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One thing I’ve noticed when reviewing slots is that there are several “secrets” types of slots. They all vary from one game to the next. I’ve come across Secrets of the Forest and Secrets of the Phoenix relatively recently, but the new Secrets of Atlantis slots from NetEnt has the potential to be better than either of those two games.
Secrets of Atlantis is packed with a host of features, including some that are truly innovative. There’s also a fabulous feature that harkens back to the glorious days of pre-internet slot gaming. NetEnt’s ability to produce cinematic-quality slots has been combined with an enjoyable and entertaining game that is sure to delight a whole host of slot fans.
Overview: Secrets of Atlantis
As the name suggests, the setting for this slot is the famous lost underwater kingdom of Atlantis. There’s a fantastic cut screen at the start of the game that transports you deep into this underwater realm. The slot is a 5×4 reel game with 40 paylines in play, however that number is effectively doubled as wins pay both left to right and also right to left across the screen.
The symbols on the reels are a mix of lower value symbols represented by humble sea creatures. The higher value symbols are the gemstones (sapphire, emerald and ruby). The pearl in the golden clam offers the highest base game payouts of 400 coins if landed five across a payline. With symbols stacked across the reels, and a number of bonus features available, this slot has plenty to keep the average slot player interested.
Who will the Secrets of Atlantis slot appeal to?
One of NetEnt’s most enduring and appealing slots was the smash hit Starburst. What made that slot so appealing was the fact that you could win both ways across the reels. Well, this feature makes a welcome return in the Secrets of Atlantis slot. This time we have a 5×4 reel game with 40 paylines in play, meaning fans of Starburst and win-both-ways slots will love this newer game.
There’s also a fantastic Colossal Nudge Wild feature, which employs the shape of a beautiful mermaid. Fans of innovative features will enjoy that and the amazing Colossal Symbol feature, which could offer players the chance of some of the biggest wins possible on this innovative new slot.
Gameplay: Secrets of Atlantis
I do love slots that draw you into the game. Secrets of Atlantis does this superbly with some dramatic music and a very Hollywood-style opening cut sequence. You’ll be transported down into a deep underwater realm. As an introduction, it works superbly and helps get you ready to enjoy the rest of what this slot has to offer.
Aesthetically, the Secrets of Atlantis slot is almost faultless. The backdrops are beautifully rendered but with just enough obscured detail to keep a sense of mystery. There’s a very dramatic soundtrack that runs alongside the game, as well as beautifully rendered symbols. Overall, it looks and sounds fantastic, a hallmark of a great NetEnt slot.
Setting your wager amount is a little more involved than some other games. You can set your coin value (from $0.01 up to $0.10). The basic spin is 20 times the coin value you choose to play. Additionally, you can set the Level you want to play at (between 1 and 10). This multiplies your coin value still further. The upshot of this is that you can play from $0.20 per spin up to $20 per spin.
Once you’ve set your bet size, you can then click the Spin button to get the reels spinning or use the Autoplay feature (which I would recommend) to play for a stated number of spins up to a maximum of 1,000.
Once the reels are spinning, this is where additional features come into play. These are necessary because Secrets of Atlantis is not a particularly player-friendly slot in terms of regular wins. This is definitely more a medium- to high-volatility game. You do need patience to unlock some of the bigger wins. Hence sensible budgeting at the wager select screen is important.
As the reels spin you’ll notice that all the symbols are stacked. This can help create multiple payline wins when you land them across the reels from left to right and right to left. Your quest for multiple line wins is helped by the Nudge Wild symbol. This is a mermaid which, when landed on the reel, will nudge to take over the entire reel for a spin to help create additional winning paylines.
In addition, you’ll notice that on reels 2, 3 and 4 there are some symbols which share a flowery backdrop. This is the Highlight feature. If you can land this feature stacked on reels 2, 3 and 4 on any spin, then you’ll launch a free Colossal Wild respin.
What happens here is that these middle three reels will turn into one large reel with a huge single symbol on that extra large reel, while reels 1 and 5 remain in place. Land one symbol in the center position of the reel and all 12 symbols ordinarily on these reels will revert to the same Colossal symbol, giving you a chance at multiple payline wins.
You can land the Colossal Nudge Wild on these middle three reels. If you do, then a big payout is likely, as the Nudge Wild will nudge up or down to cover all 12 available symbols on the reel and give you certain multiple payouts.
Special Features: Secrets of Atlantis
All the symbols in the game, including the lower value, higher value and Nudge Wild symbols are stacked. Furthermore, the Highlight Feature is also stacked across a variety of symbols on the middle three reels.
Land three Highlight symbols on the four symbols of reels 2, 3 and 4 and you’ll launch a free Colossal symbol spin. This sees the middle three reels turn into one large reel with huge symbols on. Depending on how the symbol lands on the spin, the Colossal symbol can turn all 12 symbols on that reel into the same symbol, or even a Nudge Wild, giving you the chance of a bigger payout.
It’s fantastic to see the Nudge feature make a return to online slots gaming and in Secrets of Atlantis, the mermaid symbol is the key to the feature. Land any part of this four-high symbol on any reel (including the Colossal Reel) and she will nudge up or down to turn the entire reel Wild.
NetEnt does have an excellent reputation when it comes to presenting their games and Secrets of Atlantis doesn’t disappoint. The backdrops are beautifully rendered but perhaps lacking a little animation. However, the reels and the symbols and the soundtrack have all been immaculately done.
The Nudge Wild feature and the Colossal Reel feature both work superbly well in the game. These are the key feature for the player to target in order to win the larger amounts of money available in the game. They are innovative features the like of which you won’t find on other slots. This in itself makes the slot appealing.
Stacked symbols can be a poisoned chalice at times. For every win they line up for, they can also block potential wins from single symbols. But they work well in this game even at the higher variance, as when you land a win, you usually hit more than one payline and that in turn offers you a better value payout.
Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments is the fact that for a game that plays relatively tight, there are no multipliers available on your wins completed by a Nudge Wild. Even a 2x multiplier would have given this option a little added excitement.
No free spins game
Perhaps the biggest oversight is that there is no dedicated free spins game you can unlock. The Colossal Reel feature does offer a single free spin, but there’s no chance to win a larger amount of money by having several free spins in succession.
The fact that this is a slot with a higher variance, even though it pays out both ways, does mean that patience is key to unlocking the bigger wins. This isn’t a slot to play for 10 minutes at a high amount compared to your bankroll. Patience and good bankroll management is essential to enjoying the best this slot has to offer.
Graphics & soundtrack 4/5
There’s no doubt that the Secrets of Atlantis slot looks fabulous. The only knock against it I have is that there is a lack of animations in the background which makes things look a little static at times, but graphically and in terms of sound, this is a beautifully presented slot.
Originality & creativity 5/5
The fact that the Nudge Wild and Colossal Reels features are both in this slot, and can work with each other, makes this a hugely innovative game. Add to that a Win Both Ways feature and 40 paylines (which with Win Both Ways is effectively 80) and you have a slot the like of which you won’t have played before.
Play value 2/5
If there’s one knock against Secrets of Atlantis it is in terms of the play value. As a medium volatility slot, wins are fewer and generally small with the occasional big win landing to boost your bankroll. Patience is most definitely required to get the best out of this slot.
Jackpot potential 3/5
The top prize in the base game is just 400 coins. This isn’t great but the fact that symbols are stacked often means that you’ll win on multiple paylines, especially when the Nudge Wild is in play and with 40 paylines in play, that can quickly add up to a nice sized win.
Repeat play 4/5
With so many innovative features, this is most definitely a slot you’ll come back to time and time again. Even if it proves a little on the expensive side at times.
Total score: 18/25
NetEnt produced a classic with Starburst and while this slot is perhaps just not quite as good as that game, it is still a fantastic slot in its own right with a number of innovative and original features. It is well worth a closer look.