Released: January, 2019
The flavours of the orient are abound in the latest PariPlay Limited release. Launched early 2019, the brand’s new online slot machine explores the tale of a novel originally penned in the 16th century. Xi You Ji, titled Journey to the West in its English format, is all about the travels of a buddhist monk, with the 25 winlines of the slot acting as a means of retelling this story to a new generation.
Rich in texture, the game is a solid example of the graphics PariPlay has come to be recognised for: bold, deep colours and crisp imagery, founded upon traditional slot machine dynamics. Due to the brand’s traditionalism, in that the game remains 2D and has an almost retro undercurrent, the lack of immersive animation helps to give the game more character. It’s better suited to the age of the story being retold.
As previously stated, the aesthetics never fully immerse you into the culture of this novel-come-slot, and so there’s a clear divide between the images that bring in large wins and the ones that don’t. The 12 symbols of the paytable are made up of five lower value icons and seven high value ones; nearly all of the high value tiles are based on the characters of the novel, save the fan icon.
The reason for its obvious contrast in design is that the fan acts as the wild symbol, an icon that is capable of sticking to the reels of the game. The scroll symbol, which isn’t shown alongside its fellow high value icons, is the way of accessing the main bonus game of Xi You Ji: The Sacred Journey.
Control wise, Xi You Ji is the same as most medium to high variance pokies – the reels roll to bring about a new set of icons, with a match of three, four or five of a kind securing you a payout. The payout varies depending on which symbols are grouped together. However, unlike with some games, this PariPlay slot has an active progressive jackpot to go alongside the standard gameplay.
Inside the game, there are six bonus rounds to trigger, some of which generate instant prizes, while others features unlock further rounds of in-bonus gameplay; all of these will be discussed in our next section. To open up the possibilities of this Xi You Ji world, you need to make a bet priced between 0.25 and 12.50 credits, a more than reasonable betting range that accommodates most gamers.
There’s a lot of bonus features to get through, should you be lucky enough to activate them all. To begin your journey, you need to start collecting light for your lanterns – these adorn the left hand side of the grid, and will only be lit every time you make a win. If you fail to light them, no other bonuses can be accessed.
One of the first bonuses the Lantern Bonus can yield is sticky wilds, where three fans become stuck upon the reels for up to five spins. After that, the lanterns can ramp up the action with a serious of free spins, up to as many as 20 free games, depending on how lucky you are. In addition to this, an instant multiplier of x12 can be applied once the lanterns have been lit, as can a trip to the Jackpot Wheel. All five lanterns need to be alight to do this.
Lastly, we have The Sacred Journey, a mini game where you have to navigate the dangers of a stone grid. This bonus is different in that it’s activated by the scroll icon we mentioned earlier, and that it can award a multiplier of x1,000 if you’re successful. The aim of the round is to collect the disciples of the temple, illustrated in the upper left hand corner of the grid.
In regards to payouts, the most you can win depends on the level of jackpot you aim for. There’s five tiers of money, with the Grand Jackpot the biggest of the returns; at the time of playing, the total amount was over 12,000 credits.
As for the standard paytable, the most you can earn from a five of a kind win is 500 credits, coming from the wild symbol, the fan. Xi You Ji isn’t a big money slot unless you take the plunge and go all in with your stake.
We love the tapestry that this slot machine weaves. Xi You Ji has a wonderful array of bonus features, yet it never overwhelms you. However, be warned that there’s some medium to high volatility to overcome if you’re to be the ultimate explorer of this ancient slot machine.