Beat the Beast: Quetzalcoatl’s Trial: Overview
Developer Thunderkick gets all Mesoamerican in the fourth instalment of their Beat the Beast range; a series that is all about classic gaming, for the 'bold and brave', or, some such. Strictly speaking, Quetzalcoatl was more a deity than a beast, but no less fearsome in his serpent form. Officially, he was the feathered serpent, the god of wind and wisdom, so he is in good company alongside the Kraken, Sphinx, and Cerberus of the previous three beast games.
So far the series has served up a bunch of respectable slots, though they haven’t quite lived up to the hype in many ways. Not bad mind you, but reliably predictable (as was intended), like smashing back a Big Mac. MacDonald’s might not be an exceptionally memorable dining experience, but you know what you are going to get – and it hits a certain spot. Quetzalcoatl’s Trial continues the tradition so players can expect nice visuals, an uncomplicated base game, and an oddly familiar bonus game.
Using the same familiar core look throughout the whole series, Quetzalcoatl’s Trial is set against a dreamy temple-filled backdrop stretching out behind the big 5-reel, 9-payline game area full of bold chunky symbols. In some ways simple, yet the appearance is an attractive one and instantly recognisable as a Beat the Beast slot. Another asset of the range so far is the animations combined with the bass-heavy sound effects, adding an extra layer to the player experience.
As expected, and like the rest of the games in the series, volatility is high. RTP, meanwhile sits comfortably in the average zone on 96.16%. Playable from 10 to £/€100 per spin, winners are formed when 2 or 3 matching symbols sit adjacently on a payline from the leftmost reel. At least 3 are required for the low pay 10 to Ace royals, while the mids or highs need only 2 of a kind.
When it comes to the mid pays, there’s a cup, an axe, a crown, and a statuette, worth 25x to 50x the bet. The most valuable symbol in the game is the high pay serpent headed Quetzalcoatl tile, which is worth 250x for a line of five. Symbols may be stacked at certain points for full screen wins as we shall see in the next section.
Beat the Beast: Quetzalcoatl’s Trial: Features
Beat the Beast slots are known for their straight forward nature, and Quetzalcoatl’s Trial is no exception. Each game also possesses an Emblem symbol in some form. In this case, it's the Quetzalcoatl Emblem, playing the dual role of wild and scatter.
As a scatter, 3 or more Quetzalcoatl Emblems in view award 10 free spins. They also payout 2, 20, or 200 times the stake for 3, 4, or 5 respectively. The bonus game is a 5 level round of free spins which also sees a green wild symbol come into play. It’s the player’s job to collect these wild symbols whenever they land to move up to the next level. When 5 wilds have been collected, the lowest symbol currently in play is upgraded to the next mid win symbol on the paytable.
If you manage to fill all of the symbol meters by collecting wilds, then all mid-win symbols are turned into the high pay Quetzalcoatl symbol. On a final note, each time a meter is filled, the game awards an extra 2 free spins to extend the feature whilst landing 3 scatter symbols retriggers the feature with 10 new free spins.
Beat the Beast: Quetzalcoatl’s Trial: Verdict
Well, what can you say? Quetzalcoatl’s Trial is another competent entry in the Beat the Beast series. It looks good, has a strong math model powering the ride, and enjoyable free spins to be triggered. The talking point here is the bonus game which is essentially the same one we got in Pink Elephants 2. One slight difference is players get 2 extra free spins for filling a meter rather than one. There is some criticism that the Beat the Beast range is a little samey, that there isn’t a huge amount of variety between them. Copying a feature from an older slot will only add fuel to the haters’ fire.
Still, it’s not a bad feature to spin for, and overall Quetzalcoatl’s Trial provides a dependably enjoyable experience. Dependability extends to its potential too, where wins of up to 5,555 times the stake are possible. Not the highest, nor the lowest in the range, but a positive mid-ground figure.
Less positive is the whole ‘seen it all before’ feeling permeating many aspects of the game. Yes, the range, on the whole, has a distinctive look, but individually they can be a little hard to tell apart unless you are a real enthusiast. Then there is the bonus game lifted more or less intact from an older slot and dropped into the South American jungle issue. It does mean if you liked Pink Elephants 2, but prefer a more straight forward slot, then it might be worth having a crack here.
Quetzalcoatl’s Trial dishes up another solid, if a little unremarkable, South American themed slot in the Beat the Beast series.