John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen (Pragmatic Play): Overview
John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen is the third installment in a series of slots from Pragmatic Play featuring character John Hunter, an avid adventurer who travels the world far and wide in search of lost riches. Just like his Play'n GO counterpart Rich Wilde, who's best known from the Novomatic rip-off Book of Dead, John Hunter has also had his fair share of controversies.
With the first release, Da Vinci's Treasure, Pragmatic stirred quite a lot of hype by advertising a 48,000x win potential which, of course, no one ever got even remotely close to winning. The second release, Aztec Treasure, turned a lot of heads in the casino community when it was revealed to be a mix of William Interactive's classic Montezuma and its home-made take on the Megaways engine (they're not the first to pull such stunt).
The third game, with the excessively long title John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen, takes John to a place that's as much of an attraction for game developers as it is for tourists - the great pyramids of Giza. It's played using 5 reels and 25 paylines and makes use of Pragmatic's favourite Money symbol feature which not only awards your typical cash prizes but also respins, expanding money symbols and multipliers up to 25x. Things become even better in the free spins game where there's also potential for unlimited free spins. You can play John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen across all devices from 0.20 to €/£125 per spin.
With a rhythmic Egyptian-inspired soundtrack playing, the game area is set against a desert backdrop with ancient pyramids flanking the reels. Symbols here include lower-value J to A royals alongside more rewarding leather bags, revolvers, ancient Egyptian deity Anubis as well as John Hunter himself who is the most lucrative, giving you 32 times your stake for five across a full payline. The wild is represented by Cleopatra who appears on all reels except the first.
John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen (Pragmatic Play): Features
John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen benefits from a Money Collect feature. During your session, you will see scarab symbols appearing on reels 1 to through 4 carrying cash values. If you're lucky enough to see a collect scarab symbol hit on reel 5 together with these, one of the following will apply:
- Collect - all the cash values in view are added together and paid out.
- Extra Credit Collect - the value of this particular symbol is added to all money symbols in view and then paid out.
- Multiplier Collect - the total value of all collected money symbols is multiplied by up to 25x before being paid to you.
- Expanding Collect - all money symbols in view expand to fully cover the reel, essentially generating additional money symbols.
- Respin Collect - every money symbol in view is held in place while the other tiles spin again, giving you a chance to land extra money symbols.
Things heat up when you land at least 3 scatter symbols simultaneously on the three central reels as this will activate the Free Spins round with 8 spins to start. Just as previously described, the money symbol feature applies here as well, but with an added benefit.
During the round, all money symbol values are collected and added to a pot displayed in the top right corner. Once all spins have been played, it's time for the big finale. A super-massive scarab money symbol is added to fully cover the first 4 reels followed by a spin of the 5th reel. If a collect symbols hits, the full pot is awarded. Keep in mind, this means that your pot can be subject to multipliers of up to 25x and which can result in wins of over 10,000 times your stake. On a further note, landing 3 scatters will grant you 8 extra free spins, with no limit to how many retriggers you can activate.
John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen (Pragmatic Play): Verdict
Generally speaking, we're not huge fans of cash prize symbol features, but in this game, as you have seen, there's an extra dimension to it that makes the whole thing considerably more exciting. Furthermore, being medium variance, it's not as brutal as its sibling slots either, especially compared to Da Vinci's Treasure.
John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen is undoubtedly one of Pragmatic's better efforts as of recent and possibly the best in the series featuring John Hunter, although some might disagree, of course. In any case, it's good to see Pragmatic come up with a game that feels unique to them, which they have accomplished quite well here.
John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen (Pragmatic Play)
● Reels: 5
● Rows: 3
● Paylines: 25
● Default RTP: 96.5%
● Max Payout: 10,500x
● Volatility: M (3/5)
● Bets: 0.25 - 125 EUR
● Features: Money Collect Feature, Free Spins
● Release Date: September 26, 2019
Bigwinboard Score - 67%