Mayans and Aztecs were very separate civilisations so hopefully we don’t upset anyone if we put the two topics together for the sake of a review. While they were undoubtedly dissimilar, they had numerous commonalities and even coexisted in the same geographical region. The lifestyles, gods, and pyramids of ancient Egypt were among these. They also provide ideal ground for slot themes with their exotic visuals and amazing architecture. So, they’re distinct, but slots enthusiasts familiar with one will enjoy the other. The abundance of South American-themed slot machines has also made 2018 an exceptional year. Competition in the South American jungle is fierce, but industry giants NetEnt have hacked their way in with their new game, Rise of Maya.
While this is to be expected, it’s worth noting that NetEnt has created a visually appealing game. The screen is flooded with vivid symbols, and the game is a riot of color. The strong incorporation of serpents, which the Mayans viewed as vehicles for exploring the cosmos, contributes to the South American flavor. Symbols are displayed in three rows across five see-through reels against a backdrop of a smoke-filled temple with roaring fire pits and gargantuan toothed carvings. While NetEnt has kept some aspects, such the 10 fixed paylines, straightforward, there are many more factors that lend depth to the game.
Bets range from 10 percent up to a maximum of $/€150 every spin, and are available on all platforms. The base RTP is 96.12%, but with the Bonus Bet: Second Chance Scatter Feature activated, it rises to 96.42%. The volatility is in the medium to high range. Explicit details will follow.
Thematically, the symbols are consistent. The low-paying 10A royals are included; they include stone carvings with an appropriately Mayan flavor. There are five different Mayan ceremonial masks that represent the highest payouts. For five of a kind, the one that looks like a deer skull is the most valuable, with a payout of 250 times the original wager. For low-paying combinations to win, three symbols must appear on a payline, whereas high-paying combinations need just two. Two of a kind may not pay out much, but it increases your odds of winning. With a roughly 1 in 4 overall hit rate, Rise of Maya provides players with numerous winning opportunities and a plethora of available features to keep the excitement level high.
Features of NetEnt’s Rise of Maya
Although the wilderness plays a significant role in Rise of Maya, the game also has a number of other aspects that are sure to keep you occupied. The Scatter Nudge feature can happen at any time during the main game or free spins. Only appears on losing spins to nudget wild or scatter symbols into position.
When you can have four wilds instead of one, why settle? Players can benefit from one wild symbol, two enlarging Serpent Wilds, and stacked Serpents. All can stand in for any of the regular winning icons. In addition, the two Serpent Wilds can extend either vertically or horizontally, perhaps covering an entire reel. Only appearing on the hot reels during the Free Spin round, the Serpent Stack Wild always takes up a complete reel.
Free Spins are activated when 3 or more scatter or wild symbols land in any combination anywhere in view. This method rewards 15 free games, with the scatters and/or wilds that triggered the feature turning into “Hot Reels” on the corresponding reels. Full-reel Serpent Stack wilds can now appear and do their thing on these sizzling reels. In addition, additional free spins can be won during the bonus round, increasing the maximum number of spins to 24.
The last feature is the Bonus Bet: Second Chance Scatter & Second Chance Scatter Respin – say that one five times quick. Players must select this option while the game is in progress for it to be useful. It increases the stake by 100% and increases the odds of triggering the Free Spins bonus round and the sizzling reels by adding scatters and wilds. The term comes from the fact that the remaining reels that do not contain a scatter or wild are re-spun when 2 scatters or wilds appear in view. This gives you a second, much-appreciated opportunity to initiate bonus spins and access the game’s full features.
Final Thoughts on NetEnt’s “Rise of Maya”
NetEnt’s Rise of Maya is a solid release. It’s not their best effort or their best-looking game, but compared to other slots, it holds its own fairly well. The success of the piece is due to the skillful integration of the concept into a variety of elements without going crazy.
Like other slots, the free spins feature is when the action and prizes really ramp up, but don’t worry, you’ll still get your money’s worth in the base game. This is because two high pay symbols are all that is required to earn a few coins, keeping the pace of the game steady. Also, the unexpected appearance of the Scatter Nudge feature adds an extra layer of tension. While a combination of five of the highest paying symbol may not happen often, it can significantly alter a player’s session if they happen to land on it.
Rise of Maya is just as entertaining and potentially rewarding as any other South American/Mayan/Aztec themed slot machine. If luck and the gods are on your side, you may potentially win almost 6,000 times your initial investment. While not revolutionary, Rise of Maya is a visually pleasing and very easy-to-play slot machine that should satisfy most NetEnt fans for some time.