Shields of the Wild is a 5 reel, 10 payline slot from NextGen Gaming that is playable on all devices from 10p to £100 per spin. With a medieval theme, it comes with a Shield Wall feature where symbols are upgraded to the next higher paying symbol up to 8 times for bigger wins. There’s also a Marching Stacks Free Games feature where stacks of symbols appear on reel 5 and march across the reels – they can also upgrade. The feature ends when all 5 reels are filled by stacked symbols!

Visually, Shields of the Wild takes you the grassy floodplains of the Inner Kingdom, the Fields of Elysium, where you’ll come across Knight Sir Virilis Manblade’s army as he they battle alongside sworn ally King Trenin DeSaxe. With an autumnal feel, symbols on the reels include 8 different shields as well as a Shields of the Wild symbol which is the wild – this replaces all symbols bar the scatter and giving you 25 times your stake for 5 across a payline.

Shields of the Wild comes with a Shield Wall feature which can be triggered randomly on any base game spin – all symbols, except the wild and scatter, are upgraded to the next higher paying symbol up to 8 times. This can lead to a screen full of the lion shield which will give you 100 times your stake.

The game is all about the Marching Stacks Free Games feature – this is played when you get 3, 4 or 5 sword scatters anywhere on the reels. A stack of symbols will appear on reel 5 – depending on how many scatters you get (3, 4 or 5), the stack of symbols will be chosen a group of 5 symbols. If you trigger the feature with 5 scatters, you’ll get the 5 highest value symbols apart from the lion shield.

Now, you will then get free spins – if an upgrade sword symbol appears on that free spin, the stack upgrades to the next higher paying symbol. If no upgrade sword appears, the stack moves 1 reel to the left with an identical stack of symbols added to reel 5 – this means you have a stack of symbols on both reels 4 and 5.

This continues until all 5 reels are filled by stacked symbols – getting 2 upgrade sword symbols will result in 2 symbol upgrades and so on. This can result in plenty of free spins. In the end, the aim is to fill the screen with the highest value lion shield symbol – if you manage to do this, you’ll win 100 times your stake.

You are guaranteed to win at least 20 times your stake. Finally, once the Marching Stacks Free Games feature is complete, a free retrigger may be awarded meaning you play the feature again. All in all, there’s 2,500 times your stake to be won in the feature.

Shields of the Wild is a medium to high variance game which has decent win potential in the Marching Stacks Free Games feature – it’s all about symbol upgrades and filling the reels which the highest possible value symbol. It’s another decent slot from NextGen Gaming but if you like the theme and want bigger win potential, I recommend you try WMS’ Black Knight II.