Slot Desert City Riches — Game Review
Desert Riches Hold ‘N’ Link slot
Welcome to Desert Riches! This is a new ancient Egypt-themed slot in the Hold ‘N’ Link series of slots from NetGame powered by Stakelogic. This slot was released on 22/02/22. Here you will get high-paying wild symbols with multipliers and the main highlight of the game is the Hold ‘N’ Link bonus round which comes with 3 special symbols and a jackpot. Today we will try this slot and analyze all its pros and cons and you will decide whether it is worthy of your attention or it is better to skip it. Well, get ready, we’re starting!
|Release Date: 22.02.2022|
|Jackpot Game: Yes|
|Stakes range (€/£/$):||0.10 to 500|
|Slot Theme:||Ancient Egypt|
Best Casino Bonus for Real Money on this Slot Welcome offer: up to €400 + 150 Free Spins
Desert Riches Hold ‘N’ Link Free Play
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How to Play
The playing field has 5 reels in 3 rows and you get 10 lines to create winning combinations. Another combo will be created when 2 to 5 premium or 3 to 5 low-paying matching symbols land on 1 of the lines. The Wild pays 1x, 25x, 250x, or 900x your stake for 2, 3, 4, or 5 symbols respectively, and also substitutes for regular symbols to help you complete combinations. If the Wild is part of a win with regular symbols, it increases the total line win by 2x.
To start this exciting classic journey all you need is to:
- Open this new slot at your chosen casino
- Read the rules and see the payouts for combinations
- Choose a bet: from €0.10 to €500
- Set the reels in motion and have fun!
Desert Riches Hold ‘N’ Link RTP and Volatility
High volatility and 95.89% RTP.
Move around the ancient tombs with the utmost care as this game comes with high volatility. At any moment you can be covered by an avalanche of dead spins, but you will know that any successful spin will bring you a large payout. As for the return, by default, it is 95.89%, which is almost the market average, but it may vary depending on the casino where you play.
The very familiar Ancient Egypt theme is nicely done but still looks a bit outdated. All you see in the background is the wall of some kind of tomb decorated with lit torches. Right in the middle of the screen is a large 5×3 stone playing field with different Egyptian hieroglyphs. That’s it, and it looks pretty boring.
Let’s take a look at the paytable. A scarab, A round symbol, a lotus, an ankh, and an eye of Horus are premium symbols. Playing card suits are usually low-paying symbols. The golden snake is the Wild, the blue orb is the ‘last chance’ symbol, the green orb is the collect symbol and the red orb is the payer symbol. There is also a golden sphere, that is, a Bonus symbol, a cash sphere, and jackpot spheres (Mini, Minor, and Grand Cashpots).
Modern gamers just want to take their mobile device and play wherever they want. Fortunately, Stakelogic is a provider that understands this, which is why all of their games are built using HTML5 technology, including this one. You don’t have to worry about Desert Riches Hold ‘N’ Link mobile compatibility, it works great on any smartphone or tablet. It does not require any application to be installed on your computer, which means that you can simply log into your favorite casino from your mobile device and play it using your web browser.
This new slot machine was created by Stakelogic, a casino games provider that entered the gambling market in 2014 as a subsidiary of Novomatic, a provider that has been a leader in the market for decades. Stakelogic introduced their first games in 2016 and since then the company has released about 166 top-notch HTML5 slots that work perfectly not only on PC but also on mobile devices regardless of the operating system. Not so long ago they launched their own live casino. To date, the company has created 22 live games, including blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.
Bonus Rounds & Free Spins
Once you land 6 or more Cash Sphere symbols, the slot will activate the Hold ‘N’ Link feature. These are golden cash symbols that have values from 0.5x to 25x times your bet. You can also land a Mini and Minor Cashpot Sphere in the base game and they will pay 20x and 100x respectively, but only if they help trigger the Hold ‘N’ Link bonus round.
All activation symbols become sticky when the bonus round starts. Only empty positions, Cash Spheres, Cashpot Spheres, or Modifier Spheres can land during it. You get 3 respins and the number of respins resets for each new Orb (of any type) landed. The modifier spheres are:
- Collect Orb: accumulates the value of all Orbs on the board
- Payer Orb: adds its random value to all present Orbs (except Cashpot and Last Chance)
- Last Chance Orb: only triggers when the number of respins reaches 0 and then gives you 1 respin when it disappears
The bonus round ends when you have used all the respins or when you have filled all the positions of the playing field with any spheres. This gives you 1,000x Grand Cashpot on top of all other accumulated winnings.
Desert Riches Hold ‘N’ Link Demo Play
It’s okay to want to test something for free before you buy it. This also applies to slot machines. This slot comes with a demo mode which allows you to play it without real money. This option is available to any player! To play it, you do not need to go through the registration procedure at the casino and there is also no time limit. If you have used all the provided amount of ‘fun’ coins, just reload the page with the slot.
Desert Cats slot review (WMS)
In December 2018, WMS suddenly released the Megaways slot, Battleship: Direct Hit, but it has remained tranquil around this major games developer in recent months. Then, in January 2019, all of a sudden, they released two new titles: Knight’s Keep and Desert Cats, the subject of this review.
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It has been a while but, WMS now and then release a new online slot
The name WMS used to ensure exciting slots like Bier Haus, Zeus III, Kronos and Raging Rhino, but creativity seems to have dried up completely.
Of course, we started playing the Desert Cats slot with an open mind. Who knows, maybe WMS would surprise us with an old-fashioned hit.
How does the Desert Cats slot machine work?
This video slot has an Egyptian theme, and it will not surprise you that cats play the leading role in this game. Apart from some frightening cats, we encounter pharaohs, amulets and all kinds of typical Egyptian symbols.
Desert Cats is played on 7 reels with 4 rows of symbols. There are 50 fixed paylines, where you play with a minimum amount of $€ 0.50 and a maximum of $€ 100. Each spin, 2 reels are turned completely wild, resulting in much smaller prizes.
We estimate the variance of Desert Cats at medium. The theoretical payout rate is 95.97%, a very decent number.
Symbols and payouts
The big golden cat is the wild symbol and replaces all symbols except the scatters. A 7-of-a-kind of the wild gets you a payout of 200 x the bet per payline.
Also, the Cleopatra awards you 200 x the coin value for a 7-of-a-kind on an active payline.
The premium symbols include the pharaoh, the cat Bastet and various amulets. These get you between 20 x and 50 x the bet per payline for 7-of-a-kind.
This leaves us the card symbols to discuss: these yield 15 x the bet for a 7-of-a-kind.
Free spins bonus
You win the free spins bonus as soon as you manage to spin 3 or more scatters. Besides the free spins, you also win a cash prize.
The more scatters the bonus activates, the higher the prizes.
- 3 scatters: 5 free spins
- 4 Scatters: 15 free spins + 10 x the bets
- 5 Scatters: 50 free spins + 15 x the bets
During the free spins, you get an extra double reel with wilds. To sum it up: 2 x 2 reels full of active wilds, this amounts to more than half of the total number of reels.
Retriggering the free spins is possible.
Jackpot Feature: Win up to 2,000 x your total bet
You can win one of the 5 jackpots at any time during the game.
The lowest jackpot is worth 10 x the total bet, and the highest is worth a smashing 2,000 x the total bet.
You win the jackpot by spinning a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 red amulets on the heads of the big wild cats. It may sound exciting. Unfortunately, it is not.
There is no excitement at all, and after a few spins, you don’t even look any more. Once in a while, you win a small jackpot, then it is back to normal, and that isn’t very interesting in our book.
It is incomprehensible why WMS has not chosen to add a separate pick and click menu to the jackpot feature. The result may be the same, but the journey would have been a lot more rewarding.
Our verdict on the Desert Cats slot
We have always been a massive fan of WMS, but they seem to be heading in the same direction as Microgaming very quickly. Too big, too unwieldy and not eager to excel. Let’s hope that they can turn their current dry spell around and revamp the WMS brand and magic.
In all, the Desert Cats slot will not make the dry spell go away. Although the game brings some fun features, the “is this all?” feeling remains.
3 out of 5 stars.
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