Nero’s Fortune (Quickspin): Overview
Emperor Nero is infamous for his brutal reign over the Roman Empire in the first century. The review was going to start with one or two examples of the bizarre things he got up to, but it was hard to find any that were fit to print. Let's just agree that he was one of the worst rulers Europe has ever seen. He was cashed up through, no arguing that, with wealth befitting his position as leader of one of the greatest civilisations on earth. Swedish developers Quickspin have taken aspects of Nero's reign and the era to drive their latest tumble slot. It’s been a while since a top Roman-themed slot came by, let's see if Nero's Fortune is up for it.
Quickspin promised 'drool-worthy graphics' with Nero’s Fortune and they certainly are high quality. The goal was to utilise their new 3D engine to take 'lighting and rendering to a whole new level' – also their words. It didn't quite induce drool, but it's a superb looking game nonetheless and the epic orchestral score provided by Quickspin's own talanted sound designer Andreas Hedlund significantly enhances the experience. Choosing Nero as a theme provided the chance to recreate a dark, red-hued Rome, burning while the emperor fiddled, as the story goes. The view is reminiscent of a painting called Fire of Rome by the French artist Hubert Robert, and is completed with animated ash floating by.
Nero’s Fortune is Quickspin's third tumble slot, and is very different to the other two. Golden Glyph kicked things off with a 7x7 format and Wild Cauldron could be expanded to hit 6x7. Nero's Fortune contracts things down to a 5x5 grid that is set against a classical Roman structure. Full of statues, pillars and architecture, Rome has had life breathed back into it by the graphic team.
Apparently, Ancient Romans were inveterate gamblers, and the pastime was deeply entrenched through all levels of society. Quickspin extends the courtesy by providing bet levels from 20 c/p up to £/€100 per spin. The grid might be a bit more compact this time around, but Nero's Fortune has the highest RTP of the trio at 96.21% whilst the high (5/5) volatility has been retained.
This being a tumble slot, symbols drop to fill the grid and clusters of 5 adjacent matching symbols or more result in a payout. Winning clusters are removed from the grid which lets new symbols tumble into place. This can create chains of wins from just one spin and the process repeats until no new winning clusters form up. The symbols used in the game include J-A royals, and 4 high win symbols. These high win symbols include emblematic eagles, wolves and lions. The red ruby symbol offers the highest returns, with clusters of 12+ worth 150 times the stake. Helping form clusters is the 'W' wild symbol which can substitute for any symbol in the game except the scatter.
Nero’s Fortune (Quickspin): Features
Along with cluster pays are features that either pop up randomly in the base game or need to be triggered. First up is the Burning Arrows feature which only appears during the base game. Whenever a winning cluster is removed from the grid, there is a possibility that the game will spawn a multiplier symbol in the empty positions. When the next spin occurs the new symbols cover any of the added multipliers. If a winning cluster is removed and it reveals one or more of these multipliers, they are accumulated until the end of the spin. Any wins that appear on that spin then have the accumulated multiplier applied to the total. The multiplier is then reset for the next fresh spin.
The main feature is a round of free spins which takes the concept of the Burning Arrows and expands it, making it far more effective. Known as the Flames of Nero Bonus, the key to the round is the 'BNS' scatter symbol - when 3, 4, or 5 scatters are in view they award 10, 12, or 14 free spins respectively. The round starts with a dramatic animation and moves to a tilted view of the reels which produces an extra dose of gravitas. Every new free spin begins by having a bunch of multiplier symbols randomly spread over the grid. When winning clusters are removed to reveal these symbols their multipliers are accumulated and applied to the win. During free spins, the multiplier is not reset between spins but continues to increase until the round is over.
Nero’s Fortune (Quickspin): Verdict
Nero's Fortune is another solid tumble slot from Quickspin. On the plus side, each one so far has something quite different to offer. First are looks. Graphics have been a big deal to Quickspin going into this project, and they have pulled off an excellent looking game. The vibe, atmosphere, and attitude capture the nature of the subject matter and the animations add drama. It lacks the warmth that Wilds Cauldrons provided perhaps, but those in the mood to get down to some serious no-nonsense gaming will appreciate the solemn tone. If you are looking for maximum payouts then be aware that Nero’s Fortune has the lowest potential of the three Quickspin tumble slots. Though at up to 8,100 times the stake there is still plenty to play for.
When it comes to gameplay, Nero's Fortune’s straight forward nature is an asset. Not that the others were particularly complicated, but Nero’s has a good pace to it. It boils everything down to landing clusters and getting multipliers to rack up during free spins. The good thing is that it's not particularly hard to build-up a decent multiplier once the bonus round has been triggered. Loads of multiplier symbols are added with every new spin, so it's a case of scoring clusters to accumulate them. No, it’s not easy to land those gigantic wins we all aim for, but once set in motion the bonus game can get on some satisfying rolls.
Quickspin may still need some work to perfect its tumble mechanic and mathematical model. Although not as refined as those on offer from Play'n GO, for example, Nero's Fortune is, however, still another decent tumble slot from Quickspin with excellent features and potential. Fans of the theme will be chuffed with the latest addition to the Ancient Rome category.
Game title: Nero’s Fortune
● Reels: 5
● Rows: 5
● Paylines: Cluster Wins
● RTP: 96.21%
● Max Payout: 8,100x
● Variance: H (5/5)
● Bets: 0.20 - 100 EUR
● Features: Tumble Mechanics, Burning Arrow Feature, Flames of Nero Bonus
● Release Date: April 14, 2020