Rise of Athena: Slot Overview
Athena was massive in the classical world, one of the most important deities in the pantheon. Heck, the most influential city of the time, Athens, was even named in her honour. It’s interesting she is rarely given the same level of respect in the slots world, usually playing second fiddle to the lightning bringer Zeus. Is that a patriarchal thing or just a coincidence? Whatever it is, Play’n GO tip the balance in her favour by not only giving Athena the leading role in Rise of Athena, but making her the only divinity to star in it.
The game gets off to a fine start due to its minimalistic, yet appealing look. The background consists of a temple-like structure set against a light blue Aegean sky. Maybe the Parthenon without the yellow, brown haze of a smog stained Athenian skyline? Wherever Play’n GO has set the game, they have managed to give it a timeless quality that makes you daydream about Greece’s old sites. They’re impressive enough now, 2000 years after the fact, but they must have been dazzling at the time. The 5-reel, 10-payline grid isn’t quite as impressive, though the overall appearance is immaculately harmonious, the very essence of ancient Greek architecture.
Offers bets ranging from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin, there is little in the way of extras, though wild symbols are more interesting than usual. As well as replacing regular symbols for a win, they also display random multipliers of x1-x3. If more than one wild is used in a line win, the multipliers will multiply each other for better returns.
The symbols, meanwhile, are divided neatly down the middle into low and high pay groups. Lows are some nice royals (10-A) designed in a cracked marble font, draped in olive leaves, they’re very Greek. At the other end of the table are the high pays, consisting of scrolls, smoky jars, plumed helms, Pegasus, and Athena. Values from this lot range from 10 to 150 times the bet for five of a kind. Keep in mind too, Athena will pay a conciliatory win of 1x when two of her land on a line.
Rise of Athena: Slot Features
In keeping to the spirit of simplicity, there is just one extra feature happening in Rise of Athena, a bunch of free spins. These are triggered when 3 or more owl scatter symbols are on the reels, resulting in 12 free spins. Owls may land anywhere and pay from any position to give you 1x, 20x, or 500x the bet when 3, 4, or 5 are in view respectively.
Not a lot changes during free spins, aside from an alteration to the way wilds operate. Now when wilds land they remain stuck to the reels until their multiplier runs out. The multiplier on each wild reduces by one between each spin. So an x3 lasts for three spins before vanishing, and so on. The final point is that free spins cannot be retriggered.
Rise of Athena: Slot Verdict
Like the subject matter it presents, Rise of Athena dishes up a batch of old school gaming where features are few and the ride’s as bumpy as you like. It feels like Rise of Athena nailed just what Play’n GO set out to achieve, and it certainly won’t be for everyone. The studio has kept things basic, catering for players who prefer the stripped-down, Spartan style of gambling with nothing getting in the way of the relentless pace.
In saying so, the features you do get aren’t bad. Multiplier wilds are more than just show ponies. During the base game, they were instrumental in forming those larger 100-200x+ wins to keep us in the game. The x3 wild in conjunction with Athena or Pegasus came in handy here - as they did during the feature.
Interestingly, despite cleverly making the wilds sticky(ish), most bonuses ended up less profitable than good old longer line wins during the base game. Of course, it doesn’t mean Rise of Athena is always like that; the game comes with solid potential, which is only possible to crack during a particularly good round of free spins after all. Other highlights include the squeaky clean graphics which match the gameplay perfectly.
Now for some of the potential sticking points. The first, possibly biggest thorn, is that the gameplay can get boring if you’re used to all the bells and whistles of a modern feature-laden slot. It doesn’t help when you find yourself in a rut of dead spins, or seemingly locked onto the first three reels as if the other two don’t exist. Times like that require fortitude, which can pay off, to the tune of up to 5,000 times the bet should Athena be in the mood.
There are plenty of punters who like it leanly volatile with as few distractions as possible. Players in this camp might do well do give Rise of Athena a crack as it feels aimed squarely at this demographic.
Rise of Athena may be another run-of-the-mill creation offering basic gaming and a take-no-prisoners math model, yet it’s a no-nonsense approach that has served Play’n GO well.