Travel to Egypt to unravel the galactic connection between the pyramids of Giza and the Northern Cross constellation known as Cygnus on the slot from Elk Studios. Avalanches of marble symbols are dropping onto a variable game grid with up to eight rows to create winning combinations with multipliers of up to x64. Move a single Cygnus bonus scatter to the left pillar and you will be rewarded with a free spins round that can lead to wins of up to 5,000 times your bet.
Cygnus is a video slot with six reels, 4 – 8 rows and 4,096 to 262,144 ways to win. Pays are awarded for three to six adjacent matching symbols from left to right only. You can delve into Egyptian mythology on mobile or desktop from 0.20 to 100 coins. The game has high volatility (8/10) with an RTP of 96.10%. You can use Betting Strategies and Autoplay to customize your play patterns and set up 10 to 100 consecutive spins.
To understand the name and story behind this slot we have to go back in time to the 2nd century. Cygnus, derived from the Greek word for ‘swan’, is one of the most familiar constellations in the northern hemisphere. The constellation was originally listed by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. It is shown as a long-necked bird with its wings spread wide. It also takes us deep into ancient Egyptian astronomy as the constellation, which is 700 million lightyears away from Earth, is miraculously in exact alignment with the Giza pyramids in Egypt.
Loading the game will take you to the shores of the river Nile with the entrance to one of the ancient pyramid that is part of the Giza Necropolis complex in the background of the game window. Palm trees and statues flank the stairs to the giant door while the Cygnus constellation can be seen in the distance. Two obelisks hold the pay symbols as they avalanche onto the grid. They will also light up when the respective features are activated. An oriental soundtrack with mostly drum beats is the main audio.
The pay symbols appear in the form of round marbles as they roll into empty positions between avalanches. At the low end, you will find green, blue and red gemstones, awarding 0.2x to 0.3x your bet for a single six of a kind. They are followed by Ibis birds, camels and the cad goddess Bastet. Hit six across the reels to win 0.8x to 3x your bet. The lucky 7 is the top payer with 30x your stake for a combination of six symbols.
A jeton-like marble marked with ‘W’ is the wild symbol, substituting for all regular symbols, while a Cygnus icon acts as the scatter. A marble marked with ‘X’ will increase the win multiplier if it reaches the bottom of the grid (more to that in a short while).
Avalanche and Gravity Slide Mechanic Explained
Firing up the game for the first time and doing the first spins unveiled a new twist to the popular Avalanche mechanic which Elk Studios connected to natural gravity. In the base game, every round starts in the default 6×4 format with 4,096 ways to win. Symbol marbles drop from the top to fill the reels and any winning combos will explode after they are paid.
And here comes the novelty. Until now, the mechanic was that any remaining symbols would drop towards the bottom and new symbols would avalanche into the empty spaces. However, on Cygnus, the remaining symbols fall vertically, slide to the left then right repeatedly until they land in a resting position where they are unable to move any further. Should the movements create new winning combos, then they will explode as well and the sliding process is repeated.
The game will avalanche new symbols onto the grid only after no new winning combos are formed through the sliding process. Symbols drop into the empty spaces while also adding an additional row at the top and thus gradually increasing the ways to win from four rows and 4,096 ways up to eight rows with 262,144 ways.
The game window will stay expanded until the end of a round and will then reset to the default 6×4 format before the next spin sequence. All wins from a sequence are accumulated and paid in one amount.
Cygnus Slot Features
There is an air of suspense at all times on this game courtesy of the Avalanche and expansion mechanics as it can lead to super mega wins on any spin. And Elk Studios has not stopped there. There is much more that will give us even bigger heartstopper moments.
In the base game and free spins, much of that falls to the Progressive Win Multiplier. Special ‘X’ marbles can appear at any time during a spin sequence. They will activate the multiplier obelisk on the right of the game window should they fall to the bottom row within a spin sequence. Each ‘X’ marble will increase the win multiplier by a factor two. The default multiplier is x1, increasing to x2 for the first ‘X’ marble, to x4 for the second, to x8 for the third, all the way until it reaches x64. In the base game, any activated multiplier will reset to x1 at the end of the spin sequence, while during the free spins it will keep the multiplier and increase it up to the maximum.
It all comes to a climax in the Free Spins feature, you could say the stars have aligned. A single Cygnus scatter can appear anywhere on the grid during a spin sequence. It will trigger the bonus mode with 7 free spins if it slides all the way to the left pillar by the end of the round. The feature can be retriggered indefinitely when a Cygnus scatters appears on a free spin and slides to the left pillar again. Should a scatter end up in a position where it will be impossible to reach the left obelisk, then it will be reinserted at the top with the next avalanche.
The free spins are played on the maximum game window with eight rows and 262,144 ways to win. Any multipliers landing, will stay on the screen and drop to the bottom. Activated multipliers will not reset and instead will grow up to the maximum of x64, where it will stay until the end of the round.
Well, we thought we have seen it all after Elk Studios released with their Gold series three slots with expanding reels. But knowing the creative team, they are always good for another surprise. The sliding marbles mechanic between avalanches works beautifully and will be reason for big celebrations as well as frustrating moments as the marbles won’t always roll into the desired direction.
Overall, Cygnus is a marvel in slot design, just as much visually with crisp graphics and stunning animations as well as innovative when it comes to the reel mechanics. The win potential is not the highest we have seen from Elk Studios but 5,000 times the bet is well sufficient any day of the year.