Gates of Etherea: Slot Overview
Blueprint Gaming sibling studio Lucksome tap dances on the mysterious side of life in an enigmatic online slot titled Gates of Etherea. The Enigma begins with the game's name, which after some digging around online didn't really turn up a whole lot of clues. Anyway, Etherea sounds like the word ethereal so let's just go with that. The game is certainly etheric from an audio-visual perspective and comes with a host of features such as portal scatter pays, charge mechanics, plus free spins with high-pay symbol adds, wild multipliers, and wild portals.
This is going back a bit, but if you can remember a movie from the 80s called The Neverending Story, then Gates of Etherea might feel eerily familiar to you. Surrounding the active gaming area are two sphinx-like guardians, which transform into a more human state when fully charged. Apologies for using the same word over again, but Gates of Etherea is a rather etheric game as if it's holding back a secret that only the worthy (or lucky) will have the chance of knowing. The distant background contains a starry view of the cosmos, and there is plenty of charging and electrifying going on all over the place. Even the soundtrack conjures up feelings of floating through the ether. So far, so enigmatic.
In the spirit of being out there and different, Gates of Etherea's gaming area consists of five reels, aligned in a 3-4-5-4-3 layout. Matching symbols pay when they land in consecutive reels from the leftmost side, resulting in 720 ways to win. As always, Gates of Etherea being a Lucksome slot, it comes with a plethora of statistical information, one of the most critical numbers being the default return to player value of 96.05%. A medium-high volatile creation, the game is playable on all devices, while the demo allowed bets of 25 p/c to $/€200 per spin.
Moving to the pay symbols, where several cultural influences appear to be found. From low to high, the pay tiles include purple, blue, green, orange, and red gems, then an amulet, a ring, a box, a male character, and a female character. Wilds are central to the action, too, able to substitute for any regular pay symbol to complete winning ways. It is also possible for super stacks of wilds to land on the third reel for a chance to link a few wins. Wilds are able to charge the gate above the grid, which in turn can add wilds to the reels for up to 3 spins from the last charge. The final point, for now, is that the gate is always charged during free spins.
Gates of Etherea: Slot Features
Gates of Etherea's features revolve around scatter pay wins, charging guardians, charging gates, and free spins, where everything gets a theoretical boost.
Landing at least 4 portal symbols anywhere on the game board triggers a scatter pay award. At best, hitting a full screen of 19 portals is worth a payout of 5,000 times the bet.
The other thing portal symbols can do when they land is wake the guardians. The progression is marked by the guardian's glowing armour, and fully opening the guardian's eye activates the free spins bonus round. Free spins come with more charged wilds with a chance of wild multipliers. Guardians can also create more high-pay symbols, portals, as well as portal wilds, or wilds may be converted into portal wilds. While free spins are active, hitting 10 or more portals retriggers the bonus round. On a final note, where possible, players may be able to buy free spins rather than wait for them at the cost of 120 times the total bet (96.36% RTP).
Gates of Etherea: Slot Verdict
Well, it's an unusual game, quite unlike most of the competition on the market. Each part of Gates of Etherea seems to have been fitted together to create an aura of riddlesome mystique. It gave off impressions of Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, and The Persian Empire, all of these things rolled up into one dreamily exotic mix. It's like wandering around a food court at your local mall, unsure of what cuisine to choose and ending up with a selection on your tray all mixed together. Fortunately, Gates of Etherea's patchwork of historic signifiers works a lot better than a blending of fast foods.
The artwork got its hooks in first, with the provocative statues standing, or is that kneeling, on guard over the diamond-shaped game grid. Hit spin, and it won't take long for the electricity to start flying, pretty much literally as well as figuratively. This is a slot packed to the rafters with bright animations, adding to the immersion while complimenting the gaming taking place on the reels. Gates of Etherea is no wall flower of a game; it likes to overload visually as well as with mechanical fireworks. Players who like to keep their senses occupied while spinning for wins of up to 5,000x the bet might be keen on the light show.
Lucksome once again steams off on a new tangent, and by now, it's impossible to predict where the team will go next. Gates of Etherea is another one of the studio's unique releases and is evidence of a growing willingness to venture forth where few, if any, have been before. From a strictly technical standpoint, it could be argued that a lot of the features on their own aren't incandescently original but bundle them up with the striking audio-visuals and Gates of Etherea provides a rather unique experience.
From a strictly technical standpoint, it could be argued that a lot of the features on their own aren’t incandescently original but bundle them up with the striking audio-visuals and Gates of Etherea provides a rather unique experience.