Ancients’ Blessing: Slot Overview
Ancients’ Blessing from developer Red Tiger mixes fantasy with mythology in a superb looking slot that is held back from greatness by one or two potential deal-breakers. After a strong first impression it doesn’t quite have the goods to follow through. The game is by no means a write off though, as its moody atmosphere, and enjoyable main feature are sure to keep certain players entertained. Others, after the thrill of potentially landing significant wins, may well feel less fulfilled.
The experience begins when the impressively designed 5-reel, 30-payline grid appears on screen, surrounded by stone-carved dragons, and plenty of fantasy-inspired imagery. Wherever the game is located has pretty dismal weather conditions, with the heavy grey clouds in the background deepening the mood. The grid is covered in a menagerie of creatures from various tales, giving players a healthy dose of mythology from various sources, predominantly Ancient Greek. Rounding off the sensory experience, an apt soundtrack has been supplied to accompany the action, but it packs far less impact than the visuals do. On the whole, Ancients’ Blessing gets off to a great start.
Played using a default RTP of 95.72%, beast hunting takes place on any device, where players can set stakes as low as 10 p/c per spin, or as high as £/€40. Since there is no central feature like free spins, the extras appear more often than usual, actually following each premium win. This helps keep the pace up as well as spirits riding high - should they deliver. Symbols, meanwhile, are split into two groups - low pay card suits, and higher paying beasts. High pays are always desirable in a game, and never more so than in Ancients’ Blessing where they are instrumental in both features. In the premium line-up, we find the Hydra, three headed Cerberus, Medusa, a lion that could be Aslan, and a red dragon. Heavily influenced by the Locked Ancients feature, values are low where a line of five premiums are worth 1.4 to 2.4 times the bet. On a side note, no wild symbol is one hand to help pull in winning lines.
Ancients’ Blessing: Slot Features
Starting with the lesser of the two features, Ancient Supremacy strikes any time at random. When in motion, this feature destroys all low paying symbols from the board, leaving only high pay symbols in view. The following cascade only drops high paying symbols into the gaps made by the eliminated card suits symbols.
The Locked Ancients feature is activated whenever a win made up of high-value symbols forms a winning line. These symbols are locked into place for the next spin, which is paid by the way - it’s not a respin like you often get with these sorts of hold features. On the next spin, if a matching symbol is added to the win line or creates a new one, that symbol is also locked for the next spin. All new or existing winning symbols remain held in positions until no new matching symbols land. It is possible to lock more than one type of winning symbol in place simultaneously.
The final piece of good news is Ancients’ Blessing also comes with a win multiplier starting at x1. If new symbols are added to an existing line win, the multiplier increases in value by +1. The multiplier continues to increase until the reels are full of the same symbols, and no new lines can be created, which could be over 20x.
Ancients’ Blessing: Slot Verdict
Ancients’ Blessing puts up a good fight, but it loses puff at the final stretch, and ultimately struggles to compete with the more juiced-up slots in the fantasy/mythology category. Let’s start with some encouraging feedback though, and graphics certainly get a tick in the positive column. Few have accused Red Tiger of being stragglers when it comes to graphics, with Ancients’ Blessing being another example. The game’s morose fantasy setting grabs your attention, and if you manage to score a decent win from the Locked Ancients feature earlier on, its claws dig in deeper. The gaming gets a little repetitive after a while, and since there is no bonus round to look forward to it becomes easy to lose focus.
Until then, Locked Ancients is an entertaining feature when it catches you in a loop, turning up ever more winning symbols. As well as building on the combination from the previous spin, the multiplier swings into action boasting values even further. It’s not a regular occurrence, yet highly enjoyably when long chains stack up a decent payout.
Payouts are where we teeter into less positive territory and cracks in the façade start to show. For one, it wouldn’t have hurt if Ancients’ Blessing offered larger potential. On the mightiest Locked Ancient roll where top premiums are coupled with a big multiplier, the most you can win is 2,175x the bet. Of course, no player would object to winning such an amount, yet it feels out of kilter with the rest of the show and somewhat dampens the thrill.
It doesn’t help that Locked Ancients is more or less all there is in regards to features. Ancient Supremacy is there, though it feels like a sideshow, or an interlude, rather than a game-changer. After all, filling the screen with dragons is only worth 75x your bet, so you’re always relying on a multiplier to swoop in and fill in the gaps. Add it all up, and Ancients’ Blessing starts as a contender, but it’s a lack of feature depth means there is no knockout blow, an issue further compounded by mediocre max win.
Ancients’ Blessing is great at what it does but fails to capitalise on its positive aspects with real firepower.