Enter the world of Greek mythology
Mythological themes are always popular with online slots players, perhaps because we all have an intrinsic love of ancient tales, stories and legends. You will find a host of games that feature Egyptian artefacts, lost underwater cities and Viking tales of adventure and heroism; however, there are few legends and myths that resonate so strongly as the stories of the Greek gods and their interactions with humankind.
Featuring every great theme known to storytellers - from nepotism to unrequited love, passion and love that can conquer death and jealous rivalries between the all-powerful gods - it is no wonder that the Greek legends have survived the centuries, re-told over and over again and passed on through word of mouth, books, films and now even slots games!
Superb gameplay and stunning graphics
The first thing you will notice about Hot as Hades is the rich colours and cute cartoon graphics. Unlike some cartoon-themed slots games that can often look a little low-budget, the depictions of the characters and their associated animations are as good as anything you would find at the cinema. This is a game on which no expense has been spared, and it really shows.
Also unlike so many other online slots games, Hot as Hades features a unique bonus round that takes you on a quest. This is in search of the lost crystal helmet, reputed to be hidden in a chest somewhere at the top of Mount Olympus, the hideout of the gods themselves. There are several slots games that promise to take the player on a journey, but it has to be said that many of them completely fail to do so, at least in the way we think of quests. Hot as Hades actually delivers, with the bonus round unlike anything you will have seen before when enjoying slots gaming action.
The game takes place deep in the bowels of the underworld, home to the god Hades who rules over this realm. One of three brothers born to the legendary Titans, Hades is not always the best of friends with Poseidon, who rules over the seas and oceans, or Zeus, the infamous king of the gods who watches over the actions of mankind, intervening occasionally to change their destiny if he so chooses. All three characters appear on the reels, along with Medusa, the gorgon with snakes instead of hair, and Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the underworld.
All the characters come to life thanks to the skill of the developers, who manage to make them both cute and slightly menacing at the same time. Just watch them come to life when they appear on a winning payline! It is not just these well-known Greek gods appearing across the reels; as is so often the case, other symbols include the popular playing cards, here depicted in rich colours with great attention to detail.
In the background, behind the reels, you will catch glimpses of the underworld, which is looking uncomfortably warm, to say the least! Flames flicker upwards, occasionally roaring into life, and from time to time Hades himself appears, strolling onto the playing area and watching the gameplay unfold. There is absolutely no chance that you will miss him, as there are not many slots game heroes with flame-coloured hair that is actually made from real flames! Watch out for him in particular during the randomly-triggered Free Spins round, where he saunters, leaps or twirls across the reels, turning random symbols into sticky wilds and giving you the potential to score some major wins.
The game’s logo acts as a wild symbol, meaning that it can substitute for any other symbol on the reels apart from the crystal skull scatter. Even better, the logo also acts as a multiplier. Any winning lines on which a wild appears will see your winnings multiplied 2x, which can lead to some extremely favourable outcomes.
Spin three crystal helmet symbols anywhere on the reels and the highly-entertaining bonus round is triggered, during which Hades goes on an actual quest. With exciting animations and cut scenes, the bonus round, which is called the Quest for the Crystal Helm, is unlike any other bonus you will have seen before, as Hades travels across clifftops, oceans and mountains in search of the legendary helmet made of glass. At each stage of his journey, he is offered choices; as the player, you determine the outcome of the quest. Will you be lucky and achieve the highest financial rewards, or will you come unstuck when challenging the other gods and be sent back to the reels?
How to play Hot as Hades
With 20 fixed paylines, you won’t have to spend any time deciding how many lines to play, as they are all in operation throughout every single spin of the reels. You will see straight away that the player console is kept to an absolute minimum - even if you are quite new to the genre of online slots games, it won’t take you more than a few moments to get to grips with the intuitive controls. All you have to do is decide on the amount of your bet using the buttons to either side of the bet window.
Now it is just a matter of hitting the spin button to the bottom right-hand side of the playing area and the reels will start spinning, stopping automatically. If you really can’t wait, you can hit the spin button again, as it becomes a stop button during spins to give you a little extra control over the outcome.
If you get tired of constantly hitting the spin button, you can always take advantage of the handy autoplay function. Click on the autoplay button and a pop-up window enables you to set parameters for your automatic spins. You can choose the number of spins from a pre-set range of options and decide how much you are prepared to bet, win or lose before autoplay ceases. Once again, the spin button becomes a stop button throughout autoplay. If you change your mind and want to take back control, it is easy enough to do so.
There is nothing the player can do to trigger the Super Mode, which is a free spins round by another name. The feature is randomly triggered at any time during gameplay, awarding the player five free spins. During the feature, Hades adds up to three wilds; once in place, these wilds stay put for the remainder of the free spins round. Apparently, it is not unheard of for a further wild to be added to the reels from time to time, so count yourself very lucky if you find this happens during your gaming session!
The Quest for the Crystal Helm
It is the incredible bonus round that keeps players returning to Hot as Hades time and time again. Reminiscent of Disney and Pixar animations at their best, Hades is transported out of the underworld - and the reels - to a clifftop scene. To cross the chasm ahead, the player must choose an urn from five possible choices. Will you find a cash prize, or will you be sent back to the underworld to begin again? Keep an eye out for Cerberus; if he appears during any of the bonus rounds, the player wins all the available cash prizes for that round and automatically moves onto the next round in the bonus game.
If you are successful, stepping stones appear that enable you to cross the chasm and on to your next task. Now you must select which door to pass through from five choices. Choose carefully - if you get it wrong, you might encounter Medusa. One glance at her head of hissing snakes could turn you to stone - or at least send you back to the underworld. Once again, you could be lucky and reap a cash reward or encounter Cerberus, who will win you all the available cash prizes.
Success takes you across the oceans, where Poseidon rears up from beneath the waves and challenges you to pick a shell. Will you win a cash prize, or will fate send you back to the flaming caves of the underworld once more? Surviving the perils of the oceans will deliver you further on your journey to the home of Zeus, who has five clouds for you to choose from. If you have still avoided being sent back to your habitat in the caves, you can proceed to the final hall to be presented with five elaborately-carved treasure chests, one of which contains the legendary crystal helm. At this point, you are given two opportunities to achieve a maximum win. If you don’t pick the chest containing the helmet at your first attempt, you are invited to try another chest. Now it is up to you to decide whether the cash reward you have been offered is too tempting to abandon in search of the helmet.
When the helmet appears, Hades is beside himself with joy and proceeds to put it on. The player now receives the contents of all the treasure chests and your quest is over, leaving you much the richer for the experience.
Hades, the god of the underworld
As the Greek god of the underworld, Hades presides over the world in which human souls gather after death. With the word ‘Hades’ meaning ‘unseen’, it is fair to say that the god was reputed to rarely - if ever - leave his underground domain. Since mankind has long understood that precious metals and stones are found underground, Hades is also considered to rule over these, purely by association.
Apparently, the Ancient Greeks disliked saying the word ‘Hades’ as much as early Christians disliked saying the word ‘Hell’. They often referred to the god of the underworld as ‘Plouton’, meaning ‘bringer of wealth’. Since the Greek and Roman gods differ only in name, it is little surprise to discover that the Roman name for the Hades was Pluto.
Often depicted carrying a two-pronged fork, it is not hard to see where the popular Christian depiction of the devil with his pitchfork originated; however, far from having hooves and horns like his Christian counterpart, Hades has traditionally been described as human in shape, albeit somewhat grim and foreboding. This is no doubt due to his underground lifestyle amongst the dead. Usually accompanied by his three-headed dog Cerberus, who guarded the entrance to the realm of the underworld, he is usually depicted as a far more sombre figure than we find gambolling across the reels in Hot as Hades.
According to the Greek myths, Cronus and Rhea were Titans who gave birth to six gods. The three brothers were named Hades, Poseidon and Zeus, while three sisters were named Demeter, Hestia and Hera. Once they came of age, the younger gods challenged their parents and a fierce war ensued, during which the younger gods achieved victory over their elders. The brothers decided to divide the world up between them, with Zeus ruling the sky, Poseidon gaining control of the oceans and seas, and Hades granted dominion over the underworld.
Perhaps the best-known legend associated with Hades concerns Persephone, who became his wife and queen. As the daughter of Demeter, Persephone was alleged to be beautiful beyond compare and Hades became deeply infatuated with her. One day, as she picked flowers in a field, Hades seized her and took her to the underworld against her will. This was much to the distress of her mother, who caused a famine to take hold of the land. Despite the entreaties of the other gods, she refused to lift her curse, telling the assembled gods that she would not allow the land to become fertile again until her daughter was returned to her.
Zeus commanded Hades to release Persephone, which he reluctantly did; however, before doing so, he gave her a pomegranate to eat and she consumed some of the seeds before leaving the underworld. Once she had returned to her mother, Persephone confessed to eating the pomegranate seeds when questioned, only to be informed by Demeter that this simple act now condemned her to spend a part of every year in the underworld once more. Demeter decided to continue her process of mourning her daughter for each part of the year that Persephone must leave her side, which is alleged to be the origin of winter according to the Greek myths.
Probably the best known of all the Greek gods, Zeus is often considered the king of the gods, residing at the top of Mount Olympus from where he watches over man’s exploits and directs their fates as he chooses. The word ‘Zeus’ is closely related to the Latin word ‘dies’, or ‘day’, and is also closely aligned with the Greek word meaning ‘bright’.
Married to his sister Hera, Zeus was legendary for his prowess with mortal women and is reputed to have fathered numerous children, including Heracles, Athena, Artemis, Dionysius, the Muses and Helen of Troy; however, only Hebe, Ares and Hephaestus were legitimate children born to his wife.
There are similarities between Zeus and Thor, the Norse god of thunder, as Zeus is also often depicted with a thunderbolt in his hand. He is also frequently depicted wearing a crown of oak leaves, which is a theme that resonates with the Pagan ‘Green Man’.
Zeus is often associated with awareness and wisdom, destiny, authority and power. According to Homer, the poet who recorded so many of the early Greek myths, Zeus had two mighty urns - one filled with blessings and one with curses - that he distributed among mortal men on a whim.
Legends report that Zeus somehow manages to be simultaneously the youngest and oldest son of his Titan parents. This is because his father, Cronus, learned that one of his offspring would one day betray and overthrow him, so he swallowed all of them as soon as they were born. All of them apart from Zeus, that is, as his mother, Rhea, swapped her infant son for a stone, hiding the baby in a mountain cave to be raised by nymphs.
Many years later, disguised as a cupbearer, Zeus managed to trick Cronus into drinking wine that had been poisoned. Cronus was severely ill, vomiting up his previously-swallowed offspring. This meant that Zeus, formerly the youngest son, was now the oldest. Joining forces, the group of siblings managed to overthrow their parents, dividing up the world afterwards among themselves, with Zeus as the overall head of the gods.
Reputed to be something of a hot-head, Poseidon is the god of the sea in addition to being known for creating earthquakes. He is usually depicted as being very similar to his older brother Zeus, although he is said to have been much more volatile in temperament. Alleged to have been eaten by his father Cronus soon after his birth, thanks to the information that one of his own offspring would one day be his downfall, some sources claim that Poseidon, like Zeus, escaped this fate. Some sources claim that his mother, Rhea, replaced the baby with a young animal, which Cronus consumed in the belief that it was his child.
The trident is a symbol that is instantly recognisable as being Poseidon’s weapon of choice and he is sometimes depicted behind the reins of a chariot drawn by four galloping steeds across the ocean waves. According to legend, he struck his trident on a rock to create the first horse, which was called Skyphios. He was held in high esteem by the ancient Greeks, who had a number of epithets to describe him, including the ‘Averter of Earthquakes’, ‘Saviour of Souls’, ‘Creator and Tamer of Horses’, and even ‘Leader of Nymphs’.
With an impulsive character and a violent temper, Poseidon found Zeus difficult and arrogant to deal with. Along with Hera and Athena, he resolved to teach him a lesson. The three of them ambushed Zeus and tied him up; however, they were unable to overpower him, and he quickly freed himself before punishing all those who had plotted against him. Poseidon was sent to help with building the walls of Troy for King Laomedon; however, when the king refused to pay him for his work, Poseidon defected to the opposite side during the legendary Trojan War, even unleashing Cetus, his sea monster, to fight against the Trojan army.
He may have wanted the Trojan army to fail in its attempts to win the war; however, having helped to build the walls that surrounded Troy, Poseidon found that he was reluctant to see the army fall, so he made sure that the Greek fortifications were destroyed instead. He also fell out with Odysseus, who was fighting on the side of the Greeks, because the legendary fighter had blinded his son Polyphemus.
With an eye for human ladies, Poseidon, like Zeus, fathered numerous offspring. One of his conquests was Medusa, who succumbed to his attentions and had her hair replaced by snakes thanks to Athena, who was incensed that she could have allowed such a thing to happen. Medusa went on to give birth to two children by Poseidon, known as Pegasus and Chrysaor.
Despite being born into a family of Gorgons, who were known as ferocious and terrifying beasts, Medusa was reportedly exceptionally beautiful. Unlike her sisters Graeae, Ladon and Echidna, and her parents Ceto and Phorcys, she managed to avoid her birthright and looked set for a long and happy life until she happened to upset Athena. Reports as to how this came about vary according to which sources you choose to consult, but it is believed that Medusa either boasted too often and frequently for Athena’s liking or, as seems more likely, Athena became enraged when she discovered that Medusa had succumbed to Poseidon’s amorous advances. Either way, Athena transformed the beautiful young woman into a hideous creature with snakes for hair, who turned men to stone upon sight of her.
Depictions of Medusa vary, but most sources agree that she was hideously ugly. The snakes that replaced her hair were a writhing mass of menace and she is often referred to as having huge tusks, with a massive tongue that was barely contained behind fanged teeth.
Her demise came about when Perseus was sent on a quest to collect her head by the king of Seriphos, Polydectes. Of course, the king, knowing of Medusa’s reputation for turning men to stone upon the merest sight of her, assumed that the young hero would die in his attempt; however, he reckoned without the young man’s courage. Aided by Hermes and Athena, Perseus managed to make his way to Medusa’s island home on the rocky shores of Sarpedon island. Using Athena’s highly-polished bronze shield as a mirror, Perseus approached the Gorgon by using the reflection as a guide, catching her whilst she was asleep and cutting off her head as instructed.
As soon as her head fell from her shoulders, her two unborn children, Pegasus and Chrysaor, were released and sprang from her neck, alerting the other Gorgons to Medusa’s fate. Although her sisters tried their best to attack Perseus, he was protected by a cloak of invisibility lent to him by Hades. With Hermes’ winged sandals on his feet, he moved too swiftly for them to be able to locate him.
With Medusa’s head in his possession, Perseus now returned to Seriphos, where Polydectes demanded proof that he had indeed slain the legendary Gorgon. Perseus reached into his bag and pulled out the snake-covered head, which immediately turned Polydectes to stone as soon as he looked upon it. Perseus then showed the head to the king’s supporters, with the result that they were all turned to stone.
As thanks for supporting and aiding him, Perseus gave Medusa’s head to Athena, which she placed upon her shield. With blood still dripping from the head, Athena collected it and gave it to Asclepius for healing and cursing purposes. The rest was given to her adopted son Erichthonius in a vial, where it had the power of life and death. Meanwhile, a lock of hair from Medusa was given to Heracles and allegedly had the power to strike terror into the heart of anyone who saw it.
Sometimes referred to as the Hound of Hades, Cerberus was the three-headed dog reputed to guard the gates to the underworld, where he prevented any of the resident dead inmates from returning to the world of the living. Born to Typhon and Echidna, his siblings included Orthrus, the two-headed hound, the Hydra of Lernaea and the Chimaera. Other sources report that he had many more siblings, including the Colchian Dragon, The Sphinx, the Nemean Lion, Scylla, Ladon, and the mother of the Gorgons.
Usually shown as having three heads, Cerberus has been described as having varying numbers, ranging from one right the way through to two hundred. Most sources have settled on three, which is how he is usually portrayed in art and sculptures. Clever and calculating, he is usually shown with dog-like features and is thought of as being quick-witted, although legends show that he has often been outwitted by people intent on visiting the underworld or escaping from it!
When Heracles was given his Twelve Labours to complete, the final - and most challenging - labour was to get Cerberus and bring him out of the underworld. This was something that could only possibly be achieved with the consent of Hades. Hades agreed but set the condition that this must be achieved without any use of weapons on Heracles’ part, which was thought to be impossible. The task was made even more difficult by the fact that Cerberus, in addition to having three heads, had a serpent for a tail. This managed to bite Heracles as he attempted to gain mastery over the three-headed dog; however, the strength of Heracles prevailed and he was finally able to grab Cerberus in such a strong stranglehold that the fearsome dog lost consciousness. Heracles duly dragged him up to the land of the living, wrapped in chains. Eurystheus, who had set the challenge, promptly went and hid in absolute terror.
Cerberus was further tricked when Eurydice died and her lover, Orpheus, overcome by grief, ventured into the underworld in search of her. Unable to get past Cerberus, Orpheus hit upon the idea of playing music to charm the beast. This worked to dramatic effect, as the mighty three-headed beast became completely subdued and allowed Orpheus to pass.
The third and final time that Cerberus was tricked was when Aeneas decided to pay a visit to the underworld. Aided by the Sybil of Cumae, Aeneas threw a spiced and drugged honey cake to Cerberus, who promptly fell asleep.
The cap of invisibility
The crystal helm at the centre of the Hot as Hades online slots game is completely made up for the purposes of the game, but it does have its roots in Greek mythology. According to writings set out in the Bibliotheca, an early book dating back to around 2BC, a Uranian cyclops granted gifts to Zeus and his two brothers. Zeus received a lightning bolt, Poseidon was given his trident, and Hades was presented with the cap of invisibility.
Hades wore the helmet to great effect during the lengthy battles with the Titans. It was then borrowed by Athena, who made use of the invisibility spell contained within the helmet during the Trojan war, She disappeared before Ares could see her helping Diomedes, who was his sworn enemy.
Hermes, the winged messenger of the gods, used the helmet during a battle with a giant called Hippolytus. Perseus also made use of it, thanks to Athena, when he went on his quest to slay Medusa, the Gorgon.
Finding out more about Greek myths and legends
These are just some of the stories associated with the characters that you will find across the reels in Hot as Hades. If the game has whetted your appetite to find out more about the Greek myths and legends, you will find endless sources online and in books and films.
The ancient Greeks used these stories as a way of coming to terms with aspects of life of which they had little or no understanding. The question about what happens to us when we die is an eternal one that plagues almost every person who has ever been born, so it is no wonder that so many stories have sprung up across numerous civilisations that attempt to explain something that cannot be explained. Fate and destiny were popular themes at the time of the ancient Greeks and their stories cover numerous themes that still resonate today, hence their enduring popularity.
Other games you may enjoy
If you enjoy playing Hot as Hades, you will probably be keen to source other great titles that mix fun and entertainment with extra great features that simply add to the fun. Rather than just trawl through the thousands upon thousands of available slots titles, you can save yourself the time and trouble as we have already done the hard work for you!
No game is exactly the same as Hot as Hades; after all, what would be the point when the theme has been so gloriously captured already by Microgaming? If you like your slots with some cool extra features, you will almost certainly enjoy playing the following titles:
If you have studiously avoided vampire-themed online slots games until now, it is time to give this great title a try. Don’t be fooled by the teen-romance element associated with modern-day vampire stories, as this is a game with some superb elements that will keep you captivated for a long while.
A brilliant young woman, her loyal best friend and a pair of vampires tell the story of unrequited love and the powers of blood magic in this exciting and entertaining game that features some seriously cool tunes and stunning gameplay. Randomly-triggered bonus rounds and innovative bonus feature rounds raise this game well above the ordinary as you uncover the secrets behind this story of forbidden love and heartbreak.
Based on the popular movie, Bridesmaids features a host of delights taken directly from the film itself, so players are guaranteed a hearty shot of laughter with their slots action. Bouquets, wedding favours and a generous splash of the colour pink accompany you on your journey to riches. With stacking wilds that come complete with a built-in multiplier and plenty of opportunities for free spins, this is a game that packs a lot of punch.
Look out for the cupcakes that can trigger free spins and bonus rounds. The Boutique Bonus invites players to match up members of the Bridesmaids cast, whilst the Magic Moment Bonus depicts Polaroid shots of movie stills that come to life. Make your choice and aim to achieve as many multipliers as you possibly can before you pick the carrot and the game is over.
|Game Name:||Hot as Hades|
|Themes:||Mythology, Ancient Greece, Gods|
|Min Bet (all lines covered):||0.2|