earls of Aphrodite: Slot Overview
Pearls of Aphrodite is a slot from Kalamba Games based on the underwater exploits of the Ancient Greek goddess of love, procreation, and beauty, Aphrodite. You might not automatically equate Aphrodite with the sea, especially the bottom of it. However, it's possible to connect the goddess to it in more ways than one. For one, it's the place of her birth, as she rose from the foam created after Chronos severed the genitals of his father Uranus and threw them into the sea. Another is a possible connection with the City of Atlantis, where some say there was a Temple of Aphrodite, visited by dignitaries such as Hercules.
Since Atlantis ended up at the bottom of the sea, it seems this is the angle Kalamba has chosen for Pearls of Aphrodite. It's a handsome picture, despite this sort of imagery in slots usually being reserved for Poseidon/Neptune rather than other deities. A couple of underwater beauties populate the game; one of them must be Aphrodite, though it's not obvious who the other might be. Whoever this mysterious woman/goddess is, the two ladies appear in various forms on the 6-reel, 40-payline game grid as regular wilds as well as full reel wilds, sometimes with multipliers in tow. Add in a relaxing aquatic tune, and the scene is quite a pleasant one, a bit different from how Aphrodite is usually portrayed in a slot, so let's roll with it for now.
As is often the case, a gentle atmosphere bears no resemblance whatsoever to the math model chugging away in the background. Kalamba has rated the volatility of Pearls of Aphrodite at 10 out of 10, meaning it's pretty much as high as it gets. The theoretical return value varies from 96.04% when playing at HyperBet Level 1 or 96.54% at HyperBet Level 2. HyperBet Level 1 is the normal way to play the game, where bets range from 50 p/c to £/€60 per spin. HyperBet Level 2 doubles the stake for larger wild multiplier values and more free spins.
As for pay symbols, 9-A card ranks make up the low-value lot, superseded by jugs, helmets, tridents, and harps. Picture symbols are worth 8 to 10 times the base stake for six of a kind, keeping in mind, HyperBet Level 2 does not increase their value. Wilds are worth more if they line up to create a winning combination, up to 40x the stake for six of a kind. Most of the time, they won't and are used to replace any pay symbol to complete a line win. Often, they also have a multiplier attached, covered below.
Pearls of Aphrodite: Slot Features
Respins and free spins are the two main features you'll come across down here on the seabed. Both are triggered when specific symbols are collected or hit. Keep a lookout for oyster shell symbols bearing pearls. When these hit, the pearl flies off and is collected in a meter above the reels, unlocking expanding multiplier wild symbols. Collecting 0-3, 4-7, or 8+ pearls unlocks 1, 2, or 3 of them, respectively.
Next, you want one of the coin symbols to land. A silver coin awards 1 Ocean Respin, while a gold coin awards 2 Ocean Respins. During Ocean Respins, the unlocked multiplier wilds are added to the reels and expand to cover all positions. When respins end, the collection meter resets.
Landing 3 or more scatter symbols awards 6 free spins if playing at HyperBet Level 1, or 8 free spins at HyperBet Level 2. Free spins begin with a global multiplier value displayed above the reels starting on x1. Each free spin increases it by +1. When Wild Multiplier symbols land in free spins, they turn sticky for the duration of the feature, and their value is determined by the current value of the global multiplier. At HyperBet Level 1 it maxes at x6; at Level 2 it goes to x8. One extra free spin is awarded whenever the free spins symbol lands during the feature.
Pearls of Aphrodite may also offer three HyperBonus feature buy options, where permissible. The choices are 6, 8, or 10 free spins with up to x6, x8, or x10 win multipliers for the cost of 40.96, 98.44, or 227.04x the stake. Each has an RTP of 96.61%, 96.72%, or 96.81%.
Pearls of Aphrodite: Slot Verdict
Pearls of Aphrodite has the sort of constant drip-feeding of wins sure to keep certain players engaged. As a cherry on top, free spins are where sticky multipliers help create wins of up to 5,217x the bet. It's quite well controlled, though, so, despite the large number of multiplier wilds that can accumulate, a tight rein has been lashed on to prevent the game from going ballistic like other, bigger slots, using similar features can do.
One of Pearls of Aphrodite's most noticeable stats is its hit frequency of 50.63%, meaning you technically get more winning spins than non-winning spins over time. Too bad this stat does not carry over to free spins, where the hit frequency is apparently less. It's a logical shift since each free spin increments the wild multiplier value, so they don't want to just give away money. Getting a few sticky multiplier wilds in key positions can be fun, though it can feel like you're fighting an uphill battle if you aren't playing at HyperBet Level 2 or bought the x10, ten spin feature.
It also wasn't super clear on this in the rules, but it appears that having more than one sticky multiplier wild in a winning line doesn't combine their values. So, for example, two (or more) x6 multipliers in a winning line seems to only multiply the win by x6. This would explain why when you've got a large number of wild multipliers locked in place, the results can be good but not quite as good as you initially hope. If you've seen what a relatively low number of locking wild multipliers multiplying each other can do in a game like Top Dawg$, the difference is massive.
As mentioned, you can see how some players could be charmed by the high hit rate and the allure of sticky wild multipliers. A lot of the time, though, Pearls of Aphrodite has a treading water feel, so it might have been interesting if Kalamba had reduced the hit rate and channelled more value into the less frequent wins that would occur.
A lot of the time, Pearls of Aphrodite has a treading water feel, so it might have been interesting if Kalamba had reduced the hit rate and channelled more value into the less frequent wins that would occur.