Cleopatra is a classic slot in a classic genre. Many gamers are apparently also avid Egyptologists, judging by the number of Pharaonic themed games produced over the years. In fact, according to my own dedicated and selfless research, I have been able to find around 150 different slots which feature some kind of ancient Egyptian theme.
Some of these, it must be admitted, owe more to the Hammer Horror end of Egyptology rather than having any serious historical or archaeological basis. But then again, slots are supposed to be fun, and one man’s Mummy’s Tomb is as valid as another woman’s Cleopatra’s Gold. Although I did have to search my conscience before including “Tootin’ Car Man” in the grand total!
The original cleopatra slot is a classic, first released back in 2006. It was one of the most successful of the early video slots, and certainly helped to popularise the new technology amongst early casino players. It has undergone several upgrades and more than a few sequels, but it is the original classic which is reviewed here.
Cleopatra has been updated and modernised to ensure it is compatible with mobile play, and followed by more sequels than some well-established Hollywood movie franchises. There is Cleopatra 2 of course, but also Cleopatra Plus and the Cleopatra Mega Jackpot progressive version. Lucky real world players can now even find Cleopatra 3 machine some casino sites. All the Cleopatra franchised games are easily distinguished by their distinctively colourful red, gold and blue logo, copyrighted by the games’ designers IGT (previously known as WagerWorks).
But much like with those endless Police Academy movie rehashes, it is the original which is the best, so this review is of the original classic. Cleopatra is a conventional five reel game, set in a bejewelled sand stone frame. The reels are the colour of desert sand with the symbols superimposed on top. These symbols are a well-designed set of theme appropriate Egyptian totems, including a Scarab Beetle, a Hieroglyphic Eye, a Cartouche, a Flail and a Golden Tablet containing hieroglyphic symbols. These are supplemented by some non-traditional high playing card values. Although these too, are styled to look as if they could possibly be ancient Egyptian artefacts, in an attempt to maintain the Pharaonic theme. The reels spin to a traditional Egyptian style rhythmic soundtrack.
The game features a maximum of twenty pay lines to bet on, with stakes per spin variable from 20p up to £200. The Wild is the Cleopatra game logo. This can substitute for all the other symbols apart from the Scatter. It is also the symbol responsible for the maximum line win: getting all five on a winning line will trigger a massive 10,000 coin win.
The Scatter is a Sphinx. Get three or more of these anywhere on your reels to trigger fifteen free spins. Free spins can be re-triggered during your free session simply by getting a further three Sphinx’s on your reels. All prizes (apart from the five Wild jackpot) are tripled during your free spins.
Additional features are few and far between on this original video slot classic. There is an Auto Spin button which enables you to pre-set up to fifty spins to play automatically, or until you click or tap on the Stop Button (or until your balance runs down). There is also a Tool Button (signified by a Spanner), which allows you to vary the graphics quality on the game. This is unlikely to be useful nowadays when virtually all devices can cope with these relatively simple graphics. I suppose some old smartphones could conceivably struggle, but this is surely the only feasible use for this today.
The Return to Player Rate (RTP) for this game is officially measured at 95.02%, to be precise. So that’s 95% as far as the non-mathematician is concerned.
With the amazing developments in game design in recent years, Cleopatra can seem a little dated by comparison. Special features are lacking, with just the free spins offering any kind of bonus round. The graphics themselves are also unspectacular by modern standards.
And yet to focus on aspects like this is really to miss the point. Cleopatra is a true classic of this and any other genre. Its continued popularity is demonstrated by its many updates and sequels. It truly was a pathfinder design, at the vanguard of the video slot revolution. It continues to take pride of place on any self-respecting casino’s roster of games.
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