Cat Wilde and the Pyramids of Dead: Slot Overview
Remember Dr Evil, Austin Powers' arch-nemesis who wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, yet Scott just didn't seem overly enthused? 'Scott, you just don't get it, do ya? You don't.' One father who has no issues with his offspring following in his footsteps is Play'n GO's Indiana Jones-style character, Rich Wilde. The suave explorer has appeared all over the globe in several online slots, and for a while now, we've also had his daughter Cat doing her best to collect passport stamps. This time she's back on familiar territory for a game called Cat Wilde and the Pyramids of Dead, another in Play'n GO's burgeoning 'of Dead' range of slots.
Instantly recognisable, Pyramids of Dead has an idealised postcard look, but one that isn't hugely imaginative at the same time. The game is set in a pyramid region of Egypt, with a game matrix slapped in the middle of a temple-like complex full of hieroglyphically marked columns. Pot plants wave gently in the breeze, birds drift by, and with a bit of imagination, it's not hard to picture a life in one of the Dynasties when it must have seemed like Egypt, or Kemet as it was known back then, was the centre of the world. In their wildest dreams, there is no way an inhabitant could have imagined how popular their enigmatic land would be thousands of years later in online slots.
Played on a 5-reel, 3-row game panel, there are fixed 10 paylines for scoring winning combos across. As well as the pleasing graphics, fans can count on Play'n GO to deliver rock steady maths, at least when considering the default RTP setting, and volatility sitting squarely on the 'high' side of the meter. As well as this, players get a stake range of 10 p/c to £/€100, while the game is available on any device.
Hitting identical symbols, left to right from the first reel, constitutes a win and requires at least three low pays or two high pays to do so. Low pay symbols consist of 10-A card royals, which are worth 6-8 times the stake for a five a kind hit, increasing to 40-1,000x the bet for five of the higher paying scarab, Anubis, Pharaoh, or Cat symbols. The higher-than-normal Cat symbol plays well with the expanding nature of a 'book' game.
Cat Wilde and the Pyramids of Dead: Slot Features
In Pyramids of Dead, it's not absolutely crucial to score the top paying symbol with the first free spins trigger. Before seeing why let's take a look at the Pyramid Wild Scatter. This symbol is wild, so it substitutes for any pay symbol to complete regular win lines. In addition, when at least 3 Pyramid Wild Scatters land, they trigger one of the three bonus games – a Jackpot Round, an Instant Prize, or Free Spins.
When this feature triggers, each scatter in view displays a value in coins which is added up and awarded. This can be worth anything up to 500x the bet.
Trigger the Jackpot Round, and 12 pieces of pottery appear on the screen while above them sit 4 jackpots. Players click pots to reveal one of the jackpots, and when 3 of one kind have been revealed, the corresponding prize is awarded. The four prizes are called Khufu, Tiye, Tutankhamun, and Mereneith, worth 20x, 100x, 250x, and 1,000x the bet, respectively.
Triggering this bonus awards 8 free spins with one initial pay symbol randomly selected to be a special expanding symbol. If the expanding symbol can form a win, it expands to cover all of the positions on its reel and pays all lines, regardless of position. Retriggering the feature not only awards extra free spins, but another pay symbol also becomes a special expanding symbol.
Following regular line wins, or bonus feature wins, players may have the option of gambling their winnings. Picking the correct suit of a downturned card doubles the payout, whereas guessing the correct suit quadruples it. Just to be clear, getting the gamble wrong forfeits the entire win.
Cat Wilde and the Pyramids of Dead: Slot Verdict
If one studio has a stack of experience designing Egyptian slots, it's Play'n GO. Interestingly, despite all that experience, there's a feeling they've hit a certain sweet spot and plateaued. Like its siblings Cat Wilde and the Lost Chapter as well as Cat Wilde and the Doom of Dead, Cat Wilde and the Pyramids of Dead has a great look without being overly striking, while a suitably standard soundtrack runs along the top. It's a game which should thrill a 'book of' enthusiast with ease, though there's nothing especially exceptional to see given the fact PnG has been churning these out like there is no tomorrow.
Still, even if Play'n GO has plateaued when it comes to designing 'of dead' slots, the plateau is situated higher than where much of the competition can be found. The graphics might be old hat but are of a high standard, and Play'n GO has added in one or two extras you don't see every day in a game like this. The instant cash prize is a bit of a throwaway feature, offering nothing extraordinary. Would it have been better to allocate its portion of the RTP to solid line wins instead? Maybe. Free spins are what we've come to expect in a 'book of' game, and while getting additional expanding symbols with each retrigger isn't common, it's not super unique, nor is it hugely innovative either.
That leaves the pick me jackpot round, which, again begs the question, would it have been better to allocate this portion of the RTP to free spin payouts? Maybe so, as it's in free spins where players have the chance to technically hit the game's larger than normal max win of 10,000x the bet. Fingers crossed the desirable 1,000x Cat symbols get selected for a chance to do so.
To sum up, Cat's visit to the land of Pyramids is worth a look if this style of gaming lights your fire. Play'n GO has jammed in everything that 'book of' slots are famous for while sprinkling in a couple of uncommon components. The good news is, if Pyramids of Dead doesn't quite do enough to pique your interest, no worries, there's loads of others on the market, with no doubt many more in the pipeline.
While Cat Wilde and the Pyramids of Dead is just more of the same and ultimately fails to evoke much excitement, it’s still worth a look if this style of gaming lights your fire.