Matsuri slot review (Play’n GO)
Oriental slots were all the craze in 2017, with new Chinese- or Japanese-themed slots launched weekly
Both Chinese and Japanese people are quite fond of gambling, so the connection is not far-fetched.
Play’n GO could not stay behind and released the Matsuri slot. Matsuri is a famous Japanese festival where a lot of people celebrate with fireworks and good food. A kind of St. Patrick’s Day, but a bit posher with Sake instead of beer and Sushi instead of fries. And quiet music… Well, actually, it is nothing like St. Patrick’s Day at all.
Anyway, we’re getting off-topic.
The Matsuri slot has 25 fixed paylines and 5 reels. The theoretical payout rate is a bit disappointing: only 96,17%. Lately, we’ve seen a downward trend in online slot payout percentages (except for Netent slots).
Let’s hope this is only temporary. Or have we been spoiled too much in recent years with slots going up to 97% rather than 96%?
The slot’s variance is medium. It’s not easy to score large payouts in the base game, but Matsuri can be very rewarding, especially in the free spins bonus.
Matsuri gameplay & features
Because of the fixed number of 25 paylines, you play with fixed bets per spin. The minimum bet is $€ 0.25, and the maximum bet is a hefty $€ 100 per spin. The symbols consist of a somewhat strange mix of festive delicacies, playful young ladies and various classic Japanese attributes such as hand fans and lanterns (the wilds).
The base game prizes are on the low side – it takes patience and persistence before winning one of the bonus rounds.
The Matsuri bonuses
Matsuri has two different bonus features. The free spins bonus undoubtedly has the most potential on average.
Kingyo Sukui Bonus: Win up to 500 x your bet.
If three scattered Koi Carps appear on reels 2, 3 and 4, the Kingyo Sukui Bonus is activated. You will be taken to a serene pond with 5 Koi Carps swimming around. Your task is to catch these carps without breaking the net. Each carp caught will earn you a sweet cash prize. As soon as the net breaks, the bonus round is over.
This bonus can reward you up to 500 x your bet, although you will rather win around 10 x – 20 x your stake in most cases. Our record? 50 x the bet.
Matsuri Festival Bonus: free spins with expanding wilds
Three scattered Festival Masks will activate the free spins bonus – fasten your seatbelt! You start with 8 free spins, and each mask that hits the reels during the bonus awards you two extra free spins, with a maximum of 20.
During the free spins, wilds will expand across the entire reel and remain there as long as the wilds are on the screen. After each turn, they move one position to the left, but sometimes new wilds drop on the reels, and so you keep winning. It looks a bit like the wild harps in the Jack and the Beanstalk bonus.
We really enjoy this free spins bonus: it’s exciting and full of potential super big wins. What’s not to love?
Our verdict on the Matsuri slot
We think the theme is a bit of a mishmash, and the base game seldom yields a big payout.
Nonetheless, we find Matsuri a fine Play’n GO slot. And that’s thanks to the cool free spins bonus, which allows all your frustration to melt away at once.
The score? 3.4 stars out of 5
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