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What secrets does the phoenix hold? I must admit, I’m not sure. But given how many myths and legends it’s in, there must be more than just being able to rebirth itself in a ball of flame, right?
In this 25-payline, 5×3 reel slot, you get to learn a little more about this fanciful creature and give yourself a chance to earn yourself up to 25 free spins. Let’s take a closer look to see whether this Phoenix rises from the flames or burns itself out.
Overview: Secrets of the Phoenix
It is fair to say that Secrets of the Phoenix is broadly based on folklore and fantasy. The actual concept of the slot is somewhat muddled, with different myths and legends represented on the reels. But honestly, few slot players stick with games just because of the topic, so we’ll let that slide.
Gameplay is more important, and Secrets of the Phoenix does score well in that regard. The game features raining reels, rather than the usual spinning reels, and this means that when you hit a winning payline, those winning symbols disappear and are replaced by new symbols dropping down from above. This gives you more chances of more wins from a single spin.
Who will Secrets of the Phoenix slot appeal to?
The raining reels feature and creating streaks of winning paylines is winning over many converts within the slot playing community. Certainly, players who enjoy that type of game will find that Secrets of the Phoenix offers plenty of this action.
Now, traditionalists may not enjoy the lack of reels, but this is simply a presentation issue as the slot plays exactly the same as a reel-based slot. There’s a good range of betting to enjoy from $0.25 up to $100 per spin, meaning this slot is going to appeal to both smaller stakes and higher stakes players and all in between.
Where to play Secrets of the Phoenix in New Jersey
If you ultimately decide you’re interested in learning the secrets of the phoenix, there are two great New Jersey online casinos with this game on offer. Those would be Tropicana online casino and Virgin online casino (which is the sister site of Tropicana).
Gameplay: Secrets of the Phoenix
You get generally good impressions the moment you load up the Secrets of the Phoenix slot.
There is an appealing choice of bets to pick from (all easily laid out to find), the green spin button (is called “repeat bet” but you get the idea), and the symbols are crisp and nice quality, if a little similar, on the reels.
The pillars represent the low symbols. The mythical creatures, including the phoenix, are the high.
You can also keep track of how your chances of landing free spins with the handy ladder on the right of the screen. It moves up each time you land a successive spin.
It is clear that there’s been a lot of time put into the presentation by maker Gamesys and the slot leaves a favourable first impression.
But frustrations may follow. The base game is actually not too bad. The annoying thing is that the more regular wins are often not anywhere near your bet size.
Successive wins do increase the returns, but these are triggered relatively infrequently.
There’s added frustration too when it comes to free spins.
When you do finally trigger the free spins, you could win a large amount of money. But all too often, your returns during free spins are very small indeed. Several times, I hit just 1x to 5x my initial spin, and that just isn’t appealing when you have played for so long to hit the free spins.
The raining reels and phoenix stacked wild feature do liven things up, but overall, the Secrets of the Phoenix slot doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of gameplay. With a relatively small jackpot to boot, its appeal quickly goes from burning hot to a smoldering ember.
Special features: Secrets of the Phoenix
Every time you hit a winning payline, the winning symbols will disappear and be replaced by other symbols falling from the top of the screen allowing you the chance to have multiple wins from a single spin.
Phoenix Stacked Wild
If you manage to clear an entire column of symbols on the raining reels feature, then the phoenix stacked wild will replace that column turning all three symbols on that column wild for the next set of symbols raining down.
Land three raining reels winning paylines in succession on any spin and you trigger seven free spins.
Land more paylines in successive falls of the reel to increase the number of spins to 10, 15, 20, or a maximum of 25 for seven successive winning paylines from a single spin.
Phoenix stacked wild
This is a great feature as when it is triggered, especially on the first three reels, it generally gives you a much better chance of hitting successive winning paylines. It’s also usually the trigger for some of the bigger wins in the base game in particular.
With the winning payline symbols disappearing, this is essentially like having two free spins on every turn of the game that you win. Of course, hit more than one successive win and your rewards increase.
The gameplay for the Secrets of the Phoenix slot is generally sound. The effects and graphics work well together and the game plays at a nice pace.
However, an autoplay feature would have been a nice feature to add.
Rewards are small
Whatever stake you play by, your rewards are scaled to your unit stake. Unfortunately, the rewards in the base game for Secrets of the Phoenix are rather small for the majority of the time.
Better wins come when you hit successive wins with the raining reels feature, but the majority of the time wins seldom cover your initial bet.
Free spins rewards hit and miss
If the rewards in the base game are disappointing, the rewards during free spins are equally so.
Too often free spins fizzle out into a win that is barely more than you would receive in a base game win. It is very disappointing to earn free spins and end up with just 1x or 2x your base game bet.
A 500-coin jackpot can pay out, but only if you are wagering $25 coins each time.
For smaller stakes players, the jackpot amount isn’t huge and the wins for four symbols or more on a payline are a fraction of those for five, which doesn’t make for great value.
Graphics and soundtrack: 2.5/5
The sound is sparse but used well, even if the raining reel sound effect is somewhat wimpy compared to the symbols on the reels. Graphics are clean and well-presented, but a little too similar, making it difficult to ascertain winning lines easily.
Originality and creativity: 3.5/5
The raining reels is a feature that is growing in popularity but still remains novel, as does unlocking free spins via this feature. This and some neat bonuses with the wild symbol sees the slot score well for creativity among New Jersey online slots fans.
Play value: 2/5
This is a hard slot to fathom. Base game wins and free spins wins both seem to be a little on the short side, and we’ve definitely seen better returns from the raining reels feature in the base game than when we’ve unlocked free spins. That somehow feels wrong.
Jackpot potential: 1/5
With a jackpot of 500 coins, this isn’t a slot likely to make you hugely better off with even a big win. In terms of jackpot size, Secrets of the Phoenix is not quite so hot.
Repeat play: 2/5
The raining reels feature and a decent base game will probably see you fire up Secrets of the Phoenix a couple of times, but in all honesty, playing through to get the free spins rewards just isn’t rewarding enough often enough. I can’t honestly see this being a game with huge long-term appeal.
Total score: 11/25
Rather than rising from the ashes gracefully, the Secrets of the Phoenix slot barely climbs out of the ashtray. A promising base game is let down by a little-by-little reward structure.