Divine Showdown (Play’n GO): Overview
Fans of mythologically themed slots never have a hard time finding something to play. Most software developers give this genre a crack sooner or later, and the category is bulging with options. The latest company to let their champion loose in this competitive arena is Play'n GO with the ambitious slot Divine Showdown. Most mythology slots focus on one religion or belief system. There is a ton of Thor/Norse god slots, Greek and Roman, and of course, the otherworldly gods of Ancient Egypt. Play'n GO have gone down a slightly different route. Instead of keeping the religions cordoned off, why not combine several of them in one place? What could go wrong?
Well, the gods are not exactly known for sharing. They don’t want their supporters wandering off to follow other divinities. So get four of them in a room, and you have a recipe for some titanic struggles. Play'n GO have cleverly incorporated this competitive spirit into Divine Showdown where the four different gods literally battle during special features. Us mere mortals want this to happen because when we choose the winning deity, the rewards are there for the victor.
Divine Showdown is a good looking game, although, it could be prettier and we will come back to that later. Its 5-reel, 3-row, 20-payline grid sits in front of a mash-up of swords, arenas, temples, and cliffs. It certainly looks like the kind of place gods would duke it out. Below the grid is a bar that scrolls horizontally to allow bets to be placed from 20 p/c up to £/€100 per spin.
Click the paytable to view the 9 base game symbols starting with 9 to A royals. These are followed by the Chinese monkey god Wukong, Anubis the Egyptian god of the underworld, Greek Athena and Norse god Thor. Steely-eyed Thor, who bears a striking resemblance to the Hemsworth brothers, tops the base game table at 16 times the stake for five of a kind. The golden wild is worth more at 20 times the stake for a five of a kind combination, and it also substitutes for any other pay symbol. Other key stats include the volatility which Play'n GO list as very high. RTP can fluctuate between 94.5% and 96.51%, or even lower actually, so always be sure to have a look in the paytable.
Divine Showdown (Play’n GO): Features
Some gods are notoriously fickle, and as such several extra features can trigger on any spin at random. The first is a Multiplier Reel which pops up to award multipliers of up to x10 at any time. The gods themselves can also show up at any time, each with their own special ability. Wukong creates Wild Reels where an entire reel is wild, Anubis turns 1 or 2 symbols into Wilds, Athena Synchronises 3 reels to spin with the same symbols, and Thor turns all god symbols into Thor Symbols. During any one of these features, the Multiplier Reel can also drop as well.
With the word 'showdown' in the title, you would expect some fighting to take place. We get this in the bonus round. The quad embossed symbol is the scatter, and 3 are needed to trigger Free Spins. When the bonus round launches, players choose which god they will enter with - considering the individual abilities mentioned above.
Before each round or spin, the Battle Reel is spun. If it lands on 'Spin', then the reels spin once as normal. If it lands on a god symbol, then a fight is initiated between the player’s champion and that god. During battles, Power Symbols cascade on the screen instead of spinning reels. Whichever god has the highest amount of Power Symbols is the winner. If this is the enemy, then the player loses a life. There is no set number of free spins to the bonus round. Instead, it continues indefinitely until the player loses all three lives at which point the action returns to the base game again.
Divine Showdown (Play’n GO): Verdict
When a developer goes this large with a theme, the rest of the game really needs to step up. In some ways, Play'n GO have achieved this symbiosis, in others ways Divine Showdown falls a little short. Some criticism first. The graphics, while being above average, don’t quite do enough to convey the awesome coming together of four mighty gods. The symbols have a Street Fighter 2 vibe to them that are a little flat. Don’t get us wrong, the graphics overall are good, and convey action, but an injection of more flair and life would not have been missed.
The positive news is that the theme, on the whole, works well. The idea of bringing a diverse range of gods together, rather than focusing on one pantheon is an intriguing one. Developers often hype battle sequences in slots, but we aren’t playing full-blown video games here, so they are usually point and click at best. Despite that natural limitation, the battles here make sense and tie the features with the theme together well.
Over all though, while being an entertaining game, Divine Showdown feels like a slightly missed opportunity. You don’t get the impression that Play'n GO have completely poured their heart and soul into it. A slot with a theme this epic could have been massive, instead, it has settled for above-average status. Perhaps we are being too hard on it. There is plenty to enjoy here, especially for fans of the theme who will be able to loose themselves in some intense gaming sessions. The high volatility will sort out the truly dedicated from the long line of wannabes, and there is up to 5,000 times the stake on offer if the gods find you worthy.
Divine Showdown is a capable and often enjoyable video slot, but fails to make a long lasting impression.