20 percent to one hundred dollars or euros. Spearhead has used the Nolimit license to go big, virtually wherever it counts. Maybe not RTP as much, but with a 96.1% rating, there won’t be many gripes. However, the game’s mood swings are like those of a psychotic Bond villain, and testing proved that volatility is “very high.” Spearhead has combined high-risk gaming with a vast stated potential that makes the most of the ‘x’ prefaced elements, so avid gamblers will like the strategy.
If three or more identical symbols appear on adjacent reels, you win. The glow-in-the-dark 9-A royals are the most valuable symbols, followed by Extreme Harry Hack, Big Tech Terry, One Shot Suzie, and an Evil Spy Master who resembles the card-playing villain from Casino Royale. Take out five nasty guys and your bet will be multiplied by 5-15 times.
Slot Functions in the Book of Spies, Chapter X
Spearhead chose to cram as many features into this as they could, so you can expect a lot of extras. The features include an eclectic mix of xWays Mystery Symbols, Free Spins with expanding symbols, and xNudge Wild Multipliers.
When 2–4 identical xWays Mystery symbols appear on a reel, the reel height increases by 1–7 positions, giving players a greater number of possibilities to win. Any icon besides wilds and the falling scatters might fall under this category. While only appearing on reels 1, 3, and 5 during the main game, Mystery Symbols can appear anywhere during the free spins bonus round. So, the maximum number of possible ways to win is 5,488 in the main game and 16,807 in the bonus game.
On reels 2 and 4, the xNudge Wild features a pistol-wielding Lara Jones. The xWays Mystery Symbol is always nudged to fill one entire reel, and its Multiplier increases by 1 up to a maximum of x4 (or x7 when coupled with another xWays Mystery Symbol).If a win contains two Wild Multipliers, the values of both are multiplied together.
Three bonus scatter symbols must fall simultaneously on reels 1, 3, and 5 to activate the Secret Agent Free Spins feature. Nudge the scatters to the reel’s bottom position, and you’ll win as many free games as nudges you used. Free spins can range from 3 to 21, with each nudge equating to one.
One of the four premiums is chosen from random to be the bonus symbol before the free spins begin. If 3 or more reels after a spin include one of the special symbols, it will grow to fill all places. Payouts for expanded symbols occur independently of their spatial proximity. In this situation, the free spins feature is retriggerable, and the same wild symbol is utilized for all of them.
The last component is a bonus purchase choice that allows for just this. Players can purchase 10 more spins for the cost of 70 times their initial wager.
Slot Verdict, Mission X from the Book of Spies
Now that Spearhead has two ‘Book of’ games under their belt, it’s clear that this idea can be used to a wide variety of games. The game’s non-exclusive emphasis on growing symbols is what makes it intriguing. Book of Spies isn’t just about picking the proper symbols and hoping they show up in large enough quantities during free spins, as Nolimit’s ‘x’ features tend to steal the show. Certainly, that component is present, but so much more besides.
The outcomes of licensing Nolimit’s features are dual. For one, it raises Spearhead’s visibility, drawing the attention of more competitors. The second benefit is that it provides for some thrilling games. More than one xNudge Wild moving into place to create a delicious multiplier is quite powerful. More so than the expanding symbols, they can determine whether or not the bonus round is successful.
The villain who looks like Le Chiffre is the one you want when it comes to selecting a symbol. Theoretically, you could get at least 15,360 times your initial wager by spreading him over the board. There’s a lot more to it than your standard Ra-based game. Even though it’s quite unlikely, Spearhead says the highest possible gain on Book of Spies is close to 27,000 times the player’s wager.
When you examine the individual portions of Book of Spies, you won’t find anything novel. Although “Book” slots are common, Spearhead brings a somewhat novel spin on the genre. While the game’s dark aesthetic and subpar visuals may turn off some players, those who stick with it will be rewarded with a delightful espionage vibe and a deeper sense of immersion thanks to the developer’s thoughtful touches like naming characters.
This is not your typical James Bond movie, ladies and gentlemen. You can’t just wing it into enemy territory with a Martini in one hand, eliminate SMERSH, sleep with 13 ladies, and jet back to London without wrinkling your tuxedo. This is gritty, high-stakes espionage where the payoff for a successful hack is substantial.