Two items come up first when you search for “Shai” online. For example, one group from the ’90s R&B scene had their single ‘If I Ever Fall in Love’ peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The other alludes to Egyptian culture. Based on the latter, Play’n GO has created yet another ‘book of’ slot machine themed around the notion of fate or the God of Fate in Ancient Egyptian mythology. Secret of Dead is a slot machine hybrid that borrows features from both Scroll of Dead and Legacy of Dead, its two forerunners.
The visual style of Secret of Dead is instantly recognizable, calling to mind a wide range of games dating all the way back to the original Book of Dead. This does not feature Rich Wilde or his daughter Cat. All of the symbols are relics from antiquity. However, the sense of familiarity is broken up by the fact that Secret of the Dead has six reels rather than the usual five. There were really six reels in Scroll of Dead, but the sixth one was locked until the bonus round was started. In this case, you don’t have to pay anything, ever. That’s only one of the few noticeable changes in an otherwise classic, albeit pretty, game.
It has 1-10 selectable paylines, 6 reels, and 3 rows and is somewhat volatile (a 8 out of 10). After the first reel, winnings occur only when three or more identical symbols appear left to right. Keep an eye out for RTP while you sift through archaeological sites; it may be adjusted from a high of 96.2% to a low of under 90%, depending on the state of the market. The stakes for discovering the secret range from 1 p/c to £/€100, and any method can be employed.
Similar to the symbols in Scroll of Dead, where a royal flush pays out 25 times your bet for a full house, they may range from 10-A card values. The next highest paying symbols are the six premiums in a line, which range from 100 to 500 times your initial wager and feature cobras, scarab beetles, cats, and apparently a depiction of Shai.
Playing the Slot Game With the Dead
Playing a ‘book of’ game will prepare you well for Secret of the Dead. The Ankh, rather than a book, is the symbol to keep an eye out for. Landing at least three Ankhs at once activates the bonus round, and they can stand in for any other symbol in the game.
When 3, 4, 5, or 6 Ankhs appear, players win 1, 10, 50, or 250 times their wager, plus 8, 10, 12, or 15 free games. One of the pay symbols is selected at random to be the expanding symbol before the free spins begin. In free games, if a winning combination is formed with a certain symbol, that symbol will grow to fill the entire reel. There is no requirement for neighboring symbols to form winning paylines when using expanded symbols.
There are two outcomes depending on whether or not 3 scatter symbols appear during the bonus round. Another pay sign is chosen at random to become an expander, and you get +5 more free spins.
Finally, Secret of the Dead could have a gamble function where users can try to increase their reward by a factor of two or three. If a player is given the chance to double or triple their winnings by correctly identifying the suit or color of a hidden card, they should do so. Players have the option of betting up to five times or 2,500 coins.
Slot Verdict’s Deadly Secret
Play’n GO is, without a doubt, a fan of ‘book of’ games, and Secret of the Dead keeps the collection moving. While it does have a sixth reel and an extra unique symbol during free spins, both of which have been employed by Play’n GO before, this slot machine errs on the side of being slightly less original than the norm. It’s hard to keep up with everything that’s happening, but this may be the first time the studio has combined the two. Though they might get repetitive, Play’n GO’s book slots are usually well-made products with few flaws.
Secret of the Dead is susceptible to the same kind of criticism because it doesn’t add all that much to the experience over its predecessors. The modifications are mostly technological in nature and counterbalance one another. While the sixth reel in Scroll of the Dead is only available during free spins, players here receive it at all times. Full screen expanded symbol wins are less stunning in Secret of the Dead since six symbol combos are valued less. But now, the number of free spins you win and the scatter prize you receive are both affected by the number of scatters that initiate the feature. Therefore, it is difficult to disentangle all of these factors and determine which is technically more advantageous. It’s possible that going with your gut is equally as beneficial as any other method. However, Secret of the Dead has more promise than its predecessors, which might be the deciding factor. The maximum payout (when playing all ten paylines) is 10,000x the wager, which is double the ‘book’ maximum payout of 5,000x.
Play’n GO is producing these games at such a rapid pace that soon there won’t be many mysteries left to solve in Ancient Egypt. Of course, we’re joking, and as we’ve already established, Secret of the Dead is hard to criticize because it’s such a polished, well-presented ‘book’ alternative that has enough new features to pique the curiosity of Ra enthusiasts.