Shield of Sparta Slot Review
We briefly mentioned in one of our previous Pragmatic Play reviews that this provider recently expanded its presence in South Africa. Well, it now has branched off into Brazil, attaining a better foothold in South America while simultaneously pairing with bet365 to supply bingo games to this renowned brand. So, to say that the good folks at Pragmatic have been busy would be an understatement. On top of this, they have managed to release five slots in the first half of November alone. Quite the accomplishment. The one we will be looking at in this review is Shield of Sparta, which showed up on the Web on November 15th, entering the top ten rankings in several markets, including Canada.
Theme & Design
This is Sparta! Those are famous words uttered by Scottish actor Gerard Butler in 2007’s box office smash-hit 300, directed by Zack Snyder, based upon a graphic novel by legendary artist Frank Miller, a retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. It is what the prominent city-state in Laconia, in ancient Greece, gets most associated with these days. Back in history, during the Greco-Persian Wars, Sparta was the leading force of the unified Greek military. It was a city-state famous for its military culture.
Shield of Sparta utilizes traditional depictions of the courage of the Spartan warriors, transporting them onto digital reels using Pragmatic Play’s famous painterly visuals. Anyone with any experience playing games from Pragmatic Play should easily spot that this spinner is a product of this famed Malta-based provider. It looks more like 2020-era Pragmatic slots than recent ones. But it has the standard Pragmatic feel. The reels in this title spin inside a column structure, and the backdrop is a cliff-side landscape. The music is a cliche epic movie-like soundtrack theme, and the main character symbol bares a beard akin to the one Butler has in 300.
In all honesty, we found the presentation of Shield of Sparta dull and uninspiring. The graphics are nice, but we got a whole “been there done that” vibe from this game. It offers no hint of uniqueness.
Specs & Gameplay
Shield of Sparta is a high variance slot with a default RTP of 95.5% that can go up to 96.50% and drop to 94.50% at some operators. It accepts bets as low as $0.2 and ones as high as $100. The max exposure of this spinner that incorporates a 5×3 grid with twenty paylines is x3,000. Pragmatic has set the base game hit frequency here at 1 in 4.47.
The low-pay tokens of this game are A to J royals, producing wins of x5 for five-of-a-kind combos. A two-horse chariot, a catapult, a ship, and a Spartan warrior are the premiums here, generating prizes of x15 to x25 when five matching symbols from this batch land on the grid on the same spin.
The Gerard Butler lookalike Spartan is the Wild here, substituting all other pay tokens, and Bonus symbols are the scatters in Shield of Sparta.
All symbols pay left to right in this game, and winning combos must form on adjacent reels.
Two types of scatters exist in this slot, regular bonus symbols, and magnetic ones. When two magnetic bonus tokens land on the Shield of Sparta layout, they lock in place, allowing the other positions to re-spin.
Hitting at least three regular or magnetic Bonus symbols activates the Free Spins round. Depending on the number of triggering scatters, ten, fifteen, or twenty complimentary reel rotations can get awarded here. During this mode, the positions of regular and magnetic bonus activating symbols get marked with a frame, and whenever another bonus symbol hits such a spot, it gets upgraded. That can happen up to three times. Spots marked by magnetic tokens get referred to as magnetic positions, dragging any regular bonus token that lands on the same reel to them. If a spot is not magnetic, but a magnetic scatter hits there, it gets upgraded to magnetic.
When the free spins round ends, the framed grid spots show random multipliers depending on their level. In the first one, up to x3 is possible. In the second up to x8. And in the third, up to x20.
The free spins mode here explores a somewhat novel multiplier concept, but that is not enough for us to recommend this game. It feels very run-of-the-mill, and its max win cap of x3,000 is disappointing for a high variance release. We advise that you skip it. Spartan King from Pragmatic Play is a better game. And so is Almighty Sparta by Endorphina. In truth, slot developers have not created a super engaging Spartan-themed slot that will capture players for years to come. Shield of Sparta also does not come close to attaining this lofty goal.
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