Anyone who has dreamed of travelling through Mexico and Central America looking for lost Mayan temples will love the adventurous new slot Rise of Maya from NetEnt.
Set in the temple of an unnamed god, this high volatility new offering has all the ingredients of a big hit, including options for increasing the chances of a Free Spins game.
Rise of Maya – what you need to know
Rise of Maya has been designed to be easily understood by less experienced slots players, but still have plenty to interest more experienced players.
The game has a classic 5 reel, 3 row format with 10 fixed paylines.
It has a high volatility rating, and has a return to player rate of 96.12%
Low symbols are card values (10, J, Q, K, and A) while high symbols are masks representing different gods (blue, red, green, brown, and multicoloured).
The Wilds in this game are pretty complicated – there are four types, all featuring golden snakes. During our test play we found that understanding these different types was not really necessary, but do be aware that during the base game some Wilds will expand, and some will not.
There are also Scatters, which are also have a golden serpent on them (and in our opinion look too much like the Wilds – it is a bit confusing).
While it can be difficult to figure out which special symbol is which, Rise of Maya does ensure these symbols do a lot of work when they come into play!
Wild and Scatter nudges
Few things are as annoying as seeing a Scatter or Wild just miss landing on a spin. Rise of Maya’s nudge feature cuts down on this annoyance a lot!
If the edge of a golden Wild or Scatter can be seen at the top of bottom of a reel following a spin, there is a decent chance the reel will shift to bring it into play following a brief pause. When it happens the reels begin to shake, pressure builds, and up (or down) comes the special symbol like a cork popping from a bottle.
Adding a special symbol to an otherwise dead spin can still leave players with a dead spin, but it can also lead to a decent win. We liked this feature a lot!
Second Chance Scatter
Even MORE frustrating is a spin that lands 2 Scatters when 3 are needed for a bonus game. Rise of Maya offers an insurance play, called a Second Chance Scatter, to help players get a maximum chance of a Free Spins game.
To access this second chance, players must activate the Bonus Bet button on the bottom left of their screen, which doubles the betting amount per spin (and causes flames to shoot up through the reels).
Once the Bonus Bet is activated players can spin as normal, but whenever a spin lands 2 or more Scatters the Second Chance Scatter feature is launched.
The mechanics for this are simple. Reels with Scatter symbols are locked, while the remaining reels are respun one by one. Any additional Scatters from the respins are added to the total.
One nice feature – even if a player lands 3 Scatters naturally, the Second Chance Respin still kicks in providing the chance to land additional Scatters and win more free spins.
The Rise of Maya Free Spins Game
During the The Free Spins game, reels which had Scatters on them are “activated” and are lit up in orange.
The format stays roughly similar to the base game, but we noticed that symbols tend to come in strings of 3 – making the chance of several reels of identical symbols more likely.
The fun begins when Wilds land on activated reels, causing them to expand across the entire reel. Depending on where the activated reels are positioned, this can result in some pretty spectacular wins.
Additional spins can be awarded if more Scatters land during the bonus game. During our test play, this led to a fourth activated reel!
Rise of Maya – what we liked
Rise of Maya is very much aimed at players who want to focus on a big Free Spins game win in a high volatility game. This is a type of game which is increasingly popular, and we think NetEnt have definitely given their fans something they will enjoy.
Besides the exciting gameplay and mechanics, Rise of Maya also enjoys the slick graphics and sound players expect from a NetEnt game.
Not much care has been taken to fit the game into any actual Mayan mythology – the “deities” represented by the masks are not at all specific and there is no general serpent god in their system that we know of. Most players will not be bothered by this, but anyone easily offended by fuzzy cultural appropriation might best avoid this game.
Where can you play Rise of Maya?
Anyone interested in playing Rise of Maya can head straight to on online casino which has this new game loaded and ready to play.
Make a qualifying first deposit using MuchBetter or another accepted payment method and get a 100% match up to £300!