Gods of Death: Overview
With a name like Gods of Death, Novomatic owned studio Stakelogic makes no illusions about where it plans to lead players. Those into dark tourism - visiting places like Chernobyl or Pompeii will appreciate the approach since we are taking a shadier route back to Ancient Egypt this time around. Gods of Death has a look reminiscent of older Egyptian slots due to the classic 5-reel, 10-payline setup, but comes across as more of an R rated version.
Seriously, the characters that greet players have a Lovecraftian appearance which some might find slightly sinister. Graphically, the effect is striking and conjures up memories of that chamber Indiana Jones is pushed into full of serpents and giant statues. Add in the rhythmical soundtrack and the mood is well set before the spin button has even be pressed.
Also before hitting spin, bets need to be set which is a little more complicated than usual. On default mode, these start at 10 p/c and go up to £/€40 per spin. What makes bet choice a little trickier is Stakelogic's' new Super Stake feature, which is optional and doubles the cost when activated. With the Super Stake engaged, the game randomly picks a symbol from time to time and adds a large number of them to the reels which increases the chance of hitting bigger wins.
Feeling brave? Let's crack open the paytable like a dusty old sarcophagus and see what lies within. On the low side, Gods of Death is decked out with 10-A golden royals that have been embossed with various colours that give them a faded glory look. The premiums, meanwhile, are some of the most terrifying characters seen in a slot. They start with a Pharaoh Mummy, followed by Sobek, Ra, and Anubis - all glowing-eyed and looking like a robber has just looted their tomb or temple. Values are quite high across the board, with Anubis the most prized at 100 times the stake for five of a kind.
Stakelogic has stuck to rather conventional core rules, with 10 paylines stabbing across the grid where winning combinations of at least three of a kind can line up. This mechanic is backed up with an RTP right on average at 96.0%, along with medium+ volatility rated at 4/5. The base game might sound relatively simple, but a lengthy list of features add intrigue and depth to the game.
Gods of Death: Features
Gods of Death may initially draw your mind to classic Egyptian slots like Book of Ra Deluxe and Book of Dead, but actually has very few things in common with those. Unlike said games, Gods of Death is packed with base game features. Aside from Super Stake option that we've already covered, there are a bunch of modifier extras as well.
Racing across the desert is the Tornado feature which can appear on any non-winning spin in the base game. When activated, one of the reels is selected and copied onto one or more of the other reels to provide extra chances of scoring a winner or two.
The Snake Queen symbol is wild and can substitute for any of the regular pay symbols. When it lands on the third reel, it expands to cover the full reel and awards 3 respins. It then moves down one position with each respin until it finally drops off the reel. Lines of Snake Queen symbols also payout, with 2, 3, 4, or 5 of a kind worth 1x, 10x, 40x, and 200 times the stake respectively.
Next is one of the most desirable symbols in the game – the Pharaoh scatter. Two or more of these symbols trigger a payout, but more importantly 3, 4, or 5 award 10, 20, or 50 Free Spins respectively.
During free spins, the wild Mummy symbol comes into play. When this symbol lands, it expands to cover the full reel and can substitute for anything except the scatter. It remains on the grid and after each spin it moves one position to the left until it falls off the first reel. The Mummy symbol can appear on any reel and more than one can be active at once. Finally, scatters remain in the bonus game and 2, 3, 4, or 5 of them in view bestow an extra 2, 10, 20, or 50 free spins respectively.
It wouldn't be Stakelogic without a gamble feature which players can participate in after a win. This is a typical blind card guessing game where the correct suit pays 4x the win, or the correct colour pays 2x the win.
Gods of Death: Verdict
Gods of Death turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. Despite the high number of slots in the Egyptian category, Stakelogic has created a game that manages to stand out from the bunch. It does this by taking a slightly different approach to the theme and by incorporating a bunch of useful features. In regards to the look, okay it's more Mummy Returns than a horror, but it is a refreshingly darker tone than usual.
It gets a little weird during free spins when the background serpents start pouring blood or lava, but it doesn't get too over the top. Having several wilds that appear at different stages with unique modifiers is also a nice touch which keeps things fresh.
As to Stakelogic's new feature, the Super Stake can feel a little underwhelming at first, but it turned out to be quite beneficial in the long run. The first time it appeared, +363 Ra symbols were added to the spin resulting in the first four reels stacked and a handy 100x win. Another time the Super Stake added 99 scatters which ended up triggering free spins along with a decent win on top. The Super Stake feature kicks in around 1 in 43 spins and may not always work in your favour, but it is more interesting than the standard gamble feature.
If there is one thing explorers want to see when prising open a tomb is the glitter of gold. When it comes to rewards, Gods of Death doesn't disappoint either with potential returns of up to 11,800 times the stake. Keep in mind though that there are caps of £472,000, or £236,000 depending on the operator's settings.
Overall, Gods of Death is a well-crafted game and one of Stakelogic's better releases. The look is a good one, a little different, and the features are well designed and relatively new when taken together. It might not be quite as volatile as some would prefer, but on the whole, Gods of Death brings the right elements together to provide some satisfying gaming.
Fun extras, a solid mathematical model, and phenomenal visuals make Gods of Death a good choice for anyone hankering for some Ancient Egyptian themed action.