In the first century A.D., Emperor Nero brutally ruled the Roman Empire. The review was supposed to open with a few of examples of the strange things he did, but it proved difficult to locate appropriate examples. Let’s just say he ranks among Europe’s worst rulers. There’s no denying that he was filthy rich, one befitting the head of one of the world’s biggest civilizations. Swedish studio Quickspin’s latest slot machine is a tumbling reels game inspired by Nero and his era. It’s been a while since a truly great slot machine with a Roman theme appeared, so let’s give Nero’s Fortune a go.
Quickspin’s Nero’s Fortune delivers the ‘drool-worthy graphics’ the company promised. According to them, “lighting and rendering” needed to be taken to a “whole new level” using their brand new 3D engine. Even though it didn’t make me drool, the game looks great and sounds even better thanks to the huge orchestral score composed by Quickspin’s own talented sound designer, Andreas Hedlund. By focusing on Nero, we can imagine a Rome in flames while the emperor fiddles around, as the legend goes. The view is reminiscent of a painting called Fire of Rome by the French artist Hubert Robert, and is finished with animated ash floating by.
Quickspin’s Nero’s Fortune is the developer’s third tumble slot, and it’s a significant departure from the first two. The first game, Golden Glyph, used a 7×7 grid, while Wild Cauldron could be expanded to a 6×7 grid. In Nero’s Fortune, everything is compressed into a 5×5 grid against a backdrop of antique Roman architecture. The graphic design team has revitalized Rome’s sculptures, pillars, and architecture.
The practice of gambling appears to have been strongly ingrained in Ancient Roman society. Quickspin goes above and beyond by allowing wagers of 20 c/p up to 100 $/€ each spin. Although Nero’s Fortune’s grid is the smallest of the three, its RTP of 96.21% is the highest, and the game’s high volatility (5/5) has been maintained.
Since this is a tumble slot machine, matched clusters of 5 or more symbols wherever in view on the grid trigger a payout. When a cluster wins, it is removed from the grid and made room for fresh symbols to fall into place. The method can start winning chains with just one spin and continue until no fresh winning clusters appear. The game utilizes symbols such as the royals JA and the high card values 1-4. Symbolic eagles, wolves, and lions are among the top paying icons. The red ruby symbol pays the most, with clusters of 12 or more being worth 150 times the wager. The ‘W’ wild sign, which can replace all other symbols except the scatter, is especially useful for forming clusters.
Features in Nero’s Fortune (Quickspin)
In addition to cluster payments, there are also features that appear at random or upon activation. The first exclusive bonus to the main game is called Burning Arrows. The game has a chance to generate a multiplier symbol in the empty locations if a winning cluster is removed from the grid. Any newly added multipliers are hidden from view by the subsequent symbols. If a winning cluster is eliminated and it reveals one or more of these multipliers, they are accumulated until the conclusion of the spin. If a win occurs during that spin, the sum is multiplied by the accumulated multiplier. For the next spin, the multiplier is reset to its initial value.
The major attraction is a series of free spins that significantly improves upon the Burning Arrows bonus feature. Getting 3, 4, or 5 of the ‘BNS’ scatter symbols anywhere in view triggers the Flames of Nero Bonus, where you can win 10, 12, or 14 free spins, accordingly. There’s a dramatic opening animation, and then the reels are tilted to add some serious weight to the round. At the start of each new free spin, a number of multiplier symbols are strewn throughout the playing field at random. These symbols’ multipliers are added up and applied to the win when winning clusters are disassembled to disclose them. During free spins, the multiplier is not reset between spins but continues to climb until the round is over.
Final Say on Nero’s Fortune (Quickspin)
Nero’s Fortune is yet another excellent Quickspin tumble slot. Each one, fortunately, has its own unique qualities. Aesthetics come first. Quickspin has placed a premium on visual quality from the start of this project, and it shows. The mood, ambiance, and attitude are all spot-on for the subject matter, and the animations up the stakes. It may lack the coziness of Wilds Cauldrons, but those in the mood for some no-frills gameplay will love the serious atmosphere. Keep in mind that, of the three Quickspin tumble slots, Nero’s Fortune offers the lowest potential winnings. Though at up to 8,100 times the stake there is still much to play for.
Nero’s Fortune’s simplicity in terms of gameplay is a plus. Nero’s is not the most intricate, but it moves quickly enough to keep the reader interested. All that’s left to do is accumulate multipliers during free spins by landing clusters. Once you’ve entered the bonus round, it’s not too difficult to rack up a respectable multiplier. With each spin, a large number of multiplier symbols are added, making it a matter of scoring clusters to amass them. The huge payouts we all hope for are not easy to come by, but once the bonus game gets in action, it may have a nice run.
It’s possible that Quickspin’s tumble mechanism and mathematical model still have room for improvement. Nero’s Fortune is another good tumble slot from Quickspin with fantastic features and potential, although not being as polished as others on offer from Play’n GO, for example. This new contribution to the Ancient Rome genre is sure to please fans of the genre.