Ancient Egypt is once again the setting for a casino slot. This time it’s the turn of Book of the Sphinx, brought to you by software developer Spielo, the gaming product brand of GTECH. If you’re not yet sick to the back teeth of slots about pharaohs, scarabs and pyramids, you could well enjoy this one, which is spread over five reels and 20 pay-lines.
Book of the Sphinx is nothing you haven’t seen before, but with a multiplying wild, a scatter and free spins, not to mention a wide betting range, the action is comparatively fast-paced.
The base game takes place across Spielo’s most popular betting layout of five reels and 20 lines, and you’ll certainly be familiar with the icons, which comprise numerous scarabs, pharaoh busts and hieroglyphics – yeah, yeah, just like pretty much every Egypt-themed slot on the planet!
The control panel is situated along the bottom of the screen, and has tabs for Denomination, Credits/Line and Lines. Just set your betting limits and away you go. You can also click into the pay-table or activate Autoplay.
Above the control panel, the reel grid is situated within a temple, its stone floors covered by glinting gold coins. The temple glows red and orange, with flames shooting out of wall sconces on the colonnades. The graphics themselves are solid if unspectacular. The 5x3 grid, meanwhile, is populated by icons including a pharaoh, a scarab, a decorative pendant, an Egyptian cross, a cobra, an Eye of Ra and a cat goddess. There are also several low-value playing card symbols, which go from 10 to Ace. If you’re too lazy to check the pay-table, you can press on any symbol – so long as the reels are stationary – to display the actual return for your present bet.
Gamers can wager bets with coins as low in value as 0.01, and stake a maximum of 200 per spin. The maximum jackpot is 4,000.
The aforementioned jackpot – since that’s all you’re likely to be thinking about – is won when a player lands five scatter/wild symbols on an active line. The scatter/wild is represented by a leather-bound tome – the eponymous Book of the Sphinx. As well as being associated with sums in the pay-table (4,000/400/40), it triggers free spins. Land three to win ten, four to win 15 or five to 30. Because this icon functions as a scatter and a wild, it can replace all others in the game – except the Eye of Ra – to help you form winning combinations.
The Eye of Ra symbol is another one to watch out for. Three or more of these will furnish players with a prize for all original winning combinations. Moreover, combinations of the symbol activate a bonus feature in which a special bonus symbol is created from one of the game’s regular icons, which then expands to cover the whole reel and yield multiple prizes.
The best paying regular symbol in Book of the Sphinx is the pharaoh, which pays 2,500 for five, 300 for four and 50 for three. The pay-outs fall rather sharply thereafter, though: it’s 500/200/25 for the scarab, 250/40/20 for the cat goddess and 250/40/20 for the Egyptian cross. The lowest-paying symbols in the game are, of course, the playing cards.
Among the feature-rich offerings, Spielo have included a Gamble feature, which activates after players hit a regular pay win. Just hit Gamble to play a 50/50 gamble game, where you can double your winnings by guessing the colour of a face-down playing card. Of course, you could lose the lot with an incorrect guess. You are allowed five correct guesses before the feature terminates.
You might roll your eyes at the emergence of yet another Ancient Egypt slot, but Book of the Sphinx is better than most of its contemporaries. While there aren’t any multipliers to be found, the free spins are pretty generous and the expanding bonus symbols can lead to some nice wins. In other words, there’s nothing original about this slot but it plays relatively well.