In the legend of the phoenix, the huge bird is incinerated or otherwise eliminated only to be born again, and airborne, soaring to ever higher heights after fiery disaster. In Secrets of the Phoenix, a 5-reel, 3-row, 25-payline video slot from Gamesys, one witnesses the symbols on the reels being destroyed and reconstructed in an ancient temple site, over and over, with fiery trails tracing your wins, only to have your winning combinations themselves turn to ashes, replaced quickly with new chances to rise victorious, descending from above. This is the nature of the hypnotic Raining Reels mechanic, which give you additional chances for wins on a single spin. Together with stacked wilds and a bonus game of free spins, you can discover the big bird’s secret to big wins.
Look and Feel
The Secrets of the Phoenix slot is set on an ancient temple site. The base game taking place in daylight and the free spins game transpiring in the darkness. In both cases the giant stone icons, in vaguely Aztec design, coloured in muted sun-faded shades, crumble into fiery ash, only to be replaced by new ones raining down from the heavens. There is no music, just interesting sound effects as old stones crumble and new stones tumble. The feeling created is at once austere and mystically minimalistic, both in darkness and in light, a stunning achievement for the design team.
How to Play
Secrets of the Phoenix is easy to play and understand. The 25 paylines are fixed and each cost a coin. You will be multiplying these coins by a coin value. Use the controls at the bottom of the screen to adjust coin value from £0.01 to £4. The total bet, from £0.25 up to £100, is calculated and displayed alongside your bankroll balance.
Once you’ve adjusted the size of your bet, just press the green spin button. Unusually, there’s no autoplay here, but you can click a block to repeat your bet or choose some popular bet options from blocks below the reels. Or choose more bets to “roll your own”.
Symbols in Secrets of the Phoenix
Most of the symbols are Aztec-style carved-stone icons, relics which may at first be difficult to identify, although they are quite lovely to look at. More impressive is the orange stacked wild phoenix bird, standing tall across all three rows! The full roster of symbols, as best we can describe them, appear in descending value order:
• Gold Phoenix
• Green Dragon
• Blue Griffin
• Green Totem
• Silver Totem
• Bronze Totem
• Grey, Gold and Green Columns
• Beige Creature
• Face in Grey Stone: Scatter
• Orange Phoenix: Wild
Special Features and Bonuses
The Secrets of the Phoenix slot game delivers regular winning hits, with the cascading reels feature potentially giving you repeat chance to add to your bankroll multiple times on just one bet and potential to earn some free spins. The full list of features are:
• Raining Reels is the name Gamesys gives to the mechanic triggered by any win in the base game or in the free spins. After each winning payline is displayed and credited to your bankroll, the winning symbols crumble and burn. Then new symbols fall from the sky to fill the reels – like rain, sort of. This stony rainstorm goes on until you run out of victorious combinations!
• Stacked Wild: When an entire reel of three rows has been “rained out” on a spin, a Stacked Wild will replace the whole reel for one go-round, giving you one last chance to win, with new symbols replacing it in the next “rain”.
• Free Spins Bonus: This is triggered by 4 or more “rains”. The screen switches to a dark underground world (yet where the rain of stone icons continues) and there’s a countdown of how many free rounds remain. You can’t trigger more free spins while in this bonus round.
Secrets of the Phoenix Compared to Other Slots
If you like the Secrets of the Phoenix slot, there are some other slot games you may want to check out. If you like the Aztec-feeling vibe, check out Montezuma, a 30-payline game featuring a bonus wheel that lets you pick games and multipliers. Also similar in some respect is the well-known Gonzo’s Quest, a high RTP favourite which has similar cascading reel play and free spin multipliers up to 15x bet.
Secrets of the Phoenix Fairness
The Secrets of the Phoenix slot game comes in with a RTP of 94.97%, which falls in the middle of expected returns. Tests show that this slot is considered a medium volatility game, which means you stand a reasonable chance of big payouts compared with slots with lower volatility. In all, the verdict is fair and a tad above average in terms of expected payout over time.
Tips for Playing Secrets of the Phoenix
Watching the carved stone icons raining down and stacking up can be hypnotic. You may be tempted to let it ride, butt interestingly enough, there’s no autoplay option here. However, you can repeat a current bet or choose some popular alternatives, or seek more bets. It’s a bit clunky for something as important as bet amount but these are stone relics, after all.
Also, keep an eye on the free spins metre, with ascending amounts of free spins posted to the right of the reels. As long as you keep getting a series of wins, you’ll keep climbing higher. 3 wins will give you 7 free spins, and potentially up to 25 in a single spin.
Hype or Not?
The Secrets of the Phoenix slot game is an original in look and feel. While the Raining Reels is a Gamesys bespoke feature, it’s similar to many of the other “falling symbol” reel mechanisms that have taken the online gaming world by storm in recent years. So it’s at once unique and familiar, distinguished by its elegant graphics. We had a good time testing the game and think you’ll like it, especially after familiarizing yourself with the game mechanics.
The Secrets of the Phoenix slot strikes a balance of medium volatility and a decent RTP so that most players will find a comfortable level of risk and reward. The aesthetics here are quite compelling and there’s not too much complexity to require hard thinking. Maybe the best advice is to think like the mythical phoenix: even if you’re down one day, the next you may rise from the ashes. The theme is an optimistic one for every game: let’s hope your outcomes are equally uplifting!
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