Eye of the Storm: Slot Overview
Pragmatic Play partner Reel Kingdom take a break from duplicating other studios' slots to release, oh wait, it's yet another copy of someone else's ideas called Eye of the Storm. This one is based on the Merkur/Reel Time gaming classic Eye of Horus, famous for its symbol upgrade mechanic during free spins. Eye of the Storm has that, and little else which is new in another shameless copy from one of the least creative teams currently developing slots.
For balance it's worth noting that there are a few differences, the most obvious one being visuals. Reel Kingdom has updated the predominantly brown hues of the original with more colourful imagery. Played using a classic set up of 5 reels and 10 paylines, the reel set is surrounded by pillars, temples and pyramids off in the distance. This isn't Ancient Egypt as it is typically presented. Usually, players in this part of the world get sunny, clear blue skies, a warm feeling of goodness, as if drifting lazily down the Nile on board a felucca while farmers till the fields. Eye of the Storm (the name is a clue), offers a totally different feel. This one is heavy. Dark clouds drift by; lightning flashes down as if war is on the horizon. Far and away, the mood is the most original thing happening in Eye of the Storm.
Moving onto another alteration, default RTP is slightly up over Eye of Horus as well, generating a highly respectable figure of 96.71%. Volatility has remained high, so like being lost in the desert, prepare for a lot of sand before stumbling upon an oasis. Stakes have been increased, which may suit high rolling Eye of Horus fanatics, to a maximum level of £/€250 per spin, or down to 10 p/c at the lower end for those on a more limited gambling budget.
Winners hit when three or more matching symbols land adjacently from the leftmost reel. Symbols are interesting as they are essentially the same as in the original, but with a graphical upgrade. On the low side are J-A icons, then folding-fans, Ankhs, scarabs, birds, jackals, and the Eye of Horus. When five premiums of a kind land, payouts of 20 to 50 times the stake are produced. The wild is the only symbol which looks drastically different, depicting some sort of priestess, warrioress, or queen - could be either. Anyway, the wild appears on reels 2, 3 or 4, and when it can form a winning combination, it expands to fill the whole reel.
Eye of the Storm: Slot Features
As well as expanding wilds, the other feature on offer in Eye of the Storm is free spins with a symbol upgrade system. It is triggered when 3 or more pyramid scatters appear, awarding 12 free spins. You also get a cash injection as well of 2x, 20x, or 50x the bet when 3, 4, or 5 scatters trigger the feature.
During free spins, whenever 1, 2, or 3 wild symbols hit, they may expand and add 1, 3, or 5 more free spins while also moving the game up 1, 2, or 3 levels. Each level upgrades the premium high pay symbols. So, the first wild upgrades folding-fans to Ankhs, then the next wild turns Ankhs into scarabs. In turn, scarabs become birds, then jackals, until finally it is possible the only premium on the reels is the top paying eye symbol. Of course, this significantly increases the likelihood of landing higher value combinations. Lastly, free spins are retriggered when 3 or more scatters land.
Eye of the Storm: Slot Verdict
It's hard to find much to commend about this enterprise. Maybe it looks a bit nicer, a bit more modern when compared to the somewhat dated graphics of the original. Then again, part of Eye of Horus' charm is its nostalgia-inducing old school look. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so this will be up to individual players to decide of course. For some straw grasping, the wild has changed, so some may prefer the charms of a leggy warrior type over a traditional 2d image of a deity. Then there are the statistical changes, RTP being the most positive one if you play at a casino using the highest setting, though high rollers may also appreciate the ability to set much higher stakes if they so choose.
So while Eye of the Storm isn't a bad game to play as such, did the world really need another Eye of Horus wannabe? Blueprint Gaming has already done a comprehensive job of cornering this segment of the market by releasing several Eye of Horus varieties including Megaways and a Power 4 Slots version. Whatever the answer to the above question is, it's no surprise Reel Kingdom were the one to do it. A quick scroll through their catalogue reveals copies of Fishin' Frenzy, 'book of' rip offs, Reel King, and now Eye of Horus. It's like travelling through an alternate universe where everything is the same, yet not.
Eye of the Storm ends up being one of those games that could well entertain Egypt fans who aren't aware of the original or who simply don't have access to it. The increased RTP is a positive too, of course. However, being such a shameless copy strips Eye of the Storm of whatever cool points it might have possessed. Unless you feel the need to try all things Eye of Horus related, or want to significantly ante up for a symbol upgrade feature, you'll miss nothing by avoiding this game.
Eye of the Storm is a playable yet somewhat pointless copy of an Egyptian classic.