Sahara

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Sahara Slot

Sahara Slot

When it comes to picking the most popular theme for slot machines to follow, few people would be in ‘de-Nile’ that ancient Egypt is the top topic. We’re back in the land of the pharaohs once more, looking to claim treasures beyond our wildest dreams in the Sahara slot game. Well, our wildest dreams might be stretching it a little, but there are still some great rewards to be found.

The beautiful Queen Cleopatra (or maybe it’s Nefertiti – we don’t really know our history that well) oversees the action in Novomatic’s Sahara video slot. It’s a five-reel, five-payline game that can pay out some huge rewards when the high-paying symbols land across it. In common with the many other slot machines that follow this popular theme, there are symbols of scarab beetles and a sphinx joining the queen.

Do you like lots of bonus features? Then look elsewhere. This slot is just about as basic as it can be, with no side games, free spins or even a wild symbol in play, although there is an optional gamble round. It’s quite surprising to find a lack of features, as Sahara has some fairly sophisticated 3D graphics and detailed symbols. However, this slot is aimed squarely at punters who want nothing more than to line symbols up and collect prizes.

The visual attraction extends beyond the symbols to the hieroglyphic carvings that form a background image. Beetles, coins and the game title sit above the reels, while the simple control panel is below them. The Sahara slot looks great, and anyone who likes simple gameplay but wants a break from the usual cherries, watermelons and grapes that come with most fruit machines will enjoy the ancient Egyptian theme.

We can join the Queen of Egypt thanks to Novomatic, one of the biggest developers of slot machines in the world. This Austrian-based company and their Dutch subsidiary Greentube have built up a great reputation over the years. They boast a wide range of mobile-optimized slot games, all of which are fully certified as fair and reliable while being licensed for use in many countries.

Carry on, Cleo

The five paylines run from left to right, with three going horizontally across the three rows of symbols. Lines four and five run diagonally from top left to bottom right and bottom left to top right. You win by landing matching symbols in an unbroken run across a payline, with just two examples of the J icon being enough to collect a prize equal to the total stake. Three or four J symbols return wins of 4x and 10x the triggering bet, while a full line is worth 40x your stake. The Q, K and A high card symbols are worth the same, but you’ll need at least three on a line to win anything.

Dog-shaped urns and the scarab are each valued at 10x, 40x, or 100x the bet when seen on three, four, or five reels. The top prizes are claimed when the realistic image of the queen appears on a payline. You win 20x, 200x and a huge 1000x the bet depending on how much of a line she crosses. There’s a nice animation of the queen dancing across the reels when you land a full line, but with it being such a high-paying combination, don’t expect that to happen too often.

All that’s left to cover is the sphinx, which is a scatter symbol. Landing this stony sculpture in any three places is worth a prize twice your stake, four in view will pay out 10x, and there’s 50x your bet returned when any five or more sphinxes are seen in any positions. There’s not much to learn about playing this game, so even though free Sahara video slots are available, few players will need to spend time testing it out before playing for real.

Gamble Game

Any time you land a win, the gamble button will be highlighted, and you can try to double the win by clicking red or black buttons as a playing card switches between the colors. A correct pick gives you the further option to collect the win or go again, and this can go on until you hit the gamble limit or get it wrong and lose the lot. Like the rest of the Sahara slot, this feature is beautifully designed. The playing card has a picture of the queen on it, and it plays out against another well-designed background.

Betting Options

Like the rest of the gameplay, the betting options are pretty straightforward. Simple command buttons are used to adjust your stakes from a low limit of 0.20 per spin up to the max bet of 20.00. This puts Sahara firmly in the category of casual games, as high rollers will be put off by the fact that they can only place relatively small stakes.

By activating the autoplay function, you can spin the reels without having to click a button each time. Watch out, though, as these keep going until you run out of cash – so keep an eye on the bankroll as they play out. The soundtrack has nothing to do with the Egyptian theme and is just a series of bleeps and whistles which we muted pretty much right away. But if you like that sort of thing, raise the volume as much as you want. Just don’t do it when you are on the mobile-optimized version of Sahara in a public place, as it’s going to annoy everyone around you.

Like all of the latest slots from this developer, you will be able to play Sahara on mobile smartphones, tablet computers, as well as desktop PCs at the many Novomatic-powered casinos. A little of the background detail is lost when you are on a smaller screen, but it doesn’t affect the way it plays at all. Most importantly, you can still claim the big rewards that are found in the ancient corridors of the palace.

More Egyptian Entertainment

Finding a slot machine based around ancient Egypt isn’t difficult – the hard part is deciding which of the huge number available you should play first. Sahara isn’t the only slot that features an attractive queen, with the Cleopatra 18+ video slot from Mr Slotty having a buxom cartoon ruler as the star. This fun game surrounds the five reels with images of people keeping each other happy, while Cleopatra does some sexy wiggles whenever you land a winning combo. Although the gameplay isn’t quite as simple as Sahara, it’s still relatively straightforward with wild substitutions, free spins and a gamble round available.

Fruits of the Nile from Playson has very similar features to Sahara, with just five paylines and little in the way of extra features. A colorful scarab is a wild symbol, but this aside, you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference in how these slots play out. Visually, Fruits of the Nile is far more basic, and the Egyptian theme is restricted to the beetle and a stone-effect backdrop. Gameplay can be just as fruitful, however, when grapes, watermelons and oranges land across the reels.

Worth Spending a While on the Nile?

Slot machines with very simple and reliable gameplay remain popular, and games that follow the ancient Egyptian theme are probably more numerous than any other type. This means that Sahara should find an audience. The detailed design is outstanding, the highlight being the attractive queen – especially when she does her dance across the reels.

Perhaps some animations from the symbols as they create winning combinations would have been a nice extra touch, but apart from this there’s very little we can complain about in terms of the way Sahara looks. The way it plays is something that you will either love or hate, so that part we leave up to you. 

Novomatic Slot Machine Reviews (No Free Games)

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