A Golden Game
Video slots probably aren’t the most helpful medium for learning about ancient Egypt, but if Gold of Ra is to be believed, the Egyptian sun god was packing some serious loot. The graphics in this game are beautifully detailed, with Tutankhamun in particular looking photo-realistic in all his aureate glory. If it glitters in this game, it’s probably gold.
Gold of Ra is a 5-reel game with a background featuring Egypt’s famous pyramids and a burnt orange setting sun. Two stout pillars frame the reels and help to set the slot in place and time. There are 25 paylines and a line bet that can be set between 0.01 and 0.5. This means that the most you can spend on a spin is 12.50. The reels might look ancient but the buttons below them are futuristically styled, like something from a sci-fi adventure. Are GameArt trying to imply that aliens with advanced technology were responsible for creating the pyramids? You never know.
The basic game symbols are made up of playing cards, but these have at least been stylised to give them a regal flourish; a crown here, a green diamond there. Of the Egyptian treasure symbols, the eye of Horus is worth 150 for five and another, featuring a gilded bird, is worth 250 for five. Lording it over them all however is Tutankhamun, coming in at 500 for five matching symbols.
Scatter appears as a treasure chest, the fanciest treasure chest you ever laid eyes on, made out of gold with a huge red gemstone in its centre. Land three or more chests in view to activate the Chamber of Ra bonus. This is where the treasure chest will reveal the number of free spins you’ve won – the maximum is 10. It will also reveal how many symbols will be turned wild for the duration of free spins, ranging from 1-3. When activated, wilds will turn gold and help to turn pairs of other symbols into wins.
When collecting free spins, it’s possible to retrigger the feature by landing three or more scatters. Before you even get to that stage, you can win some tidy sums in the base game, usually with the aid of the gamble feature. Any time you scoop a win, you can activate gamble and bet on the colour of the next card, black or red. Get it right to double your bet or lose it all. You can gamble up to five times in a row.
Ancient Egypt is surely the most crowded video slot genre in existence and as such you shouldn’t have to look far to find similar games. GameArt have released numerous games with these bonus features, but for something a little different but still close to home try Novomatic’s Book of Ra.
As you can probably guess, its theme is essentially identical to Gold of Ra but it only has 9 paylines. They’ve also released a deluxe version of the game. Another candidate to consider is Egyptian Riches by WMS which mines the same theme with more treasure galore.
Good Looking Gold of Ra
Gold of Ra isn’t going to win any awards for originality, but then that was never its intent. Regardless of the competition, this is a great looking slot whose symbols have been beautifully rendered. There’s not a lot going on in terms of features, so this slot is unlikely to whet your appetite for long, but it’s worth a go nonetheless to see if you can activate the lucrative Chamber of Ra bonus.