It's that time again – time for another book release. Let's face it, by this stage in the game we've seen so many expanding symbol ‘book of' releases, they've lost any and all edge – it's almost surprising that so many providers continue to tackle this category, given how difficult it is to find that little something extra to add in. Thankfully, Pragmatic Play already have a few book releases under their belt, so we expect they've refined their technique to bring us something leaning towards interesting with their upcoming release, Book of Fallen. With wins on offer up to 5,000x bet, and a default RTP of 96.50%, let's take a look at what this highly volatile release has to offer.
Visually, the entire thing screams Egyptian – from the symbols to the background and everything in between, including the ornate gold and royal blue stripes separating the reels. It's like many that came before – Book of Dead, Legacy of Dead, Book of Ra – really any Egyptian ‘book of' game. This isn't to say the graphics aren't smart and well styled – they're just not exactly seeping in originality. If you like a solid book release with this running theme though, you'll be far from disappointed. This release follows our favourite explorer John Hunter, which makes us wonder why he didn't make the title – especially being such a revered character with players, but he didn't, so we'll just stick with ‘Book of Fallen'.
Book of Fallen Base Features
Taking place across 5×3 reels, Book of Fallen features 10 fixed pay lines, with wins formed by matching symbols across a win line on adjacent reels, beginning at the leftmost reel. Symbols available begin at the lower end, with 10, J, Q, K and As, each paying 0.5x bet for 3 of a kind matches, increasing to values between 10 and 15x bet for 5 of a kind wins. At the premium end, we have an ankh, Anubis symbol, and a Pharaoh, rewarding players with 0.5x bet values for 2 of a kind matches, increasing to values between 75 and 200x bet for 5 of a kind matches. John Hunter comes in as our highest paying symbol, paying out 1x bet for 2 of a kind, up to a whopping 500x bet for 5 of a kind. An eye of Horus golden book is both the Scatter symbol and the Wild, substituting for all symbols to form a win – but not expanding.
There's really only one feature to set this release apart from every other like it, but at this stage we're thankful for even that – in this instance, it's the Super Spin Ante Bet. Players can choose to spin 10x their stake for every spin for the chance to expand a chosen symbol, if enough are in view. Once activated, a choice of expanding symbols appears, and once players choose one this symbol will expand until either the Super Spin Bet is turned off or a different symbol is chosen.
In order for symbols to expand a minimum of 3 must land if the chosen symbol is a non-premium, or a minimum of 2 must land if a premium symbol is chosen. Once symbols expand, they pay in every position – but a pay table does flash up when you choose your symbol. However many symbols land, players can multiply the pay table value by x10 to calculate the expanding symbol value – giving us the maximum win of 5,000x bet when 5 explorers that would regularly pay 500x expand to cover 10 line positions. When playing with Super Spin Bet, wins are calculated according to the regular base bet, not the 10x increased value, and RTP is 96.49%.
Book of Fallen Bonus
Land 3, 4 or 5 Scatter symbols to trigger 10 free spins, with trigger values of 2, 20 and 200x bet also awarded, respectively. Scatter triggers pay anywhere in view, and do not need to be on a win line. When free spins begin, players again have a decision to make – with a choice of any expanding symbol. Again, in order for symbols to expand a a minimum of 3 must land if the chosen symbol is a non-premium, or a minimum of 2 must land if a premium symbol is chosen. Once symbols expand, they pay in every position on the reels.
Players in appropriate regions can fast track into the bonus round with the feature buy option for a cost of 100x bet, wherein RTP will very slightly decrease to 96.48%.
The maximum win available is 5,000x bet. If a game round or free spins feature exceeds this the round will end and 5,000x bet will be awarded.
It's always a nice touch for players to have control and be able to choose their expanding symbol. Some might opt for a K or A, hoping for more frequent smaller wins, whilst others might go all out and hope to land 5 of a kind explorers, but in either instance they enjoy that choice. Does it truly affect things? Probably not, but it's a nice touch nonetheless that feels like it adds to the excitement. It would maybe have been nice to see a second choice of symbol during free spins when landing 3 additional Scatters, but it's definitely something we can live without and doesn't really make or break the release.
On a statistical level, this release is highly (5/5) volatile, and does feature the standard maximum win we expect from Pragmatic, expected on average 1 in 2,118,644 spins. Default RTP is fair at 96.50%, but as always our warning is clear – different versions are available, so it's important to check before playing if you value RTP in the releases you choose.
Book of Fallen truthfully doesn't really do much we haven't seen before, except the Super Spin Bet, which for those who are happy to stake a little extra for the chance of wins up to 5,000x bet (depending on the symbol chosen) might be enough to drag them away from their current favourite ‘book of' game. If you're not a fan of the book styled release, only you can say if the Super Spin Bet is enough to twist your arm, but if it is you're probably in for some fun. A nice addition to Pragmatic's extensive catalogue, but probably not one of their flagship releases – and we're not sure they intended it to be either.
*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.