One of two things can happen when another ‘Book of’ slot is added to the stack. Studios will often produce replica works when they either have no original ideas or are eager to cash in on a trend. Developer Pragmatic Play prefers the latter in their game Mysterious Egypt. Although it’s not quite revolutionary, Mysterious Egypt does have a few fresh ideas thanks to the studio’s inclusion of them.
The graphics aren’t exactly cutting edge, as they include the usual 5-reel, 10-payline grid set against what has to be one of the most overused backdrops in online gambling: the Pyramids of Giza. Pragmatic Play deserves credit for the attractive visuals, especially on mobile, which give the player the impression that they are docking at the temple complex from the Nile, with the pyramids in the background. The sheer magnitude and splendor of the structures back in the day must have been astounding, and they likely did much to convince common Egyptians of the Pharaoh’s divinity.
To ground things in reality, you may play Mysterious Egypt on any device for as little as 10 p/c every spin or as much as $/€100 per spin for the high rollers. Behind the beautiful scenes, Pragmatic Play has developed a highly volatile mathematical model that has earned a 5/5 rating and yielded a good 96.5% RTP by default. However, keep in mind that Pragmatic uses adjustable RTP, and your preferred casino may have a lower RTP option for play.
In Mysterious Egypt, you can triumph in one of two ways. Both the standard base game and the bonus game feature regular left-to-right line winnings and expanding symbols that pay wherever. All the signs come from ancient Egypt. Small motifs like Ankhs adorn the 9-A tiles on the low end, while birds, cats, a golden pyramid, and the unique Eye of Horus highlight the high end. Payouts for premium wins with a full house (five of a kind) range from 75 times to 500 times the initial wager.
Playing the Slots of Ancient Egypt
You may safely skip this section if you’re already familiar with standard ‘Book of’ type slot machines. Pragmatic Play has stayed true to itself by providing a bonus game with expanding symbols that can be triggered during regular play. However, there are a few deviations from the typical Ra game.
The first is that there are secret symbols in play on all spins, whether they cost money or not. The active symbol is shown in a box above the reels throughout the base game so you always know what to search for. When these symbols land, they may grow to fill a whole reel in a vertical expansion. The fact that customers can pay from any location is even greater news. Only after a winning combination is made do the expanding symbols come into play. Three of any low-paying symbol, for instance, or two reels full of pyramids.
The scatter/wild is a crucial part of every ‘Book’ themed slot machine. Instead of a book, Mysterious Egypt provides us with a queen sign that is ornately embellished with gold snakes and other trinkets. As the wild, she may stand in for any other symbol (excluding enlarged ones) to help you win. Scattering 3, 4, or 5 of her anywhere in view to earn 10 free spins and payouts of 2x, 20x, or 200x the wager.
There’s a twist before the free spins begin. Mysterious Egypt picks two random symbols to expand instead of the usual one. When these symbols appear during a free spin, they grow in size according to the standard criteria described above. The free spins bonus may be retriggered in the same way it was initially activated. Finally, Mysterious Egypt offers a bonus buy option where 10 free spins may be purchased for 100x the wager.
Slot Judgment in Egypt’s Mysterious Past
The changes may not be as dramatic as those made to Book of Shadows, but neither is Mysterious Egypt a place where original ideas aren’t welcome. It’s not the best or the worst example of the genre, but it has enough fresh material to warrant at least a couple of plays for longtime enthusiasts. The inclusion of growing symbols in the main game is a fun twist. It’s not as polished as, example, how Max Win Gaming implemented the idea in Ali Baba’s Luck, but it adds a level of excitement that would otherwise be lacking. It also implies that 5,000x your wager is theoretically achievable on any spin if the game chooses the Eye of Horus and five land on different reels. Even while this may have made triggering free spins less desirable, Pragmatic made up for it by providing two unique symbols in the bonus round instead of one.
The mathematicians have made it such that your expected return is the same as it would be with ordinary Ra free spins, but the game becomes more complex. If you get the necessary combination of both bonus symbols at the same time, you’ll get paid twice as fast. There is none of the frustrating “highest paying special symbol on each reel” nonsense. Mysterious Egypt falls within a decent range of the spectrum for games of this genre, with maximum wins of almost 5,602 times the stake.
In conclusion, Mysterious Egypt has its own unique qualities, but overall it’s just more of the same, so don’t hold your breath for a Ra revolution. Aesthetically, it’s above average, and the upgrades set it apart from the pack, giving it a compelling choice for fans of the era.