Treasures of the Pyramids Slot Machine
Leading slot machine manufacturer International Game Technology IGT released its Treasures of the Pyramids game in brick and mortar casinos in 2008.
Later, the company's IGT Interactive division released an adaptation for play via more than 100 online casino platforms, including major worldwide sites like Bet365, BetVictor, Paddy Power, Party Casino, and William Hill.
Treasures of the Pyramids boasts the classic IGT slot design, incorporating elements like wild symbols, scatter symbols, free spins, bonus games, and more. What sets the game apart from the rest, however, is the massive 5,000 credit jackpot which awaits lucky winners.
As the title suggests, Treasures of the Pyramids is a slot game themed around the ancient Egyptian culture, and specifically, the three famous pyramids of Giza.
Egypt is home to more than 110 individual pyramid structures, but in the minds of most, the trio of the Pyramid of Menkaure, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Great Pyramid of Khufu located in Giza are the real deal. These three structures are at once immense and intricate, serving as massive monuments from the exterior, with a wealth of hidden tombs within.
Constructed more than two millennia before the birth of Christ, the Great Pyramid of Giza stood as the tallest manmade structure on the planet for the next 3,800 years. During the 18th century explorers, archaeologists, and other scientists were joined by looters and treasure hunters, all seeking to unlock the mysteries of the three pyramids.
Artifacts and implements were pulled from the pyramids over hundreds of years of excavation, while Egyptologists studied the sarcophagus located in the Great Pyramid's King's Chamber. As photos of the pyramids, and the nearby Great Sphinx of Giza and its mysteriously impassive visage, spread to the Western world, society became enamored with the world of ancient Egypt.
Pop culture iconography like The Mummy stems directly from the age of Egyptian exploration, and even today, tourists from around the world flock to Giza for a glimpse of humanity's ancient achievements.
Thus, IGT didn't take any bold steps in designing a slot machine around the theme of ancient Egypt, and indeed, competing companies have titles like Egypt Treasures, Egyptian Riches, and Egyptian Heroes on the market. Even so, IGT's commitment to bringing that theme to life is apparent at every turn, which sets Treasures of the Pyramids apart from the rest.
The game's title screen goes all out, featuring the title etched in capitalized gold lettering a sunlit sky. Beneath the title looms two of the three pyramids of Giza, while palm trees, wooden chests, and piles of gold coins dominate the sides of the screen. The foreground features a large black panther staring players right in the eye, and to complete the mysterious vibe, the panther is wearing a golden chain and pawing at a jeweled bracelet.
The overall impression here is that players who are bold enough to explore the titular pyramids in search of treasure will have to contend with this feline guardian.
When you jump into the actual gameplay, Treasures of the Pyramids doesn't feature much of background screen to speak of. The main game screen is filled almost wholly by the reels, leaving only a few centimeters on each side for the suggestion of a sand covered desert floor.
Moving on to the reels themselves, IGT has fallen back on its standard array of card rank symbols to start things off, so you'll be spinning the tried and true 10, J, Q, K, and A. These card rank symbols aren't even themed either, so they'll have the same generic, multicolored look as you'd find on any other IGT slot.
As for the game's themed symbols, Treasures of the Pyramids does right by the expansive cultural focus IGT is attempting. You'll see a wide range of imagery taken straight from a treasure hunt, including the Great Pyramid, the sapphire ring, the green and gold coin, the red ankh a cross with a loop at the top, the ruby ring, the emerald Eye of Horus, and the amethyst Phoenix, and the black panther.
Unfortunately, IGT neglected to accompany the game's rich assortment of visuals and graphics with an appropriate soundtrack. Rather than the distinctive tones of Middle Eastern music, or a suspenseful melody designed to heighten the drama, Treasures of the Pyramids relies on standard slot machine sounds that resemble a circus act more than anything else. While this may have been par for the course in 2008, today players expect a fully immersive and interactive slot experience, so the disconnect between bouncy clown music and an Egyptian treasure hunt may be jarring for some.
If you can get passed the soundtrack mishap though, Treasures of the Pyramids actually offers a healthy dose of IGT's classic slot design model. The game doesn't hold any secrets, despite the discovery theme, but what you see on the surface is good enough for most slot players who prefer a traditional experience over the bells and whistles of today's game.
Gameplay Features and Mechanics
Treasures of the Pyramids is a standard five reel, 40 payline video slot machine by IGT. With four reel spaces on each of the five reels, you'll have 20 symbols in play on each spin.
The game is classified as a penny slot, and indeed, you can spin the reels for as low as $0.01 per play by activating only one of the 40 pay lines. As experienced slot players can tell you, however, this isn't a winning approach to multiple pay line slots, because you'll miss out on a ton of winning combinations.
IGT allows players to toggle between 1, 10, 20, 30, or the full 40 pay lines on a spin, and as always, sharp players are wise to bet the maximum amount of pay lines at all times. Doing so activates a slot's full range of bonus games and features, while giving you a chance to cash in on any available winning combination that appears on the reels.
So, assuming you play the full 40 pay lines, the minimum cost to cover per spin for penny players is really $0.40.
In a departure from the IGT norm, coin denominations can only be toggled through four basic levels: $0.01, $0.05, $0.25, and $1. Thus, Treasures of the Pyramids can be played as a penny, nickel, quarter, or dollar slot only.
For nickel players, the minimum cost to cover per spin stands at $2, while quarter players will be wagering $10 per spin, and $1 players up the ante to $40 at the minimum.
Additionally, this game allows you to select the number of coins applied per line, which gives players a certain level of flexibility when it comes to wager sizing. If the $0.40 per play is too low for your blood, but jumping to $2 per spin is too steep, you can set the game for the penny coin denomination and apply two coins per payline. This changes the minimum cost to cover per spin for penny players from $0.40 to $0.80, while adding another coin per payline would increase the bet to $1.20, and so on up the ladder.
You can up the coins applied per payline from 1 through 10 on an incremental basis. Thus, the maximum wager one can make on the Treasures of the Pyramids slot is $1 coin denomination, with 10 coins applied per all 40 pay lines, which tops out at $400 per spin.
For the most part though, recreational players tend to stick to the penny or nickel levels while applying just one or two coins per payline. The standard play is always to activate all 40 pay lines, however, so don't get so caught up in toggling through the bet area that you neglect to put the game on top gear.
As we mentioned in the introduction, Treasures of the Pyramids is a classic IGT slot design, so you'll be spinning for wild symbols, scatter symbols, and multipliers, all while trying to trigger the free spins bonus game. Despite the title's suggestion of a treasure hunt, progressive jackpot sharks will have to seek their prey elsewhere, as this game isn't connected to any wider progressive networks. Even so, as you'll learn a little later on, the base game jackpot amount makes up for any absence of a progressive element.
For a more thorough set of game specifications for the Treasures of the Pyramids slot, see below:
- Wilds: Yes
- Free Spins: Yes
- Multiplier: Yes, for 2x on any free spin
- Bonus Game: Yes
- Progressive: No
- Return to Player: 94.18% 96.22%
That massive base game jackpot we've hinted at stands at a tremendous 5,000 credits, and it can only be earned by landing five of the black panther symbols across an activated payline. When you see four of the black panther symbols on a payline, the payout drops all the way to 150 credits, so jackpot hunting is certainly the game's goal. Finding three of the black panther symbols brings back a reward of 75 credits, while a pair of them returns 10 credits.
For penny players applying one coin per 40 pay lines, that jackpot amount equates to $50 in cash. But the jackpot increases commensurately as the amount of coins per payline climbs, so by increasing to the maximum of 10 coins per pay line $4 cost to cover per spin, the jackpot amount jumps to $500.
The lucrative black panther symbol also serves as the wild symbol in Treasures of the Pyramids, so it can replace any other symbol except the Great Pyramids scatter symbol in the game to help you create winning combinations.
Moving down the pay table, the next highest paying symbols in the game are the emerald Eye of Horus symbol and the amethyst Phoenix symbol each of which pay out 500 / 75 / 30 in credits for landing five, four, or three of them, respectively.
From there, the both the red ankh symbol and the ruby ring symbol offer a 250 / 50 / 20 pay scheme. The sapphire ring symbol and the green and gold coin symbol each pay out on a 150 / 30 / 10 scale. As for the card rank symbols, landing five of the As or Ks is good enough for 100 credits, while five of the Qs, Js, or 10s will put 75 credits back in your pocket.
According to the marketing literature released by IGT, the level of volatility offered by Treasures of the Pyramids is classified as medium. This means you can expect to endure a few fruitless spins in a row from time to time, with slightly higher payouts serving to balance those steady losses.
Another gameplay feature to keep an eye out for is called the Gamble game, which is offered to players following any payout. Say you've just collected a small payout of 100 credits for landing five K card rank symbols. At this point, you can simply keep spinning the reels, or respond to the "GAMBLE" prompt lit up at the bottom of the game screen.
Pressng the Gamble button will activate a side screen bonus game, one that is common to many slot designers, including IGT and Aristocrat Leisure. This game is a simple guessing contest, using traditional playing cards. By electing to take the Gamble option, you're putting the last payout collected at risk based on the result of the guessing game.
You'll see a graphic representing a deck of face down playing cards, along with two buttons; one labeled Gamble 2x and the other Gamble 4x. The first button, which will double your current stake if you guess correctly, involves guessing only the color of the next card, so you can choose between black or red. Any spade or club will win for a black guess, while hearts and diamonds are good for the red side.
You can also try to guess the exact suit of the next card dealt, and if you nail it perfectly, your stake will be quadrupled. You can cash out after any successful Gamble and add those winnings to your slot game bankroll, or keep guessing and press the action. After five consecutive correct guesses, however, the machine will boot you back to the main Treasures of the Pyramids base game.
As stated earlier, the black panther symbol serves as the game's wild symbol, so it can replace any other symbol in the game except for the Great Pyramid scatter symbol to create winning combinations. Even better, the black panther wild symbol always appears as a "double stacked" symbol, meaning it covers two of the four spaces on a reel whenever it appears. Even so, both spaces showing the black panther wild symbol act independently, so you don't need to have matches on both reel spaces to trigger winners.
Speaking of the Great Pyramid scatter symbol, they can generate winning combinations from anywhere on the reels, rather than from the usual left to right alignment. And when you happen to land five of them on the screen, you'll even earn a modest reward of 50 credits, but just like in real life, the Great Pyramids hold even more valuable treasures to be discovered.
Triggering the Bonus Round
Landing five of any other symbol on an activated payline offers more than the 50 credit payout you'll get for a five pack of Great Pyramid scatter symbols, so you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.
In this game, seeing five of the Great Pyramid scatter symbols on the screen might not pay all that much, but it actually represents a jackpot scenario for players. That's because you'll earn an incredible 100 free spins whenever you can land five of these crucial symbols.
Boasting one of the most generous free spins bonus round allotments in all of slot gaming, Treasures of the Pyramids finally lives up to its grandiose title here. Enjoying even 10 free spins is a treat for any slot player, so receiving a bonus round that spans 100 free spins is simply a windfall that one must experience to believe. Just imagine yourself sitting and spinning 100 times in a row, collecting payouts the whole time, while never spending a single cent.
And the free spins bonus round isn't top heavy either, so even if you only land four of the Great Pyramid scatter symbols, you'll still get 15 free spins to work with. Landing three of them is also good for 8 free spins, so the goal of this game is definitely to line up as many Great Pyramid scatter symbols as possible.
You can even retrigger the free spins bonus round by landing the right combination of Great Pyramid scatter symbols during any free spin. In this fashion, you could conceivably earn up to 600 free spins in a row.
And you'll want to take advantage of every free spin you can earn, because a multiplier of 2x will be applied to double any and all payouts you collect during a free spin. With the game already offering payouts that tilt toward the higher end the IGT slot spectrum, this 2x multiplier on free spin payouts can quickly lead to an avalanche of additions to your bankroll.
Treasures of the Pyramids takes the classic IGT slot design template and combines it with an interesting, if not played out, thematic element. Fans of ancient Egypt, aspiring archeologists, and desert denizens will appreciate the game's visual commitment to the age old idea of ancient Egyptian culture.
The game suffers from a lack of any themed sound effects or music though, so consider bringing a par of headphones on your next trip if the "merry go round" tunes of old school slots aren't your thing. But all in all, a massive base game jackpot of 5,000 credits, the potential to earn 100 free spins whenever the reels whirl, and a 2x multiplier on free spin payouts combine to make Treasures of the Pyramids an exciting game that lives up to its billing.