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Masques Of San Marco Pokies

The famous Venetian masked ball is the setting for IGT’s Masques of San Marco pokie, and it’s a highly distinctive game, with unique features that go from the interesting theme, to the 5 x 6 layout of the symbols that drop into place with any winning spin. Along with wild substitutions, symbols that can create multiple wins in a single spin, and a richer free spins round, this stylish game could have players dancing the night away as they get win after win across these colourful reels.

Originally popular in the 15th Century, masked balls have made something of a comeback in the last 20 years or so, although with less emphasis on the formal dancing and more on the business of getting drunk and pulling a member of the opposite sex, but times change and as long as everyone’s having fun, where’s the problem?

Playing Masques Of San Marco

San Marco translates as St. Marks, and that’s the famous square in the middle of Venice where the annual masked balls used to take place, and once again, they are become more popular. There’s an atmospheric picture of the city, complete with a gondola on the canals and a setting sun behind the reels and surrounding the main part of the game is an elaborate set of columns and a mask, all in typical Venetian style. It all looks very appealing and even the control buttons are given that renaissance touch. What’s immediately obvious is that symbols are 6 high, across 2 sets of 5 x 3 reels in what’s called by IGT a Dual Play format. Players can set their stakes from 0.40 to 500.00 per spin, so the upper end should be enough for the high rollers, although players on tiny budgets may be put off by a relatively high entry point to this game.

Symbols are all in keeping with the theme and include a star, moon, sun, 3 party-goes in green, blue and red outfits, plus a white mask that makes up the game logo. Landing any 2, 3, 4 or 5 of the same type of symbol across any of the 40 paylines will result in a win, provided that the line of symbols starts on the left side and is on consecutive reels. Wins for these standard symbols range from 6, 20 or 80 times the per line bet with the star, through to 100, 500 or 5000 for the game logo.

Other symbols include the Wild, which will act as any of the above to create winning combinations,and a bonus symbols that starts a free spins game.

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Masques Of San Marco

Masques Of San Marco
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Freefall Symbols

Anytime a symbol becomes part of a winning combination, it will disappear in a little shower of celebratory fireworks, allowing any symbols above to fall down and fill in the empty spaces, while new symbols will drop onto the reels from above. Different games developers have different names for this system, and IGT have chosen to call it a Freefall Symbols feature.

It means that new winning lines can be created from the re-arranged mix and the process will then repeat itself on and on until a non-winning combination is on the reels. In theory, this can go on for ever, but getting 2 or 3 wins out of a single spin this way is perfectly possible.

Free Spins Bonus

The colourful Bonus symbol can trigger 6 free spins when it lands on reels 1, 2 and 3 at once, and although not many spins are initially awarded, there are extra Bonuses on the reels throughout them and it’s possible to retrigger the round to a maximum of 300 games. Of course, the Freefall Symbols are still in effect, so the actual number of potential wins can be well in excess of 6. There’s also 60 lines in play, rather than 40, so it’s easier to win something and as these are free games, the extra lines won’t cost a penny.

The Verdict

This is a very stylish pokie that looks quite unusual, covers an interesting topic, and has some impressive features. The theme may be uncommon, but Venetian masked balls lend themselves to plenty of colourful images and the whole game comes across as being classy and sophisticated.

With the way reels are stacked with a total of 6 symbols each and the Freefall Symbols Feature, and even in the normal run of play, there’s the potential for lots of wins in a single spin, especially if more than a single winning line is made.

Players shouldn’t be put off by the relative scarcity of free spins, as 6 of them can be more than enough to land some decent winning lines and the wild symbol can boost the spin to win ratio even further.

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