This is another Egyptian themed pokie, this time from Austrian gaming giant Novomatic. Dynasty of Ra uses a traditional five-by-three reel layout and ten pay lines, and with its fairly basic graphics this game feels altogether like it could be much older than it really is.
Novomatic has a reputation for prioritising features and payouts over flashy graphics and presentation, and just because a game seems simple doesn’t necessarily indicate that it will be bad.
There are a large number of players who enjoy this kind of no-nonsense, straightforward pokie machine, myself included, so I was keen to find out more about this game.
About The Developer
Whilst the graphics and sound offered by Novomatic’s games could often be better, the same cannot be said about their features and payouts!
This makes the company a rare breed within the pokies industry these days, a developer who focus their attention on the things which really matter to players rather than concentrating on making use of the latest technologies and flashy graphics and animations.
It’s great that Novomatic is clear about their priorities, but it does have to be said that a little additional effort could go a long way.
If this provider were to improve the presentation of their pokies, perhaps by increasing the frame rate of their animations and hiring some better artists, it would surely help their games to achieve the widespread recognition that they undoubtedly deserve.
How To Play
Novomatic were one of the first developers to realise the potential of mobile gaming, creating a unified user interface design long before many of their competitors had released their first mobile-friendly game.
Their design has undergone several refinements over the past few years and is now almost perfect, whether you are playing with a touchscreen or a mouse.
A single button acts as both the spin and autoplay controls, with a single click spinning the reels and a longer press opening the autoplay configuration menu. All of the other buttons are hidden inside a single hamburger menu, positioned directly above the spin button.
Inside the menu two large sets of controls allow you to increase or decrease the size of your bet and choose the number of pay lines you wish to play.
Further options allow you to turn the music and sound effects on and off independently, view the paytable, make a deposit, or close the game. The paytable occupies just a single page, which really underlines just how simple and straightforward this game really is.
Dynasty of Ra utilises the same symbol for both its scatter and wild, which is always a great feature in any game. It’s not quite as good as when the wild can substitute for the scatter, but it’s close enough! When you hit three or more scatters the game rewards you with ten free spins.
I was hoping for a few extra spins when four or five scatters land as in many other Novomatic games, but the developer has chosen to offer a higher cash prize instead this time around.
Novomatic games always seem to give many more retriggers than those from other developers, and sure enough, the very first time I scored a bonus round it was extended two times for a total of thirty free spins.
During the free spins mode, any symbol which forms part of a winning combination will expand to cover its entire reel, a feature I don’t remember seeing before in any other game.
If you have more than one payline with a winning combination the highest paying symbol is expanded across the other positions, so you will always receive the best possible payout.
If you manage a single five of a kind in this mode then you automatically receive a five-of-a-kind on all ten pay lines simultaneously, which can be extremely profitable! The only disappointing part is that the scatter does not act as a wild during the free spins.
After seeing the expanding symbols in action during the free spins, I was keen to examine the paytable of this game in more detail. This has to be one of the easiest games to hit a full screen of the same symbol on, so I was guessing that most of the payouts would be very low.
In actual fact, most of the five-of-a-kind combinations pay out a very reasonable amount with 100x your total stake awarded for a full line of the top symbol. Hit a five-of-a-kind of that top symbol during the free spins and it will automatically fill all of the remaining positions, returning a chunky 1,000x your bet.
The scatter/wild symbol has its own payout, returning 200x your stake for a full line of five-of-a-kind. That’s twice as much as the top paying picture symbol, but sadly it isn’t possible to hit a full screen of wilds!
The overall RTP is a little low for an online game at just a tad over 95%, but that’s still very reasonable and shouldn’t put off the majority of players.
I’m always on the look out for new nine/ten line games and am surprised I missed Dynasty of Ra when it was first released a couple of years ago. The graphics and sound could be better, the animation is fairly choppy, and overall the presentation could certainly be a whole lot better.
However despite these shortcomings, this game shines where it really matters – hitting the bonus round is exciting every time, and you always feel as if you are so very close to a huge win.