Slots that borrow their imagery from tales of 1,001 Nights are nothing new. Whether we get Aladdin or a beautiful Persian princess or the evil Sultan, we’ve seen it all before. But we’ve never quite seen it as stunning beautifully rendered as is the case in Sahara Nights.
We’re inside the Sultan palace, it’s a starry night and the orchestral soundtrack fits very well with the theme. You can almost feel the slightly too hot dry air breeze along the balcony, cicadas chirping in the background.
Yggdrasil Gaming simply continues to deliver some of the best-looking slots out there and Sahara Nights doesn’t disappoint.
On the reels we get the grim-looking Sultan, the anxious-looking princess and smug-looking Aladdin as the highest-value symbols. There’s also a dagger and a goblet plus four low-value jewels. The magic oil lamp is the wild and the storybook is the scatter.
The Sultan is worth the most for 5 on a payline, where he pays 175x our stake. Additionally, he already pays wins when you land just two of him on a payline. The princess is worth 25x our stake for 5 on a payline and Aladdin pays out 20x our stake for such a win.
You can play this game from 0.20 per spin to 100.00 per spin.
The wild only lands on reels 2, 3 and 4. The little oil lamp will expand on its position, if it helps create a winning combination. So, unless there’s a win waiting, the genie won’t show. But it’s beautiful when he does. He looks like a blue ghost as the comes out of the lamp, granting extra wins.
You’ll be so enraptured just watching this unfold that you won’t notice that it doesn’t happen as often as we would like. It is the only feature in the base game, and it would have been nice to see it more than we usually do. Whilst you could land all three wilds in one spin even in the base game, you will rarely see more than 1, let alone 2.
The free spins are triggered by landing at least three scatters anywhere on the reels. More scatters will give you more free spins and additional wins as well.
Thus, landing 5 scatters is already a massive win in itself. When the free spins kick off, wilds continue to only land on reels 2, 3 and 4. Now, however, once it does land, it expands no matter what and it will then remain fixed in position for the duration of the free spins.
You can therefore land up to 3 wild reels in the free spins, which would then award you 2 more spins as well. It is also possible to catch additional free spins by catching more scatters.
Land 2 more scatters and you get 2 more free spins. Three or more scatters will essentially re-trigger the feature and also award the same coin prizes already mentioned above. Keep in mind that it is obviously not possible to land 5 scatters at once, if you already have one or more expanded wilds on the reels.
The theoretical RTP (Return to Player) of Sahara Nights is 96.2%, which is good value for a medium variance slot such as this. At times, however, the game can feel a little more volatile than it is meant to be, especially since the wilds don’t always show up when you could use them or are of no use when they do show.
It would have been helpful, if we had been given wilds on all reels, especially since there are only 20 paylines anyway. And the maximum payout of the game is also only achieved by landing those 5 scatters on the reels and getting 1,000x your stake as a reward.
So, Sahara Nights might be beautiful to look at, but it lacks substance. Those chasing bigger potential won’t be staying with this one for long. And if you do play it for the scenery, be mind of your budget regardless.
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