One of the most diverse religious/mythological cultures on earth, the Chinese mythology has a vast and varied number of deities and other supernatural beings within it.
Some of these have already been the subject of their own slot game in the past, but the people at Realtime Gaming took a slightly different approach by developing a game based on several of these mythologies and as such the Ancient Gods slot was the end result.
I can't pretend to be an expert on Chinese folklore and myths, suffice to say that I know that there are a large number of different deities and other creatures that form part of the rich tapestry of that culture. There are several evident in the Ancient Gods slot and these are based on the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. The Azure Dragon, the White Tiger, Vermillion Bird and the Black Turtle.
It is these four symbols along with the Yellow Dragon of the center (which acts as the in game Wild) which are the heart of this slot and which are also responsible for some of the bigger wins available in the game too.
Let's take a look at the basics of the slot together with information on where you can play it.
Where can I play the Ancient Gods slot?
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At first, the presentation on the Ancient Gods slot looks superb and certainly the graphics that are behind the reels, depicting an idyllic mountain scene with forests and a waterfall, all designed to look like it has been produced in soft focus, does look hugely appealing. However the animations that bring the picture to life are somewhat shabbily done. The waterfall has been animated of sorts, but it doesn't resemble a waterfall and a creature flits in and out of the rocks on the left of the screen, but it isn't immediately discernible what it is or even why it is there.
It's a strange one for sure as Realtime Gaming have clearly gone for an impressive look with the visuals but have then compounded that by using some rather cheap-looking animations which do detract from the overall impact of the presentation which is a real shame. The sounds though are fine, although the slot is a little louder than most although personally, I liked it as it added an element of tension and drama when playing.
What's on the reels?
There are a mix of symbols on the reels and these are linked in some way with the Ancient Gods in the title. The lower value symbols (of which there are six in total, comprise of small circles that depict the fur, feathers, shell or scales of the creatures in the slot. There is a tortoise shell, the white stripes of the tiger, the golden feathers of the bird, plus three types of dragons scale, green gold and red and these offer a range of wins from 5 coins up to 150 coins.
The bigger value symbols are the four main Ancient Gods in the story and these all pay out when you land two on a pay line as well as three or more. These two symbol wins are generally very small (between 2 and 5 coins) but they do come along relatively frequently. Better value wins are available for three or more symbols with prizes of between 10 coins and up to 1,250 coins if you land five of the green dragon symbols on the reels.
Finally, there are two additional symbols on the reels, the Wild and the Scatter and these are all linked in with the main bonus aspects of the slot.
The Center Dragon is the Wild symbol in the game if you can land it across the reels, then you can win between 10 coins and up to the jackpot of 2,500 coins if you land five across the reels.
This symbol is also a Wild symbol and can be used to substitute any of the standard value symbols on the reels outlined above to help create one or more winning lines. In addition, the Wild symbol is also an Expanding Wild, which means that when landed, it will expand on the reel to cover two spaces, potentially unlocking further wins from that spin.
This can lead to some very big value wins in both the base game and also in Free Spins.
Free Spins features
To trigger the Free Spins bonus you need to land three or more of the Golden Medallion Scatter symbols on the reel. For each of the Scatters you land of three or more, you will win a cash prize of 2x, 10x or 200x your standard bet and then you will trigger 2 Free Spins for each of the Medallions you landed (maximum of 10 Free Spins, minimum of 6).
Furthermore, if you land four Medallions to land Free Spins then all your cash wins in the bonus feature receive a 2x multiplier, while if you landed five, then you will receive a 3x multiplier on all wins in the bonus feature.
You can also re-trigger the Free Spins during the bonus game by landing three or more Scatters on a spin once again.
Other bonus features
The main other bonus feature of the slot is also to do with the Golden Medallion Scatter symbol and this is that if you land this on the reels during the base game and Free Spins, it can produce extra Center Dragon Wilds, which will expand across the reel. This is in addition to those that appear when the Center Dragon Wild is landed, so if you can land a combination of Wilds and Scatters then you stand a good chance of landing a decent sized win.
Best feature of the Ancient Gods slot
For me, the best feature of the Ancient Gods slot is the Wild symbol and the fact that the Scatter symbol can also trigger the Expanding Wilds on the reels. This feature can lead to some of the biggest wins in the game, particularly in Free Spins but also in the base game and often, when you land a decent win on this feature, it can turn a losing session into a profitable one. The Free Spins bonus is decent enough, but is much more lucrative when triggered with four or five Scatters as you get the benefit of a larger multiplier on all your wins, however triggering the bonus with that many Scatters is tricky.
What does the Ancient Gods slot lack?
I think aspects of the Ancient Gods slot look a little hurried, in particular the animations in the background and the fact that the slot is essentially just a standard game with a Wild and Free Spins bonus. For me, I'd have liked to see perhaps a Free Spins game for each of the four different Gods in the slot, or a random base game bonus linked to them. I think that would have added an extra level of detail and excitement to the slot.
There's a lot to like about the Ancient Gods slot. It is fun to play and at times, can be very rewarding. It is one of the more generous of medium variance slots I have played over the years, but it would be interesting to see how those results pan out over a much longer period of time. The bonus features don't sound all that exciting but the little twists on each do give the slot a bit of extra appeal, however it is let down by some poor animations and a lack of invention on the structure of the game as it could have been made a little more unusual to the standard game.
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