Based on an 18th century battle between Peter the Great of Russia and Charles XII of Sweden in the Great Northern War, Poltava Flames of War is a 5 reel, 4 row, 40 payline video slot from ELK Studios. It comes with free spins, sticky wilds and marching reels and payouts that can top 1,800 times your stake. Available to play on all devices, play from between 20p and £100 per spin.

Set against a dense forest background, the reels in Poltava Flames of War include lower value playing cards from A to 10 as well as a soldier with pistol, artillery cannon and cavalry horse. The white horse is the top payer, awarding 200 coins if you land 5 in a line.

They’re joined by the Poltava logo which is the game’s wild, substituting for everything apart from the lion which is scatter. Land 3 of these and you’ll trigger the main bonus feature, the Flames of War Free Spins feature, and with it 3 free spins.

That sounds like a skinny offering but every time a lion hits, it will be frozen in place and turn into a sticky wild. An extra free spin will also be added to your tally too.

Poltava Flames of War also comes with a Marching Reels feature which becomes active when you land a full stack of 4 of the soldier, artillery cannon or cavalry horse. You’ll then be awarded a re-spin. Any of that same military symbol that fall to the right of the reels generate further respins.

Troops advance to the right to create bigger and potentially more lucrative winning combinations. If the original troop symbol lands behind the frontline, it will still join the combination. If a higher value combat arm lands fully stacked (e.g. you already have the cannon but a horse stack hits), the higher value symbol will replace the lower value formations.

The Marching Reels respins continue until you reach reel 5 or no new symbols are added to the formation. It all seems a little complicated at first sight so a few spins in demo play mode are recommended just so you can get your eye in.

Visually, Poltava Flames of War is very well put together – the symbols are detailed but nice and crisp. The same goes for the backing track which has a brooding, menacing feel for the most part but rocks out where you’re in line to trigger the free spins.

The features are a little different from the norm and take a little while to get acquainted to. As mentioned above, demo play is your friend here. Once you have got used to the slightly unusual bonus offerings, there’s much to enjoy. The free spins don’t seem overly generous but the sticky wilds certainly help things along. Likewise, the Marching Reels where it’s possible to create some impressive formations with payouts to match.

Military history buffs should find plenty on offer here. Even if that’s not your forte, the combination of quality sound and visuals and innovative features make Poltava Flames of War worth further investigation. It’s a highly volatile game with wins of up to 1,800 times your stake available in the free spins feature (due to the presence of sticky wilds). I also recommend you take a look at Taco Brothers, also by ELK Studios, which is fantastic.