Head to the Coliseum and prepare to do battle in Gladiator of Rome, a 5 reel, 20 payline slot from 1X2 Gaming. Superbly designed, this virtual trip to the ancient world comes with a bonus feature that awards 30 free spins with multipliers that start at 1x before rising to 2x and 3x. Play from between 20p and £25 per spin.

Visually, Gladiator of Rome is rather well done – the display looks like it’s been carved from marble and the text features a historic looking typeface. Even the lower value A, K, Q and J symbols have been given a Roman flourish. They’re joined by a Roman soldier, a gladiator, a golden eagle emblem, a shield, horses and chariot, a sword and shield and Caesar.

The Roman leader is the most lucrative payer, awarding 1,000 coins for a 5-of-a-kind combination. The manic looking, bare chested gladiator is the game’s wild – he replaces everything with the exception of the bonus symbol.

That bonus symbol is the 2 gladiators in battle and it appears on the middle 3 reels only. When it does hit on reels 2, 3 and 4 on the same spin, you’ll trigger the Free Spins feature and with it an impressive haul of 30 free spins.

The first 10 of those free spins are played at a standard 1x. On the next 10 free spins, all payouts are doubled. Even better, on the final 10 free spins, all payouts are boosted by a 3x multiplier and trebled. The lowest value J symbol and the bonus are removed from the reels for the duration of the feature, making it a little easier to create winning combinations.

We found much to enjoy is this classically themed slot – the comic book style visuals are very well realised. Adding to the atmosphere is a thumping backing track which wouldn’t be out of place in a similarly themed movie.

The Free Spins feature is a good’un too – it’s not the easiest to trigger but the generous allocation of free spins combined with doubling and trebling multipliers make it worth the wait. We’d put the variance in the medium to high range.

Winning the battle can seem tricky here especially in the base game – the potential on offer in the feature round means Gladiator of Rome gets a thumbs up from this judge. If you like the theme, Playtech’s Gladiator Jackpot (which is the official Gladiator film game) and WMS Gaming’s Spartacus Gladiator of Rome are highly recommended.