It doesn’t seem like too long since we discussed Red Tiger’s previous slot machine with an Egyptian theme. The scarab beetle, while still venerated, was the centerpiece of that one, Jewel Scarabs. Wings of Ra, a new slot machine by Red Tiger, features mystery Pharaohs and Gods to amp up the excitement. There have probably been many variations on this concept previously, yet it keeps getting recycled. Slots like the ‘Book of’ series are to blame for this, and the new Wings of Ra slot machine is reminiscent of these older games. While I wouldn’t call Wings of Ra a clone, I would say that it pays homage to both the Book series and vintage slot games in general.
The moniker isn’t the only thing that makes you think of retro gaming. The design is good, but it’s not as cutting-edge as, say, Play’n GO’s newest Egyptian offerings. It’s not quite that fancy; instead, the emphasis is placed on practicality. The temple-like building housing the 5 reels and 3 rows of this game is more of a Las Vegas take on Ancient Egypt than the real thing. It’s too spotless, clinical, and neat. There’s no real magic to it. You can just picture ripped dudes in historical garb popping out from behind pillars and demanding a dollar from tourists for a photo op. The minimum wager is 10 p/c and the maximum is $/€20 each spin, so while there may be more betting alternatives than in Jewel Scarabs, everything else has been stripped away. RTP is down slightly to 95.69% although volatility feels milder and overall potential has taken a hit – more on that later.
For now, the goal is to get at least three identical symbols on a payline. There are 10 fixed paylines that glow retro-style when a winning combination is formed. This is the first unexpected turn of events. The beginning of a winning combination is not required. That might mean any three reels, beginning with the first, or ending with the last. It’s a nice touch, although oddly placed pairings don’t seem to come up too often.
Full grids of symbols are not only conceivable in Wings of Ra, but also land a lot more frequently than you’re probably used to. When you open the paytable, you’ll see another reference to the Ra series. The font used for the low-paying 10A royals is nearly identical to that used for Book of Ra Deluxe. Following that group is an eye sign, the god Horus, a ruler who resembles Nefertiti, and a pharaoh. The highest payout for a line of five Pharaohs is 30 times the wager. It’s interesting to note that the game doesn’t have a wild symbol, but it does have a scatter.
The Mystery Coin substitutes for the lack of a wild. When these appear on the reels, you can bet that every single one of them will spin to show the same random symbol. When they spin, they display a number of different types of normal pay symbols before stopping on one.
During free games, Mystery Symbols serve a secondary purpose. The Free Spins symbol acts as a scatter, and when three or more appear in view, the bonus game is triggered. Players receive 12, 15, or 18 free spins, respectively, depending on the number of scatters that appear. Each time a Mystery Symbol appears during free spins, a special bar at the top of the screen fills up a little bit more. The bar is completed when 14 Mystery Symbols appear. Once the bar is depleted, the lowest paying symbol will be replaced with Mystery Symbols for the remainder of the free spins.
Until the end of the free spins, the lowest-value symbols will continue to be converted until the bar is full. The more low-paying symbols that are exchanged for high-paying ones, the more likely it is that a player will hit a winning combination. This is due to the increased frequency of higher paying symbols and the potential for a large number of Mystery Symbols to appear.
Wings of Ra (Red Tiger): Verdict
Wings of Ra is a respectable game; one that pays homage to previous, more successful slots that came before. It won’t change things up like Book of Ra did, for example, but it has a few things that fans of the genre would like. The first is its classic slot vibe. It could look new enough, but elements like the winning payline effect give it a retro(ish) touch. Secondly, the land-anywhere-winners are amusing, but they don’t appear to come into play as much as you might imagine, or hope for. In fact, wins, in general, are somewhat disappointing. The first stab of disenchantment occurs when you get your first full grid – usually thanks to Mystery Symbols. A triumphant fist pump quickly turns to ‘oh man, really?’ when the value is tallied up and paid out.
It’s not rare to land full grids of symbols during free spins, or at least get close often. This is due to the sheer number of Mystery Symbols that can appear during the round. However, full grids aren’t worth a whole lot of coins on their own. In fact, the highest paying symbol will net you a mere 300 times the stake (as opposed to 5,000x in Book of Ra Deluxe). The overall potential isn’t overly exciting either at 3,166 times the stake. Not bad, but a quick scroll through Red Tigers’ game line up for Jewel Scarabs quickly eclipses that figure. All up, Wings of Ra is okay, it has its minor moments of innovation, but it leaves you wanting more once the session is done.