A simple slot game with nice pacing, overcomplicated payout rules and an irritating soundtrack. The small number of winlines (just fifteen) and potential for big bonus wins makes this a medium to high volatility game, but the low RTP combined with its other flaws makes it hard to recommend.
Created in 2014 and based on the live casino slot game of the same name Pharaoh’s Fortune is based around the combined themes of Ancient Egyptian artefacts and disco, making for an odd combination that doesn’t work quite as well as you might hope.
The graphics are rather cheesy as you might expect from the disco half of the theme, and the sand brown backgrounds can get a bit samey. However for the most part the symbols are well designed and the animation is smooth.
The sound design is infuriating though. The main win-noise is the same riff from a disco-reggae song which plays over and over until the bonus round when you are forced to listen to the whole song in full.
The computer generated American voice that booms Bonus and Pharaoh at the appropriate moments is also wildly out of keeping and irritating. This is one slot that plays better on mute.
The gameplay is extremely simple. Five reels spin, and you win if you hit any of the fifteen paylines. There are Scatter symbols and Bonus spins dealt with below.
However, despite the simple gameplay, Pharaoh’s Fortune’s payout system is needlessly complicated. While there is the usual system of payouts for the maingame, the changes for the bonus rounds involve all sorts of caveats regarding multipliers, bonus spins and changing winlines.
The result is that without regularly checking the payout pages knowing what you are looking for on each line is highly unintuitive.
There are Scatter symbols with a scarab beetle on which have lower multiples (2x for two symbols up to 50x for five) but affect the total bet. So in the case where you bet 1 coin for each of the 15 lines, you would win 30 coins total for two Scatter symbols.
Scatter symbols do not have to be on the same winline to pay out.
Free spins are won by hitting three Bonus symbols (which come in two colours with slightly different rules to ensure maximum confusion) in one winline. However, this is where the game really starts as the bonus rounds are where you can make the big bucks.
The bonuses also involve a nice little block picking game which determines your multipliers and how many spins you get which is a nice variation.
The relatively low number of winlines for a five reel slot makes payouts relatively rare, and the bonus system allows for massive wins (as does the possibility of the 10,000x maximum payout without bonuses). These features combine to make for a high variance game.
This variance can be taken advantage of with bets ranging from 1 coin per line (15 coins total) up to 100 coins per line. At the site we tested this was in practice £0.15 per spin up to £15.00 per spin.
That means you can turn your $/€/£15 into $/€/£10,000 if you hit five Pharaoh’s Fortune symbols on win (though this will of course be very rare and you can win much more if you hit wins on other winlines in the same spin).
The RTP is on average 95% which is a little under the industry average of 96%.
While its design is professional enough, the sound problems ruin the experience and the overcomplicated payout system makes getting invested in your spins difficult. The low RTP is also a turn-off.
The main selling points are the excellent pacing and variety, and the potential for big wins; but these do not outweigh the irritation caused by the music, the low RTP, and slightly confusing play.