Avalon II is, as the name suggests, the second title from Microgaming to be based on the legendary island that is mentioned in the story of King Arthur. It tries to build on the popularity of the first Avalon slot, and it takes us on an adventure to locate the Holy Grail. Microgaming seems to have gone all out here on the feature front, using various wilds, a rolling reels feature, free games and about eight bonus games to make sure that it’s going to be an entertaining experience. They even chose a system with 243 ways to win, to make sure that you have every reason to stick around, giving you wins often. As a result though, their value is not as high, and they go up to $3,000 at most.
As slots with ways to win will almost always do, Avalon II also uses a fixed number of lines, enough of them to cover every possibility of winning. In this particular case, they went with 30 lines. The absolute minimum required to start the game is one coin per line, and a value for it of just $0.01. As for the other side of the spectrum, the maximum value, it will be at $1 and made out of five coins of $0.20 each. The complete betting range is between $0.30 and $30.
They’ve based the theme of this slot on Avalon, an island that the legend of King Arthur mentions. It’s the place where King Arthur goes to after he fights and gets wounded against Mordred. It’s also the place where Excalibur, his sword, was forged. I’m not a big fan of the kind of design that Avalon II uses, mixing the stock icons with the poker cards and some computer made 3D characters. They’ve put some work into it, no question about that, but it just doesn’t compare favorably with many other titles released these days.
Avalon II is one of the more feature rich slot machines that you will see, though many of them will be triggered in time, as a result of a system where you go through different stages each time that you get the bonus. I’ll start with the easiest symbol of all, the one that has the Avalon II logo as its image. This particular symbol has been used by the game in the role of the wild feature, which you may use in a couple of ways. First, we obviously have the ability of the symbol to substitute for another, a regular one only though. It will not be replacing any of the other two feature symbols. On the other hand, you might also get wild symbols to form combinations of two to five symbols, whenever they’re arranged properly on a line, from left to the right. The Lady of the Lake is another symbol with the ability of a substitute, though this one is reserved only for reel 3. Each appearance of this figure on the 3rd reel will see it expand on that column. It can’t substitute for the scatter, but it can be used as the other wild if needed. There is even a random feature that you might get as you play the game, one where we see Merlin appear, in order to give you either a multiplier or a cash prize. The most elaborate part of the game is the Grail Bonus, a system with eight different bonus games in it. You move from one bonus game to the next, taking advantage of one at a time, each time that you trigger the feature. The requirement is to have the scattered Holy Grail in at least three positions.
If you look just at the base game, the most you can get is a $3,000 cash prize, coming via the scatter. The bonus features are another matter, since multipliers can be offered there, turning a combo of $2,000 from the base game into one that gives you up to $12,000 if it is obtained at the right time. As for the average Return to Player, while Microgaming doesn’t publish this information, it’s been calculated that for this game the number is just below 96%, which is OK, but not great.
I’ve found Avalon II to be an entertaining choice, one where you have a lot of features, so you’re not as likely to get bored as in others. Furthermore, the bonus system rewards loyalty, giving you something different each time you trigger it. It tends to pay less, but it does it often, so you have a good chance at going home with a profit.