Watch Out for the Scarabs!
The first difference you’ll be able to spot about this game when comparing it to other versions, is that the layout is made up of six different reels. There’s still three rows available, but the reels are increased by one to give a longer set to play on. The icons that show up on these reels are just about the same as the rest of the ‘Book of Ra’ products, with imagery of ancient Egyptian artefacts flooding the screen. So, you’ll find scarabs, Pharaohs, golden relics, and the icon of the avid explorer will appear alongside all of these as well. It’s a shame that by now the developer hasn’t managed to find at least a single different piece of music to play while the reels are spinning because the arcade noise is so out of place that it’s almost insulting.
However, alongside the reels and rows, players have 10 inclusive pay lines, which can be decreased should you wish to bet on less. There’s also the opportunity to change the bet placed per line, which starts at the minimum of $0.08 and can be altered up to the maximum of $10, thereby allowing a total overall maximum wager of $100 per spin to be played. There’s also the inclusion of the ‘Autoplay’ button to allow you to spin the reels a set number of times at the same wager level.
Specialities of the Sixth Incarnation
The game’s sixth reel is considered to be one of its specialities, mainly because you’re able to de-activate it, if you so choose. This halves your wager placed as well. However, if the sixth reel is in play, not only does it give you the chance to craft a longer winning combination during the main game, but it also provides the opportunity of being able to trigger freespins more easily.
“How so?”, you might ask. And the answer all comes down to the game’s scatters. The actual book that the explorer is in search of acts as the scatter, but not only that, it doubles up as a wild symbol as well. So, it’s first order of business is to substitute other icons on the reels in order to create a winning combination. After this, its scatter qualities come into effect. Spinning three or more of the scatters anywhere on the reels will award you with 10 free games, or freespins as they’re known. At the start of this round, one special expanding symbol will be chosen at random, and during the freespins, it will expand to cover three positions on the reels.
Finally, the game incorporates Novomatic’s ever-present gamble feature, offering players the chance to double up their winnings at the end of each combination created in the main game. Choosing to do this will present you with a deck of playing cards, and your only job is to guess the colour, red or black, of the next turned over card. Guessing correctly will see your funds increase, while an incorrect guess will see you lose all of your winnings from that spin.
Is the Sixth Better Than the Others?
Book of Ra, as mentioned, is a great game series, but does this one really differ all that much? Well, yes, it does. The addition of the sixth reel and all its qualities make the game a little bit more compelling, but not only that, the scatter icon having wild capabilities as well is a nice formation of two into one. And while it may look graphically no more advanced than its predecessors, number six does provide an intriguing add-on, so to speak.