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Pretty much every single software provider that produces online slots games has their own take on an Ancient Egyptian themed slot, and Pharaoh’s Dream is Bally’s. This is the same game that Bally puts in physical video slot machines, and its reputation as a land-based video slot is pretty good. The obvious question here is: can Pharaoh’s Dream keep up with other online slots like Book of Dead and Simsalabim? Read our honest and unbiased Pharaoh’s Dream slot review below to find out.
|Pharaoh's Dream Details|
|House Edge: 4.09%||Return to player: 95.91%|
|Autospin: Yes||Softwares: no download - instant play, mobile, Mac|
|Released: February 1, 2020||Min Bet: 0.5|
|Max Bet: 500||Scatters: Yes|
|Gamble: No||Max Coins: 40|
|Reels: 5||Paylines: 40|
|Spins: Yes||Bonus Rounds: Yes|
|Wild: Yes||Software: Bally Technologies|
|Pharaoh's Dream comparison|
|House Edge:||4.09 %||4.02 %|
|Return to player:||95.91 %||95.98 %|
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Bally’s Pharaoh’s Dream is an online slot played on 5 reels and 4 rows, which is pretty standard in the world of video slots. The game features 40 paylines, which means there are tons of opportunities for wins on each spin.
Players can wager anywhere between £0.50 and £500 on a single spin, meaning the high rollers out there should definitely be happy with that phenomenally high wager limit.
Pharaoh’s Dream has a theoretical RTP of 95.91%, which is on the low end of average. As far as variance goes, Bally hasn’t actually published any information about this, but over the course of our Pharaoh’s Dream slot review testing we found it to be of low to medium volatity. We mostly experienced tons of tiny wins, with the occasional larger win.
When it comes to Pharaoh’s Dream’s audiovisual experience, we doubt Bally put very much time, money, or thought into it, if we’re being honest. The symbols, the background, and the UI in general feel somewhat cheap and a little tacky.
For example, the reels don’t really spin as much as they lazily rotate a bit. The symbols themselves all look reminiscent of early-to-mid 2000s Flash browser games, and the backdrop is the ruins of a Pyramid as seen through a bizarre neon purple filter.
It’s also pretty difficult to see how much you’ve won on a single spin, as the only indication is a tiny number in a grey bar beneath the actual slot interface. This, in particular, takes a lot of the fun and excitement out of playing the game.
As for the soundtrack, we’re again reminded of early-to-mid 2000s Flash browser games. While we normally listen to the soundtrack for a full hour or so when reviewing slots games, we found ourselves reaching for the mute button somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes in. We wish Bally would take a leaf out of Thunderkick’s book here, as that’s a publisher that knows how to create an engaging audiovisual experience with slots like 1429 Uncharted Seas and Pink Elephants.
The symbols in Pharaoh’s Dream are precisely what you’d expect them to be. The low paying symbols, as with many other slots games, are 9 to Ace from a deck of cards.
There are only three high paying symbols (4 if you include the Wild), and these are an Ankh, a Scarab, and an Eye of Horus. The Wild symbol, which is two pyramids in moonlight, is also a high paying symbol, with values identical to those of the Eye of Horus.
The Scatter is an upturned face of a Sphinx, and the Scatter can only appear on reels 1, 3, and 5. We found that the Scatter was actually exceptionally rare. We were more than 50 spins in when we saw our first Scatter symbol, and several hundred spins in when all three appeared and activated the game’s only bonus feature, but more on that below.
Pharaoh’s Dream only has one bonus feature, and there’s only one way to activate that bonus feature. This in and of itself isn’t a problem in the slightest, there are plenty of great slots games with only one or two bonus features, like Yggdrasil’s Vikings Go Wild. The main issue we have with Pharaoh’s Dream, though, is how exceptionally rare this bonus feature is.
A few hours into our review testing process and we actually had to find videos of the bonus feature on YouTube, because we didn’t think we’d actually get to see it for ourselves. We did, eventually, manage to actually see the bonus feature first hand, and found it to be a little lackluster, though not without a redeeming factor or two.
As we said above, Pharaoh’s Dream’s Free Spins bonus feature can only be activated by the Scatter appearing on reels 1, 3, and 5, and this is extremely rare. When it does happen, though, players are treated to 10 free spins a cash prize of 4x your wager.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to retrigger the bonus within the free spins mode, or get any additional free spins. It’s 10 free spins, no more, no less. Additionally, there are no Scatters or regular Wilds in the free spins round, but there is something better: Pyramid-Stacked Wilds.
Instead of singular Wild symbols, the Free Spins bonus round has stacks of Wilds, meaning that if you’re lucky enough to get multiple full stacks in a single spin, you could be in for some big wins. These can only appear on rows 2, 3, 4, and 5, though, so it isn’t possible to fill all 5 reels with Wilds.
What makes this even better is that if a Pyramid-Stacked Wild is fully stacked (i.e. takes up an entire reel), then it becomes a sticky stacked Wild and will remain there until the end of your free spins round. Of course, as with many other slots, a stacked symbol doesn’t mean that it will always appear fully stacked, but we still found this to be an effective way of boosting our winnings in the free spins round.
The first time we managed to activate the feature, we only took home 23x our stake, which seemed a little on the low side for the only bonus feature. The next time we activated the bonus feature we ended up with all the reels but the first being taken up by stacked Wilds, and this is where we saw a HUMUNGOUS win of around 500x our stake.
When it comes to Egyptian-themed slots players have tons and tons of options to choose from. There are likely more Egyptian-themed slots than there are Vegas-themed slots at this point. Pharaoh’s Dream, however, is an almost entirely unremarkable addition to the pack. The bonus feature is so rare that some players might never even encounter it, even if there are some massive wins to be found there. The audiovisuals are pedestrian, at best, and the game does very little to excite or engage players.
With slots like Play N’Go’s Book of Dead and Novomatic’s Book of Ra Deluxe out there, we can’t end this Pharaoh’s Dream slot review without recommending that you look elsewhere for your Egyptian slots fix unless you really want to chase a massive win in the Pharaoh’s Dream bonus round.