Kings of Gold: Overview
Proving it’s not all Megaways or Asian games over at iSoftBet, the studio has designed Kings of Gold, a slot based around Ancient Egypt. When using such a commonplace theme, something out of the ordinary is required if you wish to distinguish yourself from the rest of the lot. iSoftBet shuns this way of thinking, and the result fails to make an impact. Perhaps the rational was as long as there are no expanding symbols or books, it’ll be fine. However, by the end, it’s hard not to wish they’d done a Book of Ra imitator instead.
Kings of Gold is played on a 5-reel, 25-payline grid located in the heart of Giza. One of the game’s highlights is a background picture of the Pyramids amidst desert sands which is quite a good one. Surrounding the reels we get the Nile, a few dunes and a chap on a camel surveying the scene. It’s pretty, but it’s also stock imagery with no dynamic parts whatsoever. Nor is the soundtrack any more imaginative, playing the standard exotic Arabic beat you can imagine by looking at the screenshots. Overall, the pleasing view is indicative of the rest of the game - no matter how hard you dig, you won’t find much novelty.
Playable across any device, Kings of Gold offers stakes starting at 25 p/c, rising to £/€25 per spin. Behind the shiny veneer, players get a rather disappointing RTP of 95.14%, which certainly doesn’t add to the allure. For whatever reason, it's as if the RTP for 'Book of' type slots is required by law to be lower than average. Potential is also modest while volatility hovers around medium/high. Like a lot of Kings of Gold, the stats make it that little bit harder to fall for its charm.
All up, there are 25 fixed paylines and 8 regular symbols to work with. Card royals J-A lead off the paytable, followed by premium symbols ankhs, cat statues, winged scarabs, and a chest of gold. The four high-value icons are worth wins of 6 to 18 times the stake when they fall in lines of five.
Helping hit winners is the pharaoh wild, which replaces any other symbol except the bonus or gold coins to form a combination. Wilds may land stacked three high, and are the most valuable symbol, paying out 20 times the total bet for a line of five.
Kings of Gold: Features
During the base game, look out for the gold coin which displays a certain cash value. Landing 5 or more in any position triggers Pharaoh’s Gold Respins. Play shifts to a grid arrangement where only gold coins, Golden Pharaoh symbols, or blank spaces appear.
Now, the coins that triggered the feature are locked on the reels while the bonus begins with 3 respins. Each time a new coin lands, it is held in position, setting respins back to 3. During this process, the symbol you want is the Golden Pharaoh. When one of these lands, it removes coins from the reels and collects all of their values. This frees up space for more coins to land while racking up potentially better rewards. Completely filling all positions with symbols, or running out of respins ends the feature, then all collected values are paid out.
The second feature is a round of free spins, activated when 3 or more pyramid scatters are in view. Scatters appearing on reels 1, 3, and 5 award players 8 free spins. On every free spin, 2 to 5 reels synchronise, displaying the same matching symbols, similar to the feature found in iSoftBet’s lion themed game The King. Hopefully, you manage to get plenty of syncing going on because free spins cannot be retriggered, nor can Respins be won from them.
Kings of Gold: Verdict
The previous iSoftBet game carrying the Hold & Win label to cross our path was Gold Digger - a rather unusual slot which might not have been great, but which at least tried to do one or two things a little differently. Kings of Gold, on the other hand, adds nothing fresh. Gameplay, features, and theme are about as bland as they come. Egyptian slots are so numerous; studios need a hook to justify the rehash. Say, create a new-fangled feature, drop in an amazing math model, something to entice players. Anything to avoid becoming a straight to DVD shelf filler like Kings of Gold.
There were some entertaining moments during the features, and some of the animations are sweet, yet overall, Kings of Gold is far from iSoftBet’s best work. The main issue is how derivative everything is. From the insipid gameplay to the features copied from other slots, there isn’t much to see. Exacerbating the problem is a poor return to player rating that won’t make it any friends.
After a while it felt like iSoftBet designed Kings of Gold on autopilot. There’s nothing new, interesting, or innovative here to encourage discerning gamblers to load up. Kings of Gold fails to enhance iSoftBet’s Hold & Win range, let alone add to the evolution of slots. Perhaps Egyptian fanatics who need to see every single release based in their favourite part of the globe will feel a compulsion to play could be excused. For anyone else, there are just so many better options. Like trekking through the Old Cairo Bazaar on a busy day, you’ll feel slightly battered and grimy after this one.
Like many other slots in the genre, Kings of Gold does little do distinguish itself.