The heroine is back with a vengeance on the third slot in the Lara Croft franchise from Microgaming, marking one of the longest cooperations between a game developer and a rights owner, in this case, Square Enix. The slot, however, has been designed by Microgaming partner Triple Edge Studios who also signed responsible for some other rather poor Microgaming releases such a Playboy Gold or Action Ops: Snow and Sable. We refused to review both of them as they were just too mediocre to give them extra publicity.
Well, they had now the chance to prove that they have some sort of mojo to bring Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs to a set of slot reels. The result is rather unimpressive as it has very little new to show and no surprising twists that would fill a session with some suspense. Instead, they pulled a few existing Microgaming pay mechanics and feature options – rolling reels with a progressive multiplier, free spins round and hold your breath, three fixed jackpots – and crammed them into a 5×3 format. It’s not all bad though, so let’s take a closer look. We all can do that when it will be released on 8th May 2019. Until then, enjoy reading our review.
Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs is a video slot with five reels, three rows and 243 ways to win. Pays are awarded for matching symbols from left to right only. Taking a ride on the reels on desktop, mobile and tablet will cost you 0.20 to 20 credits. The volatility is in the medium range and the RTP has been stated with 96.05%.
The main visuals were taken straight from the blockbuster movie. You will be standing in front of the Temple of Riches to play for your entrance into the treasure chamber in the free spins. Lara Croft obviously dominates the reels together with some of her explorer props.
The pay symbols appear on stone slabs when they drop onto the reels and start at the low end with water bottles, torches, explorer bags and grappling hooks on a rope. A five of a kind will yield 0.8x to 2.4x your stake. The upper level is populated by the alligator god Sobek, his golden head and Lara Croft herself in four variations – riding on a motorcycle, jumping, wielding a gun and her portrait. Hit five across the reels to win 2.5x to 10x your bet.
Golden scarab coins act as the wild symbol, substituting for all regular pay symbols. Her diary or let’s call it Book of Secrets is the scatter symbol, with minimum three needed to trigger the free spins.
Anyone who played Jungle Jim: El Dorado from Microgaming or the mother of all rolling reel slots, Gonzo’s Quest from NetEnt, will know how the mechanic works. Symbols drop from the top onto the reels and any winning combination will be exploding after the payout to make room for new symbols to fall into place. The spin sequence continues until no new wins occur after a drop.
Additionally, a multiplier trail will activate after the first win, increasing in the base game to x2, x3, and x5 for the second, third, fourth winning drop. Anything after will be multiplied by x5. It will reset to x1 at the end of a spin sequence. It will have higher multipliers in the free spins round.
Three to five Book of Secrets scatters anywhere on the reels at the end of a spin sequence will trigger 8 to 32 free spins, which can be retriggered up to a total of 80 free spins. During the feature, the starting multiplier is set at x3 and consecutive wins within on free spin sequence will increase it to x6, x9 and x15. It will also reset to the default x3 at the end of a free spin.
Oh yes, we nearly forgot this item. The slot has three jackpots – Minor at 15x bet, Major at 100x bet, Grand at 5,000x bet – which unfortunately are not progressive. Any wild scarab symbols landing on the reels are collected throughout the gameplay, which will increase your chances of triggering a jackpot. They will do so at random to award one of the three that are available.
What a missed opportunity to create something spectacular. Or maybe our expectations were just too optimistic that Microgaming would indeed come out with once again a blockbuster slot that would have us buzzing to play it. Their grand show at the ICE2019 certainly gave the impression that something big is coming. Instead, we got a luke-warm Jungle Jim revival, a slot that never made it into the TOP 1000 of online slots let alone into the favourites lists of players. OK, the three jackpots are new but they simply take part of the RTP off from the standard game as they are fixed. Pooled progressive jackpots, maybe connected the Mega Moolah series, would have been certainly more enticing.