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Panda King Pokie Machine

As everyone knows, the Panda is a black and white bear that has been adopted as the national animal of China. Although they are very slow and not very good at breeding, the Panda is king of the bamboo forest and now the star of a pokie from the Ainsworth company of Australia, who have decorated the 5 reels of this game with lots of traditional Chinese images.

They have also blessed it with a free games feature where players get to pick the number of spins they want and how many extra wild symbols they would like to see added to the reels throughout them, plus there’s scatter wins and multipliers that should help to boost the frequency of winning spins and make this a successful pokie.

Playing Panda King

Ainsworth have developed this game with their usual attention to detail and the whole panda theme extends beyond the symbols and into the bamboo forest that serves as a backdrop to the reels, as well as to the bamboo framing that surrounds them. All the symbols are presented in sharp images, while the animations of the reels is very smooth and the sound effects add to the realistic effect.

Below the main part of the game is the same style of control panel used across the Ainsworth range, with players able to stake just 0.01 on a spin, or activate all 20 lines for a minimum stake of 0.20 and maximum of 2,000.00. It’s simple, easy to use and there’s an Autoplay option that sets the game off for a set number of spins, stopping at selected win or loss limits.

Landing 3 or more of the same symbol across an active payline running left to right is enough for a win, with the smaller prizes coming when the 9, 10, J, Q, K and A playing card symbols appear. The 9, 10 and J are the least valuable of all, each worth 5x, 15x or 50x the line bet when 3, 4 or 5 land across one.

The unique picture symbols that set the theme are all worth more, although quite how unique they are is questionable, as many games carry exactly the same images, with gold ingots, lotus flowers and lucky coins being nothing new.

But they still look nice, so it’s not really an issue, plus there’s a waterfall and a pergola that are a little less common. That waterfall is the highest value standard symbol, with 2, 3, 4 or 5 across a line being worth 2x, 15x, 75x or 100x the line bet.

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Panda King

Panda King
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Bonus Features

The cute panda makes a couple of appearances in this pokie, with a small image above the Spin button, while it’s also the games’ wild symbol, replacing all but the scatter symbol if it’s then possible to complete a winning combination.

The scatter is a yin yang image and when 3, 4 or 5 of these appear in any positions at once, players will win 3x, 8x or 100x their total stake. It will then trigger a free spins round with extra wilds added to the reels to make them potentially more valuable, but before they start players will need to select 1 of 3 options.

They could choose 12 free games, with the wild replacing the waterfall, lucky coin and pergola symbols, on reels 2, 3 and 4, or the second option is to have 10 spins with these and the flower replaced by the wild.

The third option is for just 8 spins, but the ingot is also replaced by the wild. These are not the only extras in the free spins however, as the fortune symbol making a 5 of a kind win in combination with the wilds will see the prize multiplied by 2x or 3x, while getting the scatter in any 3 or more places at once will re-trigger the free games.

The Verdict

Any pokie that follows an Asian theme is going to be successful and Ainsworth are aiming for the widest possible audience with this one by having lots of classic symbols in play. It means that this isn’t the most original game ever, but that’s not the point and Panda King should be judged on how it works rather than seen as just another Asian styled pokie.

The basic gameplay should see lots of winning combinations fall into place, but the real highlight of this game is the free spins round and the fact that players have some choice over how they work. Choosing more spins with reduced chances for a win, or fewer spins but better odds is just personal preference, although the variance isn’t massive and overall, players should get similar returns.

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