Currently, there are only a few new games that utilise a 5-reels 6-rows play area format, but it seems that more and more new games are following this trend now, much to my dislike. All the symbols in play become much smaller, the play area becomes more crowded and cluttered, and seeing what win on which payline is almost impossible now. All you know is that you've got a win, never mind on which payline it falls on, because the active paylines are no longer confined to the usual norm of 9, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 or 50 lines. We are now looking at games with over 1000 paylines. In the case of this new game from Quickspin, Phoenix Sun, the paylines start with 243 in the base game and goes up to an incredible 7,776 paylines in the Free Spins game! Oh gees! I've just got a 5-of-a-kind win on line 7,713! Hehehe.
Before you start wondering how the heck that win was on payline 7,713, let me say it again. The base game plays with 5-reels and 3-rows, as usual, so that makes it a 243-paylines game. During the free spins, the full portion of the upper grid play area are opened up, making it a 5-reels and 6-rows game, so a win can happen on payline 7,776. Hmm, you can close your jaw now, hehehe. Well, as much as it looks interesting and fun to play, I'm not one who is attracted by it all. My preference is still the good old 5-reels 3-rows format. Why? Play the game and see how difficult it can be to get a 5-of-a-kind win in the Free Spins game. The symbols would be scattered all over the place, over 6 rows, instead of just 3 rows. That's no fun for me!
There are 2 Wild symbols in the game. One is the normal symbol with the word 'Wild'. The other Wild has the Phoenix symbol on it. This is the more important Wild symbol to get, because it can open up the upper portions of the grid, or play area. Each Phoenix Wild symbol in a winning combination removes 3 random symbols from the upper grid, 1 Respin is awarded, and the symbol gets collected into the Phoenix counter on the left hand side of the screen. Getting 5 Phoenix symbols award a 8 free spins game with 7,776-ways to win. Non-winning Phoenix symbols do not get collected. The normal Wild symbol doesn't do anything else but only to substitute for other symbols except for the Phoenix symbol. Both Wild symbols do not pay anything for themselves, do not double any wins, do not become stacked or expanded, and are therefore still dumb Wild symbols. There are no Scatter symbols in the game either.
As for the other symbols in the game, the Pharaoh pays 4x the total bet, yes, only 4x, the Queen pays 3x, and the others pay from 2.4x down to 0,8x the total bet for 5 of each kind. Imagine getting 5 same symbols on a winning payline and it pays only 0.8x or 80% of your total bet amount! Sheesh! How much lower can designers value these symbols? So, what do you make of this paytable then? To me, it's a blardy damn low paytable, designed to slowly eat you up alive! 7,776-ways to win or not.
There may be many players who may get very excited with the 7,776 ways to win ploy, but not me. I've played Phoenix Sun only once, but that was enough to tell me the sort of gameplay to expect from it. Excitement only happens because of its novelty, from something relatively new and different from the other games, but how many players really consider the truth behind the paytable? Almost none, or only the knowledgeable ones would. My advice is, be very aware of what this game can do. Do not be overwhelmed with its features and number of ways to win. They are very deceiving indeed! Yes, decent wins can be expected of course, ranging from 30x to 50x, but getting bigger wins than these would come very rarely. For me, the Phoenix Sun came up and went down very quickly.