Is the Rise of Dead slot Play’n GOs sequel to the all-time favourite Book of Dead? Going after the title it should be and if it is, then it better be good as it will have a high bar to pass and big shoes to fill to replace the hugely popular original at the top of the playing lists. After taking a closer look we can confirm that it won’t be the much-anticipated follow-up game, although it comes with some similar as well as new mechanics and features. However, a sequel to Book of Dead has been developed too, named Rise of Merlin.
Replacing the expanding symbol mechanic completely would be lethal in our opinion and thankfully Play’n GO was wise enough to keep it, although in a slightly different format. During the random Gift of Gods feature, three reels will be filled with matching expanded symbols while in the Ancient Free Spins the premium symbols will always expand.
Plus, Play’n GO introduced a new mechanic in the base game that will see one random regular symbol appearing in stacks of 12 symbols on every spin. This can lead to wins of up to 500x your stake in the base game. So far so good but does it have that suspense and volatility? Good news, we can answer those in the affirmative. The win potential in a single free spin, however, has been reduced to 2,500 times your bet and it won’t come from the expanding symbol mechanic. The overall potential is though still stated with up to 5,000x your stake.
Rise of Dead is a video slot with five reels, three rows and 20 fixed pay lines that can be played on desktop and mobile from 0.20 to 100 credits per spin. The default RTP of this high variance game is set at 96.53%. However, some operators might opt for the lower version with just 94.54%. Check the help files after you load the game to determine which version you will be playing. Play’n GO changed the Autoplay function in that you can now set only 10 to 100 consecutive spins. Using Fastplay will spin the reels at double the default speed.
While Book of Dead had a rather simple appearance, Play’n GO went all out on Rise of Dead with elaborate graphics, bold colours and extensive animations. A mysterious Pharaoh tomb with hieroglyph-covered walls and eternal flames is the fitting backdrop to an intricate game window. The reels are flanked by two ornamented columns while the background is a wall with hieroglyphs. Three dead Pharaohs dominate on the game grid while a suspenseful Egyptian soundtrack provides the matching audio.
The low-value symbols are more mundane in nature with the usual card royals from 10 to A, but they look very authentic with a rock-like structure. They are followed by three undead Pharaohs who will rise graciously to fill the entire reel in the features. The wild symbol is not a book as expected but a scarab, substituting for all symbols except scatters. Pays for a five of a kind range from 2.5x to 125x your stake. The scatters are a sacred scroll, appearing on reels one, three and five only.
On every spin in the base game, one regular pay symbol except the wild and scatter is randomly selected to feature in stacks of 12 symbols on all reels. This increases significantly the chance to hit a full screen of matching symbols. Wins for a full screen range from 50x to 500x your bet.
The feature can trigger at the start of any spin in the base game. Reels one, three and five will light up in a blue hue and will be covered with matching symbols while reels two and four spins normally. This provides again a higher chance to score a full screen of matching symbols.
As with Book of Dead, the mega win potential on Rise of Dead is as well clearly in the free spins. Hitting scroll scatters on reel one, three and five will trigger 10 free spins. During the feature, one, two or three scatters will award an additional 2, 4 and 10 free spins, no limits.
Three items will change in the bonus round that can have a huge impact on the overall winnings The low-value symbols appear in super-stacks of eight symbols while the wild scarabs appear in stacks of six or seven symbols on every free spin.
The most critical extras are though the expanding premium symbols, although it won’t happen with scattered symbols as on Book of Dead. On any free spin when matching Pharaoh symbols appear on adjacent reels from the left, they will expand to award the win for all 20 pay lines. However, the game first awards any potential line wins from the initial free spin result before the Pharaoh symbols expand.
So, is Rise of Dead a worthy sequel to Book of Dead? Yes and no must be the answer. The volatility is surely up there with the original but the additional features have taken away some of the win potential in the free spins. This means you will be seeing more medium-sized wins and less super mega wins. It still is suspenseful and entertaining to play, we just have to lower slightly our expectations for those monster hits.