Zeus and Kronos are themes that have a lengthy history in the WMS portfolio, and into the Scientific Games area. While Zeus and Kronos were originally developed as separate games in the portfolio, in recent years the games have been paired as sister themes in a series of games, the latest of which is Zeus and Kronos Unleashed.
The Unleashed games are a direct sequel to a previous pair of games, Zeus: Son of Kronos, and Kronos: Father of Zeus, which had a 40-line game format.
On the old game, you had the regular base bet and the More/Better option. The base and More/Better bet on both the old and new versions have identical wagers.
By comparison, this 60-line game is one of the More/Better games I’ve previously talked about, but with a three-tier option:
- Lightning Respin: Getting a full column of Zeus or Kronos in the leftmost reel triggers the Lightning Respin
- More & Better Lightning Respin: For a 50% premium, you can get the Lightning Respin if you have at least six spaces filled with Zeus or Kronos in the leftmost reel. Zeus/Kronos also sees improved line pays, both in base spins and the Lightning Respins, as part of this bet increase.
- More Powerup in Lightning Respin: For a 100% premium, you can also get an increased chance of power-ups in the Lightning Respin.
With the base game and More/Better wagers identical on both the original and sequel, you’re spreading the same wager across 50 percent more lines on the Unleashed series, which has the effect of watering down line pays by anywhere from 30-60 percent, depending on the symbol. With symbols stacked in pairs or more, this does seem to make the newer series more volatile.
Meanwhile, notice that all of the benefits of the feature bets come in the Lightning Respin. It doesn’t give you an increased chance of triggering the free spins bonus, although that improved Lightning Respin chance does carry in to the free spins.
The major difference between the two Unleashed games is a feature picked up from their themes’ history:
- Zeus: Zeus pays if you get at least two across starting from the left. This has been a trait of the Zeus symbol going back to the original Zeus.
- Kronos: Kronos pays left to right or right to left, a feature that the original Kronos also had.
This gives players a choice between two subtly different options, as opposed to outright clones, which is a nice touch. The predecessor games behaved similarly.
Lightning Respin Feature
The basic concept of the Lightning Respin feature works identically to the original Zeus/Kronos pair. You spin to get as many Zeus/Kronos symbols as you can.
Like the previous game, anytime at least one symbol lands, you get another spin. Three dead spins in total without a symbol added ends the Lightning Respin round. To add some suspense, when you’re on your final spin, three symbols will slow down and either hit or not, with at least one landing meaning you get another spin, with the suspense spinning.
The power-ups are a new feature to the Unleashed Series with the exception of the progressives, but that has a new twist. The power-ups are:
- Progressives: Two wheels spin, alternating between credit values and progressive levels. You win what lands in each, either two credit prizes, a credit prize and a progressive, or two progressives. This can happen up to 5 times.
- Add a Row: A full row of Zeus or Kronos appears is added at the bottom of the screen, along with 10 lines. This can happen up to 4 times, reaching 100 total lines if so.
- Upgrade Zeus/Kronos Pays: The symbol color changes from blue to yellow, red or purple, one step up from where they were before, and increasing the pay value accordingly. Two upgrades are possible.
- Symbol Expand: All spaces around the space, and the space itself, become filled with Zeus or Kronos. This can happen up to 4 times.
Free Spins Bonus
Three or more free spin symbols trigger the free spins bonus. The number of spins you get is based on where the free spin symbols land, which has a few implications:
- If symbols only partially appear, they may nudge more into view before the tally occurs. (The pays will evaluate again if this happens, so line hits may get tallied up to your benefit.)
- If symbols are adjacent but not quite in alignment, a box will draw around them and give you a spin for every space that’s filled
- If you get more than three symbols, you get more spins per space. 4 symbols give you 2 spins per space; 5 bonus symbols gives a whopping 5 spins per space.
This unique way of calculating the free spins keeps the game interesting, adds some volatility and ultimately is a nice way to keep a player paying attention.
The Lightning Respins seem to be much more likely during the free spins, but I’ve certainly had free spin bonuses where they don’t pop up. The Free Spins bonus has a bonus guarantee of 5x your total bet.
New Sister Themes Launched
Recently, two new Unleashed themes have been issued, offering some differences in the Lightning Respin power-up features but otherwise following the basic blueprint. In a future post I’ll review separately Medusa Unleashed and Athena Unleashed, but this an interesting way to expand the series vs. making another direct Zeus/Kronos sequel, and again introduces subtle differentiation vs. making direct clones.
Watch and Learn
Here’s RandomSlots‘ video of Zeus Unleashed:
And here’s a video from Slotlady featuring the game: