In Greek mythology, Achilles was one of their most respected and greatest warriors. It was written that Achilles was impervious to almost invulnerable to death all over his body, apart from his heel, which led to the phrase 'Achilles Heel' being used to describe someone's flaw or weakness.
He must have been an impressive warrior as now that part of the body is named after him, as is the tendon that is located there. Along with the likes of Jason, Perseus and Heracles Achilles is viewed as one of Greek mythology's greatest heroes, although like all Greek warriors, he does have his flaws.
With such a rich tapestry of a back story, it is perhaps surprising that Achilles is one of the Greek legends who doesn't feature too prominently in modern gaming. However Realtime Gaming have changed that now with their Achilles slot. Let's take a closer look at the game, first exploring its key aspects before we delve into it a little more deeply and discover whether it too has any "Achilles heels" with its game-play.
Mini Slot Overview
Where can I play the Achilles slot?
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The backdrop for the Achilles slot is the besieged city of Troy, where Achilles enjoyed arguably his greatest every victory when he slayed Hector and defeated the city by using the "Wooden Horse" to gain entrance to the seemingly impenetrable citadel.
The backdrop, like the slot itself is rather simple but it fits in nicely with the theme and to be truthful you are more occupied with what is on the reels on each spin than the backdrop so you don't really pay it too much attention in the game.
The sound is a bit disappointing to be truthful however. There isn't any sound until you click spin on the reels and then you tend to hear just generic slot sounds with the only bursts of music (and they are short and sweet) occurring when you land a bigger value win.
To me this is one of those games where the auto-play features can be useful as there isn't enough in the presentation to keep you focused on what is happening on the reels. There is an auto-play features available happily and this does mean you can spin while getting on with more enjoyable things.
What's on the reels?
There are a number of symbols on the reels and the first of these are the playing card symbols. As usual, these are the lower value symbols in the game offering payouts of between 5 coins up to 400 coins for five-of-a-kind of the Ace and King symbols.
There are four standard higher value symbols, there is the Banner and shield, plus the Trojan Horse itself and the highest paying standard symbol is Helen of Troy, who pays out 5,000 coins when landed five on a pay line. These higher value symbols also offer small payouts of between 2 coins and 5 coins if you land two on a pay line.
Rather disappointingly there are no animations or other things to enjoy when you hit a win, just a small burst of music and then the slot continues. Some would call this style of slot very much an "old school" type of game, but others may be a bit disappointed at the lack of thought that seems to have gone into the symbols on the reels and how they hold a players interest.
There is one Wild symbol in the game, although in Achilles it is called a Substitute symbol and this is the eponymous Achilles himself. Just one of these symbols is enough to give you a winning pay line of 2 coins, but if you manage to land five on a pay line then you can trigger the biggest win available in the game of 10,000 coins.
As a Substitute symbol, the Achilles character can substitute on the reels for any of the other low or high value symbols listed above to help create winning pay lines. However he can't substitute for the scatter symbol (which we will explain more of below).
One nice touch with the Achilles slot is that if you land three or more Achilles symbols across the reels on any given spin, then you can trigger a Free Spins bonus game. We'll explore that and the other Free Spins game in the free spins section below.
Free Spins Features
It's fair to say that I haven't been hugely impressed with the Achilles slot up until now but what I did find is that the slot takes on a far more enjoyable dimension and certainly a more rewarding one when you can trigger one of the two separate free spins bonus games available on the slot.
The first of these is triggered in the usual way by landing three or more of the Troy scatter symbols anywhere across the reels during the base game. This awards you 10 free spins and during free spins, all the prizes you win are subject to a 2x multiplier.
Furthermore, during this Free Spins round, the Achilles Wild symbol also will substitute for a Scatter symbol, which makes it a little easier to re-trigger the bonus and earn an additional 10 free spins each time you do so. Re-triggering is also comparatively frequent compared to other slots.
The second way you can trigger a free spins bonus is to land three or more of the Achilles Wild symbols anywhere on the reels during a spin. When this happens a player has to select one of the Achilles Wild symbols to reveal their prize. It can be 15, 20 or 25 free spins.
During this Free Spins bonus all the Troy scatter symbols are changed into either an Achilles Wild or the highest paying standard symbol, Helen of Troy. Furthermore any prizes you win in this game are subject to a 3x multiplier and you can re-trigger the game by landing three or more Wilds during the bonus spins.
Without a doubt, these two bonus free spins games really liven up the slot and give it far greater appeal than the base game can muster.
Other Bonus Features
The only other bonus feature of note in the Achilles slot is that this is a progressive jackpot game and that this jackpot can be awarded at the end of any spin entirely at random. Unlike other Realtime Gaming slots, there is just one jackpot fund available called the Random Jackpot.
Best Feature of the Achilles slot
Without doubt the best feature of the Achilles slot is the two free spins bonus rounds, indeed they are the main features that make the slot worthwhile playing.
Of the two I think the Scatter Free Spins is easier to trigger but I think offers slightly less chance of a bigger prize due to the fact that you only get a 2x multiplier, rather than the 3x multiplier available in the Achilles Wild free spins round. The fact there are more Wilds and Helen symbols in the Achilles Wild free spins also makes that more likely to offer you higher value payouts.
One word of warning though, Free Spins payouts are somewhat volatile and they can be generally small amounts of money relatively frequently. Any wins of 20x my standard bet were somewhat rare so even triggering free spins is no guarantee of bigger value wins.
What does the Achilles slot lack?
The biggest thing that the Achilles slot lacks is something to grab the player and engage them fully in the game. This is very much an "old style" game in that it could have almost been ported over from a casino back in the early 1990s. There's no bangs or whistles or technical wizardry to keep you playing, it is just a simple slot game.
Now there are those that prefer games to be more simplistic, but at times Achilles is a little too simplistic. Playing the game in silence for the majority of the time isn't good enough these days and the lack of base game features just makes the standard game a drag until you hit the bonus games.
A little more thought about the presentation of the game and how it works would have gone a long way towards making the Achilles slot more enjoyable.
The Achilles slot is somewhat disappointing to be truthful. The base game especially lacks any real aspect that makes you want to play on and its presentation is basic to say the least. That's a pity because the two bonus features of the slot are very playable and enjoyable, but it is such a drag to play through the base game to get to them.
The slot isn't particularly unfriendly to players, it's a lower to medium variance game in my view as wins are relatively frequent and the game doesn't take too big a chunk out of your bank balance when you play. However there is just not enough excitement in this slot to want to keep you playing beyond a couple of sessions.
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