Brand extensions and slot sequels are not a new thing; IGT in particular has been really leaning into them in recent years, which is not necessarily an issue – every major manufacturer is doing this in some form, and if you have a popular theme or game format you want to bring out options that can extend that popularity.
But IGT also has the achilles heel of trying to make just about everything a Link game; it’s clear they feel left out of the market and are hoping to finally find one that clicks.
So I guess it’s not surprising that Scarab was given the Link treatment, but in the process is basically removes a core element of what is special about the game. I finally got a chance to play it after seeing it floating around for awhile, and I was pretty underwhelmed.
Yes, the 10 game cycles remain. Yes, you collect the gold borders. Yes, on game 10 those bordered symbols resolve… but it’s how they resolve.
Now, instead of being all wilds, it could be a wild or a prize value, whether credits or a progressive. The standard six or more prizes gets you a Hold and Spin bonus, where your traditional Hold and Spin rules apply.
From my observations and first-hand play, they seem to come out somewhere around 50/50; roughly half the spaces, perhaps a bit more, turn wild; while the credit prizes make up the rest, at or just under half generally.
The reason I see this as breaking the format as the whole concept is that you really saw a 10-cycle game where the bulk of the pay was on the 10th spin, and now with the link prizes serving as blockers it makes the whole thing drastically more volatile for a mediocre Hold and Spin experience.
On the bright side, there are 20 prize spaces that can be won, and the various jackpots can come out, but the link isn’t necessarily easy to get. Based on the math above you need 12+ borders to have a fighting chance (so if you’re wondering what to look for, that’s probably it).
There are times where additional Scarab spaces will be filled in as a bonus while the reels are spinning, which can come out randomly during any spin. A giant scarab animation blows by before borders are applied to random spaces (which can include ones that already have them, which can feel like a bummer).
The free games bonus has changed too – you get a set amount of free games, and a certain number of spaces are pre-collected. Then you have a better chance at getting the Hold and Spin bonus.
There are two themes to the game, and this appears to be the primary difference: Cleora gives you 10 free games, with the middle four spaces bordered; Nefturi gives you 5 free games, with reels 1, 3 and 5 fully bordered, for 12 spaces out of the gate.
This compares to the original, where the wilds would reposition each spin and could yield some sizable line hits. If the Hold and Spin doesn’t work out, it’s a bigger bummer of a bonus, whereas I felt the original game, while hard to get, had a pretty consistent bonus experience overall.
Scarab Link Slot Videos
TheBigPayback had a good run on the Nefturi version, getting numerous Hold and Spin bonuses and a Free Games bonus at the end:
And here is his video on the Cleora version, which also features multiple Hold and Spins and a free games feature:
Diana Evoni also had a good run on her try on the game: