Book of Kingdoms: Slot Overview
It didn’t take long for Pragmatic Play partner Reel Kingdom to follow up their last ‘book of’ slot, with yet another ‘book of’ slot. The previous one, Return of the Dead was a textbook example of the genre, which performed to standard while offering little in the way of innovation. Book of Kingdoms, on the other hand, is a bit different. Well, it is different from the last one. When it comes to features, there’s nothing here which hasn’t been seen dozens of times before. It’s hard to get too enthusiastic when test running something that appears so rote from the outset. Who knows, it could be good? Let’s find out.
One thing is changed; we aren’t in Egypt. Surrounding the 5-reel, 25-payline game area are no tombs, pharaohs, or pyramids anywhere. We are somewhere nearby though, judging by the sultan, the fez-wearing monkeys, and snake charming belly dancers. An Ottoman inspired soundtrack slithers away in the background, piling on the exoticism, an apt accompaniment to the unusual visuals.
Players can take part on any device, selecting from a huge range of bets. On the low side, 25 p/c stakes can be set, all the way up to £/€250 per spin for the high rollers. As to the math model, Book of Kingdom isn’t one of those highly volatile beasts that burn through spins on the way to massive full-screen expanded symbol wins. Reel Kingdom has gone with a medium (3/5) volatility setting while toning down symbol values in the process, altering the experience. The default RTP is appreciably high though on 96.69%, although you will have to check which version you're playing since Pragmatic Play utilises flexible RTP.
The man without the hat returns, gleaming over the reels and taking the top spot as the most valuable premium symbol. Following him are the sultan, the snake lady, and the monkey, in descending order. A line of premiums is worth 8-20x the stake, meaning full-screen wins will net you 500x at the most – a far cry from the more high stakes book slots. Making up the rest of the symbols are 10-A card royals. All symbol types need at least three of a kind to form a winner, over any of the game’s 25 fixed paylines.
Book of Kingdoms: Slot Features
Players not only get the mandatory batch of free spins they also get an unexpected Money Respins feature. The symbols to look out for now include the book, of course, and the silver shield money symbol.
The book substitutes for any pay symbol to make a winning combination - 3 or more also trigger 5 free spins. Before the round begins, one pay symbol is randomly chosen as the special expanding symbol. After any wins have been paid, if three or more special symbols are in view, they expand to cover all positions on the reel for an extra win evaluation. Expanded symbols pay from any position. Scatters remain in the game, so three or more in view award an extra five free spins without limit.
Next, money symbols land in any position, showing a cash value or a jackpot. If five money symbols hit, the Money Respin Bonus feature comes into action. When this happens, the normal symbols fade away, leaving only the triggering money symbols on the board and awarding 3 respins. If new money symbols land on a respin, they are locked and reset respins to three. The bonus comes to an end when all positions are filled or respins are used. As well as cash values, money symbols may display the Minor, Major, or Mega jackpot adding 30x, 100x, or 1,000x the total bet to the winning amount.
Book of Kingdoms: Slot Verdict
It’s hard to know what to make of Book of Kingdoms. It’s a book slot, broadly speaking, but there have been enough changes to push it in a different direction than usual. Whether that is a good thing depends on how pure you like your 'Ra' inspired gaming, and whether you consider Book of Kingdoms patchy or quirky.
Despite all the tweaks and changes, it does come across as lazy designing in some regards. If Book of Kingdoms was a one-off, maybe you could look the other way. Yet, it has appeared right off the back of Return of the Dead provoking a shameless vibe. Where that one was a competent enough run-of-the-mill book slot, this one feels like a jumble of antiquated low-power played out features. It’s as if Reel Kingdom was trying to satisfy everybody but ended up watering Book of Kingdoms down to a point where it will struggle to excite anyone. It’s kind of a book slot, minus the high values that usually make the expanding symbols so exciting. It’s kind of a jackpot slot, yet packs a modest top prize of 1,000x per spin.
Free spins are the beating heart and soul of most book games. The one in Book of Kingdoms must be one of the tightest you’ll come across. First, you only get five spins; second, symbol values are low, so the dream of hitting 5,000x on a spin has been reduced to 500x at the most. Lastly, premiums need at least three of a kind to win, so there are no expanding two symbol consolation prizes.
Non-jackpot wins appear juicy, at first. The paytable mentions a win cap of 20,000x, but this feels like a fantasy. From a mathematical standpoint, you’re talking about 40 full-screen premium wins during a bonus round. Not saying this is beyond the realms of possibility, it’s just a little hard to see it happening outside of a genie wish.
At the end of the day, there are better book and better jackpot options. Book of Kingdoms fails to excel in any one area, making this flea market of features somehow less than the sum of its parts.
Book of Kingdoms descends into a confused, low thrills mess, unsure of exactly what it is.