Released: October 2016
Software: Pragmatic Play
Free Spins: Yes
Wild symbol: Yes
Scatter symbol: Yes
Coin Values: 0.01 up to 0.50
Jackpot: 10,000 Coins
Journey to the West by Pragmatic is yet another land based slot turned mobile, its grounded counterpart in turn being Pragmatic Play’s take on one of the Four Great Classical Novels of China – the eponymous magnum opus by Wu Cheng’en.
Of course, it’s not essential to be acquainted with the 16th century Chinese literature to either play or appreciate this slot, but if you’re one such individual, or you’d like to know more about the legend of the Monkey King, then more power to you.
Naturally, the icons and soundtrack are all in line with the theme, and there are four major icons that correspond to the protagonists of the story–the monk Xuanzang, the Monkey King himself, the Pig Monk, Zhu Bajie, and last, but not least, Friar Sand, Sha Wujing.
About the slot itself, this is a standard 5-reel slot, with 3 rows and 25 paylines total. The RTP is fair to middling, some 96.47%, and there’s no progressive jackpot. As far as stakes go, the least you can bet is one coin, while the max per line and per spin would be 10 coins. Speaking in real money, given that the coin range varies from 1p to 50p, this means that the stakes can go anywhere from 1p to £5. It’s hardly overwhelming, but it does make sense once you see how the slot plays.
Let’s Walk the Path of Enlightenment
Journey to the West features 16 symbols total, eight regular, four low-paying and four high-paying (the four characters). Here’s the trick – all these symbols have the potential to be stacked. While this doesn’t mean they’ll always fill the whole reel, it’s more likely than not they will. Symbol combinations start paying when you get at least three of any on an active payline, but what you’ll want is landing five.
All the combos count from left to right, in a contiguous line. For Sun Wukong (the Monkey King), payout is 100 times the stake, for Xuanzang (the monk) it’s 50x, 30x for Zhu Bajie (pig monk), and 25x for Sha Wujing (Friar Sand). Sure enough, the combos of various symbols don’t pay much, but they do come more often than you might be used to on other slots. You’ll rarely see a win bigger than 10x your stake, but there will be lots of smaller wins that pretty much amount to the same.
Moving on to special symbols – there are two, scatter and wild. You’ll recognise them by the fact they read “scatter” and “wild”, respectively. If you’ve assumed that the wild may substitute any other symbol except for scatter, give yourself a round of applause. Naturally, the wild also can have combos of its own, and if you manage to land five of these, you may win 400 times your stake.It’s also important to note that, during base game, all the symbols are stacked, save scatter.
Journey to the West also has a bonus round that is triggered by landing three scatters, which gives you 5 freespins. Should you manage to land another three or more scatters during this round, you get another 3 freespins. Before you pass through the door that leads to your freespins, you are given a choice between five symbols that will be your “special symbol”, which essentially gives you different multipliers. To expound – you can choose between the wild and the four character symbols. The wild acts as a 1x multiplier, the Monkey King as 2x, Xuanzang 3x, Pig Monk 4x, and Friar Sand 5x. (Oh, how the tables have turned!)
The Yin and Yang
On a balance, Journey to the West is an interesting slot. It’s certainly different from anything we’re used to, and, frankly, it comes as a breath of fresh air. Both thematically and in terms of gameplay it offers something not necessarily new, but certainly not seen for a while. Yes, the prices on the paytable are somewhat weak, but you do get better hit average than with most other slots, so it sort of evens out.
Finally, a word of warning – if you’re the type of player that likes having wins bigger than 100 times your stake, this definitely isn’t the game for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a more stable gameplay, and have the time to play, you might enjoy taking a journey with this slot. Check out the list of new slot sites for a skin with this game or browse more online slots reviews for a more appealing game!