Aurum Codex: Overview
Developer Red Tiger revives the ancient art of turning base metals into gold in their arcane slot Aurum Codex. Countless wannabe alchemists have chased the dream throughout the ages, now its players turn to try their luck. Helping in this walk on the metaphysical side of life are Alchemy Wilds, Wild Alchemy, and a batch of free spins.
Interestingly, using proven scientific methods, it’s actually possible to turn lead into gold. Before you rush down to the metals shop to pick up a load of lead, there is a caveat. Alongside the significant expense of obtaining the required particle accelerator, the process costs more than the resulting haul of gold. Ah well, just like the price of electronics is forever coming down, perhaps one-day particle accelerators will be a common household item.
Red Tiger has used the theme to go full esoteric. The 5-reel, 20-payline grid is located in some sort of scholar mystic’s drawing-room, full of potions, globes, books, capped by a glowing pentagram-like design on the floor. The overall look has a 19th-century gentlemanly feel, a sort of Picture of Dorian Grey thing. The graphics are high quality, bright, vibrant, and ooze atmosphere. After the pleasant introduction to the game world, Aurum Codex slips steadily downhill.
The music starts well too, sounding like the slow part of a Tool or Perfect song, where the audience gets to sway a bit before the head banging continues. It does get repetitive after a while though, amplifying the monotonous nature of the gameplay. The music can be muted, but then you lose sound altogether.
Mathematically, players get the Red Tiger special when it comes to RTP which clocks in at 95.77% while volatility has been cranked up to high. It’s not a particularly tight slot; hits come frequently enough to keep spirits up, it’s just that hitting the bonus game can be an ordeal if you hit a rough patch.
Available for play on any device from between 10 p/c to £/€20 per spin, the symbols here are as well designed as the rest of the game, split into high and low pays. Red Tiger chose a gothic font for the metallic 10 to Ace symbols while alchemical inspired items make up the highs. The four premiums include a metallic Caduceus wrapped key, parchment, skulls, and a scale weighing out the rich stuff. Values are alright, with five of a kind premiums ranging from 5x to 15x the bet.
Aurum Codex: Features
The features in Aurum Codex revolve around wilds in both the base game as well as in free spins. It starts with Alchemy Wilds which land on the 1st and 5th reels only, substituting for any pay symbol. When an Alchemy Wild lands, it is locked in position for the next spin.
If 2 Alchemy Wilds appear on the same row, they transform all of the symbols in between them into Golden Wilds. Golden Wilds substitute for paying symbols and also have a value in their own right. Lines of Alchemy/Golden Wilds are worth 15 times the stake.
Look out for the scatter symbol – 3 of them appearing on the three middle reels trigger 10 free spins. Before the bonus is played, an hourglass may turn randomly to add 5 more free spins. It can even turn yet another time, awarding a total of 20 free spins. During the bonus, players benefit from Alchemy Wilds remaining locked in position for the duration of the feature rather than only for the next spin.
Aurum Codex: Verdict
Aurum Codex is a game that makes a good first impression but squanders the goodwill rather quickly. You sometimes hear the odd grumble about struggling to trigger the bonus game in a Red Tiger slot. Well, buyer beware, because Aurum Codex was tough to crack. At first, the wait wasn’t too bad. A few good wins, helped by the wild features, meant enthusiasm was riding high. The background location felt like a lux environment to spin in and the mysterious vibe was well intriguing.
What felt like a lifetime of spins later, without a hint of the bonus game, Aurum Codex started to wane. The game isn’t helped by the wearisome soundtrack, which starts promisingly, but ends up going in circles like a wash cycle, kind of a metaphor for the whole game. Aurum Codex slowly hypnotises you into a somnambulist state where nothing else exists except hitting the darn bonus game.
Of course, rip open free spins and it’s a different story. Sticky wilds often work well and Aurum Codex is no exception. It’s not exactly a massive paying slot although potential wins of up to 4,131 times the stake are far from being a terrible outcome.
Aurum Codex is another professionally designed slot possessing the pros and cons that sometimes arise in a Red Tiger product. Namely, great graphics, lots of depth visually, but paper-thin when it comes to much of the rest. The gameplay is fun for a while when the wilds are doing their thing, but it gets repetitive fast. The bonus game is decent, but if you’re playing through a period when the game’s not in the mood, free spins feel like medieval alchemy – a pipedream.