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For those of you who don’t know, Pamplona is that Spanish city where the ‘running of the bulls’ festival takes place every June. Basically, they release some very annoyed bulls to run through the streets alongside whatever bunch of crazy Spaniards and tourists wish to take part. Sounds dangerous? It is. Around 250 people get injured every year.
So, that’s the theme of IGT’s Pamplona slot. Bulls, matadors, flowers, capes – it’s all here. It’s a good idea for a slot machine – that whole risk/reward/adrenaline thing translates nicely into for money games play.
However, let’s get to the heart of this review as quickly as possible. I’ve got a bunch of review notes from the other Slots Universe reviewers that say – in essence – they could never afford to play this game for real money. The reason? Pamplona is a fixed line game, where you have to play 50 coins. That wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the minimum coin size wasn’t 1.0. That means you will be betting at least £/€50 per spin. Unless you have the bankroll to back it up, that’s a huge amount of money.
Updated: In real money mode, it appears the minimum per coin bet is 0.50. That still means the minimum bet is a whopping £/€25!
Additionally, the paytable says the return to player is between 92.89% and 96.03%. Frankly, if we hadn’t felt obliged to review the game, there is simply no way any of us would have played Pamplona.
That’s a shame as IGT have built in plenty of great features to the slot. This is one of their MultiWay XTra games. Essentially, this means that there is a multiplier for any win where the same symbols that made up the win appear on a reel above or below the winning icons.
Other goodies in the main game include the appearance of the Matador wild symbol. If that forms part of a win, your win is doubled.
As well as all that, Pamplona offers a choose your own bonus feature. Three of more ‘El Toro’ symbols trigger this. You can then select spins and a multiplier: from 5 free spins with a maximum 20x multiplier up to 30 free spin with a 3x multiplier.
Again, this is a double-edged sword. The ‘headline’ multiplier for each of the bonuses you choose is the maximum you can get. You could get only a 1x multiplier. For me, this means I’m going to take the 20 or 30 free spins every time. Why opt for 5 free spins with a maximum 30x multiplier when you could end up with 5 free spins and a 1x multiplier? We wouldn’t and you shouldn’t either.
Of course, IGT know exactly what they’re doing. The prospect of some huge wins is what keeps players spinning those reels. And, yes, the wins – when they come – are pretty impressive. Indeed, the free spins round can itself be re-triggered up to three times, so there’s a good chance of really racking up the coins during the free spins rounds.
IGT claim that Pamplona offers 1024 ways to win and I don’t disbelieve them, especially when the paytable reveals that the maximum win is capped at 25,000,000 coins. Yup, you did read that right.
As a slot, Pamplona has everything going for it, but the minimum coin size of £/€0.50 just makes it far too expensive. Unless of course you are a high roller or have amassed a huge bankroll. When testing, we did hit some impressive wins, but the money went and went fast. One for the gambler who has his or her own Yacht, we think.
Game Information: 5 Reel, 1024 Win Line Slot Machine.
Scatter Symbol: El Toro symbol. Three or more El Toro symbols also trigger the bonus round.
Wild Symbol: Matador. The Matador symbol appears on reels 2,3,4 and 5. It substitutes for all but scattered El Toro symbols. A winning line including the Matador symbol has a 2x multiplier.
MultiWay XTra This is unique to IGT slots. One hitting a winning line, you receive an additional multiplier if that same winning symbol appears on the same reel.
El Toro Bonus: Choose between 5 free spins and a random multiplier up to 5x; 10 free spins with a multiplier up to 10x; 15 free spins with up to 10x multiplier; 20 free spins with a maximum 5x multiplier or 30 free spins with a multiplier up to 3x.
Coin Sizes: 0.50 to 20.00. All 50 lines are fixed and must be played.
Maximum Win: 25,000,000 coins.