Golden Ark Slot from Novomatic
Golden Ark is a slot with an Egyptian theme, although this particular game is set in the modern day, featuring an explorer who uncovers the treasures of a pyramid. The look of the game might immediately remind you of a cross between the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the “Tomb Raider” movies, the subject more Indiana Jones, while the central character of the game certainly has a resemblance to Lara Croft. This game seems to be something of a natural successor to the ‘Book of Ra’ series offered by Novomatic previously, with much of the gameplay very similar to that series, especially when it comes to the bonus feature.
How to Win on Golden Ark
The highest paying symbol is the explorer herself, worth 5,000 coins for the maximum five in a row. An Egyptian warrior entombed in gold pays 2,000 coins, while both the Eye of Ra and a golden symbol showing a scarab beetle have a top payout of 750 coins. The standard symbols are completed by the playing cards 10, J, Q, K and A which have a top payout of between 100 and 150 coins.
Whenever you win you’ll have the opportunity of taking a gamble. Having opted to gamble you’ll see a face down playing card with an Ankh on the back. Simply predict the color of the card and if you get it right you’ll double your win, although choose wrong and your win is no more.
The final symbol is a book with a golden spine and an ornate bronze cover – this exactly the same as that found in the ‘Book of Ra’ series. In the base game this acts as the wild symbol and will substitute for every other symbol, aiding in giving you additional wins with the other symbols. This is also the scatter symbol and you’ll gain an instant win when it appears 3, 4 or 5 times anywhere on the reels, with a top payout of 2,000 coins. However, more importantly, three or more scatters will also see you enter the free spins feature.
Open the Book of Ra with the Golden Ark Free Spins Feature
The start of the feature sees the book cover the entire screen where you’ll see a small window, which shows the game’s symbols flicking across the pages, before eventually stopping on one of the symbols. This will now take center stage throughout the 10 free spins you’re now awarded. This symbol will expand to take up an entire reel when making an appearance. In combination with this, this symbol will now pay out in the same style as a scatter symbol.
As an example, if the warrior is selected at the start and appears once on reels 1, 3 and 5, this will now expand to fill these reels completely. You’ll now be paid out the 400 coin win for three in a row on each of the 10 win lines, making for a 4,000 coin win in total. This will be much higher if it should appear on more than 3 reels of course. At the start of this feature you’ll be willing one of the higher paying symbols to be selected and your dream scenario sees the explorer being selected and appearing on each of the five reels!
Design and Setup
This Novomatic design is excellent throughout. The backing to the reels shows the Eye of Ra set in black stone, while each of the symbols are brilliantly designed with ornate patterns and very rich colors including a great amount of gold. Even the playing card symbols look pretty special here, while the title is set against a nighttime scene, the pyramids as silhouettes against the darkening sky. The accompanying sound is brilliantly atmospheric too, which does a great job of drawing you in.
Golden Ark has five reels and a total of 10 win lines, although you do have the option of playing fewer, any number between 1 and 10. To set your total stake you’ll multiply the number of lines by your chosen coin value. Handy options include ‘mute’ buttons for both the sound and the music (not that you’ll want to use them) and a one-click auto play button.
‘Book of Ra’ was a very impressive slot in its own right and it was little wonder that the popularity of the game led to a number of sequels. Golden Ark isn’t so much a sequel, as it’s more of a reboot. This reboot features by far the most impressive sound and graphics yet, while the gameplay maintains all that was good about the original. If you’ve played ‘Book of Ra’ you’ll certainly enjoy this game, while new players will have the opportunity of seeing exactly why this is a must play!