Low RTP undermines an otherwise good slot with high volatility and somewhat dated graphics.
Golden Ark asks the important question: can you still be sued for copyright by Lucasfilm if you gender swap your Raiders of the Lost Ark slot machine?
With Egyptian imagery on the reels and a fedora wearing heroine leading the cast, Golden Ark is doing its best to give players a sense of nostalgia from the days when Indiana Jones movies were good.
Although the slot overall feels a little old, its theme is strong and is executed with some flare.
The graphics are beginning to look a little dated, more because of Novomatic's now ancient software than the choice of art style. Despite seeming old fashioned, the slot isn’t unpleasant to look at and the combination of symbols and the background behind the reels do a good job of selling the player on a living world.
The sounds and animations are the standard set that comes with Novomatic slots, with a few added musical cues which don’t feel quite right for the theme.
The music is best turned off.
Golden Ark is a five reel slot with three rows and ten win lines.
It has the standard set of Novomatic features, which include a double or nothing gamble feature – that allows players to risk their winnings for an increase in volatility – and a free spin bonus game with an expanding symbol (details below).
Overall, this game will appeal to those who are happy with the basic modern slot formula but, ironically, might bore the more adventurous player.
The Wild symbol substitutes for all symbols except the Scatter symbol.
There are also Expanding Wilds which will expand to fill the reel they land on.
Three or more Scatter symbols anywhere on the reels will trigger a Free Spin Bonus of ten free spins. This bonus can be retriggered.
At the start of the Free Spin Bonus, a symbol is chosen at random. After any wins have been calculated, if the chosen symbol has landed on a reel during a free spin, the symbol will expand to fill the whole reel when wins are then calculated again.
The return to player of this game is 95.10%. This is very low and so not something we can recommend. Our yardstick for average is roughly 96% and every percentage point counts.
The range of bets for a player who was betting on all ten win lines ran from a minimum bet per spin of $/£/€0.40 up to a maximum of $/£/€100.00 per spin on the site we tested.
The volatility of this game is high, which would make it a great match for our preferred slot machine strategies if the RTP were better.
Being a high volatility game is normally a good sign in our book, although the low RTP here has a detrimental impact on our opinion of the slot.
The graphics are good, even if the software is beginning to show its age and the features are more or less what you’d expect from a mid-range Novomatic slot.
If the RTP isn’t a dealbreaker for you, this could be a fun choice.