Return of the Dead: Slot Overview
Is it possible for something to return if it never really went away? Produced by developer Reel Kingdom and powered by Pragmatic Play, Return of the Dead is another in a long line of seemingly endless Book of Ra clones. This one stays particularly close to the original too, in more ways than one. As well as gameplay and features, the overall look has a strong classic slot vibe going on. Despite the similarities, there might be one or two reasons fans of Ra may wish to choose Return of the Dead over the competition. Yes, it's undoubtedly what most would consider a rip off, but that's a headache for the companies involved. From a players perspective, let's see if it's worth a go.
If there is any vista that returns again and again to slots, it’s the sun rising over the Giza Plateau. Camels travel over desert sands while pyramids stand majestically over the scene on the horizon. Pleasant, enough, with the old school looking 5-reel, 10-payline grid helps awaken a few nostalgic yearnings. Pepper on the Arabic soundtrack, which has a slightly Western feel to it, as well as the typical Indiana Jones colour palette, and you’re done.
Return of the Dead can be played on any device, and your feelings towards the main character might influence how you play. Landscape mode on a mobile or desktop might be your best option if you don’t want Rich Wilde's long lost brother watching your every move. Bets can be set from 10 p/c to €250 per spin, then off we go.
Hard core gamers who like basic, to the point gaming, will appreciate Return of the Dead’s high volatility. Free spins are where it’s at, but occasionally the odd high value commination drops from nowhere to make up for the numerous dead spins. The default RTP on the other hand will satisfy pretty much any player with a great rating of 96.71% - possibly the highest of any 'Book of' slot to date. More on this in our verdict, so keep on reading.
There are no surprises when it comes to gameplay. Two or three of a kind from the leftmost reel onwards trigger a payout. Three is needed for the 10 to A royals, just two for the scarab, Horus, Pharaoh, or the stock image of a smiling man symbol. Values are good; they’re at the higher end of the ‘book of’ scale. Get lines of five premiums to pick up rewards from 75 to 500 times the stake.
Return of the Dead: Slot Features
No surprises here either, the centrepiece is a triggered round of free spins. The key, as ever, is the book symbol which is both scatter and wild. As a wild, the book replaces any other symbol to make a combination. Also, as a wild, it is worth up to 500x for a line of five.
As a scatter, 3, 4, or 5 in view award 2x, 20x, or 200x the total bet, plus 10 free spins. Before the round begins, one pay symbol is randomly chosen to be the special expanding symbol. During free spins, after any wins have been paid, the special symbol expands vertically to cover all three positions on the reel. These expanded symbols pay even if they are in non-adjacent positions.
Note, special symbols only expand if enough are in view to form a win. Books remain in the bonus as wild and scatter. If three simultaneously land, 10 more free spins are awarded. There is no limit to the number of retriggers that may occur.
Return of the Dead: Slot Verdict
Having tested a few pretty complicated slots lately, Return of the Dead sort of made an appropriate palette cleanser. Its simplistic rules, not to mention familiar gameplay, made it easy to kick back, relax, and watch a few spins fly by. Free spins are about as good as they get in these types of games, which is still pretty darn good when high-value symbols become the chosen one and expand in numbers. If you’ve played a 'Ra' style slot, and it is something of a rite of passage, then you don’t really need us to tell you what to expect.
With so many ‘book of’ slots out there, in a variety of forms, why would you pick Return of the Dead over any other? A couple of things combine to make it stand out, sort of. While we say stand out, it doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table. One compelling reason could be the default RTP since it is high for this style of game - a lot higher than the first Ra by a long shot, which is good. However, it might prove challenging to find a casino willing to offer the max RTP setting, making it much more likely you will play a low RTP version.
Other than that, well, it’s got the guy with the friendly smile? Then again, he’s a dead ringer for Rich Wilde, or even John Hunter if he traded in the hat and went wild with the teeth whitener. Other than the 96.71% RTP, there’s little to distinguish Return of the Dead from the 700 others like it.
Still, at least Reel Kingdom hasn’t fluffed it, so Return of the King is a pretty enjoyable game to play however hard it can be to admit for any purists given its clone status. Book slots tend to have more modern looks as time goes by due to graphic advancements. Players who feel like a trip back in time might appreciate Return of the King’s classic, land-based look. Its bleep filled effects add to the old fashioned feeling as well. Another tick in the right column is that Reel Kingdom has used symbol values on the higher end of the spectrum, meaning it is possible to hit 5,000 times the bet on a single spin when smiley guy covers the reels.
In the end, it’s hard to get too worked up about yet another one of these. Return of the Dead is an okay example of a ‘book of’ slot, and the default RTP is a positive, but there’s nothing new to see. Unless you find a version with the highest RTP setting, there is no real reason to play Return of the Dead, something that also make a slot like this incredibly hard to rate.
Return of the Dead is an utterly bog-standard Book of Ra imitator that offers nothing new, though its stats might be enough to win over aficionados of this game type.