Luck of Ra: Slot Overview
Slotting into the growing 'book of' with a twist sub-genre comes Luck of Ra from Microgaming partner Plank Gaming. Luck of Ra utilises expanding symbol free spins as its central feature, plus a few extras, including a couple of Modes to play around with. For those in the mood for some bantamweight Ra-inspired action, and want a bit of novelty at the same time, Luck of Ra could be the go. Let's check out if it's the right fit.
After sitting through a load screen focusing on the falcon-headed god Horus, players are whisked to an Ancient Egyptian setting. Dominating the view is a huge 5x3 reel set hosting big, chunky symbols and 10 fixed paylines. Instead of pyramids we get two titanic statues flanking the reels; their size can be determined by trees which are dwarfed in the foreground. The music is nice, being distinctly Egypty with a sultry belly dancing rhythm. On the mathematical side of things, expect high volatility coupled with a somewhat low hit rate of 16.91%, but decent 96.06% RTP. It offers a shallow range of stakes starting at 10 p/c on the lower side, rising to £/€10 at the upper end.
Where Luck or Ra starts to diverge is via its three different modes - including a Standard Mode which is the normal way to play. The others are Super Mode and Mega Mode - both disable the 5 reels from spinning when activated. Instead, when in Super Mode, hitting the play button spins a needle on a tiny wheel with red and green segments. If it lands on green, the reels synchronise for one spin. If in Mega Mode, landing on the green segment triggers free spins. All modes have the same spin cost.
Line wins occur when two or three identical symbols land on a payline, starting from reel one. They definitely don't possess the value of the upper echelon 'book of' slots. High pays consist of just three symbol; Anubis in jackal form, a Pharaoh and a Liz Taylor-like queen. These symbols need only two to pay out, giving you 20 to 30 times your stake for five of a kind. Lower down the scale are 10-A card royals worth 5x to 10x the bet for five of a kind. The most lucrative symbol is actually the Horus wild. It substitutes for all symbols except the scatter, worth 75x for a combination of five.
Luck of Ra: Slot Features
As well as the extras Modes to tinker around with, other features include synced reels, mega symbols and free spins. Synced reels happen at random either in the base game, free spins or from getting lucky in Super Mode. Any 3 adjacent reels will synchronise and spin with the same symbols. Mega Symbols pop up at random as well. These are 3x3 sized symbols which can land partially or fully in view.
Free spins are triggered from a successful Mega Mode spin or when one of the scroll symbols is fully in view. This results in 8 free spins. Before free spins begin, 2 different symbols are chosen to be special expanding symbols. If these symbols are present anywhere on the reels and there are enough to trigger a win, they expand to cover all positions on their respective reels, paying all ways. This process occurs after any regular wins are paid. The bonus can be extended too if a 3x3 sized scroll lands fully in view to award 8 extra free spins.
Finally, one more way of accessing free spins is via the bonus buy. This method costs 85x the total bet, shifting the action straight to the special symbol selection screen when selected.
Luck of Ra: Slot Verdict
As mentioned, Luck of Ra can be nutshelled as a 'book of' style slot with a twist, or two. Some of the twists are definitely worth trying before buying though. It's nice to see studios trying something new, but it's unclear how popular some of these extras will be. We are referring specifically to the Modes, with mixed feelings about both non-Standard options. The Super Mode is arguably the least exciting since all you get is one spin of the synced reels feature when you win, which may or may not even produce a payout.
Even Mega Mode's prize of free spins can be tiresome as there is a very real chance you'll end up spending more money bashing the spin button than you would have done just shelling out the 85x and cutting to the chase. Of course, you might get lucky on the first Mega Mode spin, who knows? However, Mega Mode and Super Mode tended to be more trouble than they were worth in testing, not to mention dull since you're squinting at a tiny wheel, rooting for a needle the whole time. Each to their own of course.
As to potential, there are no official figures, yet Luck of Ra doesn't come across as a big win game. A dead giveaway is that the most you can win from a single spin is 750x the bet, and that's if 15 wild symbols miraculously land which doesn't seem like it's going to happen any time soon. One pinprick of hope is wilds can be selected to be special expanding symbols in free spins. Still, wins in Luck of Ra are nothing to write home about at the best of times.
Overall, Luck of Ra is a game that will struggle to satisfy higher end 'book of' fans of games like Book of Dead. The two slots are competing in completely different divisions. It's like Muggsy Bogues trying to dunk on Shaq; it ain't going to happen broheme. Luck of Ra's core gameplay produces some bite-sized 'book' moments, but the extra Modes are a little dubious.
While being essentially a lightweight ‘book of’ slot, Luck of Ra nevertheless has a couple of new features to explore for experimental types attached.