Rise of Dead (Play'n GO): Review
Edit (March 3, 2019): since the article was published, it has been confirmed to us by Play'n GO that Rise of Dead is not a sequel to Book of Dead, but an exclusive release to the GVC/Party Casino brands.
In Rise of Dead, we once again head to the valley of the kings in search of treasures in this tribute to the 2016 Play'n GO smash hit Book of Dead, a shameless copy of Novomatic's flagship title Book of Ra. That's the thing with this studio - though known for its many original and hugely entertaining high-quality slots, the Swedes also have a tendency to churn out quite a few clones (as do many other providers we shall add).
So what are we trying to say here? Well, we will get to that but let's first go through the basics. Rise of Dead comes with a 5-reel, 20-payline setup and includes 3 main features. First, there is the Mega Stacks feature which is active on every spin in the main game. Then there's the randomly triggered Gift of Gods feature, also in the main game, where 3 fully stacked reels are held in place while the remaining 2 reels re-spin. Finally, and most importantly, there's the Ancient Free Spins feature with an array of features to benefit from. Rise of Dead has an industry standard default RTP of 96.53% and can be played from between 0.20 and 100 Eur per spin.
Visually, it's a less luminous take on its sibling. It's dark, apocalyptic and the elemental colours are cold with a bluish tinge. Furthermore, hieroglyphs, such as the ancient Egyptian Ankh, are strategically positioned on each side of the info bar to signal eternal life. Symbols on the reels include A to 10 royals as well as 3 premium walking dead pharaohs. It is Tutankhamun, the ruler of the New Kingdom and pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, that is of highest value - 5 across a payline will give you 25 times your stake. The scarab beetle is the wild. It performs the usual duties of replacing all symbols bar the scatter and is also the highest paying symbol worth 125 times your stake for 5 across a payline.
Rise of Dead (Play'n GO): Features
The bulk of your time will, of course, be spent chasing the bonus which is why it's nice to see that there are a plethora of quality features in the main game to keep you entertained. Rise of Dead benefits from the Mega Stacks feature which activates on each spin in the main game. One symbol is randomly selected to fill every reel with stacks that are 12 symbols high. This, of course, significantly improves your chances of landing winning combinations with the particular symbol.
Also in the main game, the Gift of Gods feature may trigger randomly. When activated, reels 1, 3 and 5 are matched in full stacks with the same symbol and held in place while reels 2 and 4 continue to spin using the regular symbols, something that can potentially result in a 500x win should you land a full screen of the top paying symbol.
It's all about the Ancient Free Spins, however, if you want to pocket the mega wins. To gain admittance to the tomb of the dead kings, 3 scroll scatters have to appear on reels 1, 3 and 5. Starting with 10 free spins, 1, 2 or 3 scatters that land on the reels during the bonus will add 2, 4 or 10 extra free spins to your total. There is no limit to how many times the bonus can be retriggered. The free spins feature is basically all about Mega Stacks but with a few extra benefits. Not only do all regular symbols appear stacked on the reels, the wild symbol also appears in stacks. Additionally, premium pharaoh symbols that land on a winning payline will expand to fully cover the reels. A full-screen wilds will give you 2500 times your stake but if extremely lucky, there's a chance to hit the 5000x roof in the bonus.
Rise of Dead (Play'n GO): Verdict
Disappointingly, Rise of Dead turns out to be a mere clone of another Play'n GO slot released last year called Gold King. Despite a great opportunity to further expand the legacy of one of its most successful games to date, Play'n GO somehow manages to miss an open goal.
It's not that Gold King is a bad game, it's just that all the obvious references to Book of Dead significantly increased our expectations - a slot that, whether we like to admit it or not, many of us gamblers have a rather strong emotional bond to. Even if not an official sequel, it's hard not to regard it as such by looking at the art work. After all, Play'n GO is a developer forever interlinked with Book of Dead.