Back in 1994, software developer Microgaming created the first online platform for a casino. Since that moment, 25 years have passed, and the gambling industry has reached new level. Meanwhile, the company became a successful software provider alongside Net Entertainment. Do all the slots powered by Microgaming stand out from the competitors?
In April 2019, the company together with Triple Edge Studio announced its new title – a video slot Ancient Fortunes: Zeus based on Greek mythology. The main character is Zeus, God of Thunder.
Ancient Fortunes: Zeus is a video slot 5*3 with 10 fixed pay lines. The game has medium volatility, RTP (return to player) – 96.02%. It is playable across all devices with bet 0.10-70 per a single spin. The slot doesn’t offer a lot of multilevel bonuses like Battle Royal (Play’n Go), nevertheless, there are some special features to take notice of.
Behind the reels, we see well-known Mount Olympus, a golden residence of 12 gods in all its glory. In the foreground, sun-drenched clouds are drifting across the sky and hiding earth. From time to time, it lightens. There is no bad weather in the kingdom of Zeus. There is always summer, the sun shines bright, there is neither snow nor rain.
The interface is the simplest and user-friendly. A broad range of bets is available, all you need to do is to choose an appropriate one using +/ – buttons. For impatient punters, there is a Quick Spin option.
Symbols & Graphics
Animation and graphics of the slot turned out to be worthy. We see here ‘classical’ Greek elements like columns and traditional ornaments as well as a sign of comics style (Zeus’s appearance).
As for the symbols, on the reels we meet bas-reliefs of gods and animals. Dionisius (god of fertility), Poseidon (god of the sea), Hermes (god of trade and patron of athletes), and of course Ares (god of war) – these symbols are top ranking. For low-paying ones, developers chose images of a vulture, an octopus, a panther and a couple of snakes. Some similarities to the bas-reliefs of antiquity times cannot be overseen. Nevertheless, these symbols lack something.
Animation of heavy stones creating a pay line might be copied from the Gonzo’s Quest slot (NetEnt).
Bonus features & Soundtrack
The Lightning Bolt symbol triggers Free Spins. 3,4,5 free spin symbols award you 10, 15, and 20 spins respectively. They should be a part of a pay line but they do not just appear on the reels as in many slots. The number of freebies depends on a winning combo of Free Spins symbols, which triggers the bonus.
The feature ‘pays both ways’ is also used to determine the number of freebies. It means that if a pay line is possible in both ways, free spins sum up. During free spins, we are getting closer to Olympus gods and spinning on a pile of gold and gemstones.
If you get 3+ scatters, it awards you extra spins. Wild – Zeus – substitutes for all symbols and even scatter.
In addition to Free Spins, you have a chance to win in the Rolling ReelsTM feature. Pay lines pay from left to right and from right to left. The point of the feature is that when a pay line occurs, winning symbols go down and are replaced by new ones, almost like Tetris.
Moreover, the multiplier increases up to 7x upon the condition of several wins in a row. If a pay line didn’t land, the multiplier becomes 1x and it starts from the very beginning. The feature is active not only in the bonus game, but also in Free Spins, and the multiplier can reach 21x.
In the base game, there is no special music theme. Unostentatious background sounds, thunder peal and periodic exclamations of Zeus. Finally, developers give up on this annoying ring of coins. An epic soundtrack follows free Spins.
The first impression of the slot was quite ambiguous. If we compare the slot with other theme-related titles like Thunder Zeus (Booongo), Zeus (Habanero), Zeus trilogy (WMS), Zeus (Spadegaming) (this list is endless), then the product from Microgaming seems not so poor. On the other hand, it could be done a lot, to get the gameplay into shape. Many things were copied from the Bonanza Slot (Big Time Gaming) and Gonzo’s Quest (NetEnt). You shouldn’t be sold on a tempting multiplier in the bonus game – you will hardly win massively.
Unfortunately, Microgaming developers began to ‘borrow’ others’ ideas and with little changes (add feature ‘pays both ways’ like in slots Good Girl Bad Girl (BetSoft) or Sibrian Storm (IGT)) claim as own. Ancient Fortunes: Zeus didn’t become an exception. It is unlikely we will play this game for long, especially when there are better cascade slots on the market.