Every Cliché About Japan in One Online Slot!
Think of Japan and I’m sure that the following list springs to mind: Ninjas, Hello Kitty, Geishas, Bullet Trains, Sushi and Godzilla. Well, every singe one of these (plus Sumo and Pachinko) is crammed into a single slot from Rival Gaming. Add in anime, flip phones and samurai swords, and the vision is complete. The funny thing is, even with every single cliché crammed in, this game is very enjoyable!
Key to the enjoyable base game are the expanding wilds. It is possible to get more than one reel fully wild, which can trigger multiple wins. There is also a free spins bonus game, which has 3x wins, and a pachinko game, which is (strangely) triggered by hitting Sumo wrestler symbols.
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Base Game Setup for the Japan-O-Rama Slot
Japan may be a modern, technical nation – though the setup of this slot is rather retro. There are 20 win-lines and the regular 5-reel, 3 rows on each style reels. Most of the symbols require 3 of a kind to trigger a win, though the samurai swords only need 2. You can select the lines (I recommend sticking with 20, as the expanding wilds are frequent), you can also choose from a wide range of coin sizes and bet up to 10 coins for each line. Auto-play is offered too.
Bullet Trains and Hello Kitty: The Best Winning Symbols
Your biggest wins will come from hitting 5 of the samurai swords on a win-line. These are worth 1000 coins for 5, 200 for 4, 30 for 3 and 5 coins for just 2 from the left. A guy who might well be holding this sword, wearing the head gear of a ninja, is next on the pay table. You’ll get 600 coins for 5 of these symbols. A robot comes next at 400, followed by an anime girl with oversized eyes at 250.
There are no playing card or other filler symbols on this game. This means the Japan icons keep going. There is a bullet train, cassette player (at least I think that is what it is!), a Hello Kitty which is not quite the real one (copyright I assume!), a flip phone and some sushi.
When you win with these symbols, you’ll sometimes see full sized graphics / animations which feature them. An example is the flip phone ringing.
The head of a giant reptile looks innocuous enough on the reels. When this can create wins, it expands. You will then see a city-scape, with the giant monster walking behind them. This becomes a fully wild reel. One will often help to create a lot of wins, if you get 2 or 3, you could be looking at up to 20 wins at the same time. You’ll also hear a roar!
Geisha Free Spins
A geisha, with a traditional hairstyle, can trigger free spins. You need a minimum of 3 on the reels. If you get 3, this is 5 free spins, 4 gets you 10 spins and 5 the maximum 20 free spins. There is no difference in the reels or the game play for this bonus. What you will get is a 3x multiplier on any wins you hit. You can trigger the pachinko bonus or retrigger the free spins while playing.
Sumo / Pachinko Bonus Game
With sumo wrestlers triggering the bonus game, I was expecting something sumo-themed. Instead, the bonus game involves firing small ball bearings into a game where they bounce off pegs. This game is hugely popular in Japan, and is called Pachinko. Here you fire up some balls, which hit wins on their way down the circular play area. It is random, though does make for an entertaining diversion from the main game. On the way back to the reels, the sumo wrestler stamps a foot while your winning total is displayed.
Japan-O-Rama Slot Design
This is one intensive design. The colours, density of the symbols and animations all contribute to the effect. Above the reels the rising sun flag can be seen either side of the angular font of the title. At the sides of the reels, the line numbers are added in Kanji characters as well as regular numbers. Flashing lights are on top of the reels too.
A traditional sounding tune plays between spins. When you win, you’ll hear a modern electronic tune.
The symbols are nicely drawn. One of them bugs me. This is the ‘Hello Kitty’. I get that Rival Gaming did not want a law suit. At the same time the not quite Kitty design is just not quite right!!
The geisha symbol stands out, as does the hilt of the samurai sword. I like the animations for different wins which take up the screen. If you feel that these slow you down, you can always click the spin button to skip them.
Graphics for the pachinko bonus are entertaining, though nothing particularly noteworthy from a slot design perspective.
Should You Board the Bullet Train to Find the Japan-O-Rama Slot?
This is an entertaining enough game, without standing out too much from the 100’s of others in the Rival Gaming slots range. I like the way that no cliché has been skipped. There are some entertaining animations to break up the main game too. Your big wins can come at any time with the Godzilla wilds. If you get these during the free spins, where there is a 3x multiplier on every win – you could be in for some big prizes.
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