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Guardian of Athens Review
Guardian of Athens from Quickspin is played at the steps of the Temple of Athena, where the daughter of Zeus guards her loyal followers and brings multipliers to the most devout. Rise to the heavens and Choose Your Fate in the selectable volatility Free Games where you could win up to 16,003x your bet.
Read on for the full review.
|SLOT FEATURES||Selectable Free Games, Variable Multipliers|
|RELEASE DATE||29th June 2021|
|SLOT TYPE||Video Slot|
|REELS, ROWS, PAYLINES||5 Reels, 3 Rows, 20 Paylines|
|BET LEVELS||£0.20 – £100|
|MAXIMUM WIN||16,003x Playing the 6 Free Game Option|
13,734x Playing the 9 Free Game Option
5,922x Playing the 12 Free Game Option
2,295x Playing the 15 Free Game Option
|SCATTER SYMBOL||Yes: Temple|
|WILD SYMBOL||Yes: Wild|
|RETURN TO PLAYER||96.58%|
Guardian of Athens, in a nutshell, is a direct clone of Quickspin’s successful Eastern Emeralds – flipping the skin from its Asian host game to the Throne of Athena.
- Multiplier Wild symbols appear anywhere on reels 1-5 and substitute for all symbols, except the Bonus Scatter symbol.
- Multiplier values have the same multiplier value as the reel (1-5) they land on, that is 1x – 5x.
- If 2 or more Multiplier Wild symbols land on a winning pay line, then the corresponding multipliers are multiplied.
- Triggered by 3 BONUS symbols anywhere on reels 2, 3, and 4.
- Choose 1 from 4 feature options.
o 6 Free Games with 1x, 5x, 6x, 7x, 8x wild multipliers
o 9 Free Games with 1x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 7x wild multipliers
o 12 Free Games with 1x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x wild multipliers
o 15 Free Games with 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x wild multipliers
- Feature cannot be re-triggered
A tidy symbol set with 5 high-tier symbols embellished with the same gold border and different coloured backgrounds, and 5 royal symbols. There is little to distinguish the hierarchy in the high tier symbols other than the size of the images. All symbols are the same size and shape. All have the same border, and all have gold-based images.
The highlight of the symbol set are the big gold SHIELDS across the reels. As these are the main focus of the game, they need to stand out and they’re difficult to miss.
The TEMPLE as the scatter is well placed bring the only symbol in the set that is white in colour. It too stands out well across all the gold in the reels.
As for prizes… Guardian of Athens has 42% of prizes at-or-below bet.
Gameplay is simple and refreshing in a sea of complex games being released of late.
The feature is a volatility trade-off where you ‘trade’ Free Games for Multipliers. The higher the multipliers, the fewer the free games awarded and the higher the volatility.
A few years back, when Quickspin released Eastern Emeralds, its high volatility, high potential design went against the Quickspin grain of low variance and quickly gained popularity. Today, with Guardian of Athens, the impact is less prominent as Quickspin has since released quite a few higher volatility games since the Playtech acquisition. Nonetheless, the game’s action is still ever-present, and the stacking multipliers demonstrate potential clearly from the start.
The feature hit rate is surprisingly frequent at 1 in 51 spins, and you will have no difficulties hitting a bonus. While the claimed max win in Free Games of 16,000x is a bold statement, you will most likely walk away with 100x or less. Considering the feature RTP consumes an average 29% together with the high frequency which it is triggered, there’s just not enough in it to award all players every time. The volatility and potential are definitely there, it just means very (very) few players will actually come anywhere close to that amount.
As with any well-designed game, the Base Game teaches us the basic rules of the game and the feature elaborates upon those rules. The multipliers in the Base Game teach us the presence of wilds that multiply and the Free Game increase those multipliers. We know what they are going to do, how they’re going to behave, and can see the potential of the increased amounts immediately in the feature selection screen.
As with any game triggered by scatters on reels 2, 3, 4, the anticipation wind-up for the third scatter is completely unnecessary as it is always the 4th reel in anticipation. The anticipation wind up is most effective in games where scatters are on all reels and 3 or mor scatters trigger a bonus. In those games the anticipation spin could occur over reels 3, 4, and 5 if scatters land on 1 and 2, extending the salivation emotion of the anticipation spin. Anyway, each to their own.
- Base Game RTP: 67.94%
- Free Spins RTP: 28.64%
- Total RTP: 96.58%
- WIN HIT: 1 in 3.6 spin (estimated)
- ANY WIN >10x BET: 1 in 135 spins
- ANY SCATTER HIT: 1 in 1.62 spins
- FEATURE HIT: 1 in 51 spins
What is interesting here in the numbers is the frequency of any scatter versus the frequency of wins. The number of spins it takes to hit any scatter, (that is either any 1, 2, or 3 scatters) is about twice the frequent as hitting a win. This means that you are twice as likely to see a scatter than you are hitting a win, and there is a very high chance a scatter will block your line win.
Be aware though: there is no associate scatter prize, so the trigger does not pay. Considering the estimated win hit of 1 in 3.6 spins there is a high possibility the 6 Free Game option may result in a zero win.
The Glory Spin
The Glory Spin is in the highest volatility Free Games option. Here, multipliers multiply up to a whopping 1,680x and landing 5 Wilds on a line pays 150 coins totalling 12,600x. Of course, this is for a single spin, and theoretically (but extremely unlikely), could occur across all 6 spins! The remaining wins from the claimed 16,003x win is from coinciding wins from the other 19 paylines.
Delights and Surprises
- High quality production, excellent immersion
- The potential win is appealing
- The very low feature hit rate gives frequent low results
- The big win celebration covers the reels and hastily played Free Game spins do not provide time to view the win
- The anticipation spin in this game feels unnecessary
Personally, I like this math model. I like choosing my volatility in the feature and I like building wild multipliers. As with its host game, the draw is in the multipliers and the resulting max win potential. Although there is nothing new in the elements of the math model, considering it is very close to Aristocrat’s Choy Sun Doa, and stacking multipliers are common, the merge of these elements is flawless in Guardian of Athens.
Quickspin has done a great job in reintroducing a successful math model to a different audience with this skin of Eastern Emeralds. As with any game, the role of the theme is for initial attraction and not all players like all themes. The introduction of Guardian of Athens opens doors for this math model to a larger audience across Europe.
Guardian of Athens gets 74 Spins out of 100 based on the following ratings:
|RUN FOR MONEY||40|