Fantasma Games are taking players to the deep underworld, known as Hades in various mythologies and religions, in this re-release (more on this below) Hades: River of Souls. In Hades, fires burn and souls cross the great River of Souls, Styx, to roam the underworld. According to Fantasma, once you reach Styx, all you are now is only worth a single gold coin. Should you find such a coin, safe passage across the river is guaranteed, and after crossing a new life may begin, wherein those who serve Queen Persephone and King Hades, cruel but just, will be rewarded. In this release the goal is clear, escape the underworld, but collect as many riches as possible along the way. A hit frequency of 19.49% and RTP of 96.56% helps this highly volatile release produce wins up to 5,058x bet in size.
Taking place across a 5×3 space, Hades: River of Souls offers players 10 fixed pay lines to help collect riches, although each of these lines pay both ways for increased chances. Above the reels, there is a river area, containing special symbols capable to tumbling onto the reels to increase wins. Features have been packed in to maintain a level of excitement in a world that usually contains emptiness. Visually, Fantasma have managed to create a feeling of the underworld, with dark, hazy backdrops. Orange glows from fires below, alongside sparks, are visible underneath the rocks to the left of the reels, adding to the eery-atmosphere. Audios are dark, gloomy, and bordering on catastrophic, bursting to life when the action begins.
Hades: River of Souls Base Features
Symbols available to produce wins in Hades: River of Souls include 6 coloured pots, adorned with mythological symbols including birds, snakes, Pegasus, a horned beast and a lion, offering payouts between 1 and 1.5x bet for 5 of a kind, although these would naturally be doubled as wins pay both ways. At the premium end, a cornucopia, helmet, Cerberus, Queen Persephone and King Hades award wins between 5 and 10x bet for 5 of a kind, again paying both ways for a potential of wins up to 20x bet for 5 of a kind. A gold coin Wild symbol embossed with a trident substitutes for all symbols except Scatter symbols and Skull of Charon, the ferryman of Hades, symbols, which we'll get to soon.
3 features have been packed into Hades: River of Souls to keep players interested, including the Avalanche, Wild Souls Multiplier and Skull of Charon Feature:
- Avalanche: Any win activates Avalanche in both the base game and Hades Free Spins. Any symbols involved in a winning combination are removed from the reels, allowing new symbols to fall into their place from the River above the reels, to create additional opportunities for wins. Wild symbols, Skull of Charon symbols and Bonus Scatter symbols may drop down, and players can track what they can expect to fall by looking at the river on any given spin. After Avalanches end, wins are collected and paid out. Scatters do not activate the Avalanche.
- Wild Souls Multiplier: In both the base game and Hades Free Spins, there is an incrementing multiplier, which begins at x1 and increments by x1 for every 3 wild symbols that disappear in the Avalanche in the base game. For every 3 wild symbols that disappear in the Avalanche during Hades Free Spins, the multiplier increments by x2. After Avalanches end, wins are collected and the total win is multiplied by the current Wild Souls Multiplier, which then resets after Avalanches end in the base game. In Hades Free Spins, the multiplier is reset when Free Spins end.
- Skull of Charon: 1 or more Skull of Charon symbols on the reels activates the feature. Symbols can appear anywhere on the reels, or can drop down from the river during the Avalanche feature in the base game or Hades Free Spins. When there are no winning combinations remaining, each Skull of Charon symbol removes itself and 2-10 regular symbols from the reels, activating the Avalanche. If there are not enough eligible symbols to remove, all eligible symbols will be removed.
Hades: River of Souls Bonus
Landing 3 Scatter symbols, represented by tridents, on the reels in one game round triggers 1o Hades Free Spins, moving the action to a much more fiery landscape. Additional Scatters add +5 free spins, up to a maximum of 20 awarded from the base trigger. Scatters can land anywhere on the reels, or can tumble down during the Avalanche feature.
All 3 aforementioned features, Avalanche, Wild Souls Multiplier and Skull of Charon, remain active during free spins. The Wild Souls Multiplier increments by x2 for every 3 wilds removed during free spins, and does not reset between spins. 3 Scatters in one Hades Free Spins awards +10 free spins, with additional scatters continuing to add +5 spins.
As we did mention above, Fantasma Games are “re-releasing” Hades: River of Souls this year, with the original having been released in 2020. This time around, players in appropriate regions have access to a feature buy, at a cost of 70x bet, immediately triggering at least 10 Hades Free Spins.
Of course, Hades: River of Souls has already been released in 2020, meaning a lot of players have already tried their hand in this deep, dark underworld. However, for those who haven't given this release a chance yet, it has been packed full of features to keep players interested, which when combined with high volatility levels, a decent RTP of 96.56%, and a maximum win of over 5,000x bet, is a recipe for success. Players will find plenty to keep them busy in this release, with certain features in particular being capable of throwing out huge wins – the Wild Souls Multiplier not resetting during Hades Free Spins has a potential that we rarely see in a 5×3 reel game, particularly when coupled with Avalanches and both-ways pays.
The addition of a feature buy keeps things interesting for players in relevant regions, with the ability to skip the base game altogether and head straight into the action of Hades. For players in regions without access to feature buys, such as the UK, nothing has changed here. However, the base game packs its own unique punch with incrementing multipliers, Skulls of Charon removing regular symbols, and avalanches, made more exciting by players abilities to track the symbols on the river, just waiting for a tumble, reminiscent of Drops of Gold.
Overall, Hades: River of Souls 2021 edition has made such a finite change it's clear most players will not notice if they are not given access to the changes, but for players who do have a chance to try this updated version out, some big wins could be hidden beneath the surface, guarded by Hades.
*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.