If you’ve ever played slots at a brick-and-mortar casino, we’d wager that you’ll be familiar with the iconic Book of Ra game, released by Novamatic in 2014.
Not only is this one of the most popular land-based slots of all time, but it’s also arguably the inspiration behind Play ‘n Go’s superb Book of Dead game.
Set in the heart of Ancient Egypt with arid desert scenes and ancients ruins helping to form for the 5×3 reel grid, the game has 10 fixed paylines and a maximum jackpot haul of 250,000 coins.
There’s also a healthy betting range available to players, who can spin away for between £0.10 and £50
You’ll be led on your adventure by the Indiana Jones-inspired Rich Wilde, as you look to navigate a high-variance base game and unlock the slot’s lucrative Free Spins feature.
We’ll touch more on this feature later, but it will reward with up to 20 free spins to help you on your way. From here, a symbol is chosen at random to become a special expanding icon, which can, in turn, translate into wins of up to 5,000-times your original stake!
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In some respects, the Book of Dead is a relatively traditional slot game, and one in which players can choose whether to play one or all 10 paylines simultaneously. Clearly, the more lines you play, the better your chances of winning, but you’ll need to tailor your stake to ensure that you manage your bankroll.
To achieve this, start by selecting the amount of coin that you stake per line, within the permitted range of one and five. Then, you need to establish the coin size, which can sit anywhere between 0.01 and 1.00. This translates into a line bet range of between £0.10 and £50.00, creating flexible gameplay that’s capable of appealing to both novices and high-stakes gamblers alike.
Once these values have been set and your line bets staked, you can spin away and see precisely how the symbols line up. Wins are paid in multiples of your line bet throughout the base game, whilst the free spins round offers a top payout of 250,000 coins when you land five Rich Wild symbols (at the highest possible stake and with a 5,000-times multiplier).
There are other winning combinations too, of course, with the Pheonix, Anubis and Pharaoh symbols all paying out at variable multipliers even if you land just two symbols on a single payline.
Landing two of the Pharaoh symbols will payout at five-times your stake, for example, and we’ll explore this in a little more detail later in the piece.
These inflated paytable prizes are typical of a high-variance slot, as whilst you’ll tend to access winning combinations with less frequently, they’ll payout significant amounts in instances where they do land.
Most wins will pay out from left to right too, apart from the Book of Dead scatter symbol, which will pay anywhere across the five reels and carries a hefty 200-time multiplier for your total stake.
Whilst the Book of Dead slot doesn’t boast the same range of features as other modern slots, its Free Spins bonus certainly provides outstanding value.
This can be initiated by the game’s combination wild and scatter symbol, which is embodied by the Book of Dead icon. You can unlock the bonus round by landing three of these symbols across the reel at any time during the base game, at which point you’ll be rewarded with 10 initial free spins that are to be used straight away!
If you earn any standard wins from these original spins, these will be paid out at a one-time multiplier. This phase of a game also sees an icon chosen at random to serve as a special expanding symbol, and if you land this on three reels or more you could achieve even bigger returns!
However, if you’re fortunate enough to land three more Book of Dead scatter symbols during this time, you’ll re-trigger the bonus round and earn a further 10 free spins.
Remember, if you also match five of the high-value Rich Wilde symbols during the bonus round, you’ll trigger a 5,000-time multiplier of your initial stake.
The Book of Dead slot also includes the popular ‘Gamble’ feature, which is a common staple of modern games and pokies.
This allows players to gamble their accrued winnings by hitting the ‘gamble’ button that sits just below the reels, simply by guessing the correct colour or suit of the next card to be drawn at random.
If you guess correctly, you can double or potentially quadruple your winnings, but if you get it wrong, you’ll lose everything that you’ve earned to date. So, this feature is certainly not for the faint-hearted!
Minimum Stake: €0.10
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Maximum Stake: €5.00
For a high-variance slot, the Book of Dead offers a relatively competitive return-to-player (RTP) rate of 96.21%, which means that players can target deceptively regular base wins whilst also optimising their returns over time.
The maximum bonus round win is a whopping 5,000-times your initial stake, earned by landing five of the Rich Wild symbols anywhere on the reels.
Securing five of the Pharaoh symbols also delivers a hefty payout and one that will multiply your stake by 2,000.
In instances where you’re able to land five Anubis or Pheonix symbols on the reel-grid, you also access a welcome 750-multiplier that’s certainly not to be sniffed at!
Book of Dead On Mobile
There’s further good news for Book of Dead fans too, as this game is HTML5 compatible and can be easily accessed through mobile browsers or casino apps on iOS and Android.
This means that the slot can be enjoyed seamlessly on a vast array of devices, from laptops and desktop computers to smartphones and tablets!
The importance of this should not be underestimated in the current iGaming space, particularly as 51% of online gamblers in the UK now wager regularly through a mobile device.
Our Xpert Review
Book Of Dead, despite being an illegitimate spiritual successor to Novamatics game, and also shamelessly ripping off Indiana Jones, is an exciting and engaging slot that combines immersive visuals with diverse gameplay to outstanding effect.
It has certainly become a cult favourite amongst casual players in the iGaming space, whilst its lucrative free spins round and thrilling ‘Gamble’ feature should also appeal to high-rollers in search of huge returns.
Book of Dead also boasts the unusual combination of a competitive RTP rate and high-variance gameplay, meaning that it appeals to a potentially huge range of players across the board.
Of course, it may not be to everyone’s tastes, as the relative lack of bonus features and level-multipliers makes the slot appear a little bland at first glance. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity, however, and there’s certainly enough here to keep even the most experienced gamblers engaged.