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Few things are as iconic to ancient Egypt as the Sphinx is. A beast with a human head, it was rumoured to be a creature of great wit and cunning. Fortunately for all of us, it’s not here to try and outwit us. Instead, it is here to bestow splendour and wealth on those who are lucky enough to earn its blessings. Do you have what it takes to return home a rich man? Or will you find yourself penniless beneath the feet of this mystical creature?
We cannot put into words how odd it feels to see the new IGT layout paired with an older slot. It’s not that big of a deal, but it can be quite jarring to see this new and sleek user interface sitting next to blurry symbols. The icon design itself could be a lot better, too. The Egyptian symbols that are there feel like someone took a cardboard cut-out and stuck it onto the screen. It feels cheap, like we could reach out to peel it off at any moment. Not to mention how some of its models look unintentionally creepy. Seriously, look at the sarcophagi and sphinxes during the special feature and tell me they aren’t weird.
At the very least, gameplay feels a lot more substantial this time around. Everything is still played on a 5x3 board with 9 flexible paylines, which pay left to right only. Hey, if a system works, why fix it, right? Still, we have to admit, we were surprised to find there were no free spins! The quintessential bread and butter of these games has been replaced with a pick-and-click bonus. In terms of finances, it works out just fine. But this special feature finishes all too quickly: it lacks the thrill and suspense of waiting what each next free spin will reveal.
Credit where it’s due, this new user interface is really sleek! We love the design, and we appreciate the effort IGT put into it. But the best improvement of this new layout is the simplified total bet system! Instead of changing three different categories, you now only need to keep track of two. The first is the number of active paylines, and the second is bet per payline. This allows for wagers between GBP 0.01 and GBP 0.45. Personally, we’d advise against turning any paylines off. And why is that, you might ask? Well, the answer to that question lies in the following section!
To give a very short answer: the RTP and the maximum win. The more active paylines you have, the higher your expected RTP. And it isn’t a small increment, either. From having one payline to having all nine active, your RTP jumps from 92.66% to 95.13%. Assuming you’re playing with all nine paylines active (which you should), the jackpot will be 2,500x your total stake. To earn it, you will need to get super lucky with the pick and click special feature. Alternatively, land a five-of-a-kind Wild to earn 1,111x your total bet.
Find three or more golden coins to trigger the pick-and-click bonus. Depending on the number of coins and their position on the reels, you can win multiple picks of the lined up sarcophagi. For example, if the coins are positioned just right so you win twice using these icons, you get two sarcophagus picks. Within the sarcophagus, you can find a mystery win between 5x and 250x. Alternatively, you can draw a sphinx statue, which gives you one pick between the five sphinx statues. It’s here that this release’s top prize reveals itself: since you can land between 100x and 2,500x depending on which one is opened.
Sphinx feels like a very acquired taste. Initially, we didn’t like it that much. The absence of free spins was noticeable, and the outdated visuals didn’t help the matter. But as you play it, it slowly wins you over. A good win here, a solid bonus there. We only wish there was more diversity in special features. As it stands currently, we recommend trying a demo version before committing real money.