Ancient Egypt is one of the more alluring themes that finds its way into online slots from time to time. Some are set in the eras of the Pharaohs and pyramids, while others track plucky explorers in the present day as they search for hidden Egyptian treasures. Book of Ra falls very much into the latter category, but still manages to hold on to some of the intrigue and appeal of this ancient civilisation.
Think Indiana Jones, and you’re not far off the mark. An archaeologist-cum-explorer is the game’s central character, and you’ll see him in certain symbols, game graphics and animations. One thing that will strike you pretty early on is that Book of Ra now has a somewhat dated look. Compared to other leading slots, it’s starting to look a little tired on the graphics front. That said, Book of Ra remains the flagship slot of the Novomatic line, and the slots title that has become the standard bearer for the company in recent years.
The payout percentage is at a generous 94.26%, towards the upper end of what you typically find with online slots. There’s also the possibility of grabbing free spins as you play, a factor that has certainly not escaped those who devoutly head back to the Book of Ra time after time in pursuit of that jackpot.
It’s not a progressive slot, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some really juicy prizes on the line, with some 180,000 coins available for the top prize. While you won’t be floored by the playing experience, this is still a fun slot, with more than enough firepower to keep you well in the black for a long time to come.
The Book symbol, the Book of Ra itself, has a dual purpose on your reels, and whenever it pops up, you know it’s going to be going some way towards bringing you some good luck. These act as the wild symbol when they appear individually, helping complete your paylines, so you end up winning when you’re a symbol short.
If you happen to be lucky enough to spin three or more Books on your reels, you’ll see its second function come to life, as the game’s scatter symbol. This means you get rewarded with some free spins, as many as 10 to get you started, with a chosen symbol becoming the expanding scatter for the game. This essentially means that during your free spins, you can take advantage of multiple different scatter wins when you spin combinations of the expanded scatter, as well as having the benefit of those free spins weighing in to your account.
Three or more of the expanded scatter symbols on your free spins pays out handsomely, while five on the reels can see you take home the game’s maximum win. You won’t come across these on every spin, but when they do appear on your reels, it can mean the difference between a mediocre sessions and a seriously big win.
Otherwise, you’ll see symbols packed onto the reels with a vaguely Egyptian theme, including highly stylised high card symbols, which all add to the mystique of this slot.
While this is a fairly simple slot by comparison to some other titles, that doesn’t mean it’s light on features. The gamble feature gives you the opportunity to decide with every winning spin whether you want to push on further, and try to double your money in a double-or-quits style choice. We don’t usually recommend you try this, because of its distorting impact on the house edge – imagine the devastation of landing a substantial win, and losing it on the gamble feature, on essentially a 50/50 toss up.
However, it’s still a cool feature to play around with, and it has been known to work well in doubling up winnings from some successful spins. It’s up to you how frequently you choose to use the gamble feature in Book of Ra.
Book of Ra is one of the rare breed of slots games that actually builds a following, independent of the casinos that offer it, or the software developer. Slots fans enjoy Book of Ra for its free spins, its decent payouts, and of course, the gamble feature.
While there are newer, more advanced slots titles out there, not everyone is looking for a glitzy, dazzling experience from their slots play. For those who enjoy a straightforward game, with decent chances to win big money and enough bonus features to keep things interesting, Book of Ra is still well worth taking for a spin.
Book of Ra Deluxe
When Johann Graf was importing pinball machines and installing them in bars and clubs across Austria back in the 70s and 80s, he could barely have imagined the success his company would go on to realise. Book of Ra Deluxe is one of the leading slots titles to emerge from that company, today known as Novomatic, and one of the stand-out games developers for online and mobile casinos.
Book of Ra Deluxe picks up where the original Book of Ra slot left off, more of a modernisation on the classic, with a few new features thrown in. It has the same Egyptian theme, as you’d expect, along with 5 reels and 10 paylines for you to win against. The win percentage at 95.25% alone is enough to make this a standout title – and that’s before you consider the bonus rounds, which include free spins and multipliers.
The original Book of Ra is a pretty straightforward game, but it does what it does well. The same applies in the Deluxe edition, and if you were expecting a significant overhaul, you might be disappointed. However, if you were a big fan of the original, or you’re just looking for a basic slots game with good prizes and winning features built into it, you’re the perfect candidate for checking this slot out further.
The Book of Ra symbol is the game’s primary scatter. If you’re lucky enough to land three or more of these symbols across your reels on any given spin, you trigger the bonus feature – that’s 10 free spins, plus a 2x multiplier on anything you win. The free spins can be retriggered too, and it’s possible to line up 30, 40, 50 or more free spins if the reels fall in your favour. This is where some of the biggest wins from the base game emerge, and it can make all the difference to your session if you start racking up the free spins.
It also doubles up as the wild symbol, so the Book of Ra will help you complete any paylines if you fall short of landing the bonus feature. So it’s a pretty good symbol to have on your side.
There’s also an expanding scatter feature, which happens when you trigger the bonus. This allows you to pick another symbol at random which will be treated like an expanded scatter, spreading out over the reels and paying its own scatter bonus whenever they appear in numbers on your reels.
The combination of all of these features make it very profitable to land the bonus rounds. Aside from that, in the main game, the prizes for lining up different combinations are still decent enough, so the bonus rounds really are a bonus – albeit a very pleasant addition to your coffers when they ring up for you.
The Gamble Feature
Regular players of Novomatic slots will no doubt be delighted to see the Gamble feature make its return in the Deluxe version of the game. This allows you an extra bet on your winning spins – choose to go for double or quits.
This is purely elective, so it’s in your hands whether you trigger this feature, but it’s nice to have – nothing beats the excitement of doubling up on a massive win through the gamble feature. It’s probably best to tread carefully however – you could easily end up losing your winnings from the gambled spin, on what is essentially a 50/50 between win and lose.
Play Book of Ra Deluxe
There are only a handful of slots that could ever be considered to have a following – the Book of Ra series is definitely one of them. It’s the leading title in the Novomatic game catalogue, and it’s not hard to see why. This game is really all about its bonus features, which are amongst some of the highest paying bonuses you can expect to find in any slots game.
The gamble feature is a nice addition, but when the free spins start to rack up (complete with their 2x multiplier on your winnings), it’s up to you to capitalise on your advantages and make the most you can from those spins. Invariably, these end up being pretty rewarding, and that is in no small part responsible for the popularity of this game.
If you’re a fan of the original, or you’ve yet to check out a Novomatic title, Book of Ra Deluxe is an excellent game, and one you should have no hesitation in giving a shot.
Book of Dead
Ancient Egypt is always a rich seam for slots games, and Book of Dead takes you right there, into the heart of a pharaoh’s pyramid. Right from the initial video animation, it’s clear this is a game that has gone big on graphics. Credit is due to the game’s developer, Play’n Go, one of the leading providers of slots software for online casinos. With luxurious graphics, shiny animations, and a nice, slick feel throughout, this is clearly a game that lives up to its billing.
The RTP percentage is set at a generous 94.17%, and you can feel that’s a high percentage as you’re playing through the game. Aside from the main reels, the bonus features add an extra impact to the game that sees it easily compete with games from other developers like Microgaming and NetEnt.
The storyline is loosely based on the adventures of intrepid explorer Rich Wilde, who is searching for buried ancient treasures. If the reels fall in your favour, you might feel like you’ve struck gold yourself – the jackpot stands at a decent 5000 coins.
Rich Wilde: Aside from being the game’s main character, Rich Wilde plays an important role on the reels. He’s the jackpot symbol, and you’ll need to turn him up on each of the five reels in order to land the 5000x win.
The Book of Dead: This is the game’s only feature symbol, acting as both the scatter and the wild symbol. As the wild symbol, it will help make your paylines into winners, by acting as any missing symbol. So if you land 3 Rich Wildes and a Book on reel 4, you’ll still be treated as if you had lined up 4 of the same symbols.
When three or more appear on the reels at any one time, you’re in line for a free spins bonus. These are awarded in lots of 10, and are retriggerable an unlimited number of times. So if you land three more Book symbols in any of your free spins, you’ll get 10 free spins added to the total.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the expanding scatter feature that comes into play. You can choose another symbol at random which will become an expanding scatter symbol for the duration of your free spins. That means that the symbol expands onto to fill its entire reel, and pays out a scatter bonus, depending on the number of reels you’ve filled. This is one of the most lucrative bonus features you’ll find in a slots game, and certainly key to the popularity of Book of Dead.
Play Book of Dead
At maximum stakes, this game pays out a staggering £500,000 – reason enough for most people to consider giving it a spin. But a word of caution – it’s known to be a volatile slot from time to time, so it’s worth setting your expectations early. It’s very similar to Book of Ra, the smash-hit slot from Novomatic. But you’ll find Book of Dead to be a largely more impressive playing experience. It’s not the most original slot in the world, but they’ve executed incredibly well.
The payout percentage at over 94% means this is a game that should pay out decent money. When you find yourself in a position to take advantage of the bonus features, that starts to feel more understandable, even when the main game is otherwise proving pretty tight. All in all, Book of Dead is well worth checking out, whether you’re a casual slots fan or a fan of Book of Ra.