Fri, May 24, 9:59pm by Mia Chapman
Last Updated Mon, Oct 7, 11:24pm
Over the years, there have been 100’s of pokies with themes based on Ancient Egypt. While the solid Bally game play helps make this one stand out – there are also some unique features. On the reels you’ll find the usual mix of Pharaoh masks, scarab beetles and Egyptian symbols like the eye of Horus. The striking gold is emphasised by the black background. Traditional music is broken by electronic sound effects, especially when you hit the bonus.
Golden Pharaoh uses u-spin technology to let you control a giant bonus wheel by swiping the screen. In the base game, wild symbols play an important role – especially those on the middle reel. Here are the reasons this ancient Egyptian pokie could fill your bankroll with Pharaoh’s gold:
Wild symbols show a slab of solid gold with a blue striped surround. In case there was any doubt, they have the word ‘wild’ on them in bold letters.
There are two types of wild which can make a big difference to your wins. First, stacked wilds. These come in long strips on the reels. The benefit is that they will often cover entire reels, linking a lot of winning combinations. Wilds replace everything except for the free spins bonus symbols.
On reel 3 you’ll find a wild symbol with an arrow hitting after some spins. Whichever direction the arrow points, a line of wilds will appear. This can make the reel wild, go left, right or hit a diagonal. While the chances of big wins shoot up, you’ll need to get lucky with the other symbols (including stacked wilds) to get huge wins.
Bonus symbols stand out on the reels – as they show wheels, and not Ancient Egypt themed images. You need to hit them on reels 1, 3 and 5 to trigger the main bonus feature.
This is a wheel, and you’ll look at the outside of it, facing you from where the reels were. The ‘U-spin’ technology means that the speed and direction will respond to how you swipe the screen. Your choices with Golden Pharaoh are to swipe up or down. The wheel can land on one of three things:
If you trigger free spins, you start with 10 games. This bonus can be retriggered via new symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5 which say, ‘more free games’ – these symbols replace the wheels.
This trip back in time to Ancient Egypt will happen over a 5×4 reel setup. There are 40 win-lines, with bets starting at just 1c per line. The Pharaoh’s golden mask is the highest paying symbol, with the golden scarab, eye of Horus and Ankh symbol following these. Wins can be on the larger side, with 20,000 coins possible over multiple lines when the high paying symbols and wilds cooperate.
Playing cards break up the ancient treasures – providing those smaller though always welcome hits.
Bally are masters at taking familiar themes and making spectacular designs from them. This is not the newest game, though is certainly striking. Many Egypt-themed games have sandy, beige designs. Bally went for a clean black and gold look for this one. The gold on the reels certainly sparkles, especially when those symbols are involved in winning combinations.
While the wheel bonus is welcome, this temporarily breaks the spell of the Ancient symbols. You’ll find boldly coloured segments, along with instructions to swipe up or down. Like on other pokies with side-on reels, Golden Pharaoh lacks that anticipation when you can see a big prize approaching when the wheel slows.
The combination of what we assume Ancient Egyptian music sounded like and regular beeps and whirrs make the audio interesting!
While this is not different enough to have a ‘wow’ factor compared with other Ancient Egyptian pokies, it is certainly good enough to take for a spin. The stacked plus directional wilds keep the base game interesting. You just never know when they will fall into place for a multi-line win. The main bonus game is where the bigger wins (including jackpots) will come from. With big cash amounts and free spins also available, you’ll know some big-win potential has come your way.