3 Secret Cities: Slot Overview
Developer 4ThePLayer continues its trend of using numbers in their game titles (to propel them to the top of lists presumably) while producing slots that deviate from the norm. While not a freaky, out there innovator, 3 Secret Cities nevertheless does things its own way, despite using one of the more common themes to set the stage for the action. As well as dynamic visuals, the stand-out is a bonus round which gets increasingly more potent the deeper you delve into the game.
3 Secret Cities falls into the Aztec/South American theme, yet there is also a strong adventure element emphasised by a system that moves players to different locations while boosting free spin possibilities in the process. Depending on location, a partly transparent 5-reel, 1,024 win-all-ways grid fronts temples, mountains, rivers, or jungles, all neatly animated to give the game life. Even more, life is provided by a soundtrack full of chirps and calls of the wild as if 4ThePlayer left a mic on overnight in the jungle to record its sounds. There was a touch of BTG’s King of Cats Megaways about 3 Secret Cities, not so much in the features or subject matter which are different, but both have a similar vibrancy elevating them above many games in their respective categories.
One thing 4ThePlayer is known for is their transparency, which is highly appreciated. What they tend to do is list most of the technical details in their game’s help file, so players are never unsure of what they are getting into. As for RTP, which has a default value of 96.5%, rising to 98% if you can buy the bonus round, it's good to know they only use one RTP setting, meaning, you can be sure you're playing the same game no matter where you make your deposit.
Volatility has been noted as 'very high', and nothing occurred during the review to remotely challenge that assessment. Big wins are surely possible here, but 3 Secret Cities can be testing because although hits land at a rate of 1 in 4, it can be a while before the game winds up to show what it can do. Bets from 10 p/c to £/€20 may be set on any device, where mobile users can take advantage of Big Reel Portrait Mode, which pays top to bottom.
In non-Big Reel mode, hits occur when identical symbols land left to right from reel one, producing 1,024 ways to win. All symbols are nicely drawn, including detailed 10-A royals, higher value snakes, necklaces, jaguars, a Lara Croft-like adventurer, and an Aztec priest or princess. These latter two character symbols appear 4 rows high, either partially in view or covering all positions on a reel, worth 4-5 times the stake for a five-of-a-kind win. Characters and jaguars payout for two of a kind, while the rest need at least three. There is also a golden sun wild, though it doesn’t appear often. The wild substitutes every symbol to complete wins, except for the free spins scatters symbol.
3 Secret Cities: Slot Features
The features used in 3 Secret Cities are simple but work in a way to make them more engaging than they normally would be. The key to them all is the free spins scatter symbol, appearing on reels 1, 3, or 5. If 2 scatters hit on reels 1 and 3, players click one of them to reveal a cash prize worth up to 50x their bet or progression across the locations – Jungle City, Lake City, and Gold City. If the latter is awarded, a map opens up to show your progress. If you get lost, clicking the box on the top right of the reels opens the map at any point.
Progressing also means improving the bonus game, triggered when 3 scatter symbols land. When the bonus is activated, step one is the Temple Pick feature, where you click blocks from each row to reveal the number of free spins, a multiplier applied to every win, and a pay symbol to appear super stacked on the reels.
At the start of the map’s progress, triggering the bonus round comes with up to 12 free spins, up to an x4 multiplier, and max win possibilities of up to 12,000x the bet. By the end of the map, you can collect up to 50 free spins with up to an x15 multiplier where it is possible to win 50,000 times your stake. During free spins, scatters on reels 1 and 3 award +5-10 extra spins. Players pick one of the scatters to determine how many spins they receive.
Finally, there is also a feature buy option available for those who don't care waiting for the bonus to drop organically. The options you get are:
- Jungle City - max 15 free spins + x5 multiplier (16,000x max win).
- Lake City - max 25 free spins + x8 multiplier (30,000x max win).
- Gold City - max 50 free spins + x15 multiplier (50,000x max win).
3 Secret Cities: Slot Verdict
3 Secret Cities turned out to be quite a fun trip through the rain forest, with a unique vibe, despite using a common theme. The map progression reinforces the adventure aspect as you move through the countryside from one destination to the next, improving free spins rewards at the same time. It’s all been cleverly designed to keep you engaged as you travel deeper into the jungle. Other highlights are the distinctly 4ThePlayer graphics that are high quality and build an enjoyable Dora the Explorer world to get lost in. Another is the jungle sounds which are low-key most of the time, though they enhance the atmosphere.
The action can be laid back a lot of the time too, and it was tough to coax much more than small change wins out of 3 Secret Cities. Fortunately, thanks to the aforementioned benefits, it’s not hard to stay motivated and soldier on. Imagine losing your compass and blindly hacking through the jungle, not knowing where you are going, yet knowing there is treasure out there somewhere. You just have to grit your teeth and get on with the job at hand. When you finally make it to the bonus, clicking through the Temple Pick feature is fun before launching the bonus game you’ve worked so hard to build. It can certainly pay off, and all bonus games have respectable max payout amounts, topping out at the 50,000x win cap.
For a different take on Aztec gaming, it’s worth checking out what 3 Secret Cities has to offer. It requires an amount of grit and determination, but what good adventure doesn’t?
Lively visuals, big potential, and a wandering spirit make 3 Secret Cities an unusual journey through the jungle.