With a unique option to switch bonus features during the bonus round, Legend of the Pharaohs can deliver a lot of excitement. However, much of the payout is delivered in that bonus round which can be quite hard to hit.
This slot also has more intricate details than most, but I will cover all the details for you here.
Legend of the Pharaohs Slot Layout
The basic layout of this game from Barcrest and SG Interactive is traditional, with five reels showing three visible symbols on each. The 20 coin minimum activate 20 paylines.
The symbols include a wild symbol, a game logo symbol, an ankh, a hieroglyphic eye, a plumed bird figure, and a scarab beetle. The other symbols are the card ranks from 10 to Ace.
But the most important symbol on the normal reels is the scatter pay, a pyramid with a blue background.
The Free Spins Bonus
The importance of the blue pyramids stems from the fact that you need at least three of them to trigger the game’s bonus round. Because the normal pays in this game are somewhat small, much of the player return in this game comes from the free spins bonus.
In the bonus round, you will also have at least one Bonus Feature activated.
- Catch three blue pyramids: Get 10 Free Spins with 1 Bonus Feature active.
- Catch four blue pyramids: Get 10 Free Spins with 2 Bonus Features active.
- Catch five blue pyramids: Get 10 Free Spins with 3 Bonus Features active.
So, just what are these bonus features? There are four varieties of them, and the particular one or ones that are activated will be chosen randomly.
- Wild Reels Bonus: An entire reel will turn wild, and remain that way until the end of the applicable free spins.
- Win Eliminators Bonus: Worst name ever, right? But it actually does help. One or more of the lowest paying symbols is removed from all the reels, making higher paying wins more likely.
- Wild Symbols Bonus: A normal symbol is selected to act as a wild instead.
- Colossal Symbol Bonus: A chunk of 3×3 symbols on reel 2, 3 and 4 becomes a monolithic group of matching symbols, making big wins with that symbol much easier.
Here is an example of a colossal symbol using the game logo symbol.
Yes, this is a complicated game with lots of moving parts. But it will quickly make sense once you hit the bonus round a few times. And, actually we are only about a third of the way done with the unique features of this game.
Free Spin Retriggers
Catch a pyramid with a red background during the free spins, and the bonus will retrigger in a somewhat unusual way.
First of all, there are multiple possibilities for a retrigger.
- Catch one red pyramid: Trigger some number of free spins with 1 Bonus Feature active.
- Catch two red pyramids: Trigger some number of free spins with 2 Bonus Features active.
- Catch three red pyramids: Trigger some number of free spins with 3 Bonus Features active.
But, the new free spins with the new bonus features are not automatically added to your bonus round. Instead, you must choose to continue with any remaining originally won free spins, or to discard those and instead play the newly awarded bonus spins.
The Choice: Keep the original spins, or exchange them?
Here is what happened after I hit the red pyramid pictured above:
Here, from the original 10 free spins with all K symbols wild, I have 3 free spins remaining and now I have a choice to make. I can continue with my existing 3 free spins, or exchange them for the offered bonus which is 6 free spins with a colossal symbol of the game logo symbol. It’s pretty easy to tell in this case that I should choose the new 6 free spins option.
But it is not always so easy to tell which is better. Here is another:
Now which is better? 4 more spins with a colossal beetle symbol, or 8 spins with the 4th reel wild? Fortunately, there is a “Best Strategy” button on the screen which will tell you which choice is statistically more valuable. In this case, 4 spins with the colossal beetle is worth more than 8 spins with the 4th reel wild.
Once you run out of free spins and retriggers, all your accumulated winnings are awarded.
In any normal game, we would be all done with the twists and turns. But no, Legend of the Pharaohs wants to be truly legendary with its depth of confusing options. So, we soldier on.
Win Eliminators, Really?
Before I get to the next option, I really need to take a moment to celebrate the ridiculousness of whoever chose to name one of the bonus features the “Win Eliminator”. No, I’m not kidding…
You can’t make this stuff up. The feature is actually helpful but I do get the feeling that this name was an inside joke among members of the development team.
The Big Bet Option
As I warned, we’re not done yet. There is another entire way to play this slot game, and it is called “Big Bet”. This is an idea that also appears in some other SG Interactive games, such as Hercules High & Mighty.
Instead of wagering 20 coins at a time, you can click the “BB” button on the slot to examine the Big Bet options.
Now you can choose between bet sizes of $20, $30, $40, or $50. You are buying five spins of the game at $0.10 per line with additional features enabled. What features? I’m glad you asked…
The Big Bet Benefits
If you choose the expensive option of using Big Bet, you do get some very powerful benefits. The main one is that it much easier to trigger the bonus during the five spins.
As the five spins occur, any blue pyramids that appear are tallied on the right side of the screen. If you manage to catch three or more blue pyramids across all five spins, you will trigger the free spins bonus.
You get that benefit at the lowest $20 Big Bet choice. If you choose to go for the higher Big Bet amounts, there is an additional prize feature.
At those levels, catching just two blue pyramids during the five spins will trigger a bonus depending on your chosen bet level: The Pharaoh Bonus ($30 BB), the Super Pharaoh Bonus ($40 BB), or the Mega Pharaoh Bonus ($50 BB).
These bonus levels appear after any five spins where you collected two blue pyramids, and feature a wheel to spin to choose your prize.
The lower bet level versions feature the same concept, but there is a larger portion of the wheel is red meaning Game Over.
My Bottom Line
If you’re still reading, then you are likely the kind of person that will appreciate this slot’s elaborate design. I admit, it’s interesting to play. My main complaint is that the bonus rounds are rare. It is typical to go a couple of hundred spins or more between triggering the feature. And with smallish payouts along the way, it can get expensive. But if you want the excitement of triggering the feature more often, you can always opt for the Big Bet route.
You can find this game at any of the online casinos listed below. Our availability lists are updated daily here at NJOC.
Legend of the Pharaohs
Developer: SG Interactive
Min Bet: $0.20
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