Plataea Slot (WMS): Overview
The gaming granddaddy WMS has stepped up to update their old Plataea slot from the outdated Flash format to Html5. Plataea, which is also available as a physical slot machine is pretty much a clone of the torturous Hearts of Venice dressed up in Greek garb. The results are a foregone conclusion, or are they? Perhaps that epoch-making moment in history has added enough drama to make Plataea a viable choice.
The first few spins of Plataea were slightly less painful than Hearts of Venice’s were. Thanks to the theme, the cheese factor has been turned down several notches which is appreciated. Graphically, things are better, and the temple by the sea setting is nice enough. Sorry to repeat something brought up before, but why is there a ribbon of flame burning along the bottom of the screen again? It fits in nowhere, is part of no feature or game mechanic, and makes absolutely no sense. It might have been excused the first time around as a bug in the code. Yet, it is back again, seemingly on purpose too. Ah well, whatever. To the bet selection and players can spin from 40 p/c up to King Leonidas levels of £/€100 a pop. Hit spin, and the 5 reel, 4 row set cranks to life.
Plataea has 50 fixed paylines and the paytable is split into three tiers – low, mids, and premiums. The low pay symbols are a silver coin, a gold coin, a black and gold pot, and the capital section of a column. Mids are a sword and scabbard, a helm, spears and shield, and a trireme. Finally, the two premiums are a hoplite warrior and an ancient Greek lady. It is hard to deduce who she is, maybe a priestess or goddess perhaps? Either way, she is worth the most, and 5 of her will bring in 5 times the total bet. The wild symbol is a close-up shot of some eyes peering through a helmet – it can land on reels 2, 3, 4, and 5 to substitute for any other pay symbol. When it’s used in a winning combination, players are treated to a neat animation as the helmet is removed.
The math model has returned with a minor alteration. Perhaps to adjust to the current market situation which has taken quite a hit due to all the new regulations, WMS has dropped the RTP slightly to 96.079%, though the medium/high volatility remains.
Plataea Slot (WMS): Features
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of playing Hearts of Venice then you will know what to expect because the features are exactly the same. With a few cosmetic changes to make fit the theme, of course. Leading off this section is the Shield Mystery Symbol. When these ‘V’ adorned mystery symbols land, they all change to reveal the same common symbol. Shields can morph into any symbol except the wild or the scatter.
If reel one lands stacked with these Shield symbols they trigger the game’s Hot Hot Super Respin Mode and award 2 respins. The Shields on reel 1 are held in place, as are any wilds or shields on other reels, while the rest of the reels and positions are respun. If any new shields or wilds land they are also held in place for the second respin. At the end of the second respin, all shields change to reveal the same common symbol and any winners are paid out.
The temple symbol is the game’s scatter and can land on reels 1, 3, and 5. When 3 are in view, they award 10 Free Spins. During free spins, extra shield and wild symbols are added to the reels to help increase the win rate. Also, the Hot Hot Super Respin Mode can be triggered during the round, and 3 scatters in view will add 10 more free spins to extend the feature.
Plataea Slot (WMS): Verdict
To be fair, Plataea is a slight improvement over Hearts of Venice even if the RTP has been slightly lowered. The gameplay has stayed static, but the treatment of the Ancient Greek theme is more palatable than the corny love-fest of the other one. It’s still not a whole lot of fun, but it doesn’t make you want to club baby seals when the session is over. At its heart, though, it remains more or less the same experience as before. That means it comes with all of the criticism Hearts of Venice garnered. It includes the obvious things like old fashioned graphics and the glacial pace, as well as details. That fire guy added a dash of personality before; now that he’s doing the exact same thing, it’s kind of annoying and sticks out like a sore thumb. Then there are the rewards. At full tilt, a grid full of the top symbol will dole out just 250 times the stake. Hardly worth suiting up for battle for.
So to answer the initial question, no, Plataea is not really a viable choice for anyone other than major fans of the original. When you consider how popular, and populous the Ancient Greek slot category is there are loads of better options out there. It’s hard to recommend Plataea to even the hardest of hardcore Ancient Greek fan. Kudos to WMS for sticking with a rather unique concept to drive the slot, it’s just too bad the rest of the game is about as fun as being stuck in a queue when your mobile’s battery has just gone dead.
Plataea makes the shift from flash to html5 with the result being more of the same insipid gaming.