Valley of the Gods 2: Overview
Reignite your torches players, it’s time to head back to the sandy seas of Ancient Egypt. This isn’t any old random trip to somewhere hot for a bit of sun though. This is the serious business of test driving the sequel to one of Yggdrasil’s flagship titles. The original, Valley of the Gods, was released in 2017 and ended up a smash hit thanks to its unusual setup, and sheer playability. Fast forward several years and Yggdrasil Gaming has decided to follow up with Part 2. Is it any good? Let’s check it.
One glance is all it takes to realise that Yggdrasil has taken their time to redesign the whole format. It’s always risky tinkering with a winning formula, but the new changes work exceptionally well. Instead of the 5-reel rectangle of the original, we now get a layout of 6 reels with expandable rows that start with a default 1-2-3-4-5-2 format. Surrounding these active positions are scarab patterned blocker tiles, giving the reels a sort of pyramid on its side look.
To the left of the reels are three modifier meters while in the background lie pyramids and palm trees in a heat haze. The exotic soundtrack flows flawlessly - at times slow, at times fast-paced matching the action. Just as good are the bass-heavy sound effects that greatly enhance the whole sensorial impact. If there is one studio that can present a top mythological/historical theme, it’s Yggdrasil Gaming.
Playable from 25 p/c to £/€125 across any device, we get a slightly higher RTP rate than before, on 96.3% while volatility has been tuned up to a medium/high setting. You might think landing winning combinations is hampered by having just one symbol on the first reel, but a hit rate of 20% means around 1 spin in 5 will theoretically be a win.
Putting a combination together requires linking up three or more matching symbols left to right. There aren’t paylines as such - as long as symbols sit adjacently from the first reel, they link up. That means in the default mode, there are 240 win ways which expands to 20,160 when all blockers have been removed. This process is detailed in the features section below.
First, lets deal to the pay table’s regular symbols of which there are 10 in total. The first 6 are 9-A royals; the remaining 4 are the gods Anubis, Horus, Sobek, and Bastet. The cat god Bastet is the most valuable of the bunch, pulling in 20 times the stake for a line of six of a kind. There is no regular wild symbol, but a wild reel is activated as part of the game’s features.
Valley of the Gods 2: Features
Valley of the Gods 2 offers a bunch of features which all build off of one another. As the saying goes, it only takes a spark to light a volcano. Here, the process begins on any win. When that happens, scarabs fly off the combination to destroy blocker tiles. The number of tiles removed is the number of symbols used in the win. A respin is also triggered, and if another win occurs on the respin, the process repeats.
If all blocker tiles are destroyed, an extra life is awarded and the three collection modifiers are activated. Now, when wins occur, different coloured scarabs fly off the winning symbols and fill the modifier meters. Every 5 red scarabs award 1 extra life, every 5 blue scarabs increase the win multiplier by +1, while 5 golden scarabs trigger a wild reel which positions itself on a random reel. Wild reels remain in place until the next win occurs or until respins end.
If a respin does not have a win on it, one life is used to keep the feature going. When lives are gone, and no new winners appear, respins end. Then, the grid resets back to its default mode and the hunt goes on.
Valley of the Gods 2: Verdict
Fans of the original will be relieved to know the sequel is every bit as good, if not better than the first. Everything that made part one so compelling is either still there, or enhanced, and the result is a worthy successor. Removing blockers gives Valley of the Gods 2 a sense of purpose, and once you’ve cleared them, the game gets the chance to really wind up.
The game also has a strong ‘just one more time’ factor to it, because once you’ve seen what it can produce off a single spin, it’s hard not to chase the dragon. It’s like when people construct those massive domino sets, where just one tap sets off an insane chain reaction. Similarly, it gets on some sweet chains of respins of its own. The process starts with clearing the blockers, racking up some lives, popping a few multipliers, and if you’re fortunate, the odd wild reel or two - off one spin.
As a sequel, Yggdrasil has made a bunch of excellent improvements. The spirit of the original is still there, along with alterations that make it all feel fresh again. The new Wild Reel is a clever new addition and is by far the hardest of the modifiers to trigger. Plenty has changed, but not enough to put fans off in any way. Quite the opposite, play the first after you’ve had a few spins on part two and the superior new gameplay is immediately apparent.
On the flip side, Valley of the Gods 2 might be a little too technical for some players. It’s probably not suited to those who like a straight-up Book style Egyptian slot, for example. The game can prove to be quite frustration too at times. The respin feature might trigger relatively frequently (hit frequency of 45.5%), but more often than not it is over in the blink of an eye with not much to write home about.
All up, Valley of the Gods 2 is a great sequel to a flagship slot which should appeal to a range of players. From fans of the first, to Egyptian enthusiast, or players simply looking for something a little different to try, Valley of the Gods 2 has the goods to satisfy each.
Valley of the Gods 2 expands each aspect of the original while retaining everything that made the first one such an immensely playable success.