Sahara Nights (Yggdrasil Gaming): Overview
At this point, we've seen enough takes on the Aladdin-inspired story to know game developers don't always concern themselves with breaking out of the mold. It's perfectly understandable though - classics are classics for a reason. In other words, if it works, why fix it? It should come as no surprise that Yggdrasil Gaming's visit to the world of flying magical carpets and spiritual creatures, for the most part, is satisfied to colour inside the lines. However, what you're getting here is a visual masterpiece and a captivating adventure that could possibly have spent a bit more time on the mathematical design.
Open Sesame! In this first-ever Arabian-themed offering from Yggdrasil Gaming you'll be chasing your wishes across a 5x3, 20-payline reel set. Medium variance, it comes with magical lamps in the base game that expand into mystical genie wilds and a free spins round where up to three fully stacked sticky wild reels can turn gild to gold. Use any device, including iOS and Android, to transport yourself to the Saharan desert and start spinning from 0.20 to €/£100 per spin.
We know we say this in nearly every Yggdrasil Gaming review, but it's worth mentioning again. These guys design some of the best looking games in the industry and Sahara Nights is no exception. In fact, it's so visually appealing and atmospheric that we ended up spending far more time testing a game than usual. It's highly detailed, rich in colour and includes a beautiful string orchestral score that is a perfect fit for the game. Set inside the sultan's palace, and with the Arabian night sky visible in the distance, symbols on the reels include 4 lower-value gemstones as well as 4 more rewarding picture symbols represented by goblets, daggers, Aladdin and a princess. The sultan is by far the most rewarding, giving you 175 times your stake for a five of a kind combination - you only need two of him to form a win as opposed to the other symbols where three are required. The genie lamp is the wild, it substitutes for all regular symbols and is of central importance as you will discover.
Sahara Nights (Yggdrasil Gaming): Features
Sahara Nights is not the most feature-packed slot to ever come from Yggdrasil, but those that are in place are sufficiently entertaining. First out is the Genie Wild which only appears on the three central reels. When part of a winning combination, the genie wild transforms from a regular wild into a fully stacked wild.
The Genie Wild feature applies in the Free Spins game as well which comes into place when you land 3, 4 or 5 storybook scatters anywhere on the reels - this will give you 8, 12 or 16 free spins respectively as well as a 1000x reward if you land all 5 of them. Now, when a Genie Wild hits during the bonus, it not only expands as it does in the base game, it also sticks throughout the feature. If you land all three of them, 2 extra free spins will be added to your total. You can also retrigger the bonus with 2 extra spins by landing 2 storybook scatters anywhere in view.
Sahara Nights (Yggdrasil Gaming): Verdict
If you're looking to escape to a magical place for a while and immerse yourself in a game with excellent visual presentation, an outstanding soundtrack and not so brutal volatility, Sahara Nights should be well suited for you. Hard-core players that are in for big hits and fast-paced action will have to look elsewhere, though, as the potential is anything but exciting.
The fact that regular symbols don't appear stacked, and seeing that it's only possible to land sticky wilds on the three central reels, keeps the game from being as potent as it could have been. Medium variance, the low potential comes as no real surprise, although it's far lower than necessary - in our opinion, at least. The single top payout will not be achieved with the help of the standard symbols or even the sticky wild reels, which can only pay around 250x per spin by the way, but by landing 5 storybook scatters as mentioned previously.
Sahara Nights is a beautiful game; there is no question about that. It's also quite entertaining to play, although, for some, the experience will undoubtedly be dampened by its weak potential. All there is left to hope for now is for your session not to be as dry as the desert of Sahara huh huh.
Sahara Nights fails to live up to its towering aspirations, but it does so in spectacular fashion.