The Cursed King: Slot Overview

Backseat Gaming, a studio related to Hacksaw Gaming, has ventured into the sands of Ancient Egypt to craft its online slot, The Cursed King. Venturing into Egyptian-themed slot territory seems almost a rite of passage for casino game developers, with many taking inspiration from classics like Book of Ra, which is known for its expanding special symbols feature. However, The Cursed King takes a different path by incorporating expanding wilds that also have the capability to move across the grid, distinguishing it from the typical ‘book of’ formula that relies on expanding symbols that pay anywhere on the reels.

The game immerses players in an unmistakably Ancient Egyptian environment, complete with iconic imagery such as flaming braziers, majestic stone buildings, statues, and carvings, all set to an enchanting soundtrack that enhances the thematic experience. The presence of hieroglyphs adds to the authenticity, although they bear a somewhat rudimentary execution, resembling ancient graffiti more than the intricate messages crafted by skilled artisans of yore—a minor detail, but noteworthy.

The Cursed King is framed within a stone structure, presenting a 5-reel, 5-row gaming matrix. This setup provides 19 paylines on which winning combinations can be formed, offering players a unique take on the Ancient Egyptian slot genre. By stepping away from the conventional expanding symbol mechanics and instead focusing on innovative wild features, The Cursed King carves its niche, ensuring its adventures among the pyramids stand out in the crowded field of Egypt-inspired slots.

In The Cursed King, winning combinations are crafted when players land three or more matching symbols on consecutive reels, starting from the leftmost reel. The game offers versatility with two RTP (Return to Player) configurations, with the default RTP set at 96.31%. Coupled with a medium-high volatility rating of 4 out of 5 and a hit rate of 26.02%, it promises a balanced blend of risk and reward. Betting options range from 10 cents to $/€100 per spin, accommodating a wide spectrum of players, from casual enthusiasts to high rollers. Additionally, the feature buy menu introduces three alternative gameplay options, providing players with enhanced control over their slot experience.

Delving into the paytable reveals the lower-value symbols, represented by the traditional 10 to A card ranks, which yield rewards from 1 to 1.5 times the stake for a five-of-a-kind (OAK) winning line. The high-value symbols are a bit more enigmatic, featuring designs that include swirling jewelry, a stylized scorpion, a scarab, a jar-like figure, and a winged bird. Though their exact nature might be a bit elusive, their visual appeal is undeniable, and they offer payouts ranging from 4 to 10 times the bet for a 5 OAK combination. Wild symbols play a crucial role in enhancing winning opportunities, capable of substituting for all regular pay symbols and delivering a payout of 10 times the bet for a line of five wilds.

This setup in The Cursed King not only underlines the game’s thematic allure but also reinforces its potential for engaging and rewarding gameplay, set against the backdrop of the ever-popular Ancient Egyptian theme.

The Cursed King: Slot Features

In “The Cursed King,” the feature set, while concise, packs a significant punch, comprising Cursed King Wild Reels, a free spins bonus round, and several feature buy options that cater to various strategies and preferences.

Cursed King Wild Reels: This feature activates when a Pharaoh symbol lands and coincides with at least one winning combination on the grid. It expands into a Cursed King Wild Reel, boasting a multiplier ranging from x2 to x100. These special wild reels can substitute for all symbols, enhancing winning combinations. If a win includes more than one Cursed King Wild Reel, their multipliers are summed before being applied to the win, offering a potential for exponential payout increases.

Free Spins Bonus Game: Securing 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols during the base game initiates 3, 4, or 5 free spins, respectively. Unique to this mode, Cursed Kings grant respins, which are not deducted from the total free spins count. During respins, any Cursed King Wild Reels in view shift one reel to the left or right. Converging Cursed Kings merge, amalgamating their multipliers for even greater win potential. A Cursed King exiting the grid ends its contribution to the play. Notably, scatter symbols are absent in free spins, focusing the action on the Cursed King Wild Reels and their dynamic movement across the reels.

Feature Buy Options: For direct access to the game’s special features, players can utilize the Buy Bonus button, revealing three options:

  • BonusHunt FeatureSpins: Costs 2x the bet, significantly increasing the likelihood of triggering a bonus game with an RTP of 96.3%.
  • Cursed Kings FeatureSpins: For 50x the bet, ensures that at least one Pharaoh symbol lands every spin, with respins continuing as long as a Cursed King remains on the grid. The RTP for this option is 96.29%.
  • Bonus Game: At the cost of 125x the bet, players can directly enter a free spins round initiated by 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols, featuring an RTP of 96.26%.

“The Cursed King” thus balances its seemingly straightforward feature list with depth and potential for substantial rewards, ensuring that both casual and strategic players find something to appreciate in its ancient reels.

The Cursed King: Slot Verdict

“The Cursed King” slots into Backseat Gaming’s portfolio as yet another testament to the studio’s ability to craft visually appealing slots across various themes, complemented by engaging features. Despite these strengths, there seems to be a subtle gap between what is and what could have been—a certain je ne sais quoi missing that might have elevated the game from being merely good to truly outstanding. This isn’t to downplay the game’s merits; indeed, “The Cursed King” showcases a host of commendable attributes.

The inclusion of expanding wilds with multipliers can dramatically enhance even a single spin in the base game, a mechanic that has proven its worth in blockbuster releases from Pragmatic Play and Hacksaw Gaming, like “Zeus vs Hades” and “Wanted Dead or a Wild.” The ability for Cursed King Wilds to roam across the grid introduces an added layer of excitement, particularly during the bonus round where the presence of a Cursed King triggers respins. This mechanism can significantly extend the initially modest allocation of 3 to 5 free spins, offering players prolonged engagement and increased winning potential.

Yet, there’s a lingering sense that “The Cursed King” could have reached further heights with additional elements or a more distinct thematic execution. Perhaps the expectation for Backseat Gaming, given its association with Hacksaw Gaming and their shared user interface, sets a high bar for innovation that “The Cursed King,” with its more direct approach, doesn’t quite meet. This perception might stem from comparing the ingenuity often found in Hacksaw slots against the straightforward nature of “The Cursed King,” resulting in a tinge of unmet expectations.

Nonetheless, “The Cursed King” is far from a letdown. Its aesthetic appeal, the potential for a 12,500x max win accessible across all game modes, and its existing features make for a solid slot experience. While there might be a wish for something more—a special twist or a more pronounced use of its Ancient Egyptian theme—fans of this genre and those who appreciate the dynamics of full reel walking wilds will likely find much to enjoy. In the end, perhaps it’s a matter of wanting more from a game that already does quite a lot right, reflecting both the challenges and the high standards of slot game development.


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