A seasoned veteran with years of igaming experience. A local to New Zealand land based casinos, Frank will teach you the ins and outs of all things online casino, diving deep into the subjects of casino bonus, freepins, online pokies and $1 NZ deposit bonus.
Shield of Sparta
This game is meant for the brave Alpha men (or Femme Fatales) as you’ll be heading back to Ancient Greece into a battlefield. This means this is a matter of life or death as your goal should be to reach eternal glory in the Shield of Sparta pokie from Pragmatic Play. Played on a 5×3 playing field with 20 paylines in total, this highly volatile pokie has 2 types of bonus symbols that can lock in place to give you more chance of landing what this game is all about: the free spins feature. With top wins of 3,000x max wins are up for grabs here, what else does this online casino game by Pragmatic Play have in store for players from NZ? Find out everything below in our in-depth Shield of Sparta review.
- ✅ Adequate Base RTP
- ✅ Fascinating Game Theme
- ✅ Fair Base RTP of 96.50%
- ✅ Chance To Hit Max Win is Relatively High
- ❌ Ranging RTP
- ❌ Max Win 3000x the Bet
- ❌ High Volatility
- ❌ No Bonus Buy Available
Shield of Sparta Review
The Spartan soldiers of ancient Greece were known as the best fighters in the Mediterranean region which is quite a performance as a lot of wars were battled in this part of the world. We’ve all heard of how rough the Spartan upbringing was and this was determined by the way especially boys were raised. This usually started from the age of seven years old. As a result, Spartan soldiers were known to be athletic, strong, and able to fight well. One of the reasons for their physical skills and strengths was explained by the fact that the Spartan army was often inferior to other armies in terms of numbers. In Pragmatic Play’s Shield of Sparta, we get a glimpse into the tough life of Spartan warriors.
Nice to know
|Launched||14 November 2022|
|RTP||96.50%, 95.50%, 94.50%|
|Features||Free Spins, Level Up, Multiplier, Nudge Feature, Random Multiplier, Respins, Scatter Symbols, Wild|
|Min. bet/line||$ 0.20|
Review Shield of Sparta
Although a lot is expected from a game with Spartans filling the reels, Shield of Sparta doesn’t fully live up to its name due to its lack of bonus features. Despite its great design, it’s not the only game offering access to Greek legends. Almost every game studio has at least a few Greece themed pokies in their assortment. Despite its large betting range that caters for players of varying sized budgets, the pokie’s maximum win is limited to just 3000x the stake might be a bit disappointing for seasoned players. With that in mind, we find it quite challenging for this pokie game to prove its mettle. Had the designers of Pragmatic Play spiced up the pokie with a better maximum win and maybe a few extra features, it could probably fare much better. There is still enough reason to play this game which you’ll discover soon.
How to Play
Shield of Sparta is a pokie with a standard layout of 5×3 pokie with 20 fixed paylines and only one bonus game, the Free Spins Feature. This makes this pokie fairly straightforward, so learning how Shield of Sparta needs to be played shouldn’t be very difficult. Here’s how to do it:
- Find yourself an online casino you feel comfortable with and where you plan to enjoy this pokie by Pragmatic Play. Ideally, you can also try out the demo mode we added in our review as well. This gives you the flexibility to to get familiar with the rules of the game before you make your real money bet.
- Once the pokie is fully loaded, make sure to click the “+” or “-” icons, and select the size of the bet. The lowest possible stake in Shield of Sparta starts at $ 0.20 whilst the highest goes up to a max of $100. Make sure to think of a predefined budget.
- Also make sure to read the rules of the game and go through other useful information in the special menu. To open the game, click the information “i” symbol.
- Shield of Sparta has a clear settings menu, which can be easily accessed by pressing the list icon. Here you can turn on the ambient music, activate the battery saver if so desired, and turn on the quick spin mode.
- To start playing the game, simply press the spin button. Make use of the pause button every now and then to give yourself the break you deserve and need.
As you’d expect from a game like Shield of Sparta, the reels are set in a beautiful temple on the Ancient Greek coastline in the historical region of Laconia, with waves crashing against the rocks as you go ahead and spin away. This is a fairly basic setup, but the bold graphics are striking and we therefore definitely like the symbol animations and the wilds and the different bonus symbols that land on the reels. The Warrior Wild roars when he lands on the reels as part of a winning combination, which is something we also enjoyed. On the whole, the audio that comes with this game is very calming and sort of a contrast to what some players might be expecting from a title that is built around battles and bloodshed. It still has a very cinematic feel to it as if it was coming from a film. Once the bonus feature is triggered, the background switches to the battle mode and the audio will start to intensify. Pragmatic Play hasn’t over-complicated the audiovisual part which will be to the liking of most players in New Zealand.
When it comes to the symbols, the low values are the typical A-J Royals which is as boring as it can get, but not a very big surprise if you ask us. The higher values include chariots, catapults, ships and warriors. The latter is the most lucrative symbol, paying 1.6, 5 or 25x the bet for combinations of 3, 4 or 5. The game’s wild symbol is the face of a warrior that looks ready for battle. Although it doesn’t pay out, it does substitute for all symbols except the bonus symbol. Here’s a useful overview of the symbols you will find in this pokie game:
|Symbol||Payout for 3||Payout for 4||Payout for 5|
|Bonus||3+ Activates Free Spins Feature|
|Magnetic Bonus||3+ Activates Free Spins Feature|
You might expect a wide range of features from a pokie with such a spectacular theme, but the only real feature in Shield of Sparta is the free spins feature. The good news is that there are 2 different types of bonus symbols. Here’s what the bonus features do:
2 Different Bonus Symbols
Shield of Sparta includes 2 different bonus symbols: “normal” bonus symbols and “magnetic” bonus symbols. You need 3 normal bonus symbols or magnetic symbols to activate the Shield of Sparta free spins feature whilst a combination of both is also allowed. The advantage of magnetic symbols is that they can stick to their position. The 2 magnetic bonus symbols then remain fixed in their position, after which the other positions on the playing field spin again. This gives you an extra chance to spin the 3rd required (normal or magnetic) bonus symbol.
Shields of Sparta Free Spins
By spinning at least 3 bonus symbols, you can activate the free spins feature of Shield of Sparta. The more scatters you spin, the more free spins you get:
- Spinning 3 bonus symbols will award you 10 free spins.
- Spinning 4 bonus symbols will award you 15 free spins.
- Spinning 5 bonus symbols will award you 20 free spins.
The positions on which these bonus symbols landed are awarded with a special frame around them. By spinning a bonus symbol again on such a position with a frame during the free spins feature, the level of the position is increased, going up to level 3.
These so-called magnetic positions attract any bonus symbol that lands on the same reel. It is also possible to upgrade a normal position with a frame to a magnetic position. You then have to spin a magnetic bonus symbol on that framed position. To calculate the prize at the end of the free spins feature, the levels of the positions with frame are analysed. This goes as follows:
- A level 3 position with a frame awards a x10, x12, x15 or x20 multiplier.
- A level 2 position with a frame awards a x5, x6 or x8 multiplier.
- A level 1 position with a frame awards a x1, x2 or x3 multiplier.
Which of the multipliers is ultimately paid out per position is determined completely random. At the end of the feature, all multipliers are added together and applied to the total win of the free spins feature. You can earn 10, 15 or 20 extra free spins by landing 3, 4 or 5 bonus symbols. These will then be added to your remaining number of free spins.
The designers of Pragmatic Play rarely disappoint with their Return to Player, and neither does it this time as Shield of Sparta comes with a generous RTP of 96.5%. Many Pragmatic Play pokies are above average when it comes to this percentage as we’re glad that at least this number motivates players to try out this pokie. The RTP of 96.5% basically means that for every $ 100 you wager, you will, on average, get $ 96.50 back which is an outcome that we deem reasonable. The maximum potential win is set at 3,000x the bet. This is a little on the low side, especially with the volatility level being so high. Then again, the max win probability is 1 in 7.7 million which may sound low, but this figure is actually a lot better than in most games we review. Also, the Free Spins feature will be your best chance of landing the max win. This is thanks to the random multipliers.
The graphical part of Shield of Sparta may come across as a bit too generic, but it’s not bad either. Get prepared for some very decent warrior symbol animations. At the same time expect plenty of dead spins in the rather boring base game, and top wins up to 500x is the most you can hope for there. The upside is that the bonus round triggers about every 125 spins on average, which is a much higher hit rate than the 200 to 300 spins you typically get from most online pokies. The thrills keep building whilst you play the game and better multiplier frames start to show.
Then again, the 3000x max potential puts somewhat of a damper on the promising grand finale reveal spin. All in all, Shield of Sparta is worth checking out, but a 5000x win cap would’ve better suited this level of volatility. Even that wouldn’t be very spectacular, but Pragmatic Play has once again managed to disappoint when it comes to the max potential going as far (or as low) as only 3,000x the bet. But considering the fact that this is a Pragmatic Play pokie, we do expect it to become popular anyhow.