Heart of the Frontier is a 5 reel, 20 payline slot which is brought to you by Playtech. Playable from 20p to £2,000 per spin across desktop, mobile and tablet devices, you are taken to the Wild West in this Western themed offering. It benefits from expanding Sheriff and Bandit wilds as well as a free spins feature where wilds lock in place.

Set in a classic Western town which is reminiscent of a John Wayne film set, symbols on the reels include regular playing cards (A, K, Q, J, 10 and 9) as well as horseshoes, sheriff badges and a trio of gorgeous ladies- they appear as 3-symbol high stacks on the reels.

The Heart of the Frontier logo is the wild symbol and substitutes for all symbols except bandit and sheriff wilds – it also rewards you with 500 times your line stake for 5 on a payline.

The game benefits from Expanding Wilds – there are 3 wild symbols on the reels (the Heart of the Frontier logo and the 2 ladies – 1 is a sheriff and 1 is a bandit). When the sheriff and bandit appear, they will expand to fill the entire reel.

The Sheriff wild symbols lock once they expand and move 1 reel to the right at the start of every spin. Once it reaches reel 5, it disappears from the reel set. The Bandit wild symbol also locks once it’s expanded and moves 1 reel to the left at the beginning of every spin – when it moves from reel 1, is vanishes from the reel set.

If you’re lucky enough to see a bandit wild and sheriff wild on the reels at the same time, you will trigger the Showdown Free Games feature and get 5 free spins. All bandit and sheriff wild symbols lock in place for the duration of the feature. Furthermore, sheriff and bandit wilds landing during the feature will also lock in place for all remaining free spins.

Once the free spins have played out, the Showdown begins – any sheriffs and bandits on the reels then start a shootout. The survivor remains on the reels until you return to the base game. You will see a win ticker which you then stop to display the full prize you won during the free spins.

I found Heart of the Frontier to be a medium variance slot with the expanding locked wild stacks the key to winning big – I’ve had wins of over 800 times my stake in the base game when I got 3 fully wild reels for 3 spins. The Showdown Free Games feature is extremely hard to trigger and can be quite frustrating as you’ll mostly get smaller sizes wins. It’s all about getting more wilds during the feature which can lead to huge wins. If you like the Western theme, I recommend NetEnt’s Wild Wild West: The Great Train Heist.