Book of Golden Sands
It might be a bit tiring for some, but you’re about to head to Ancient Egypt once again in quest for hidden treasures in this Book of Golden Sands pokie from Pragmatic Play. Don’t worry, you’ll be forgiven for assuming that this is like a lot of other similarly themed online pokies and you’d actually be mostly right here. But there are still a few quirks that make it different from your typical online casino Book Of-game. With max wins of 10,000x the bet and a very decent RTP, the game still seems to have a lot of appeal. The unlimited free spins will add some extra thrills to it, but the key question is of course how does this game compare to other Egypt themed pokies on the market? Find out below.
- ✅ Adequate Base RTP
- ✅ 10,000x Max Wins
- ✅ Unlimited Free Spins
- ❌ Ranging RTP
- ❌ Lack of Originality
Book of Golden Sands Review
When going through a game like Book of Golden Sands, you’d imagine there is a good chance to come across expanding symbols which are pretty common in sunny Egypt. After having analysed countless numbers of these sorts of pokies, most of Book of Golden Sands seems pretty self explanatory. But — spoiler alert — expanding symbols in Ancient Egypt are the backbone of Book of Golden Sands. In addition, Pragmatic Play has implemented a number of nonconformists in the features of the game and the overall mechanical set-up. If you don’t mind a lot of sun and warmth, come along and take a look.
Nice to know
|Launched||15 September 2021|
|RTP||96.46%, 95.42%, 94.05%|
|Features||Wilds with multipliers, Buy Feature, Expanding Symbols, Free Spins, Multiplier, Scatter symbols, Splitting Symbols, Wild|
|Min. bet/line||$ 0.10|
Book of Golden Sands
If you happen to have played online pokies by whatever provider before, you have most likely already encountered a few games that take place in a setting that is surrounded by pyramids and sandy temples. If you have already played games with an Egyptian theme, none of the imagery of Book of Golden Sands will come as much of a surprise. You’ll find braziers burning on both sides of the reels, lighting up the shadowy, sacred space where curtains and pillars frame the statues of the gods. Behind these, you can see it opening to the endless desert and the beautiful sky.
The story told on the reels is very Egyptian as well, where gods and pharaohs are joined by colourful gems beautifully carved in detail with hieroglyphs. This is a mystical world where every shadow is lit up with shiny objects, with fascinating mythology lurking behind every pay symbol. Pounding audio will make sure you don’t lose attention and when the music kicks in, you’ll need to be ready for some adventure. All in all, you’re about to enter a world that has been created with a pretty standard design if you ask us. Yet, you can’t really say that the design is poorly put together. It might look familiar, but it’s still good.
How to Play
Most online pokies that are created by Pragmatic Play have a basic layout which means that it’s not very difficult to play this game. Here’s how it works:
- Start with the bottom left of the screen. This is where you’ll find a mute button and the menu that leads to a very clear settings page. This is where you’ll find options like a quick spin, the battery saver, audio settings, the intro screen, and the history.
- This is also where you can adjust your bets. As this only consists of the + and – symbols it shouldn’t be difficult to see how this works. You will also find them on the main screen. Adjust your budgetary settings to what you can afford.
- Before you start playing in an online casino the best thing is to set a predefined budget. The loss and single win limits are meant to help you with this one, so make sure you make use of it. Time-out and self-exclusion are also available.
- More info about symbol values or game rules can be found on the info page.
- When it’s time to play, hit the spin button. This will make the reels turn once. The autoplay option is found below it, whereby you can set a number of automatic spins. You can do this in turbo or quick spin mode. Please note that you can’t include limits here.
The theme and everything that comes with it in this Golden Sands pokie game is typically Egyptian. You can’t really go more Egyptian than setting the reels inside a pyramid and adding some sand to it. There’s also fire burning on either side of the reels, whilst Sphinx is found on the right. Make sure to take a look at the snake around the Sphynx too which we found to be a very nice touch. Whilst the graphics are sharp and sexy, we found the audio to be a bit quirky, not really fitting the theme at first. This might be considered refreshing by some, whilst others will surely have a different option. The sound effects when winning combinations are landed sort of work though and do the trick if you ask us.
You’ll find a number of coloured symbols on the reels that are not very valuable. These are followed by the premium necklace, brooch, snake, Cleopatra, Horus, and the Golden Pharaoh. The Pharaoh is the most valuable symbol in the game, paying 1, 1.75, 2.5 or 5x the bet for combinations of 2, 4, 5 or 6. The wild symbol only shows on the reels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Whenever the wild symbol lands, it’ll carry a random multiplier of either 2x or 3x. This applies to all winning combos with a wild symbol. The scatter symbol is the most popular symbol in the game and appears on all reels paying up to 500x the bet for 6 of a kind.
|Symbol||Payout for 3||Payout for 4||Payout for 5||Payout for 6|
|Pharaoh||Comes with a random multiplier of 2x or 3x|
|Wild||3+ activates the Free spins feature|
The most striking thing about Book of Golden Sands is that there are no standard paylines in the game. The adjacent reels mechanism is used, so symbols do not have to be adjacent to form a winning combination. They only need to land on adjacent reels, although the rule is that a winning combination must always start on the left reel. As a result, there are 729 different ways to win. As far as the features are concerned, the free spins feature is especially interesting. In the base game you have to make it happen with multiplier wilds. Here’s what the features in the game bring you:
In the Book of Golden Sands base game, wilds can land with a x2 or x3 multiplier. This multiplier is applied to all winning combinations that include the wild symbols.
Book of Golden Sands Free spins
The book symbol is the scatter in Book of Golden Sands. By spinning at least 3 at the same time you will receive 10 free spins and an instant payout. This works as follows:
- 3 scatters awards an instant payout of 2x the bet.
- 4 scatters awards an instant payout of 10x the bet.
- 5 scatters awards an instant payout of 50x the bet.
- 6 scatters awards an instant payout of 500x the bet.
As you are used to from other “Book of” pokies, a random paying symbol is chosen as a special expanding symbol. The symbol expands to the total size of the reel when part of a winning combination.
Each time the special expanding symbol expands, one unit of the symbol is collected in the collection meter above the playing field. The next times expanding symbols are triggered, the special expanding symbol expands to 3 positions plus the number of units collected by the collection meter. This allows the symbol to expand to a maximum of 10 symbols high. The number of ways to win therefore also increases considerably, because the playing field can be expanded to 6×10 as a consequence. You can earn extra free spins by spinning at least 3 scatters.
If you want to take advantage of the free spins feature right away, you can make use of the bonus buy feature that is also available in NZ. Pay 100x the bet and get access to at least 3 scatter symbols, which activates the bonus game with an RTP of 96.46%.
One of the most significant differences in Book of Golden Sands is the way the grid has been set up using 6 reels with 3 symbols each, and the fact that there are no paylines. Instead, players are equipped with a 729 win-all-ways format, showing when matching symbols land on adjacent reels starting from the most left-hand side. Provider Pragmatic Play rates the variance level 5/5, which means it’s as high as it can get. The game is available in three different RTP settings: 96.46%, 95.42%, or 94.05%. Something that works in your favour is that you get 729 win ways, which is a bit unusual. The symbol values are also a lot lower than your typical Book of pokie. You also get x2 and x3 multiplier wilds to spice things up, so the base game can, theoretically, come up with very decent payouts. It builds up the tension towards a climax, which can lead to a max win of 10,000x. Although not uncommon, this is higher than average for Pragmatic Play.
There are heaps of fascinating books in the online pokie’s world and special expanding symbols tend to be a typical thing in book of games. The first impression may look like it’s a very generic game, but Book of Golden Sands actually happens to be an online pokie that has a couple of amazing features to offer. For recreational players, each wild that lands within both the base and bonus game comes with a multiplier of either 2x or 3x that can slightly lead to faster new winning combos.
There’s not much to note in terms of Book of Golden Sands’ look & feel. In the middle you’ll find a typical game grid, surrounded by the usual sights and sound effects of Egypt. This means a temple, (glimpses of) a pyramid, lots of sand, palm trees, columns — and everything you expect here broadly speaking. If you’ve ever played a pokie with an Egyptian theme before, you’ll know what’s waiting for you. The same goes for the audio, which in the base game is delivered with some remarkable sounds, but still has some Egyptian influences. Somehow it kind of gives the game a fun effect, almost a retro ‘80s feel. It really depends on you whether you like that or not. And if not, you will still enjoy the max win of 10.000x the bet which is higher than average for a Pragmatic Play pokie.