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Pamplona Pokies

Named after a city in northern in Spain, the Pamplona Poker game is themed around the Sam Fermin festival which has made the place famous. In early July, a daily running of the bulls takes place through the city streets and this highly publicised, and ridiculously dangerous event that’s popular with those who think that being killed by a bull is fun,is brought to life across a 5 reel pokiewith 1,024 fixed paylines and a couple of nice bonus features.

Rather than trampled tourists, this game focuses on the action in a bull fighting ring and we’ll gloss over the morals of this so-called sport and instead take a look at how the game plays out. The huge arena sits behind the reels, which are in turn surrounded by a fancy gold frame, with the usual control buttons at the bottom.

This pokie uses IGT’s popular Multiway Xtra system which dispenses with regular paylines and instead creates a win with 3 or more matching symbols running on adjacent reels from the left side. It doesn’t matter where on the individual reels these symbols sit, and if more than 1 example of the same is on any reel, the prize is multiplied.

Playing Pamplona

The playing card symbols 9, 10, J, Q, K and A are all here, as they are on many games, and while some people like to see everything related to the theme, in this case, it’s possibly best that they aren’t. The 4 lower value card symbols are each worth 5, 10 or 100 coins when landing on 3, 4 or 5 reels, with the K and A only differing with lines of 4 being worth 20 coins.

Symbols of flowers and an elaborate fan will each be worth 20, 50 or 150 coins, then there’s another bunch of flowers that’s valued at 25, 75 or 250 coins, which is the same amount that will be won by landing a picture of swords and the red cape across 3, 4 or 5 reels at once.

An angry looking bull, (and who can blame him), stares out from the reels and tops the table, with only 2 on reels 1 and 2 needed to win 10 coins, and 3, 4 or 5 returns 50, 200 or 500 coins to the players.

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Bonus Features

The matador is a wild symbol, so whenever possible, he will substitute for others and complete winning lines, doubling the base win when he does so, although as he won’t appear on reel 1 on the left side, he can’t create lines on his own.

The only symbol the wild won’t substitute for is the side-on bull and when this creature stops in any 3 positions at once, the El Toro bonus round is triggered. This is a free spins game, but players get to pick how it plays out, with different combinations of the number of spins and any win multipliers that will awarded throughout them.Before the spins begin, a couple of things happen, firstly, there’s a scatter payout of 100, 200 or 500 coins depending on how many bull symbols landed, then players are shown the 5 options displayed on colourful banners, and need to select one of them.

They can have just 5 free spins, where any wins can be multiplied by up to 20x, 10 spins with a maximum multiplier of 15x, 15 free games and a potential for a 10x multiplier, 20 spins where up to 5x is applied to any wins, or lastly, 30 free games and any wins multiplied by a maximum of 3x. It’s important to note that these are maximums, not necessarily the actual win multipliers that will occur, and it’s quite possible that none at all will be applied. Landing 3 or more El Toro bonus symbols during the free spins will retrigger the round and it’s possible for this to happen a maximum of three times, re-setting the spins and multipliers at each stage.

The Verdict

Putting aside the subject matter for a moment, this is a pokie with a couple of interesting features and the potential for some big wins, that’s let down in a number of important areas. The Multiway Xtra layout makes standard gameplay quite interesting, and wild substitutions can result in additional winning spins at any time.

But it’s in the free spins where Pamplona struggles, as the reels are standard throughout and there’s no guarantee that anything at all will be won. Any players who decides to have just a few spins in the hope of getting a big multiplier are going to be seeing red if they don’t get anything like the maximum, and with as few as 5 spins available in which to land them, it’s a risky strategy.

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