Deep Descent: Slot Overview
When people think of scuba diving, some envisage weaving in between sunken wrecks, firing spear guns at clownfish while dodging sharks and belligerent barracudas. Others, however, consider scuba diving a peaceful pastime, perfect for unwinding and lowering the blood pressure while watching denizens of the deep float by. It is this second relaxing subaquatic mode we turn to in Deep Descent, a video slot from developer Relax Gaming. From the moment the game loads to the moment you log off, or nod off, it's a gentle descent to an underwater world to link together wins in a three-layered game environment. The lower you dive, the greater the potential treasures may be uncovered.
There is not much going on visually when Deep Descent splashes on screen. This might be what diving in the 23rd century will be like when the seas' toxicity has reached critical levels and killed off 99% of the wildlife. There just isn't much to see aside from rocks, clouds, and the odd school of fish swimming past. Sharks lurk in the deep, but this isn't the sort of explosion of colour in an alien world that would set divers imaginations alight. Your ears are treated to a pretty neat orchestral piece, along with bubbling noises and so on, adding to the laid back drowsy atmosphere.
Available on any device, Deep Descent is played on a 5-reel game grid that starts with three rows and 243 ways to win, which is expandable, as we'll see. Bets from 10 p/c to £/€50 may be set in a game producing a theoretical return value of 95% - a little lower than we are accustomed to from Relax Gaming, symptomatic of the sort of game as a whole we're not used to seeing from them either.
Deep Descent is nothing if not basic, where the core rule is landing winning combinations of 3 to 5 matching symbols from the first reel onwards. Examining the paytable, we find low pay card suits – spades, clubs, diamonds, and hearts encapsulated in bubbles worth 0.8 times the bet for five of a kind. Green fish are up next in the premium section, followed by orange fish, red fish, and a chap that looks a lot like Jacques Cousteau (including red woollen beanie). Five of a kind high-value symbol combinations are worth 1.5 to 10 times the stake, plus the Monsieur Cousteau lookalike pays out when just two of him line-up.
Wild symbols in Deep Decent land as square golden boxes with a number imprinted on them. Wilds substitute for all symbols on the reels and award respins when they hit. Wilds are locked during respins, and the number awarded is determined by the number visible on them.
Deep Descent: Slot Features
This section shouldn't take long as there isn't much to cover in Deep Descent. On every spin, a random low-value symbol is selected to be collectable. Whatever is currently chosen is displayed on the left side of the grid next to a counter. Symbols are collected if they are used in a winning combination, increasing the number on the meter.
- You start at level 1, with 3 depth levels in total where respins can be played out.
- On level 1, if 7 symbols are collected on a single spin or sequence of respins, players descend to level 2, where an additional row and a wild symbol is added. At this depth, 1,024 ways to win are available.
- Collecting 21 symbols in total pushes you deeper to level 3, where another wild is placed on the reels, and a 5th row is added, bringing win ways up to 3,125.
Deep Descent: Slot Verdict
Deep Descent is like being served a dainty morsel of sushi when what you really wanted was a full fish meze. It is very slim gaming, which got boring quickly. At first, it seduced us into paddling around to see what would happen when reaching the deeper levels, but once we'd been down there to have a look around a few times, interest dried up fast. Deep Descent just doesn't feel anywhere near as complete a game as they usually are from Relax, almost as if the team got bored during the design process and released it half-finished, or it was outsourced.
Conspiracy theorists have postulated in the past that Relax Gaming has an A and B team producing slots of disparate quality. If true, Deep Descent would certainly be from the latter, being one of Relax Gaming's sleepier releases of late. The constant bubbling noises, occasional sonar pulse, chipper sound effects, plus empty visuals make it difficult to stay focused. The one-dimensional gameplay meanders on the spot going nowhere, so a lot of the time is spent struggling to keep your eyelids apart. For sure, Deep Descent has times when diving deep pays off, yet sticking around to crack the game's top money is a big ask when there are so many vastly more entertaining games close at hand.
So where were we? Oh yeah, wrapping up Deep Descent which is a game that just didn't click. From drab visuals, monotonous gameplay, and average features, it's as if Relax found Deep Descent in the recycle bin of a laptop thrown out half a decade ago then decided to salvage what was there for the sake of it.
Lying on a pool floatation device and watching clouds slowly drift across the sky would hardly be any more sleep-inducing than Deep Descent.