We’re heading way out East today to check out a pair of brand-new slots, which as far as we’re concerned are both worthy of your time!
First up, we have the people at Quickspin to thank for working their magic on Sakura Fortune, which takes the usual five-reel approach with four rows and 40 paylines. The game can be played across mobile devices and desktop platforms alike, with spins starting out at 20p and going up to a maximum of £80 each. As you’ve no doubt already figured out, Sakura Fortune has a Japanese theme and spices up the action nicely with three special features/bonuses.
You only need to glance at Sakura Fortune to see why the developers behind it have earned such kudos. It looks gorgeous from top to bottom, with the action taking place in some far-off fantastical world of fantasy, where evil emperors face off against a beautiful princess with a backdrop of blossom trees and the odd dragon thrown in for good measure. Along with the princess, other symbols include gold coins, dragons and the nasty emperors that need to be vanquished to take home the top prizes.
The base game itself is relatively simple and doesn’t bring anything ground-breaking to the table. That said, it’s hugely enjoyable and both the visuals and the soundtrack will keep you entertained for a good while at least. But with a trio of bonus features to play for, you’ll always be tempted to have just one more spin, to see if your luck’s in!
The first of these is the Sakura Fortune Respin feature, which is triggered upon landing the Princess wild symbol in the form of two full stacks during normal play. When this happens, you’ll be granted a number of respins in accordance with how many wilds there were on screen when the feature was triggered. The spins continue until no more wilds land on the reels.
Then there’s the all-important Free Spins feature, for which you’ll need to land at least three scatter symbols in any positions on the board. You’ll be granted five free spins to play with, which might not seem like much, but at the same time any Princess wilds that are on the board at the time will expand to cover the whole reel. These then hold in place for the duration of the feature, while also handing out an extra free spin as a bonus!
Last of the three is the Mystery Nudge feature, for which you’ll need to land at least two of the Princess wild symbols in any positions during normal play. When this happens, the reels will be nudged and you may end up with a full stack, which could in turn send you straight into the Sakura Fortune Respin feature mentioned above.
The charm of Sakura Fortune comes in the fact that it is both gorgeously presented and highly volatile. Big wins don’t come often, but there’s the potential to take home up to 1,087X your bet with every spin…if you are lucky enough. And of course, the prospect of lining up five locked wild reels in a row is also more than a little appealing!
Also taking place in a distant East Asian setting is the second in our list today, Matsuri. This time around, Play ‘N Go put their name to this hugely popular online slot, which like its neighbour above can be played across most mobile devices and desktop platforms alike. Spins cater to all pockets, starting out at 25p and going up to £100 for bigger spenders.
As would be expected with the developers’ track record, Matsuri looks absolutely great and even the base game is a delight to spend time with. It has an air of excitement about it from the word go, with something of a summer festival feel and a whole bunch of familiar symbols – many of which take the form of various foods. The wild symbol appears in the form of a lamp and can be used to take the place of any other symbol in the game, apart from the scatter. It can be landed on every one of the reels and is worth a prize of up to 1,000 coins if you line up five in a row.
The Kingyo Sukui Bonus feature is particularly interesting, which can be triggered by landing three of the goldfish scatter symbols on reels two, three and four. When this happens, you’ll be given the opportunity to scoop up a bunch of goldfish using a paper spoon – each of which pays out an instant cash prize.
But as is the case with so many, it’s the free spins feature that makes Matsuri the kind of slot you are guaranteed to have a ball with. You’ll need to land three scatter symbols on the first, third and fifth reels at the same time, which will reward you with eight free spins. If you land a scatter during the free spins, you will be given another two to play with – the maximum being 20 free spins available.
If any wilds show up, they will expand into a single large banner and take over the whole reel. The expanded wild then moves to the left one reel at a time with each spin, until it reaches the end and vanishes. As it’s possible to score three or more fully wild reels at the same time, possible wins during the free spins round can be enormous!
Once again, Matsuri is an extremely volatile slot and generally isn’t prone to paying out particularly often. Nevertheless, the base game is enjoyable, the bonus rounds are great and it’s perfectly possible to win a massive 3,000 X your bet during the free spins round…with every spin!