With a bright flash of lightning, Zeus, The God of Thunder appears to let players tempt fate to try and get rich jackpots and loaded bonus wheels.
SG Interactive uses a nice, clean design and some changes to classic bonus rounds to put a new spin on this entry in the long line of Zeus online slot games. Fans of bonus wheels, fat wilds and big jackpots should find these to be heavenly slots. The trip to Olympus may be a little too boring for some though.
Zeus God of Thunder slot has a fairly competent visual design, even if it’s a little lacking in creativity. The sets of dark red reels stand out fairly well against the thunderstorm raging in the background.
Each space on the reels uses an illuminated effect to make the smaller symbols easier to read. Players may feel a little overwhelmed at first glance since there’s a lot going on in the game, but the design works fairly well to keep the different components separated and organized.
The tantalizing bonus wheels stick to the top of the reels, and the jackpot and bet window are neatly off to the right side.
The finer details in the design can be a bit of a mixed bag. The game uses a decent, moody soundtrack for the base game and it gets faster and louder to build excitement during bonus events.
Potential bonus wins on the reels are announced by loud cracks of thunder and some interesting animation changes to the reels.
The animations and effects marking winning paylines are fine but don’t stand out much. The most noticeable issue is that the design for the symbols feels very lackluster.
The game uses generic card symbols for the lower values with “A, K, Q and J” in play. The wild space is a decent golden Acropolis and the highest value space is a bright portrait of Zeus, but the only other designs are of a Greek vase, a wreath, a red lightning bolt that looks a lot like the Flash’s symbol and standard lions and eagles.
They look fine, but there are only a couple that really feel like they’re in theme with the game. A few more interesting designs would have really helped flesh out the experience.
Zeus God of Thunder: Core Gameplay
The online slot Zeus God of Thunder uses 5 reels and 4 rows with a total of 30 paylines in play. Players do not have an option to play fewer than 30 paylines in one spin.
There is also a feature bet that adds a minimum of 20x the line bet to each spin. There’s an Extra Bet option to raise the bet to 45x the line bet to improve the rewards on the bonus wheels for that spin.
All of the combinations must flow from left-to-right along a payline and the lowest payout requires at least 3 matching symbols. The game does use wild symbols which can stand in for anything other than the bonus effect.
The wilds only appear on reels 2, 3 and 4 though. One fun feature is that all wild symbols also act as multipliers for the line. If there’s a wild symbol in a winning payline then the payout is doubled. Note that the multiplier doesn’t stack higher than 2x.
Other than the wild symbols, the base game is actually pretty simple with no other features to get in the way.
The God of Thunder payouts aren’t too bad. It takes a set of 4 high tier picture symbols to break even on one line, but the sets of 3 are still a nice way to stretch out the game and keep the bankroll alive.
The wild multipliers are a big help too since they can make little lines pay out a lot. The lingering negative is that the feature bet is one big drain on the bankroll, especially for anyone opting into the Extra Bet feature.
It’s difficult to get a big win on the main reels, and most players will find themselves just trying to hang on until a bonus can trigger. This is especially true since all of the jackpots are tied into the bonus wheels.
The Bonus Wheel Feature
The bonus system in Zeus God of Thunder slot machine feels slightly different than other similar machines.
On certain spins, the reels will partially switch to a stormy background. These special spaces will initially be brightly lit to make them easier to track.
Players trigger the bonus game when at least 3 of these bonus background spaces form a horizontal line. Note that the line does not have to start on the leftmost reel.
As long as there are at least 3 bonus spaces in a horizontal line anywhere in the game the bonus wheels will trigger. Note that these special backgrounds are just backgrounds and they do not alter the symbols for that spin.
The number of bonuses in the row determines what wheel the player triggers. There’s a separate wheel for triggering 3, 4 or 5 space in one row.
Unsurprisingly the bigger rewards are locked on the higher wheels. Also, note that the aforementioned Extra Bet feature affects how big the rewards are on each of the reels. Players who pay the extra 25x their line bet will see extra free spins and wilds available.
The wedges on the wheels can award a few different prizes. Once the wheel comes up, players get one spin to see where they land.
The 3-in-a-row and 4-in-a-row wheels have an upgrade space that lets players upgrade to the next bonus wheel and spin again. There are jackpot spaces that award the matching jackpot as a flat cash prize.
Players can also earn sets of free spins. It’s still possible to trigger the bonus during any free spin to stack up more prizes or spins.
There’s also a special Wild Zeus Spin on the wheel which places a set number of wilds randomly on reels 2, 3 and 4 to provide one very loaded free spin. There’s no guarantee for a win, but there are a lot of ways for the wild symbols to stack.
3 in a Row
- 3-in-a-row wheel has the potential to award the Mini (1,200x line bet) and Minor (2,000x line bet) jackpots
- A Wild Zeus Spin with 4 or 5 wilds, or 5 or 7 free spins
- The Extra Bet feature changes this to 5 or 6 wilds and 7 or 10 free spins.
4 in a Row
- The 4-in-a-row wheel can award the Minor or Major (7,500x line bet) jackpots
- A Wild Zeus Spin with 5 or 6 wilds, or 10 or 12 free spins.
- This changes to 6 or 7 wilds and 12 or 15 free spins when the Extra Bet is active.
5 in a Row
- The 5-in-a-row wheel can award the Major, Mega (25,000x line bet) or Grand (100,000x line bet) jackpots
- A Wild Zeus Spin with 6-12 wilds, or 15, 20 or 50 free spins.
- Using the Extra Bet upgrades it to 7-12 wilds and 20, 50 or 100 free spins.
For clarity, this wheel simply uses “7+” or “8+” to note the higher potential Wild Zeus wins. Players that hit the wedge will learn how many wilds they actually won when it triggers.
After the Storm
The free slot Zeus God of Thunder is an interesting game that has some fun features going for it, even if it sometimes feels like they don’t quite come together to form a great experience.
On the bright side, there are frequent bonus wheels, fun multipliers, free spins and even traditional jackpots. They’re also incorporated fairly well and don’t impact the flow of the game as much as flashier bonuses.
The problem is that the main game doesn’t feel particularly special. The bonuses can be fun but it can sometimes take a lot of somewhat boring main spins to get one, and each one includes the heavy feature bet.
The RTP for playing without the Extra Bet is 96.01%, which isn’t too bad. Turning the Extra Bet on bumps it up to 96.05%, which means it’s not essential but it still stings a little in principle to play without it.
Overall the game is a fine slot machine, but it would be nice if there was one big feature that really made it unique.