Both city and game have found themselves buried by the sands of time. But while Pompeii slot dominated live casinos, it now has to prove itself before online gamblers. Does it have what it takes to rebuild its loyal following?
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We imagine most people have heard about Pompeii in passing, if nothing else. But just in case you missed it, worry not – because you have us to help you out, dear reader.
It was a city in today’s Italy, which has disappeared after the local volcano erupted. It was only rediscovered much later, and remains the topic of study for many archaeologists!
Pompeii Slot Review
The slot is played on a five reel board, where each reel is three symbols tall. There are a total of 243 ways to win. It forgoes a more traditional setup in favor of a simpler system. Simply land three or more identical icons in any position, starting with the leftmost reel. The pay will be granted, since we are now free from payline tyranny.
Sadly, what rings true for many older games we review also appears here: the absence of fun special features. When many of these releases were being created, just having a free spins round with a multiplier was enough. But this was an outdated concept even by the time the developers ported Pompeii. It also doesn’t have there’s just one bonus available. You know, if you don’t count Gamble.
Theme & Symbols
We can’t help but feel faintly amused at the choice of theme. While it does make for some cool visuals, it feels a bit underutilized. It would have been cool to add crumbling symbols, melted by the lava, that disappear after a single win. Sadly, unless Aristocrat’s is planning a re-release, we doubt that we will see any changes implemented.
The background image depicts that fateful night when the volcano erupted. You see it all the way in the distance, forcefully lighting up the night sky! It also briefly illuminates the city: until it buries it under ash and rubble. Considering you can’t see most of it due to the reels being non-transparent, it’s quite well done! Finally, we take a look at icon designs! Most symbols borrow them from Greek and Roman cultures for inspiration. Shields depicting battles, golden coins, daggers and a golden helmet – all of these are quite cool! In contrast, the playing card royals are anything but. Still, we can’t complain. They do their job as filler, and that’s all we need.
How to Play Pompeii
The slot is played on a 5×3 board with 243 ways to win instead of standard paylines. It’s a highly volatile game that used to be a physical machine. So when we tell you it plays exactly like one, you really shouldn’t be surprised. Wins are sparse, but tend to be quite lucrative! Especially if the multipliers gets involved.
And yes, dear reader, we can already sense your curiosity. How do you get your hands on this coveted multiplier? Like everything else – through free spins! Of course, triggering said bonus can be a pain, due to the release’s high volatility. But once you do eventually land it, you can look forward to a 37,500 coin jackpot!
Best way we found to determine how much cash each spin wasted was to tweak the setting and check our casino balance. If there’s a better method to keep track of how coin translates to cash, we haven’t found it yet. Your minimum bet is a somewhat steep $0.50, while the maximum is $125 on each spin.
There are two special features: an actual one in the form of a free spins round, and the Gamble bonus! And while they can produce awesome wins, they’re not very engaging.
Free spins & multipliers
Collect three, four or five Scatters to win ten, fifteen or twenty free spins. What multiplier you get depends on how the Wild participates in the spin. If it lands on just reel two, it increases your win by 3x. If it appears on reel four, the multiplier increases to 5x. And if it’s in both places at the same time? It leaps up to a 15x increase! It is possible to retrigger the special feature.
After each win, you can collect the prize or gamble it further. Players are taken to a separate screen where they have to guess the color of a face down card. If they pick the correct color, they double their prize. If they pick the correct suit, that increases to 4x your total bet. You can gamble any win for a maximum of five times.
Pompeii has a high volatility, and a jackpot worth a satisfying 37,500 coins. The slot’s RTP is 95.45%, which is below average, but much better than Buffalo’s 94.85%.
Much like the city that inspired it, this game spent too long separated from the outside world. It has been left behind, and now remains only as a relic of the past.
We really like the high volatility of this Aristocrat release. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but we don’t mind grinding a bit for some awesome prizes.
While we don’t think Pompeii looks bad, it clearly looks outdated. We’ll admit, the background image looks amazing. But it’s completely static. Considering the slot was originally a physical machine, it’s a wonder it is working as well as it is!
Gameplay is defined by a single special feature: free spins with a multiplier. Don’t get us wrong, Gamble does help out here and there. But not enough to make a dent to the boring gameplay.
If it weren’t for the game’s great winning potential, we’d have probably skipped reviewing it all-together. As it stands, we’d still advise against playing it – but we can recognize it has some good elements to it. We can only hope the developers will give it a sequel or an overhaul at some point.