Ancient Fortunes: Zeus (Triple Edge Studios): Review
It's not a secret that we're no big fans of Microgaming. It has nothing to do with the fact that the company has been stacking up one trainwreck slot after another, in fact, the cut is much deeper than that. Following a series of bad games (plenty where those came from), and subsequently negative reviews, one Microgaming representative reacted childishly (they seem used to people rubbing their backs), calling us names and cutting all ties. With that said, our aim is straight and true and we stick to our policy of writing unbiased reviews no matter how bad the company we're dealing with.
Alright, end of drama and on to more important things. In front of us, we have an online slot based on Greek mythology - more specifically, the thunder god Zeus. It's a popular theme that's been used countless times, most prominently in William Interactive's rendition, matter-of-factly entitled Zeus. Seen through a modern lens, Zeus was in many ways a peculiar god - he was married to his sister (Hera), he was repeatedly unfaithful to her, and he punished men by giving them women (quite a brutal deity). However, to those unfamiliar with Greek mythology he's just that cool, ripped, superhero hurling thunderbolts. Why he became a poster boy for online slots is a mystery though.
In this 5-reel, 10-payline Microgaming powered slot developed by Triple Edge Studios, you will benefit from the Rolling Reels feature where winning streaks can lead to a 7x multiplier. Up to 70 free spins are on offer in the bonus where the previously mentioned feature also applies, but with a boost in the increasing multiplier that can reach up to 21x here. Play it across all devices from 0.10 to 70 Eur a spin.
In regard to the design, there's little to complain about and it actually looks quite nice, which is more than can be said about most of Microgaming's other recent efforts. Ascending through the clouds, you're invited to the heavenly kingdom of Mount Olympus, home to the mighty Zeus.
While spinning the reels you will come across a collection of low-value symbols represented by snakes, panthers, krakens and vultures. In order of value, the top ranking symbols are represented by the following greek gods: Dionysus (god of wine), Poseidon (god of the Sea, earthquakes and horses), Hermes (god of trade, heraldry, merchants, commerce, roads, thieves, trickery, sports, travelers, and athletes) and Ares (god of war). The latter is the most valuable and yields 62.5 times your stake for 5 appearing on a full payline. Replacing all other symbols, Zeus is the wild.
Ancient Fortunes: Zeus (Triple Edge Studios): Features
Ancient Fortunes: Zeus relies mainly on the Rolling Reels feature which allows you to win both ways (from left to right and right to left). Bonanza-style, it's essentially a chain-reaction feature that, upon landing winning combinations, removes the contributing symbols only to replace them with new ones. Furthermore, it comes with an increasing multiplier that can go up to 7x as a result of consecutive wins.
Things get even better when you land 3, 4 or 5 lightning bolt scatters on a payline as it gives you access to the free spin feature. Starting with 10, 15 or 20 free spins respectively, you can retrigger the bonus with up to 70 free spins in total. Now, the Rolling Reels feature applies here as well, but with the added benefit of an increased maximum multiplier value of up to 21x.
Ancient Fortunes: Zeus (Triple Edge Studios): Verdict
We might be going out on a limb here, but we can't shake the fact that Zeus comes across as a half-assed effort trying to jump on the Bonanza wagon. The 5x3, 10-payline setup is inherently limiting, something the attractive design cannot make up for. Furthermore, the gameplay is choppy and slow and feels more like a version of Gonzo's Quest.
The medium variance action, in combination with the rather disappointing payouts, do little to evoke an emotional response, other than despair, and as such, Ancient Fortunes: Zeus is a game we just can't see ourselves spending much time on, especially with the alternatives available on the market if you're looking for cascading slots.