Game of Gladiators (Play'n GO): Review
We're no spring chickens when it comes to battling it out in Roman arenas, and while we've suffered plenty of horrible losses, often bleeding out the cash balance quicker than it takes to say gladiator, a handful of combats have ended in glorious victory - which are the ones we foolishly tend to remember anyways. Swedish provider Play'n GO has visited many historical places during its existence as a slot developing company, but never ancient Rome.
That's about to change in this 5-reel, 20-payline slot titled Game of Gladiators. Playable across all compatible devices from as little as 20 cents to 100€ per spin, it comes with a bundle of random base game features known as the Primus Mystery features, as well as a free spin feature where your chosen Champion scatter takes on gladiators to give you more spins or cash rewards.
Psychologically speaking, slot developers tend to design games that are upbeat and colourful, aspects which, of course, are not exactly what most people associate this violent era in history with. For a gladiator game to maintain some dignity, while still appealing to gamblers, must prove to be somewhat of a challenge. The colours in Game of Gladiators are indeed less intense than usual, but with a couple of burning flames, some blood, and a few animations, it all comes out just fine. It's no ground-breaking artwork, but the visual design is solid and gets the job done.
Set in a dark stone tunnel of an amphitheatre, symbols on the reels include A to J royal values. More rewarding are the four gladiator characters, namely Scissor, Provocator, Murmillio, and Rectiarus, the latter being the top fighter, giving you 20 times your stake for 5 of a kind. Even more rewarding is the tiger wild which, aside from substituting for all regular symbols, will give you 25 times your stake if you land 5 on a full payline.
Game of Gladiators (Play'n GO): Features
In the main game, there are 5 randomly triggered features to benefit from known as the Primus Mystery features. This is what you can get:
- Fame - one of the gladiator symbols is randomly chosen and a payout is awarded based on the Battle Prize paytable (we'll explain what that is further below, so keep reading).
- Spear Attack - you will see between 3 and 6 tiger wilds being added randomly to the reels.
- Sword Attack - the first reel is copied 2, 3 or 4 times, thus displaying identical symbols. At best, this can result in 5 reels with the same symbols.
- Net Attack - all matching gladiator symbols are held on the reels as a respin is played.
- Enraged - if this feature is triggered, 2 fully stacked tiger wilds are randomly added.
What you really want to trigger in this game is the Enter the Arena Battle feature, which is achieved when you see 3 Portcullis scatter symbols land on reels 1, 3 and 5 on the same spin. Next, you will get to pick a Champion - Spartacus or Amazonia. The fighter that you've chosen will replace the scatter for the duration of the Free Spins feature.
The feature is played as follows. All matching premium symbols that appear on the reels are collected into a group and added above the reels on the Battle Meter - the more collected, the bigger the Battle prize. Every scatter that hits will launch an attack on a group of gladiator symbols and destroy it. Now, if 2 scatters hit, 2 gladiator groups are attacked while also applying a 2x multiplier to your Battle prize. If 3 scatters hit, 3 gladiator groups are attacked with a 3x multiplier applied. The free spins come to an end if you either destroy all groups or if the collected gladiators fill the Battle Meter.
Moreover, each of the two fighters has a unique Victory Prize that you get if they win their battle. If you have chosen Spartacus as your fighter, he'll give you a retrigger. If Amazonia was picked to do your dirty work, a cash prize of between 20 and 100 times your bet is awarded.
Game of Gladiators (Play'n GO): Final Verdict
If you're left scratching your head after having read our review, don't worry. Game of Gladiators is far more straightforward to play than it is trying to explain in writing. What's important to understand is that it's a high variance slot (9/10), which means it can leave you with some pretty nasty battle scars if you decide to go in fast and hard.
While the main game has some interesting features on offer, the payouts are generally not all that great. Instead, all the significant wins will come from the Enter the Arena Battle free spin feature where you supposedly can win up to 5000 times your stake. Playing the game, however, it's hard to image how that would ever happen. While the free spin feature seems to trigger quite frequently, the rewards are usually small here as well. You would need to accumulate a ridiculous amount of small to medium sized wins to even get anywhere near the stated max win. In fact, you'd be happy to walk away with 500 times your stake in this game given how low most of the payouts are. For a gladiator-themed slot, it's rather tame.
Game of Gladiators (Play'n GO)
● Reels: 5
● Rows: 3
● Paylines: 20
● Default RTP: 96.42%
● Max Payout: 5000x
● Variance: H (9/10)
● Bets: 0.20 - 100 EUR
● Features: Primus Mystery Feature, Enter the Arena Battle Feature
● Release Date: June 6, 2019
Bigwinboard Rating - 68%