Rome: The Golden Age: Slot Overview
If there is one civilisation that exhibited contradictions hard for modern minds to fathom, it’s the Ancient Romans. One side of their psyche was all about morals and values, leaving behind some of the most beautiful architecture, literature, and art the world has ever seen. On the other side of the coin, amphitheaters across the ancient world attest to violence levels hard to comprehend by contemporary standards. To the typical Roman, this was just a way of life, no big deal. It’s into this world of blood and battle we turn to in Rome: The Golden Age, an equally dangerous slot designed by developer NetEnt.
The main game plays in what is essentially a corporate box of the ancient world. That is, a marble-floored, marble columned terrace offering the best view of the brutal action taking place in the arena. A reel set arrayed in a 3-4-5-4-3 layout is surrounded by more marble in the form of statues, tastefully covering their naughty parts. It’s a nice view without being exceptional, and betrays little of the big numbers to come.
Gladiator wannabes can suit up on any device, selecting bets from 10 p/c to £/€50 per spin. A full suite of figures are available, starting with a default RTP of 96.06%, keeping in mind this can be set to lower levels so be sure to check. Volatility weighs in at medium/high, while hits come at a frequency of 17.60%. It might seem lower than usual, but the Frame Collection feature helps balance this out as you will experience. Players’ main goal is racking up as high a multiplier as possible before entering free spins, which occurs around once every 195 spins or so.
Across the unusually laid grid, players make use of 20 fixed paylines to land wins of three or more of a kind on. At the lower end of the scale, we find 10-A symbols, before moving on to more rewarding swords, golden helmets, rings, eagles, and tigers. Values aren’t spectacular where five of a kind premium wins are worth 1.2 to 5 times the stake. The wilds pay out as well, though only for five of a kind, worth 5x the bet whilst also replacing regular pays to complete combinations.
Rome: The Golden Age: Slot Features
NetEnt has designed several features in Rome: The Golden Age that work okay on their own but are amplified when working in tandem. This includes a Frame Collection system, multipliers, and free spins.
Whenever Golden Age symbols appear, a frame marks their position. At random, one of the Golden Age symbols may turn into a Rome symbol, activating its frame. The position with the Rome symbol becomes a wild on the next spin, turning all adjacent positions with frames wild as well. These new wilds also turn adjacent positions wild, up to five times. When the wilds have been used in a win, the frames are removed.
Golden Age symbols also bring another benefit. Whenever one lands, 1-4 points are added to a progress bar located above the reels. When 200 points have been collected, the Free Spins Multiplier increases progressively in the following order: x1, x2, x3, x5, x7, x10, x12, x15, x20, x30, x40, x50, x75, x100, x200, x300, x500, x750, x1000. This multiplier plays no part in the base game, but is applied at the end of free spins.
Triggering free spins requires landing three scatter symbols on reels 2, 3, and 4. When transitioning to free spins, all positions with frames or active frames that did not turn wild on the triggering spin, stick to the reels and take a random value of 0.5 to 50x the bet.
During free spins, remaining empty positions spin individually and any new Rome symbol is locked in place. The round starts with 3 free spins, which reset whenever new symbols land. At the end, locked Rome symbols reveal wins of 0.5 to 50x each. Values are tallied, and the current Free Spins Multiplier applied to the total. It then resets back to x1 to begin the process all over again in the base game. On a last, but significant note, filling all positions during the feature doubles the symbol values.
Rome: The Golden Age: Slot Verdict
It’s been some time since NetEnt uncaged a slot like Rome: The Golden Age. While it might use the same layout as Jumanji, Rome: The Golden Age is a completely different experience altogether. Where the branded slot was a low volatile tramp through the jungle, Rome: The Golden Age is the sort of slot that happily hacks the unwary into bloody pieces like an unarmed slave up against Rome’s finest. On the flip side, when your stars align it is also capable of firing off huge wins. Like a whimsical emperor, there’s just no way of telling if you’ll get a thumbs up or down.
Earning the former will take hard work. Since the multiplier resets after every round of free spins, it will take immense amounts of luck for it to reach 1,000x, or anywhere near it really. NetEnt’s numbers bear this out as well. Starting with some encouraging news; Rome: The Golden Age is capable of wins of over 100,000 times the bet - putting it alongside NetEnt’s heaviest of hitters such as Dead or Alive 2. However, considering that in simulations the max win was hit once every 166 billion spins or so, does dent confidence.
Getting there is quite an enjoyable, albeit volatile journey though. The task is made harder by low symbol values, which ensures even full-screen wins are kept low. The Frame Collection system goes some way to filling in the gaps, and the feature triggers often enough to help keep you buoyant. While framed positions turning wild has been used in the past, the way they spread here is rather unique and does create an enjoyable tension as they leap one to the other, piling up around a common symbol to build a win.
Going for a 'collection' mechanic similarly to what we've seen from Big Time Gaming in games like Holy Diver and Kingmaker, Rome: The Golden Age doesn’t have the same ‘go for you guns’ attitude of a game like Dead or Alive 2 in spite of the epic potential shared by both. NetEnt hasn’t brought the theme roaring to life in quite the same way. On the surface, Rome: The Golden Age comes across as pretty civilised, barely hinting at the lethal gaming, or crazy figures it coughs up. Like stepping onto the sandy floor of the Colosseum amidst a sea of gore, don’t let your guard down though. This game has no problems snaring players in a metaphorical weighted net and battering them senseless with a three-pronged trident.
Rome: The Golden Age is a solid slot that offers plenty of excitement if you’re willing to wait for it, but lacks the in-your-face attitude a game carrying this much potential should have.