As a result of the exponential growth of Bigwinboard, now recognised as one of the leading independent European iGaming news sites, many game providers reach out to us asking us to review their games. It's a risky move as we've become known to be slayers of slots we don't like, although many providers do in fact appreciate the honest input expressed in our reviews.
The other day we got a message from Pragmatic Play asking us to check out their products, which initially didn't trigger much excitement to be very frank. In our view, Pragmatic Play has for a long time been a generic freak of a provider, failing to evoke one's curiosity. But just like is the case with Red Tiger, or Push Gaming, that might be about to change.
We're not going to go into detail here about the company; we'll leave that to the dedicated page we're working on, although a short presentation might be in place since it's the very first time we cover any of their games.
The company was originally launched in 2007 as TopGame but was rebranded, and renamed Pragmatic Play in 2015, to mark a new beginning after having been involved in some minor controversies. Things have indeed changed, and today we see a growing company represented on all the major online casinos and an EGR Software Rising Star 2017 award winner.
Da Vinci's Treasure Introduction
At first glance, the game does not appear to stick out in any particular way. It's got the typical characteristics of a Pragmatic slot and a setup of 5 reels, 3 rows and 25 pay lines. The game takes bets ranging from €0.25 up to a maximum of €125 and is delivered with a 96.53% theoretical return to player. It should be pointed out, however, that Pragmatic, just like Play'n GO, Novomatic, and many other providers, allow operators (casinos) to choose a different RTP setting, so always make sure to take a look at which version you're playing. It could potentially be as low as 90.04%.
Before anyone reacts in outrage to this - adjustments may sometimes be necessary depending on market of operation. Some off-shore casinos might, of course, take advantage of this, which is why we only promote the best online casinos in the industry. Also, Pragmatic Play (and Play'n GO) are fully transparent about this fact, which is more than what can be said about many other providers.
Regarding the theme of the slot, we think you've seen it before. Yes, it's another "book of" concept game. But as you will see, it's far from a clone and has enough meat to stand on its own two legs. Funny side note - for a while we were led astray by a debate regarding the looks of the main character John Hunter, and whether or not he's more handsome than Rich Wilde (Book of Dead). What do you think? Comment below (lol).
Da Vinci's Treasure Symbols
First of all, a round of applause to Pragmatic Play for designing an easy to understand paytable! It not only makes our job more comfortable but also helps to avoid confusion for players. There's nothing worse than having to calculate perplex coin values related to bet lines and whatnot. Ban that **** from all slots!
So what you see here are the standard low-value card suit symbols, as well as 5 premiums represented by crossbows, some weird looking object we can't identify, knapsacks, books, and our main man, John Hunter. He's, of course, the top symbol, worth 32 times the stake for 5 across a full pay line.
The wild symbol, which carries an image of Leonardo Da Vinci, only appears on reels 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Da Vinci's Treasure Bonus Features
There are 3 bonus features included in the game, 2 of which are low potential features, likely only added to spice up the game with some diversity. All features, including the free spins, can be activated by landing 3 bonus symbols on the middle reels. When this happens, one of the following 3 bonus features will be randomly awarded:
- Map Quest Feature - progress on a treasure map made up of 23 squares. By spinning the wheel, you either move forward on the map while collecting incremental prizes, or the game ends. Reaching the goal and a 100x win is awarded.
- Prize Picker - choose one of 3 paintings to reveal a cash prize.
- Progressive Multiplier Free Spins - this is the one you will want to trigger, and for good reasons. Land this feature and you will benefit from 12 free spins with a multiplier increasing by 1 on each spin. This means that by the final spin you can look forward to a 12x multiplier, and with the chance of re-triggering the bonus with up to 60 free spins, you can potentially reach a 60x multiplier. In that scenario, the maximum win potential of 48,000 times the stake becomes a reality.
Da Vinci's Treasure Conclusion
We're always excited to see high variance and high potential slots of this calibre, which was also the reason we wanted to give it a review. Visually it didn't do much to impress us, although it's far from the worst design we've seen. Pragmatic slots, just like Red Tiger, has a reputation of being hard to bonus trigger (free spins) and that is certainly the case here as well. It can without a doubt be a bit frustrating to land 3 scatter symbols only to miss out on the free spins. To be fair, however, this is a very high variance slot, and just like most other slots on the same side of the volatility index, it's merely the nature of the beast.
The free spins mode, we must say, is extremely entertaining. We appreciate the fact that Pragmatic avoided going down the same road as most other providers have done with their Book slots, and gave their own twist to the bonus. On the last spin alone, you have a chance of winning 9600 times the stake should you be lucky enough to land a full-screen John Hunter symbols as he appears stacked on the reels. We all know how unlikely that is to happen, as in any other high potential slot, but for most of us its enough to know that there is a chance to make us excited. For all the reasons mentioned here, Da Vinci's Treasure is without a doubt worth giving a try.