Beat the Beast: Mighty Sphinx: Overview
Thunderkick returns with the second slot in their Beat the Beast series. Five are planned, and each one is aimed at 'brave players’ – Thunderkick's words. Number one in the series took these brave players beneath the sea to take on the mythical Kraken in Kraken's Lair. The follow up heads in the opposite direction to the heat and dust of Egypt and all the symbology this popular theme offers. So, after grappling with a multi-tentacled horror from the deep, players move back to much more well-trod ground in Ancient Egypt.
The first you'll probably notice is that Mighty Sphinx looks very much the same as Kraken's Lair did - aside from the background, and a few symbol and colour changes, of course. As expected, the setup is the same too, 5 reels, 3 rows, and 9 paylines on which to line up winning combinations. The bet range too remains the same as always when it comes to Thunderkick slots allowing you to choose to play as low as 10 p/c per spin, or as high as £/€100. Interestingly, whilst Thunderkick's stated aim with the series was to produce a line of classic slots with modern twists, there doesn't seem to have been much twisting for the sequel.
The pleasingly classic, yet modern, graphics with Kraken's Lair lose some of their charm the second time around being so analogous. But it is nothing too detracting. When it comes to the paytable, similar styled symbols are used as before and are split into low, medium, and high pay tiles. Low pays are 10-A royals, while medium pays are the Sphinx statuette, the scarab, Ankh, and Khopesh Sword. The high pay is the winged Sphinx who is worth 250 times the stake for a line of five – half what the Kraken was worth, as a comparison.
As to forming winning combinations, low pays need at least three of a kind; the mid and high pays only two. The final symbol is the Sphinx Emblem, which is the scatter and the wild. As a wild, it can substitute for any other symbol.
Being a beast of a slot, or at least part of the Beast series, means a highly volatile math model powering the game. Another critical figure is RTP which clocks in at 96.14%, or 0.02% higher than Kraken's Lair for the statisticians out there keeping score.
Beat the Beast: Mighty Sphinx: Features
Aiming for an old school slotting experience, the game is somewhat light on features although that doesn't make it less of a game. During the base game, the Mystery feature may trigger randomly on any spin. When activated, up to 3 Sphinx Emblems wilds/scatters are randomly placed on any reel at the beginning of a spin. Keep in mind too that Sphinx Emblems pay out 2x, 20x, and 200x for 2, 3, and 5 of a kind.
The highlight is the Free Spins feature which starts with 10 spins when 3 golden Sphinx Emblems appear in view anywhere on the reels. At the beginning of every spin, 1-3 golden Emblems are placed randomly on the reels. If 3 Emblems are in view they award 5 extra spins - half of what Kraken offered if you were wondering. When free spins are retriggered, they activate the Wild Upgrade feature. This feature transforms one mid pay symbol into a wild symbol.
Beat the Beast: Mighty Sphinx: Verdict
Let's begin the verdict by acknowledging that as a standalone, Mighty Sphinx is a decent enough game with nothing particularly bad about it. As a continuation of the Beat the Beast series, it might be something of a disappointment for some though. You typically expect sequels to be a bigger experience, as producers feel the pressure to outdo the original. This applies across the board, from movies, games, books, and slots. Mighty Sphinx is one of the few that dares to go smaller. Kraken's Lair kicked off the Beat the Beast Series well, with a fearful character, some interesting features, and nice potential. The sequel is a bit of a lightweight in comparison, with most aspects having been copied or toned down. This includes, looks, features, and one of the most important aspects for many players – max payout.
At 4,444 times the stake, the potential is significantly lower than Kraken's Lair was. There are no major reasons why not to play Mighty Sphinx but none super compelling either, unless you have completely fallen for the beast beating concept.
Thunderkick churns out well made, fun games on the whole, but you get the impression something held them back when making Mighty Sphinx. It's a shame because the hyped Beast series is a great opportunity to really cut loose, throw the gauntlet down to the big guys and stake a claim. Hopefully, Mighty Sphinx is a case of shifting into a second gear coast for a spell before injecting the nitrous oxide. Perhaps, the Beast series is on the cusp of taking players somewhere weird and wonderful that knocks socks off and gets the community talking. We live in hope.
Where you might expect the second instalment in the Beat the Beast series to be bigger and beastier than the first, Thunderkick surprise by releasing a somewhat tamer animal.