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We’ve already taken a look at the first Zeus-themed slot but there is now a third one doing the rounds too, with the second one having mysteriously disappeared? Maybe the King of the Gods himself decided that Zeus II wasn’t quite up to scratch and sent a thunderbolt to blast it from the face of the Earth. Or maybe, it was just replaced by this new and updated version.
Zeus III certainly looks very different than most other slots you’ll play. It has an unusual 2-3-4-5-6-7 number of symbols across each of the six reels. Add to this 192 paylines and you have a slot that looks and plays very differently to most of the standard 5×3 slots you’ll find. So has Williams Interactive created a masterpiece deserving of the Gods themselves? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Overview: Zeus III
As we’ve already mentioned, this slot looks very different to your standard 5×3 game. The number of symbols on the reels increases as you move from left to right across the six reels, starting with just two on the opening reel and moving up to seven symbols on the sixth reel. On each reel all the symbols are stacked. This helps create multiple winning paylines.
Indeed, it is through multiple winning paylines that you’ll achieve the bigger value wins in this slot, because the base game wins for a single line, even for the higher value symbols on the reels, don’t amount to a great deal. However, this is partly why the slot is set up as it is. If you can hit a winning payline over the first three reels, then you automatically will trigger more than one winning payline. There’s also a number of key features that can help you win in the base game, or trigger the exciting bonus round.
Who will the Zeus III slot appeal to?
Without a shadow of a doubt the Zeus III slot is a game that will appeal to players who are perhaps a little tired of the standard 5×3 reel slot game and who are looking for a new way to play. The new set-up is inventive and intuitive and offers a new way to trigger slots and perhaps land a decent-sized win.
Greek mythology is also very prevalent in slot gaming. If you’re a fan of any of these types of games (and there are many to choose from), then you will find that Zeus III is a great choice. Furthermore, if you played either Zeus or Zeus II slots then this is a fitting sequel to those two games from WMS.
Gameplay: Zeus III
The first thing you need to do on the Zeus III slot is select your bet multiplier size. (The amount of coins you can wager per spin is set at $0.40.) However, you can wager up to 100 times that amount using the Bet Multiplier facility which runs from 1 to 100. So you can wager anywhere between $0.40 and $40 per spin, as long as it’s an increment of $0.40.
Once you have set the price you want to play for, simply click the Spin button on the right and the reels will start spinning. All symbols are stacked across all the reels to help create winning paylines. Although sometimes this is as much a hindrance to winning as it is a benefit.
The lower value symbols on the reels are the playing card low symbols, although in this case they are the suits of the cards, Hearts, Clubs, Spades and Diamonds. There are six higher value symbols. In ascending order of value they are are a coin, a Greek urn, a fighter’s helmet, a Phoenician ship, the winged horse Pegasus. Lastly, there is a rather angry looking Zeus, which is the top paying symbol.
Like a standard slot, payouts run from right to left. The key to a payout is hitting three of the same symbols on reels 1 to 3. That isn’t as easy as it sounds, as with stacked symbols you may find that you can regularly hit two symbols, but the third reel fills up with a different symbol.
However, when you do trigger a win, you’ll find that you trigger multiple winning lines as the reels expand further the more right you go. This increases the value of the win from the rather small amount offered by a single payline into a more substantial amount offered by many. Of course, the more of the same symbols landed on the first three reels that you can land on reels 4, 5, and 6, the better the payout will be for you.
There are a number of features to help you achieve this. The picture of the Parthenon acts as the in-game Wild on the reels. This can be used to replace any high or low symbol. Furthermore, you can turn an entire reel Wild by landing every symbol on that reel as the high paying Zeus symbol. When this occurs that reel will turn completely Wild. You can also land this across several reels in a single spin to help create some of the bigger base game wins.
The Free Spins round is triggered by landing three, four or five of the Thunderbolt scatter symbols across the reels. Depending on how many scatters landed you will trigger 10, 25, or 50 free spins with the chance to retrigger additional spins throughout the bonus round. All the same features in the base game are active in the bonus round, and it is through this round that some of the bigger payouts on the slot can be won.
Special Features: Zeus III
Super stacked symbols
On all the reels, all the symbols in the game (bar the Wild and Scatter symbols) are super stacked so that they can cover each reel entirely. This can help create multiple winning paylines when they land favorably on a spin.
Wild & Wild reels
The single Wild symbol is the Parthenon. It can substitute for all low and high-value symbols to create additional winning paylines. However, you can turn an entire reel wild by landing the highest value Zeus symbol, filling the reel completely. This can be a hugely profitable feature, especially when landed on reels 1-3.
You can trigger between 10 and 50 free spins when landing three, four or five of the Thunderbolt scatters anywhere across the reels on a single spin. Land four or five scatters and you also earn a cash reward of 25x or 50x your total stake. The same features as in the base game are in operation during the free spins round.
Innovative slot layout
The slot is laid out in an unusual and innovative way. Once you’re used to the layout and how the slot plays, it’s fun to play a different kind of slot to the standard 5×3 game. However, the value of hitting winning symbols on those smaller reels soon becomes quickly apparent.
Multiple payline wins
Rather than trying to hit one big win on a single payline, with Zeus III the focus isn’t about one big payline win, but rather triggering as many paylines as possible on a spin to increase the overall value of the win. This does make for a nice change but can also be frustrating at times.
Free Spins bonus
With up to 50 free spins available, plus a cash payout for landing four or five scatters on the reel, there is a very generous free spins round. It’s here you stand the best chance of hitting some of the biggest prizes approaching the $15,000 jackpot prize.
This is definitely a slot that is a higher than usual variance game. As such, hitting big wins can take time and patience and can prove to be expensive if you play the game when it’s playing somewhat tighter than usual. Patience and good bankroll management will let you get the most out of the Zeus III slot.
Hard to hit free spins
When it comes to the free spins round, patience is required. It can take a good deal of time to hit and most often you’ll hit the minimum of 10 free spins. It’s worth persevering, as this feature is the one that will offer you the best chance of a big win.
Base game frustrating
The two factors above lead to an issue that does affect Zeus III. That is that the base game can be a little frustrating at times, especially when you see reels 4,5 and 6 line up for a big win, but one of the first three reels doesn’t quite land right.
Graphics & soundtrack 3/5
The graphics and foreboding soundtrack of the Zeus III slot are well done without being hugely innovative or particularly inspiring. They do the job though and it’s nice to see a slot without the usual playing card lows.
Originality & creativity 4/5
Although I fear that there will be some slot players who hate the layout of the Zeus III slot, I think it offers a different challenge to a typical slot game. With the ability to earn additional Wilds using the Zeus symbol, plus up to 50 free spins available, this certainly has more unusual features than the standard slot.
Play value 2/5
As a higher volatility slot, this is a game which can reward you relatively generously at times. Most of the wins you’ll experience will be low-value wins compared to your stake. Which does mean that the play value isn’t great over the longer term.
Jackpot potential 3/5
You could win up to $15,000 on this slot, depending on how the reels turn for you. This is a decent amount of money for anybody, but this isn’t the biggest jackpot available in the slots industry nowadays.
Repeat play 3/5
There are a number of interesting features contained in the Zeus III slot which will certainly make this a game you will come back to for a few spins every now and then. I’m just not sure this is one you’ll be loading up to play regularly.
Total score: 15/25
Overall Zeus III is a decent addition to the King of the Gods slots legacy. Smaller wins can be frustrating as can long spells in the base game without wins, but if the reels turn right for you and you hit a decent multiple line win, then bigger value wins are possible.