The Grand does not so much have a theme or storyline as a style. That particular style is the same faux Art Deco design as any great Diesel-punk work like Bioshock or The Rocketeer.
The fonts are carefully chosen to look like the logo for a Crimson Skies spin off and the symbols on the reels although little more than card suits and inlaid precious stones all are designed with an eye to Gatsby-esque opulence.
It is a beautiful theme, assisted ably by the competence of the design team.
The graphics are a delight. Although very simple in many ways, each item on the screen is a perfect example of itself and at every point details have been chosen to tie together the slot in one unified style, without the use of plot, character or theme.
The sounds are less well-chosen, representing a rather odd mix of synth music, which is echoed in the win sounds and even the blips the reels make as they turn.
The animations are all slick and flashy as well as perfectly timed, but with the odd choice of musical accompaniment they lack some of the impact they could have had.Gameplay video featuring Free spins and the Sync bonus
Ever the innovators, Quickspin have opted for slight twists on the usual formats for slot machines.
In place of the classic five reel slot with three or four rows we are given a six reel slot sporting a 3-3-4-4-5-5 pattern for its rows.
Where win lines or any way wins have worked for most slots The Grand goes with a system of "any connecting bet ways". This means that symbols must run left to right from the leftmost reel, and must connect horizontally or diagonally to the symbols on adjacent reels. On The Grand’s reels this makes for effectively 214 possible win lines.
Additionally, there are a series of bonus and random features detailed below, which spice the gameplay up delightfully.
The Wild symbol substitutes for all symbols except the Free Spin symbol and Bonus symbols. They do not occur naturally on the reels in the base game. Instead, they are triggered randomly. During Free Spins, Wilds can be triggered by the GRANDomiser. When triggered, four to eight Wild symbols are added at random to reels two to six.
The Free Spin Bonus is triggered by the Free Spin symbol. Hitting three or more of these symbols anywhere on the reels in the base game will trigger the Free Spin bonus.
The player starts the Free Spin bonus with 6 free spins if they hit three Free Spin symbols, with 9, 12 and 15 free spins awarded for four, five and six Free Spin symbols respectively.
The Bonus symbol appears only on reels three, four and five and only during the Free Spin bonus. Hitting three Bonus symbols will trigger the GRANDomiser. The GRANDomiser adds between one and three additional spins to the player’s total, and applies one of three features for the rest of the free spins. You can trigger multiple features.
The three GRANDomiser features are: the Wilds Feature, in which four to eight random Wilds are added to the reels; the Sync Feature, in which one, two, or all three pairs of same sizes reels are synchronised resulting in identical symbols on each; and the Nudge Feature which nudges up to three reels to improve the payout for that spin.
Where multiple features are in place they are applied in the order Sync, Wilds,the Nudge.
The return to player of this game is 96.58%, comfortably over our yardstick for average of roughly 96%.
The range of bets on the site we tested ran from a minimum bet per spin of $/£/€0.20 up to a maximum of $/£/€100.00 per spin. This is a good sized range that should work for most bet size preferences.
The real appeal of The Grand to us comes from its extremely high volatility. We recommend high volatility as part of our preferred slot strategies and so this slot works great for us, especially with its marginally higher than average return to player.
The Grand is an elegant slot with a pleasant Art Deco design, multiple intriguing bonus features, and a quirky visual layout that really catches the eye.
Behind the scenes it operates with a decent return to player of 96.58% and will go well with our slot strategies which make use of high volatility slots.
Overall we highly recommend this criminally under-popular slot.