The first thing that any player would notice about any Rival games, would be the lack of nice contemporary graphics. Rival software is currently way behind the other software providers in terms of creativity and visual impact of their games, and I personally think that none of Rival games could ever make it big in the gaming market. I don't really know if this is due to lack of skilled resources to create new interesting games, of simply due to stagnancy in the company's policies. This isn't a good thing at all, because all that Rival fans are getting are just different clones of the same games, just like what Microgaming fans are getting.
This new game, Windy Farm, is no exception. It is similar in its design concept with a few other new releases too, like Wishing Cup and Frogged, albeit with some minor twists in how the features are triggered, that's all. The Wild symbol in the game doesn't pay anything for itself, but doubles all wins with it. It appears only on reels 1, 2, 3 and 4, substitutes for other symbols except the Scatter symbol, and can expand either upwards or downwards, depending on the condition of the wind. Hence the title, Windy Farm. The Bull is the Scatter symbol, paying a damn low 25x the total bet for 5 of them, and getting 3 or more of the Scatter symbols trigger 7 free spins without any multiplier. Argh! Typical of Rival free spins offering! The only consolation is that the Free Spins game can be retriggered, but this isn't good enough at all. As for the other symbols, the Horseshoe pays 1500x, the Letterbox pays 800x, and the rest pay from 500x to 100x, all per line bet for 5 of each kind. A very low paytable, again very typical of Rival games.
To the sides of the play area, there's are Rooster wind vanes, to indicate the condition of the wind, either it's windy or not windy. This has a purpose. Whenever a win with a Wild symbol is achieved, that Wild symbol will expand upwards when it's windy, or expand downwards when it isn't windy. However, the Wild symbol only expands from the position it lands on the reel, so it doesn't always expand into a full Wild Reel, which would have been better. If it landed on the top or bottom reel, it may not expand at all. What a waste of an expanding Wild feature! Sheesh!
The thing that I hate most are those 2 Rooster wind vanes, which intrudes into the play area. Whenever it's windy, those vanes would swirl and spin, which actually adds confusion and distraction to the game play! What a horrible way to feature how the Wild symbol should expand! Not only that, the Wild symbol may not even expand at all, depending on the wind condition, which is again not exciting at all. Nothing better than a full Wild Reel for an expanding Wild symbol, and this should have been the case here.
In terms of playing the game, Windy Farm fails to impress, just as for the other new games too. The Free Spins games that I got didn't get any retrigger at all, not even once, and all the payouts were below 12x my bet amount, which were ridiculously low! There was only one decent win, and that came in the base game, paying a decent 69x my bet amount for getting a 5-of-a-kind win with a Wild symbol. All other payouts suck real badly! Another new game from Rival that is just not worth playing!