Golden Ark is an Egyptian-themed real-money slot from Novomatic that shares a lot of traits with the developer’s popular Book of Ra series. Despite these similarities, our reviewers enjoyed the different design and loved the free spins feature!
Golden Ark somewhere between Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and the developer’s own Book of Ra slot. Seeing as the Book of Ra series is immensely popular, the similarities surely mean Golden Ark is bound to appeal to fans of the original Novomatic Egyptian-themed slots.
Does Golden Ark look different enough from Book of Ra, though? Yeah, we suppose so, it’s definitely simpler, but while the symbols aren’t the same, it’s impossible not to draw comparisons.
A five-reel slot with 10 paylines, a decent 95.1% RTP, and a medium to high volatility means payouts can be few and far between here, but they can also be big when they do land.
Most of the symbols on the reels of Golden Ark are Egyptian-themed, although the traditional card faces play the lower values.
The 10, J, and Q symbols will pay 0.5x, 2.5x, and 10x stake for three, four, and five on a payline.
The K and A are a little higher, at 0.5x, 4x, and 15x stake.
All symbols above these bottom values will payout for two or more arriving on a payline, with the two gem-encrusted symbols both paying 0.5x stake for two, as well as 3x, 10x, and 75x stake for three, four, and five.
The Pharaoh symbol also pays 0.5x stake for two, but the other vales are higher, three of a kind paying 4x stake, four of a kind going up to 40x stake, and five giving out 200x stake.
The highest value is the female explorer, who starts reasonably subtly at 1x stake for two and 10x stake for three. Things quickly escalate though, with 100x stake for four on a payline and a five of a kind combination paying a mammoth 500x stake!
The magic book (positively not a Book of Ra!) act as the wild and will substitute for all the above symbols, while also creating winning combinations of its own, paying 2x, 20x, and 200x stake for three, four, and five of a kind on a payline.
The only symbol the wild can’t replace is the Eye of Horus, which is the game’s scatter symbol. This is the symbol that triggers the free spins feature.
The Golden Ark bonus game is a free spins game that triggers when three or more of the scatter symbols land. The non-re-triggerable feature gives 10 spins, which we can’t say is particularly exciting. However, before the reels start spinning a symbol will be selected at random, this will become an expanding symbol for the whole feature, potentially filling up multiple reels for big winning combinations, especially if you’re lucky enough to land one of the higher value symbols as the chosen one.
If this feature feels familiar, it’s because many slots in the Book of Ra series have the same free spins feature. There is also a gamble feature, a 50/50 double or nothing bet you can choose to make after any base game win.
Golden Ark is a nice experience for portable players, reminiscent in its design of mobile games outside of the slot world too. This is a definite plus for a slot that isn’t exactly mind-blowing with its artwork. The lack of extravagant, or even mildly complex graphics and animations also ensures fast loading times for mobile and tablet players.
Mobile ready both via download and your device’s web browser, touchscreen controls and the same features and gameplay settings as the desktop version ensure a fun experience for players of the Golden Ark mobile slot game.
Novomatic has been doing what it does for a long time, and this software developer is not for changing. The focus the provider has always had and still has to a decent extent, is on land-based slots, online titles are something of an afterthought. As a result, average graphics and highly volatile gameplay, like you’d expect from a slot on a Vegas floor, are the characteristics of online Novomatic slot games.
It is, at first, odd to experience a slot that essentially feels like Novomatic has plagiarized itself. The similarities between Golden Ark and Book of Ra are so clear from the outset that it feels cheeky for the developer to not have made this another slot in that popular series.
That said, Book of Ra and its sequels are popular for good reason, and if you are a fan of these slots, then there’s no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy this one too. Is changing the protagonist’s gender enough? That’s for you to decide, but if you are curious, then this is a very enjoyable slot to play and certainly worth a few spins.