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Rise of Merlin Slot Review

We haven’t reviewed lots of Play’n Go slots since we had a look at their legendary product – Book of Dead. You know that we had to have that review up on the site. Thus, we thought it was time to revisit a reel-spinner or two from this Swedish developer. Casuals may not be aware, but Play’n Go has been in the game for a minute. They launched operations in 1997, and since 2004, they have been one of the leaders in the iGaming space. They boast a catalog of over 250 games, with Rise of Merlin entering their portfolio in June of 2019. It is still quite popular, and at one point, it almost entered the list of 20 most-played slots.

Rise of Merlin Slot Key Facts

ReelsPaylinesRTPMin BetMax BetBonus RoundsVolatility
51096.58%0.01100.001High

Theme & Design

Ah, Merlin. Everyone’s favorite wizard. Did you know that 23 slots feature Merlin as a character? Why would you? Only BTCGOSU staff knows this kind of irrelevant trivia. If you are unaware as to who Merlin is, here is a brief bio. He is a mythological figure featured in the legend of King Arthur. You may have seen him in cartoons or children’s books as an older gentleman with a long white beard and a pointy hat. This visual depiction is an amalgamation of many historical figures by author Geoffrey of Monmouth. In the myth of King Arthur, Merlin is a cambion. That means that he is a half-man and a half-demon creature. He engineers the birth of Arthur by using manipulation and magic.

Play’n Go has decided to give Merlin an update by providing him a change of clothing, a haircut, and a beard trim. In this title, he now more resembles Dos Equis’ most interesting man in the world than the character we know from lore. The graphics here are basic and blend 3D models with 2D images, with a blue tint adding an otherworldly feel. We assume that the backdrop here is a blurred image of Merlin’s chambers or a tower of some sort. The reels spin inside a semi-transparent grid, framed by a metal construction that houses the game’s logo at the top. The music here is decent, and the floating specs of a magical substance in the background add a sense of depth to the scene.

You will find the buttons panel at the bottom of your screen. The auto-spin button is on its far right (with the spin one next to it), and the info option is on the far left. Between these two sections are the bet and payline-adjusters. This whole setup is decent, though design-wise, it feels a bit outdated. It has a very mid-2000s RPG game feel.

Specs & Gameplay

Wait for it, Rise of Merlin is another Play’n Go release that utilizes the “Book of” mechanic. You did not see that one coming? Okay, you probably did. So, you could look at this release as a sequel to Book of Dead if you want. It is a five-reel, three-row slot with ten adjustable paylines. Bet sizes here range from a penny up to $100. The variance is high, and the default RTP is 94.51%. Some operators may carry a version with an RTP of 96.58%, but you can also find this title at non-MGA licensed casinos with an RTP of 84.55%. So, always check. The max exposure here is an x5,000, and you form winning combos by landing matching symbols, left to right, on adjacent reels.

The low-paying symbols of this game are your standard 10-A royals. They payout prizes between x8 to x12 your stake for five-of-a-kind. The high-paying ones are an owl, a blue dragon, a red dragon, and the man himself – Merlin. Landing the world’s most famous wizard five times on a single spin will get you a reward worth x 500 your bet.

A crystal ball acts as the Wild and Scatter here. It also will payout a prize of x500 if you manage to hit five instances of it on the reel grid.

Bonus Features

If you have played Book of Dead, you know what to expect when it comes to bonus features. Hitting three to five Scatters gets you entry inside the Free Spins Bonus Round, which you can reactivate. Before this round begins, a regular symbol gets chosen to be the expanding one for that round. Whenever it lands, it will grow to cover its entire reel. You kick off the Free Spins Round with eight free spins, and each time you land at least three Scatters, you reactive it with eight new complimentary reel rotations and an additional expanding symbol in play.

GOSU Verdict

Yes, this game was and is still popular. We assume that is because it mirrors one of the most popular releases in iGaming history. It features no novelty. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Rise of Merlin is playable, although it feels average and has a been-there-done-that vibe. Book of Dead has a reputation for depleting most spinners’ budgets. So know that if you decide to give Rise of Merlin a shot, that you will be playing a high variance slot that may not be too kind to your bankroll.

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