Sword of Ares Logo
Information
Provider Pragmatic Play
Release Date Available Now
RTP 94.44% - 96.40%
Minimum/Maximum Stake 0.20/100
Pay Lines Symbols Pay Anywhere
Volatility High (5/5)
Maximum Win 10,000x
Rating 8.2

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Sword of Ares

When you release as many games each year as many as Pragmatic Play, it's only natural that you will revisit similar mechanics. One example of this in their catalogue began with Sweet Bonanza, and has continued through releases like Gates of Olympus and Starlight Princess. If you've played these releases, you'll be familiar with the mechanic – symbols pay anywhere, and multipliers can come into action. Now the team are revamping this idea slightly in their upcoming release, Sword of Ares – a highly volatile release with an RTP of 96.40% at its highest, and wins available up to 10,000x bet.

Sword of Ares Base Game
Sword of Ares Base Game

I assume we're in Greece for this one, because a quick Google search let me know that Ares is the Greek God of war and courage, son of Zeus and Hera, and one of the Twelve Olympians. Anyway, he's standing to the right of the reels, much in the style of Gates of Olympus and Starlight Princess. Everything else is bright, bold, and quite expensive looking, so it's all nice to look at. Audios are fairly triumphant, and tie the whole thing together nicely.

Sword of Ares Base Features

Taking place across 6 reels, wins are formed on Sword of Ares by landing enough of each symbol in view – anywhere on the reels. Symbols pay for 8-9, 10-11, or 12-30 in view, and begin with non premiums, with purple, blue, green, pink, and aqua gems. Land 8-9 of any non premiums in view to see wins between 0.25 and 1x bet, increasing to values between 1 and 3x bet for 12-30 in view. At the premium end, we have sword, shields, carriages, and helmets, awarding wins between 1.5 and 4x bet for 8-9 in view, increasing to values between 5 and 20x bet for 12-30 in view. Finally, Ares Scatters are available, paying 3, 15, and 100x bet for 4, 5, or 6, respectively.

Symbols Pay Anywhere on The Reels
Symbols Pay Anywhere on The Reels

The first thing to cover in Sword of Ares is the Tumble mechanic. On every spin, all symbols that are involved in a win will explode and be removed from the reels, and all other symbols will drop to the bottom of their respective reels. New symbols will then drop onto the reels from above, filling all remaining positions. There is no limit to the number of Tumbles that can happen in one spin, but they will end when no more wins occur.

Working hand in hand with Tumbles is the Multiplier Collection Feature. At the top of the reels, there is a meter which contains 3 locked multipliers. All winning symbols are collected and added to this meter, wherein beside each multiplier lock will be a number. This is the number of symbols required to unlock said multiplier, and they are concurrent values – as winning Tumbles decrease the number of symbols required to unlock the first multiplier, so too do they count towards the higher multipliers. When all Tumbles have finished, the highest unlocked multiplier will be applied to the total Tumble win. Multipliers in the base game are as follows:

  • 1st multiplier – 2x, 3x, or 4x, unlocking after 20 symbols explode.
  • 2nd multiplier – 5x, 6x, 7x, or 8x, unlocking after 50 symbols explode.
  • 3rd multiplier – 9x, 10x, 11x, 12x, 13x, 14x, or 15x, unlocking after 100 symbols explode.
Winning Symbols are Collected to Unlock Multipliers
Winning Symbols are Collected to Unlock Multipliers

Finally, there are four Bomb symbols available. On any spin involving a winning Tumble, any Bomb in view will explode additional symbols, adding them to the meter too. Bombs can go in four directions:

  • Red Bombs – remove all symbols in the row horizontally from the Bomb.
  • Blue Bombs – remove all symbols in the reel vertically from the Bomb.
  • Green Bombs – remove all symbols in the row and reel horizontally and vertically from the Bomb.
  • Pink Bombs – remove all symbols in an ‘x' shape from the Bomb.

Bombs explode after all Tumbles have finished, and are removed from the reels themselves after exploding.

Sword of Ares Bonus

Land 4 or more Scatters to trigger 15 Free Spins. During Free Spins, things work in the same way as the base game, except there are 6 multiplier values at the top of the reels:

  • 1st multiplier – 2x, 3x, or 4x, unlocking after 15 symbols explode.
  • 2nd multiplier – 5x, 6x, 7x, or 8x, unlocking after 27 symbols explode.
  • 3rd multiplier – 9x, 10x, 11x, 12x, 13x, 14x, or 15x, unlocking after 39 symbols explode.
  • 4th multiplier – 16x, 17x, 18x, 19x, 20x, 22x, or 25x, unlocking after 55 symbols explode.
  • 5th multiplier – 26x, 28x, 30x, 32x, 35x, 40x, or 50x, unlocking after 85 symbols explode.
  • 6th multiplier – always 500x, unlocking after 235 symbols explode.
The Highest Unlocked Multiplier is Applied to Tumble Wins
The Highest Unlocked Multiplier is Applied to Tumble Wins

Bombs also continue to work during Free Spins, with the same characteristics:

  • Red Bombs – remove all symbols in the row horizontally from the Bomb.
  • Blue Bombs – remove all symbols in the reel vertically from the Bomb.
  • Green Bombs – remove all symbols in the row and reel horizontally and vertically from the Bomb.
  • Pink Bombs – remove all symbols in an ‘x' shape from the Bomb.

However, unlike the base game, all Bombs explode in Free Spins whether there is a winning Tumble or not. Finally, the bonus round cannot be retriggered.

Players in appropriate regions can skip straight to the action with the option to Buy Free Spins. For a cost of 100x bet, 4, 5, or 6 Scatters will land randomly, triggering Free Spins. RTP dips slightly from 96.40% to 96.49% when buying Free Spins.

The maximum win available in Sword of Ares is 10,000x bet. If the sum of a single game round exceeds this, the game round will end, and 10,000x bet will be awarded.

Sword of Ares Free Spins
Sword of Ares Free Spins

First Impression

Gates of Olympus has proven to be one of Pragmatic Play's most popular releases, and at first glance Sword of Ares looks more or less the same. When you dive deeper though, these two releases are actually not that similar, save for the way in which wins occur. In some ways, it's hard to see how Sword of Ares stacks up. For one, you have to build your way to each multiplier, which in the base game maxes out at 15x – after unlocking 100 symbols. Comparatively to Gates of Olympus, where we've seen some huge base game wins from viewers in the base game, the Sword of Ares base game feels a bit lacklustre. Bombs do go some of the way towards helping things out, but given that they only explode when a winning Tumble occurs, that too can feel a bit… meh.

Moving into Free Spins and things get more exciting – multipliers are unlocked with a minimum of 15 symbols rather than 20 now, and these multipliers go as high as 500x. What's odd is that the game information claims the 6th multiplier is always 500x in Free Spins, and well… You can see in the screenshot above – mine wasn't. I did have the 500x, but I also had 150x, 250x, and 300x, so either I've played too early a demo release, or the final multiplier actually ranges from 150-500x. Either way, with the right winning combinations (and a lot of them), wins are possible up to 10,000x bet – double the potential of Gates of Olympus, which is where Sword of Ares swoops ahead.

Maths is highly volatile, and RTP at its highest is 96.40%, although settings of 95.40% and 94.44% are also available, so as always this should be checked. Overall, a great release from the team in its own right, but it's hard to say if fans of Gates of Olympus will like this – I almost think things are a little too different. The idea of having a huge multiplier in view every spin might please some, but others might prefer the random appearance more. Maybe in the end Sword of Ares is better suited to those who felt a bit more indifferent to Gates of Olympus – die hard fans might not take to this one.

 

*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.

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