Rise of Giza PowerNudge: Slot Overview
With a name like Rise of Giza PowerNudge, there are no second guesses as to where Pragmatic Play is sending players this time. However, this is Giza as you probably haven’t seen it before in an online slot. Instead of rewinding the clocks or sifting through archaeological leftovers, Pragmatic Play has put the Egyptian tourist attraction through a futuristic, digital ringer. The results are a little different, which is good because Pragmatic Play has married the unusual look with a brand new mechanic called PowerNudge.
With a dune sea of Egyptian slot options, it’s nice to see a studio take the civilisation in a new direction. Thunderkick had a similar idea when they designed Pyramyth, though theirs had a brighter look about it. Rise of Giza PowerNudge looks like a world burning up under oppressive global warming, all pastel-purple skies and lots of dust. The game’s 5-reel, 10-payline game panel, takes up most of the view but has left space around the edges for Pragmatic Play to explore the theme. There we find flying contraptions, statues that are yet to crumble, and plenty of cogs. Giving Rise of Giza PowerNudge a Steampunk bent manages to blast some life into the well-worn genre.
While the theme treatment is new, the maths powering the game are as solidly predictable as they tend to be from Pragmatic Play. The RTP has one set level, regardless of how the bonus game is triggered – if going the organic route or buying free spins, players can expect a default theoretical return value of 96.49%. Gameplay is highly volatile, rated 5 out of 5, yet potential surprisingly not so at 4,000x, even with a progressive win multiplier in free spins.
Another unusual aspect of Rise of Giza PowerNudge is its win system. Technically, you need to land at least three matching symbols across the game’s 10 fixed pay lines. However, wins can start from any reel, not just the leftmost – an addition that suits the PowerNudge feature well. The paytable contains seven normal pay symbols and no wilds. From top up, there are Ankhs, Eyes, Horus, Bastet, Pyramids, a virtually robot pharaoh, and a monocled empress – each one getting a digital makeover. Values-wise, five of a kind combinations are worth payouts of 1 to 12 times the stake.
Rise of Giza PowerNudge: Slot Features
Rise of Giza’s headlining feature is the trademarked PowerNudge mechanic, which appears during all phases of play. This means it activates during the base game and in free spins where a progressive win multiplier is used.
The PowerNudge behaves similarly to a cascading win system with several marked differences. How it works is whenever a winning combination hits, the prize is paid, and every reel that contains at least one winning symbol nudges down one position. This reveals new symbols at the top, and the game pays again for all winning combinations on the screen. If, for example, a winner hits on the top row, it will repeatedly pay until pushed off the bottom of the grid. PowerNudges only end when there are no more winning combinations on the screen.
On all reels, overlaid on random symbols, tiny scarab icons may appear. These scatter overlay symbols are collected during a nudge sequence. At the end of the sequence, if three or more have accrued, free spins are triggered.
When triggered, 8 free spins are awarded for collecting 3 scarab scatters, and for every scatter beyond three, +2 free spins are added to the total. The free spins feature uses a progressive win multiplier that starts on x1. Following every nudge or subsequent free spin, the multiplier increases by +1. Collecting 3 or more scatters during the feature extends it by adding free spins in the same manner as in the main game. Perhaps worryingly, for some, free spins also come with a minimum guaranteed win of 5x the total bet. If you make it to the end of the feature and the minimum amount is not reached, extra free spins are awarded until the 5x is reached.
In some instances, it may be possible to buy the round of free spins rather than trigger them. The cost of this is 80x the total bet and produces a spin which lands at least 3 overlay scatters.
Rise of Giza PowerNudge: Slot Verdict
PowerNudge turned out to be quite a fun alternative to traditional cascading type features. It helps that winning combinations can start from any reel, preventing players from staring at the first three reels most of the time. Using this method also frees up the game board. For example, when winning symbols in the middle three reels drop, they might hook up with one or both outer reels to produce a longer win. It can also be a bit of a thrill, watching repeat winners nudge from one row to the next before exiting the grid by falling off the bottom.
On the other side of the coin, PowerNudge does come across as a more restricted system than, say, reactions in a Megaways game. In large part, this is because there are fewer reels and a lot less ways to win. While repeat hits are possible, there are none of those insane moments that occur from time to time in a Megaways slot, where multiple symbols hit right across the grid, and it seems the whole thing is going to cascade. Symbols land stacked in Rise of Giza, but a full screen is limited to 150x the bet, so with a win multiplier in full swing, the game can muster up wins of 4,000x the bet max.
There’s a great chance certain players will get a real kick out of the new PowerNudge mechanic and the way it links symbols while creating consecutive winners. Rise of Giza is worth checking out if you’re looking for a new or perhaps safer cascading game option. After the debut, it would be interesting to see PowerNudge let loose on something with a bit more muscle.
There is a core idea here that is quite sound, though hardcore gamers might find it undermined by weak potential.