The paytable of these 5-reels is one of seafarers, with ships wheels and worn maps guiding you from one side of the matrix to the other. This choice of icons not only adds depth to the visuals of the game, but it also celebrates those guided to safety by the great light on Pharos Island.
This would have been the most logical way to adorn the 10 winlines, but Merkur decided to include more classic symbols to the fray as well, like 10s and Qs. Although they can be argued as taking away from the authentic qualities of the game, they’re a brilliant means of bridging the gap between old and new gaming. Pharos 2 has enough visual presence to attract new school gamers, but enough of a low key undertone that old school users feel just as at ease when playing.
A Golden Beacon
Upon the grid you will notice two coins, one of silver and the other of gold, both of them act as wilds in Pharos 2, meaning that they substitute other icons. However, the gold coin has unique properties should it land upon the second reel: it unleashes the Pharos Feature and Nudge Bonus.
A mouthful to say it might be, but this bonus is a streamlined means of upping the ante when you need it most; Merkur isn’t known for being innovative, so savour this experience whilst you can. When on the second reel, one of the nearby symbols will be chosen as a special symbol, with the remaining adjacent tiles being converted into the same image. Once set in motion, the symbols will move away until none are in sight anymore, which is when the round comes to an end.
The open sea at night is risky to say the least – even with a light to shine the way, all sorts of elements can go wrong before you dock safely. Merkur knows this, which is why they’ve got two gamble options for you to take.
In truth, they use these two extras in all their games, but in having them it helps to improve the connection and drive you experience when playing Pharos 2. The selection is between a card and a ladder, and while visually different, the end result of potentially winning 140 credits is the same. Not that the sum of money will just fall into your lap, for the volatility here continues on from the base game, and so you have a taxing time ahead of you. Think of this as the eye of the storm.
One aspect that is different about these features is how they’re presented: instead of the collect widget being in the middle, the ladder gamble is, meaning you often accidentally launch a round even if you don’t want to.
On Course to Dry Land
We enjoyed weathering storms and the elements to make our way to Pharos, but we’re happy to be back on land, able to leave this slot machine behind us. It was a great one time experience, but now our curiosity is sated and we’re ready to take on new adventures.
Merkur tried to make this an exciting endeavor for the explorer inside each of us, but instead of succeeding they’ve created another middling real cash slot, with little personality.