Dawn of Kings

Dawn of Kings Slot Review

Slot Provider: Hacksaw Gaming

RTP: 96.24% | Variance: Medium | Maximum Win: 10,000x

Our Score: 8.4

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WHY YOU CAN TRUST THIS REVIEW: The information and opinions on this page are the result of an comprehensive process of information gathering and live game testing by the gambling experts who work at allslotsites.com. Find out more here.

About Dawn of Kings

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 22nd February 2024

How We Review Slot Games

We test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.

Dawn of Kings is a Book of … style online slot from Hacksaw Gaming featuring explorer Amy Dawn who is seeking treasures in ancient Egyptian temples. The game uses the standard expanding symbol feature in both base game and free spins rounds to trigger extra wins. But in this version there is also a Triple Bonus round where 3 pay symbols work as expanders to give you even more chances of winning.

Unusually for a Book of … game, Dawn of Kings has a medium variance, and that is coupled with a really good 10,000x max win. Spins start at 10p.

Dawn of Kings Game Information

  • Release Date: 07.03.24
  • RTP: 96.24% | 94.25% | 92.21% | 88.07%
  • Variance: Medium
  • Maximum Win: 10,000x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 5
  • Rows: 3
  • Paylines: 13
  • Minimum Stake: £0.10
  • Theme: Egypt
  • Features: Wilds, Expanding Symbols, Free Spins
  • Format: 5-Reel

Testing Notes: Here’s What Happened When We Played Dawn of Kings

IMPORTANT: To give you an accurate assessment of the games we review our writers play 200 spins. Whilst this is a useful tool to help us review games and to give an example of what might happen when you play, keep in mind that 200 spins is only a very small sample and cannot be used to accurately predict what might happen over another 200 spins. The outcome of all slots play is always random.

Boom Or Bust? Our Session By The Numbers

I played 250 spins on Dawn of Kings on Hacksaw Gaming’s test server prior to release to test the game. This is what happened.

  • Stake Size: £1
  • Start balance: £5,000
  • End balance: £4,972.7
  • Hit Rate: 27.6% (69 winning spins in 250)
  • Biggest Win: 91.5x
  • Free Spins Round: 2

Dawn of Kings is a medium variance slot and it showed in a slightly more forgiving session than you sometimes get with Book of games. For a start the hit rate was higher than average at 27.6% which is wins in more than 1 in 4 spins. So there were plenty of small wins, and one 10x in the base game.

Random expanders in Dawn of Kings
Jacks randomly becoming expanders in the base game

One of a few unusual features in Dawn of Kings is that the expander feature can appear in the base game. For me that happened 3 times. The results where never spectacular, maxing out at a 3.9x when the symbol was a Jack, but you can see the potential here if you got lucky with a higher payer.

The free spins round is the main event. That triggered twice, both times in the standard Book of Dawn format with 10 spins, though I picked up 2 more during the round on both occasions. Success, as always, is very much dependent on which symbol is the expander. In this case it was the Scarab, at the low end of the premium symbols. That was enough to land me a 91.5x win thanks to a few spins where 3 reels were covered by Scarabs.

Free Spins win in Dawn of Kings
A 91.5x win from the free spins round

Overall, I think this is a good Book of .. game. Hacksaw haven’t messed too much with the format and the production is as slick as ever. Unfortunately I didn’t get to experience the Triple bonus round which is clearly a very powerful one, but even without that this was an enjoyable 250 spins with plenty of action.

What We Liked

  • Big value for top paying premium symbols - 1,000x for 5 explorers
  • Triple Bonus Round comes with THREE expanding symbols
  • Medium variance makes it an easier play than other Book of ... slots
  • Chance to upgrade free spins round by landing more Book symbols
  • Expanders appear in base game too!

What We Didn't like

  • Complicated bonus round configurations
  • Some slot sites run at lower RTP

Dawn of Kings Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 8
  • RTP and Variance 8
  • Maximum Win 9
  • Symbols and Paytable 9
  • Features and Gameplay 8

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"A hot new Book of ... game that dares to extend the format with a killer Triple bonus round with THREE expanders which will surely deliver huge wins at some point!"

Overall Score: 8.4

Theme & Design

Our Score 8

A Classic Ancient Egyptian Explorer Game

Dawn of Kings is yet another variation on one of the most popular slots formats of all time – the ‘Book of …‘ game that was started way back with Novomatic’s Book of Ra and Play n Go’s Book of Dead. This is Hacksaw’s first foray into the arena and they don’t mess too much with the classic narrative. We are in Egypt. Exploring ancient temples … probably underground. With a heroic explorer. This time a woman called Amy Dawn, distant relation to Lara Croft perhaps and taking style advice from Rich Wilde with that hat and khaki shirt. There is an epic quality to the towering reel set, and lots of gold light and Egyptian iconography including the gods Anubis and Horus. So, Hacksaw play safe with the audio visual the production, albeit at their usual high standards. Now read on to find out how they deal with the gameplay.

Dawn of Kings by Hacksaw Gaming
Dawn of Kings – explorer Amy Dawn seeking riches in ancient temples

RTP and Variance

Our Score 8

What is RTP?

RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next.  Read more here.

What is Variance?

Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.

Like many Hacksaw slots Dawn of Kings comes with four RTP settings. They are 96.24%, 94.25%, 92.21% and 88.07%. To give yourself the best chance of winning you should play at a slot site where the RTP rate is set to 96.24%. Not all casinos do this. I recommend MrQ or Barz Casino, both of whom consistently run games like this at the optimum RTP settings.

But if you are not playing at either of those then do a quick check on the game info screen before you start by hitting the hamburger menu button under the reels, then clicking the ‘I’ link. RTP is published at the bottom of that page. If it’s lower than 94.25% I suggest trying another casino.

This is NOT one of Hacksaw’s most volatile games. Instead, it comes in at a volatility rating of medium. Despite their reputation for high variance this studio does produce medium variance slots like this from time to time including slots like Frank’s Farm and Gronk’s Gems, and they are usually of a high standard and a more accessible entry point for casual players rather than high risk fanatics. So, this could be a good starting point if that’s you.

Maximum Win

Our Score 9

What Is Maximum Win?

Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.  

For a medium variance slot Dawn of Kings has a good max win potential of 10,000x. That puts it on a par with other medium variance games from Hacksaw like Dork Unit (10,000x), RIP City (12,500x) and King Carrot (10,000x).

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 9

The game format is 5 reels, 3 rows and 13 paylines. Wins are triggered in the usual way by landing 3 or more identical symbols across the reels from left to right, starting at the left most reel.

Dawn of Kings Paytable
The paytable in Dawn of Kings with 1,000x for top paying explorer symbol

There is some really high value in the paytable which is promising too! At the low end are the cards 10 through to Ace. These are valued at from 0.2x for 3 10s up to 10x for 5 Aces. The premium symbols are the character symbols – the scarab beetle, gods Bastet, Anubis ad  Horus, and our explorer hero, Amy. These are valued at from 3x for 3 scarabs up to a whopping 1,000x for 5 explorers.

There is a Wild symbol too, represented by the Book. It will substitute for all pay symbols to complete lines and has additional scatter qualities to open up the bonus round as explained below.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 8

Dawn of Kings takes the standard Book of … gameplay format and twists it a little to give you several different ways of triggering the famous expander and free spins.

Book Of … Expander in the Base Game

One fun part about Dawn of Kings is that you don’t have to enter the free spins round to trigger the expander feature because at any random point in the base game it can trigger. When this happens, one random symbol is chosen before the next spin to be the ‘special’ one. It will land 3 to 5 times in the subsequent spin and once all standard pays have been made, each instant of this symbol will expand to its full reel height.

They then pay for ANY combination that passes through them, and form win lines even when there is a reel space between them.

Free Spins Bonus Rounds 

That’s all very well, but what about the free spins? This is where Dawn of Kings really kicks on. To trigger it you will need to land at least 3 Book symbols at the same time. Remember, the books are both wild AND scatters.

The awards for landing scatters are as follows:

  • 3 Book Scatters – Book of Dawn Bonus Feature
  • 4 Book Scatters – Triple Book of Dawn Bonus Feature
  • 5 Book Scatters – Triple Book of Dawn Bonus Feature plus a 1,000x win

In addition to this, you can also land a ‘Best of Bonus’ symbol at the same time as your scatters, which triggers enhanced bonus rounds as follows:

  • 3 Book Scatters AND the Best of Bonus symbol – Best Of Book of Dawn Bonus Feature
  • 4 Book Scatters AND the Best of Bonus symbol – Best Of Triple Book of Dawn Bonus Feature
  • 5 Book Scatters AND the Best of Bonus symbol – Best Of Triple Book of Dawn Bonus Feature plus a 1,000x win

Here is a breakdown of how each of those bonus rounds looks:

Book of Dawn Bonus

  • 10 free spins
  • Before the round starts, a book is opened and one PAY symbol is chosen as the expander. You need AT LEAST 3 to land at the same time for them to activate. After all normal pays are made, the symbols do their thing, expanding to full reel height to complete paylines. Remember, paylines can be separated by one or more reels in this case.
  • Landing 2 books at the same time in this round gets you 2 more spins and landing 3 books at the same time gets you 4 more. Landing 4 will upgrade you to the Triple Book of Dawn bonus feature and get you 4 more spins.

Triple Book of Dawn Bonus

  • 12 free spins
  • Before the round starts, a book is opened and THREE PAY symbols are chosen to be expanders, one of which is GUARANTEED to be a high value pay symbol.
  • To trigger an expansion you need to land more than one of these symbols on AT LEAST 3 reels on a single spin. Each will then expand and trigger wins in turn.
  • And once again, landing 2 books on one spin gets you 2 more free spins and landing 3 books on one spin will get you 4 more.

Best of Book of Dawn Bonus

  • Here you get THREE Book of Dawn features playing out one after the other. The scores of each are recorded next to the grid and the best is chosen as the payout. 

Best of Triple Book of Dawn Bonus 

  • You guessed it! In this instance you get THREE Triple Book of Dawn features playing out one after the other. The scores of each are recorded next to the grid and the best is chosen as the payout

The Final Verdict

Dawn of Kings looks on the surface like just another Book of … slot but on closer inspection you’ll find some interesting distinctions that make it worth your time. As well as the base game expanders the biggest draw is that Triple Bonus round with three expanders. For my money that puts Dawn of King on a different level with the opportunity to score some huge free spins round wins, particularly as at least one must be a premium symbol. Then there is the ‘Best of’ feature,  a great addition which can make up for those times you wait ages for a free spins round only for it to be a dud. Now you get three attempts! And finally, all that comes packaged up with a medium variance which means Dawn of Kings is a little looser than other Book of games. What more could you want?! Superb stuff!

Useful Tips When Playing Dawn of Kings

Remember, online slots are games of chance, there is NO strategy that can improve your odds of winning. However, reading our review and following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing this slot game.

1. Make Sure You Play At A Good RTP

With games like this where there are versions out there with RTP lower than 90% you have to be careful you are getting value for money. Do this by checking the RTP on the game info screen before you play for real. If you are not happy with the rate, close the game and try elsewhere.

2. Look For Book Symbols on Every Spin

The bonus round formats might look complicated by one thing is simple about this slot – you need to land Book symbols as wilds and scatters to trigger the good stuff in all rounds. So look out for these at all times.

3. ‘Best of’ Symbols Are A Powerful Tool Too

Those ‘Best of’ symbols are a powerful additions to this game, giving you the chance to play out 3 bonus rounds and collect the payout from the best version. This is a brand new and compelling idea and give you a second and third chance when a round doesn’t go your way!

4. Play At One Of Our Recommended Slot Sites

We recommend the sites on this page because they are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission so they offer safe, secure and fair slots play. These casinos and all their games have been audited by third parties. Never play at unlicensed sites.

Who Made Dawn of Kings?

  • Name: Hacksaw Gaming
  • Established: 2018
  • UK License: 54059
  • Total Games: 50 +
  • Known For: Dark, high variance output and bonus rounds driven by combining multipliers
  • Popular Slots: Hand of Anubis, Itero, Gladiator Legends, Break Bones
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