Pharaoh’s Dream (Bally): Overview
Pharaoh’s Dream provides players with another chance to visit the warm and mystical lands of Ancient Egypt as they spin for treasure. Released by Bally, and ported from a popular physical slot machine, this game contains all of the symbology you would expect from an Egyptian theme. Imagine crisp graphics and icons such as Pyramids, Ankhs, temples, and mysterious statues. Pharaoh’s Dream is also loaded with free spins, wilds, and scatters to boost wins and keep players on their toes. Has Bally done enough to create a winning game? Fans of Ancient Egypt may feel obliged to give the slot a spin, but there isn’t a whole lot that will win other players over.
So how does the game work? Bally has gone with a setup using 5 reels, 4 rows and 40 fixed paylines. Players can choose total bet levels that start at 0.50 up to a whopping £/€500 per spin. That should be more than enough for even the highest of high rollers to get excited. Along with regular base game wins are several extra features that can help players reach top payouts which are capped at €/£250,000. Though Bally does mention that the game may not be capable of hitting that value, this slot has the potential for decent wins for lucky tomb raiders.
Fans of Ancient Egyptian themed slots will be right at home here. Pharaoh’s Dream has a wistful pink and purple background, reminiscent of the astral plane, flanked by temple pillars. To complement the relaxed gameplay is a soothing backing track that feels like it has come straight from the North African desert. It is exotic, entrancing even, and helps set the mood nicely. As do the sound effects when the reels spin and winning combos land. They are subtle but suit the slot and make the wins feel satisfying.
Speaking of winning, Pharaoh’s Dream comes with an RTP of 95.91% which is a touch under average. Bally does not mention the slot’s volatility, but after thorough testing, it feels in the low to medium range. Winning combinations landed quite frequently when we tested the game, though the values were frustratingly low – symbols from the lower end of the paytable vastly outnumbered the high pay ones. The slot possesses a winning pattern you would expect with a lower volatility slot, and this style of gambling will not appeal to everyone. If you like low value, frequent wins, then you will enjoy what Pharaoh’s Dream has to offer. If on the other hand, you are hunting for the more elusive but larger wins that a high volatility game provides, then it might pay to look elsewhere. Unless you are a huge fan of the theme.
Pharaoh’s Dream (Bally): Features
The base game ticks along at a fair pace with enough wins to carry enthusiasm while waiting for the bonus game. The scatter symbols land in ones and twos tantalizingly often, and their allure is compelling. Sadly, the bonus game, for us at least, proved to be somewhat ungenerous and there was little left to hold much interest. But, onto the features.
The most common extra feature by far is the wild. The Pyramids symbol is the wild and can appear on any reel and substitute for all other symbols bar the scatter. It features a pleasant moon animation and when a bunch land at once they can quickly change fortunes. It often lands too, which is good as it responsible for a substantial chunk of the winning combos during play. Not only that, but the wild is also one of the highest paying symbols with 5 of a kind worth 12.5 times your stake.
Modern day Egypt is full of statues from ancient times which look hugely impressive at night with spotlights trained on them. Players can experience a similar effect with the scatter symbol. This golden statue seems to tower over the player as if seen from below. The scatter can appear on reels 1, 3, and 5 and when three land the player is rewarded with 4x the total bet value and 10 free spins.
The Pyramid wild comes into its own during the Free Spins round which uses bonus reels that are different from the base game. Now, instead of its normal 1×1 size, the wild is now stacked and can take over an entire reel. When it does, it becomes sticky and stays in place for the remaining free spins. During free spins, the standard wild and scatter do not appear, meaning the bonus round cannot be retriggered.
While satisfactory, the extra features are not the most original and are a bit of a missed opportunity to make an impact. A slot that utilises such a well-used theme needs at least one amazing feature to make it stand out from the bunch, and the Pharaoh has missed a trick here.
Pharaoh’s Dream (Bally): Verdict
Pharaoh’s Dream is not the first time Bally has taken players on an Egyptian odyssey. Ra & the Scarab Temple being a previous attempt to corner this popular slot category. Pharaoh’s Dream certainly wins in the aesthetic stakes, but it comes up short in the gameplay department. Ra’s multitude of extra features and its jackpot provided more ways to win and greatly extended its shelf life.
This is what Pharaoh’s Dream is sadly lacking. It certainly is not a bad game. It does what it says on the tin, but it lacks a knockout blow to make it a classic. Or even an original twist to make it fresh. The slot will test your patience too, particularly when the free spin rounds, when they land, can be quite mean. Maybe next time Bally could toss in a multiplier feature, or the opportunity to retrigger the bonus game to beef up the winning potential. As it is, Pharaoh’s Dream is worth a test drive in free play for Egypt fans, or those curious about the theme. Just how long the enigmatic Pharaoh will hold a player’s interest after the first impression has worn off is the big question.