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Year Of The Monkey Slots

With 2016 being the year of the monkey, what better way to ensure good fortune over the coming months than taking a spin on a Spinomenal slot machine of the same name?

Featuring five reels, five paylines and a progressive multiplier metre, Year Of The Monkey is a relatively low variance slot that offers a total maximum jackpot of 1,200x your stake per line when the best combination of winning symbols is combined with the highest level of multiplier.

As you’d full expect from a slot featuring just five paylines, the gameplay in Year Of The Monkey is incredibly simple and both the rules and payout table can be condensed onto one screen. Although wild icons and free spin scatter symbols do still feature on the five reels, the slot is so simple that even a chimp could use it – which we suppose is quite fitting given the game’s subject matter!

Monkeying Around

Without taking the multiplier metre into account, the payouts awarded in Year Of The Monkey range from 2x your stake per line for three blossom or fan icons to 80x your stake per line for matching a water elemental monkey on all five reels. With spins starting at just $0.01 per line and ranging up to $10, that means a maximum cash prize of £800 per winning payline is on offer without any bonuses.

This in itself is pretty good, but when you consider wild symbols can also be used to create several winning paylines each spin and feature on all five reels, it’s easy to see how big combination payouts can quickly be built – especially during free spins, where even more money is usually up for grabs.

True, the game only features five paylines, so big wins are generally harder to come by, but remember every time you aren’t awarded a payout you instead build your multiplier metre, which ultimately boosts your winnings the next time you’re successful and significantly reduces variance.

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Year Of The Monkey

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King Of The Swingers

As the name would suggest, the theme of Year Of The Monkey centres on the astrological symbol of the monkey on the Chinese Zodiac much like the Year of Luck slot. Monkeys representing the five traditional elements of gold, water, fire, earth and wood all denote the slot’s higher value symbols, while other icons associated with the Chinese new year and future prosperity such as lanterns, dragons and Buddhas also feature.

Each symbol on the reels has been lovingly designed, with the five different types of monkey all managing to convey a unique personality. Beyond the artwork, however, there is little in the way of additional animation featured in the game, with nothing but a flashing border around symbols and a simple line being used to illustrate wins and nothing whatsoever to mark the arrival of a huge win.

The background music, at least, is reasonably funky, but with no additional tracks provided during the free spins bonus or any big winning sessions, it all gets a little bit repetitive relatively quickly.

Time To Go Ape

While we’ve already mentioned the various prize payouts on offer in Year Of The Monkey, one of the most important features of the game is the multiplier metre, which builds up with every non-winning spin. Divided into nine sections, the metre awards a new prize multiplier whenever three sections have been lit up, with a 3x, 5x and even 15x winnings boost available to spice things up.

When you finally do land a winning spin, your successful payline will be calculated in the usual way and then multiplied by the current level of your metre, with the metre then resetting to zero as the process begins again. This feature can be particularly useful when combined with the free spins earned for matching scatter symbols, as it allows you to build your multiplier without risking a cent.

Beyond that, there’s really not much more to Year Of The Monkey. Wild fire elemental monkeys can be substituted for any other symbol apart from the scatter symbol, while the more golden monkey scatter symbols you find, the more free spins you’ll win up to a maximum number of 12.

Chimp Or Chump?

Year Of The Monkey is another well-designed slot from Spinomenal that is simple and easy to play, but again it lacks the imagination to really distinguish itself from the rest of their catalogue. Presumably designed to appeal to superstitious gamblers who consider the year of the monkey lucky, it feels as though not much effort went into planning the slot before it was hurriedly released as a new game.

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