Wisdom of Athena is an Ancient Greek slot from developer Pragmatic Play that continues at least two traditions in the gambling world. One tradition is the fascination with mythology, especially Ancient Greek belief. The other is as a scatter pays slot, which is a form of gambling whose popularity owes a huge debt to Pragmatic Play due to trend-setting games like Sweet Bonanza, and more latterly, Gates of Olympus, which has been immensely popular. So much so, Pragmatic Play has built several slots off the back of Gates of Olympus, many being reskins to a greater or lesser extent. Wisdom of Athena is another one which is basically GOO – with a new deity and a reel expansion twist.
Whereas Gates of Olympus was fronted by Zeus, the main man of Olympus, Wisdom of Athena has the goddess of warfare, handicraft, and wisdom as its leading character. Athena hangs out to the right of the screen, all leggy, dress waving in the wind, presiding over a golden, peach-coloured realm full of steps and statues, columns and clouds. Like the gameplay, Wisdom of Athena is very close to Gate of Olympus in spirit, but Pragmatic Play has fleshed out the peripherals with newer elements in an attempt to make the experience fresh again. It partly succeeds and partly seems the same in many ways.
Wisdom of Athena lets gamblers pick three ways to have a punt. One is the regular way, betting 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin. The second is activating the Ante Bet, where the stake is increased by 25%. The reason you might want to do so is because the Ante Bet slings extra scatters onto the reels. Theoretically, this should increase the likelihood of triggering free spins, but the game’s info is light on concrete figures to back this assumption up. Alternatively, players can buy a free spin entry for the cost of 100 times the bet. Playing normally comes with a maximum RTP of 96.07%; the other two options have a return value of 96.08% – volatility remains high in all instances.
At the start of each paid spin and at the beginning of the bonus round, the active gaming area consists of 6 columns holding 5 symbols each. Landing at least 8 identical symbols in any position on the board creates a win. Winning symbols are removed and replaced by symbols tumbling in from above. A tumble sequence will continue to flow this way until no new win hits. The five low pay symbols, bearing various Ancient Greek images, pay 0.25x to 0.75x the bet for 8-9 of a kind or 2.5x to 7.5x for a 15+ sized hit. On the premium side are 4 symbols – a scroll, a pot-like object, a helmet, and a golden image. These symbols pay 1x to 5x the bet for 8-9 OAK or 10 to 50 times the bet for 15 or more of a kind. Don’t hold your breath waiting for wild help; Wisdom of Athena does not have wild symbols.
Wisdom of Athena: Slot Features
Players familiar with Gates of Olympus or its offshoots can probably skip this part and still know how most of Wisdom of Athena functions. There are differences in the way multipliers are used in free spins, and the big exception is the grid unlock feature; here’s how it works.
Let’s start with the new bit. Running along the top of the active 6×5 grid is a row of symbols displaying the numbers 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15. At certain points, a blocker symbol is removed, making way for an active symbol to appear. Following the first tumble, the first symbol is removed, then when 3 more tumbles occur, the symbol on reel 2 is unlocked; when 6 more tumbles occur, the symbol on reel 3 is unlocked; when 9 more tumbles occur, the symbol on reel 4 unlocks; when 12 more tumbles occur the symbol on reel 5 unlocks, then when 15 more tumbles occur the symbol on reel 6 unlocks. In the base game, blocker symbols reset between paid spins.
Multiplier symbols are present on all reels and land with a value of x2 to x500. When a sequence of tumbles ends, the values of all multipliers in view are summed up and applied to the total win.
A total of 10 free spins are awarded when at least 4 scatter symbols land on the screen. Free spins begin with the top row fully locked. Tumbles unlock the locked positions, and progress is saved throughout the free spins round. The multiplier symbol feature is different to the base game, too. Now, when a multiplier symbol lands, its value is added to a total multiplier which does not reset. From then on, the total multiplier is applied to wins. Hit 3 or more scatters, and 5 extra free spins are awarded.
Wisdom of Athena: Slot Verdict
Gates of Olympus‘ gameplay really has been the gift that keeps on giving – for both Pragmatic Play and the hordes of gamblers down with its style. Since its release, we’ve seen a bunch of follow-ups like Gates of Gatot Kaca and Gates of Aztec. Now we’ve sort of looped back to the original, revisiting the Ancient Greek theme from a female deity’s perspective, and really, if you’ve liked the previous releases, there’s no glaring reason why you won’t enjoy Wisdom of Athena as well.
With the unstoppable force that is the GOO range, Pragmatic Play could have, arguably, gotten away with just unloading another reskin on the masses. However, with so many similar slots already play-tested, having a new feature to explore was a nice surprise. The row of unlockable positions is a feature which feels like it probably won’t be used to monstrous effect a lot of the time, but when it does pop and significantly open up the board, it could have a rather positive effect on potential outcomes. Breaking this impression down further, you need a lot of tumbles to unlock all 6 positions, and in the base game, unless something really extraordinary occurs, say, tumbles are raining down like they’re set to repeat, it’s going to be a major challenge. Neat then that not only does the bonus round have the growing persistent total multiplier, but progress with position unlocking is also persistent. The way multipliers are used in free spins has been changed, too, so that could be something GOO connoisseurs would like to check out.
Rounding off the reel expansion feature and the free spin multiplier tweaks with greater potential might have been the icing on the cake, but, Pragmatic Play has settled on 5,000x the bet, which is a typical figure for these games. Not a bad figure either, and with the added draw of a new feature (for this range of slots), Wisdom of Athena delivers another well-oiled bout of pay anywhere scatter paying action.
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