Golden Ark Pokies Review

Golden Ark is a classic Novomatic pokies game with an Ancient Egyptian theme. It comes with clicks and beeps – emulating a live casino game. The reels are crowded with symbols spinning over a background showing a dark pyramid with an eye. The key to this game is a book, which is both a wild and a bonus symbol.

When you hit the free games, the big win potential of Golden Ark becomes obvious. A symbol is selected at random. This becomes an expanding symbol for the duration of your bonus spins. Any time this symbol lands, it expands to cover all three positions on the reel.

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Rated 4.1/5 stars.

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Payout Ratio (RYP)
Stake (Min/Max)
10c / $100
Game Developer
Bonus Feature

Reels, Win Lines and Betting Options

Novomatic have kept things simple with the setup of Golden Ark. There are just 10 win-lines, which cross the regular 5×3 reels grid. You can’t change the win-lines, though there is plenty of flexibility in your bet size. The minimum is just 1c per line, with $10 per line available for the high rollers.

There is a simple toggle for the auto-play which is located to the left of the spin button. Turn this on for rapid automatic spins. The menu button on the left contains the paytable and settings. Those settings include the gamble-after-win option. When this is on, you can choose the colour or suit of a playing card after every win to double or quadruple your prize.

Return to Player (RTP) Percentage of Golden Ark Slot Machines

Golden Ark has an RTP% of 95.1%. This is right around the average for an online pokie. Note that this is a fast game, especially if you choose the auto-play option, meaning your bankroll will turn over multiple times. Take it slow to extend your session!

The big win potential of the free spins bonus game increases the volatility of your returns. Huge wins can come from spins where you get expanding symbols on four or five reels. To balance this, the regular line hits are on the smaller side. 

Free Spins with a Random Expanding Symbol

You need a minimum of three book symbols to trigger the free spins bonus. These symbols are scatters, wilds and bonus symbols all in one. 10 free spins are awarded, regardless of whether you trigger the bonus with 3, 4 or 5 book symbols.

Before the spins start the book expands to fill the reels. The centre shows flipping pages, each with a game symbol on it. When it stops, that symbol is selected. It is now an expanding symbol for the duration of the bonus.

When a win is possible with the special symbol, it grows to cover all three spots on the reel. This will frequently connect wins over multiple win-lines. If you are lucky enough to hit your symbol on every reel, they will all expand. You now get the maximum 5 of a kind wins over all 10 win-lines.

Free spins can be retriggered with three or more book symbols.

Egyptian Explorers: Raiders of the Lost Ark Theme

Golden Ark features a female character that looks like Indiana Jones – complete with a distinctive hat. Above the reels you see the pyramids at night with a sinister eye in the pyramid design behind the transparent reels.

Book symbols are wild, replacing all the regular symbols to create extra wins. They also have a scatter prize. Win up to 60x your total bet for five of them anywhere on the reels. 

The lady explorer is the highest paying regular symbol. You win 150 coins for five of a kind. This is followed by a golden statue (60 coins for five), the eye of Horus, and a jewel showing a scarab beetle. Playing cards with bright colours and distinctive designs make up the smaller and more regular wins. 

After every win, you hear a distinctive two-tone beeping sound, indicating that the gamble-after-win option is available. You can click the ‘gamble’ button or choose ‘collect’ instead.

Play Golden Ark Pokies on Mobile Devices

Novomatic slots including Golden Ark work perfectly on mobile devices including iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones. The software adjusts the graphics to your screen size, creating a miniature version of the full slot game. Unlike pokies from IGT, Aristocrat and Microgaming, the controls stay in the same place as the desktop version. 

Can You Play Golden Ark for Free?

This online pokie is available for freeplay at bigger online casinos that host Novomatic titles. It is simple though the solid gameplay keeps it entertaining. Playing in freeplay mode gives you the chance to see whether the volatility works for you and to check out the expanding symbols in the free spins feature. Testing Golden Ark in demo mode lets you test the layout on your mobile devices too. 

Golden Ark Online Pokies: Pros/Cons


  • Solid Novomatic title
  • Transparent reels reveal a detailed eye in the pyramid backdrop
  • Book symbols combine wilds, scatters, and bonus triggers
  • 10 free spins, where a randomly selected symbol will expand
  • Gamble your wins to 2x or 4x the prize


  • Sound effects are retro beeps
  • No progressive jackpot prizes

Conclusion: How Does the Golden Ark Pokies Compare?

Golden Ark takes Novomatic’s years of experience creating solid, simple games and puts it into a fresh theme. If you are a fan of Novomatic titles, the sound effects, gamble after win option and random symbol selection for the free games will all be familiar. Golden Ark has the potential for giant wins. Hit the free spins and the highest paying symbols, and you could be looking a sequence of big wins. 

Maddison Dwyer

Senior Writer & Queen of Cards

Maddison, a graduate from the University of Queensland with a degree in journalism, has turned her sharp analytical skills towards the casino world. Specializing in blackjack and roulette and more, she guides enthusiasts through the complexities of gambling strategies.

Her background in ethical storytelling enriches her approach, making her insights into casino gaming both trustworthy and engaging.

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