With Rise of Maya we at least know which South or Meso American ancient culture we are dealing with. For once, we are left in no doubt that the featured culture is that of the ancient Mayans. Still, if someone says Aztecs, we probably wouldn’t be able to argue. But since it is right there in the title of the game, we should be quite certain here.
NetEnt knows how to craft good-looking slots. This one is set in a dark chamber inside some temple. Fires are burning to both sides of the reels. It’s suitably atmosphere, though the soundtrack doesn’t have much to offer here. The transparent reels show us 10 to A playing card symbols that fit in with the theme. The remaining symbols are animal masks that look rather vicious.
The deer skull is worth the most of 5 of a kind, paying out 250x our stake for such a win. The other animal masks pay out between 15x and 50x our stake for a win of 5 on a payline. The high value symbols already pay for 2 of a kind, which makes wins a little more frequent.
The various wilds also pay out 250x our stake, if you land 5 of a kind.
You can play this game from 0.10 to 75.00 per spin, though activating the bonus bet doubles the stake.
You’ll find several different kinds of wilds in this slot, two of them in the base game. The simple single Serpent Wild lands only on reels 1 and 3, where it does what wilds usually do.
Then there is the expanding Serpent Wild, which expands either up or down and may or may not expand to cover a whole reel.
The stacked Serpent Wild is the one that lands during the free spins only.
Then there’s the already mentioned Bonus Bet to look out for. If you activate it during the base game, it doubles the bet and it introduces the Second Chance Scatter Re-Spin. If two scatters land on a spin, the Second Chance Re-Spin will hold those two scatters in place and spin all other reels in succession in the hope that another wild/scatter symbol lands and triggers the free spins.
Also, if scatters/wilds land just outside the reels, a nudge may move them up or down to put them where we need them and either give us a potential win or trigger the free spins.
The free spins are triggered by three scatters/wilds. In that case, we get 10 free spins. Four scatters would give us 15 free spins and 5 scatters would give us 20 free spins. This is why we still get a Second Chance Re-spin even if we already have 3 scatters on the reels.
During the free spins, the reels on which the triggering scatters landed will turn into hot reels. That means that expanded Scatter Serpents can land on these reels to bring in some good wins.
It’s possible to collect extra free spins up to a total of 24, but we can’t retrigger the free spins as such.
The theoretical RTP (Return to Player) for Rise of Maya is 96.12% or 96.42% when the bonus bet is active. This is good value, especially for a slot with medium to high volatility. The hit rate approaches 25%, which means wins are possible on nearly every 4th spin.
Overall, it never feels like you have to wait for very long to land a win in this slot. And the various wilds make frequent appearances as well. Plus, it is absolutely worthwhile to activate the bonus bet as it increases the RTP and gives you the Second Chance Re-Spin.
Rise of Maya is not the most innovative slot we’ve seen from NetEnt, but it’s well-crafted, good looking and comes with enough features to keep the fun going. It just doesn’t get boring and it won’t deplete your funds either. Wins of up to 6,000x our stake are possible here and this makes the slot worthwhile to check out.
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