‘Nǐ hǎo’ to the brand spanking new Chinese themed free online slot by Ainsworth. Those adorable black and white bamboo eating bears have taken the world by storm, especially since the release of ‘Kung Fu Panda’, the computer-animated action comedy martial arts film produced by DreamWorks, starring American funny man, Jack Black. They have even seized the gaming industry with several online slots taking on this theme. Much like the Egyptian, Greek and Aztec themes, the panda concept is much overused in online slot machines today. In fact, Wild Panda by Aristocrat and Tropezia Palace’s , Panda Party are two extremely popular games which also take you on a journey to south central China with its theme. What sets this game apart from all the other panda slots out there? Hands down, it’s got to be its particular free spins feature.
It looks like a high quality game with some very colourful graphics and dandy animations – every now and again the game’s mascot, the panda of course, pops up to say hello from behind the spin button. The reels are set in bamboo casing deep in one of China’s bamboo forests and the icons are representative of the Asian country, them being the waterfall, pergola, lotus flower, a gold coin and gold ingot. Aristocrat’s low value playing card symbols also make an appearance in the game. It’s no surprise that the game’s Wild is China’s national animal, the panda, and the Scatter is the ‘Yin and Yang’ icon. The panda has the power to replace every other symbol on the reels apart from the Scatter. What’s interesting about this game is that there is another icon which only takes its place on the reels during the free spins feature, this is the Fortune symbol. The game has a very honest feature built in wherein you can see how much each symbol is worth when you adjust your bet however, you can’t do it in real time, you have to adjust the bet and then re-open the pay-table which can be quite frustrating for some players. With regards to the soundtrack, I quite enjoyed the poignant sounds of Chinese instruments with a modern upbeat twist on the audio of this game.
It’s a 5x3 reel 20 pay-line medium volatility slot with a relatively good RTP of 94.34%. The minimum bet is the lowest it can be at 0.01 credits which makes it perfect for those who are just starting out on slots, and the maximum bet possible is 100 credits. The game allows you to adjust your bet per line, however, for maximum results I always suggest playing on all lines available. It also gives you the option to view your game history and lets you demo the game and its different functions before you play, which are two features not exhibited by many slots on the market. The highly anticipated bonus feature is triggered by three or more scattered ‘Yin and Yang’ and gives players a choice of three ways to move forward in the game, all of which include free spins. Your options once you’ve activated the free spins feature are as follows:
Reels 2, 3 and 4 are especially important during the awaited bonus round as the wild and scatter only crop up in the positions mentioned in the place of those special Chinese icons. What’s great is that all these features are at your disposal to try out using the demo described earlier. When I played all three features I found the 12 free games function the most lucrative but that is the safer option of the three. For those up for a gamble, the 8 free games option is your best bet for hitting the jackpot.
In a nutshell, King Panda is a good quality game which plays well and has a regal free spins feature. On the one hand, I liked how as a game it involves the player much more when compared to other online slots, as the player gets to choose between three free spins features once triggered. On the other hand, activating the bonus spins round is about as rare as the rarest member of the bear family. How apt! But when a big win does come your way, it will definitely be a profitable one – as the Chinese proverb goes, you cannot rush or force luck.