RTP is a hotly debated aspect within the online slot sector. Some players go as far as to be unwilling to play a game with an RTP they deem too low. Others feel too much importance is placed upon RTP, well known to be calculated over millions of spins. They wonder how then it could really affect each player on an individual basis, particularly when volatility is factored in. Relax Gaming are putting this thinking to the test with their latest release, Book of 99, rated 5/5 for Volatility, but more importantly packing a hugely impressive punch with an RTP of 99% – the highest so far.
Book of 99, when we remove the RTP, is in many ways just another “Book Game”. Relax Gaming claim to rewrite history, leaving me wondering if they are just rewriting Greek History, or trying to change the game for RTP and book games in general. Book of 99 offers players the chance to battle amongst the Gods in a “first of its' kind slot”. However, is what lies beneath the cover as appealing as the RTP?
Book of 99 plays with 10 fixed pay lines, on a 5×3 reel base, with wins paying from left-right. The pay table is made up of 10 symbols, with 5 low and 4 high paying regular symbols. Low paying symbols, as expected are 10, J, Q, K and A, paying for 3 or more of a kind. High paying symbols are 4 different Greek Characters, including a Cyclops, paying for 2 or more of a kind. Finally, there is a Book symbol, acting as both the Scatter and the Wild. Players can expect anywhere from 75 – 500x bet for landing 5 of a kind premium symbols.
Book of 99 Base Features
More often than not within book games, there isn't much offered in the way of excitement within the Base Game. Book of 99 improves 0n that slightly by offering a meter at the side, where players can collect Book Symbols. Collecting 99 triggers 10 Free Spins, making this mechanic similar in ways to BTG's Heartstopper Feature. What Book of 99 does not offer, however, is any enhanced feature for triggering the Free Spins by collecting books. This makes this less of a grind opportunity, and more a fun way to feel as though we are working towards something. There is one important distinction, however. Free Spins awarded through the collection feature are played at the average collection bet size, much like Village People.
Book of 99 Bonus
Alongside triggering through the collection meter, players can land 10 Free Spins on Book of 99 by landing 3 Book Scatter Symbols in any position on the reels. Scatters do, however, act as wilds, so lining these up along a win line could be the key for a promising trigger amount before free spins even start. Whichever way the bonus is triggered, play remains the same, with a chosen symbol expanding during Free Spins. This isn't anything new, but it is a tried and tested method. Remember, book games remain some of the most eagerly requested games of all time.
Scatter Symbols do not pay a trigger amount unless they are along a win line, which is certainly a stray from what we've been offered from previous book games, but this decision may have been impacted by the Collection Meter.
Unsurprisingly, the 10 Free Spins play similarly to every other book game on offer, with the randomly chosen symbol expanding to cover all win lines, increasing the potential pay out. The maximum win in one spin is 5,000x for a full screen of expanding symbols, with low paying symbols requiring 3 of a kind to expand, and premium symbols only requiring 2 of a kind to expand.
Landing 3 more Scatters within Free Spins awards 10 more Free Spins, but does not choose a second expanding symbol.
Book of 99 does what it says on the tin – it offers 99% RTP, and it is a Book Game. Visually, it's appealing, with the fun graphics that we have come to expect from Relax Gaming. It is a solid addition to their catalogue, but it isn't the best I've seen from them. I'm not sure it's the best Book Game available at all, but it does have a fun twist with the collection system.
Players who spend time looking for the best RTP slots will no doubt be thrilled with this release, but for the players who don't care much about RTP, it is a standard addition. Fun, with a good amount of potential, but fairly standard. Relax Gaming have some impressive titles under their belt though, and when your catalog includes selections like Money Train 2 and Iron Bank, it's hard to see how any Book Game could compare.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.