Some Aristocrat slots have a choice of features and in-reel novelties to keep you interested. Pompeii is not one of them. This Roman era themed game is solid and easy to play, though it does lack any outstanding features beyond the 243-ways to win and multiplier during the free spins round.
This is one of several slots which include the 243 ways feature. This means there are no specific win-lines. Instead any adjacent combinations of symbols from left to right is a winner. Other slots which use this system include the oriental Choyi Sun Doa and Firelight.
Graphically, this is a very plain looking game. The Roman images which make up the symbols are the classics like the gladiator helmet, chariot, mount Vesuvius and sword and shield. There are the classic hallmarks of all Aristocrat slots in place. These include the click-click noise of the reels stopping, the computer beeps when you win, the playing card symbols and the ability to gamble when you win by choosing the suit or color of a playing card.
One quirk of this slot is the coins which trigger the feature. These are Veni, Vichi and Verde. When they land the words are spoken. This does mean that the slot says ‘Veni’ a lot.
With the reel power games there are no lines to select. Instead you are choosing your coins and ‘credits per spin’. This gives you the same range as with the older win-line games. The minimum is 50c and maximum spin amount of $125. The total bet amount is clearly displayed to the right of the coin and credits buttons. You can select autospin options of between 5 and 100 spins, this can be stopped at any time.
The top symbol is a jeweled emblem, which will net you 2500 coins for all 5 (assuming 25 credits). The gladiator helmet is worth 2000 for 5 and the sword and shield combo 1000. After this come the coins, chariot and then the playing card symbols. The 243 possible winning combinations mean there is plenty of opportunity to line up the wins – especially when you hit the mount Vesuvius wild symbol which can appear on reels 2 and 5.
Coins are scatters, in addition to triggering the spoken ‘Veni, Vichi, Verde’ they trigger the free spins bonus round.
This is a fairly standard free spins feature, with only the multipliers for the Mt Vesuvius making it unusual in any way. The number of spins depends on how many coins you got on the round which triggered the game. This is 10, 15 or 20 spins for 3, 4 or 5 respectively.
During the spins any wins that include the (erupting) Mt Vesuvius on reel 2 get a 3x multiplier. Wins with the wild on reel 4 get a 5x multiplier and any wins which include wilds on both reels get a 15x multiplier.
This is not the most interesting bonus compared with other slots, though the potential for wins to be multiplied by 15 does give it some extra interest.
Thought the most famous eruption of Mt Vesuvius took place in 79AD, covering the city of Pompeii in dust, there have been more than 50 recorded eruptions. The wonderfully preserved city was discovered in 1748 – with buildings and bodies in the exact state they were more almost 1700 years beforehand.
This is a simple and retro feeling slot by today’s standards. It almost feels like the up to date 243-ways reel power is wasted on such a featureless machine. On the positive side, this game does play well. Aristocrat are famed for putting solid game-play first and gimmicks second. For me they have gone a little too far with this one, and created a game which is crying out for something to make it a little more interesting.