Augustus: Slot Overview
When you think of Ancient Rome and gambling, the first ruler who springs to mind for most is bound to be Julius Caesar. After battering Gaul, ending the Republic and installing himself as dictator of Europe's greatest power, he is now immortalised by a gaudy, shrine to ostentatious excess in a sprawling Vegas Hotel Casino. He wasn't quite the first Emperor, though. That honour fell to Gaius Octavius Thurinus, better known as Augustus - the man who 'found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.' It is this modest chap, Microgaming partner Neon Valley Studios pay homage to in their slot Augustus.
Players get a ton of marble on show when Augustus the game pops up on the screen. The 5-reel, 20-payline game area sits before a mountain of it in the form of pillars, temples, palaces - the whole Palatine Hill experience. It's an amazing place to wander amongst the ruins even now, using your imagination to plaster over the cracks to imagine how it was millennia ago. Old Rome must have been absolutely awe-inspiring in its prime. Neon Valley has done a decent job recreating some of the glory, helped by a dramatic soundtrack which manages to match the pace of the game quite well.
Augustus may be played on any device offering stakes to satisfy most bankroll requirements from 20 p/c to a patrician level £/€200 per spin.
A quick spoiler alert, anyone who has been following the evolution of Neon Valley Studios will spot the fact Augustus is a clone of one of their earlier games, Age of Conquest. The reskin has left virtually every stat intact such as the default RTP rating of 96.14%. Fine for a default setting, though the RTP can be lowered by the operator to 94.23% or even 92.11% in the worst-case scenario. Offering bets ranging from 20 p/c to a patrician level £/€200 per spin, a high max bets such as this usually equals moderate potential.
Augustus is a game that isn't shy about showing what it's got. What it means is a hit rate of better than one in four spins, or 27.3%, while its features are fairly regular too. Maybe not so much free spins, but the rest are there to add colour and the odd win to keep the game moving. Despite the flow, the medium volatile math model had a tendency to end a batch of spins more or less where the bankroll began.
The regular symbols start with golden J-A card royals styled in an angular font, followed by four mid pays - a gladius, chalice, galea, and a ring. The final two symbols are the high pays. First is a lady soldier who is historically dubious but provides some gender representation, the second is a Joaquin Phoenix looking emperor. These two are worth 10 – 15 times the stake. The two premiums appear in 1x1, 1x2, or 1x3 sizes, the latter covering the full reel.
Augustus: Slot Features
Wilds may also cover full reels at certain points in the game. They are joined by a bonus game where players pick the number of free spins and wild reels they would like, effectively influencing the volatility.
Perched on top of each reel are two empty gaps constituting the Coin Meters. Whenever an Augustus gold coin lands, it is collected in the Coin Meter above it on the reel. When 2 coins are collected, the respective Coin Meter triggers a Wild Reel feature on that reel.
When the Wild Reel feature is active, all positions on the reel are wild (stacked wild) for two consecutive spins. Wilds symbols not only substitute for all regular symbols, but they are also worth up to 50x the stake for five of a kind, meaning a full grid of them pay out 1,000 times the bet. As well as Wild Reels, standard 1x1 sized wilds may land at any point.
The final symbol to look out for is the purple/gold eagle scatter on reels 1, 3, and 5 - land 3 in view to trigger the free spins bonus. Here players get to choose one of three features:
- Option 1 is 2 free spins with 3 Wild Reels.
- Option 2 is 8 free spins with 2 Wild Reels.
- Option 1 is 25 free spins with 1 Wild Reel.
Landing three scatters during free spins will retrigger the feature at the same level as was originally chosen.
Augustus: Slot Verdict
Like Age of Conquest, Augustus is a great looking game that's pretty fun to play. Neon Valley has recreated some of Ancient Rome's splendour, populating it with bright symbols and two alluring full reel premiums. It might be a clone, but at least Neon Valley has gone to the trouble of skinning it in an attractive outer layer. Aesthetically pleasing, what lies beneath will start to divide prospective players.
As in the original, Augustus isn't high volatile, high potential gaming. As to max win, you're looking at 1,000x the bet at the most. This amount is achievable on a single spin though, and it is a possibility, however unlikely, given the way reels light up fully wild. Either in the base game from the Coin Meter collection or free spins. Players can expect quite a lot of Wild Reels too, as gold coins do land often. Free spins are also a positive aspect since there are three options to choose. For those feeling bold, the two spin choice is short and can be intense. Others who want to make the most of finally triggering the round can drag the situation out by going for the full 25 free spins.
Augustus is one of those slots which are enjoyable if you're mentally prepped and know what you're getting into. Don't expect to find massive rewards or cold-sweat inducing gaming, that's not what the studio's aimed at. So, for a nice looking game with a balanced rhythm of wins and lesser features, capped by a multi-choice bonus round, it's not a bad deal.
If you’re not after a hardcore thrill ride, Augustus has the looks and features to entertain those into a spot of lighter gaming.