I'm guessing that unless you are well versed in Chinese fables and folk stories, then you may not have heard about Sun Wukong. Apparently, he was a statue of a money who developed supernatural abilities and who came alive to become a fearsome monkey warrior and one of the most popular characters in Chinese legend.
He had the ability to leap thousands of miles in one somersault, possess superhuman strength and could also transform into a variety of animals and other objects. His hairs could produce clones of himself, or even be used to make weapons, turn into other animals or be used to create objects. Oh and he knew magic to command wind and part the waters as well as the ability to freeze pretty much anybody he liked.
All in all, Sun Wukong sounds like a pretty amazing character and it is perhaps not too surprising then that he now has his own slot game dedicated to his fantastical travels and tribulations. Pragmatic Play's Monkey Warrior slot offers some great value gaming from 0.25 to 125 per spin on what is a 5-reel, 243-ways to win slot that also boasts four different jackpot prizes.
Where can I play the Monkey Warrior slot?
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The presentation on the Monkey Warrior slot is somewhat standard for an Asian themed slot with the reels set against the backdrop of a rather picturesque Oriental garden, with cherry blossom blowing from the trees. The musical accompaniment is also very much in keeping with this eastern theme and without wanting to sound too harsh, it is pretty much the standard template that you get for any of the myriad of Chinese/Asian themed slots available nowadays.
The five reels are located in the center of the screen and the controls are at the foot of them. The four different jackpots, Mini, Minor, Major and Grand are all at the top of the reels and their values are based on their multiplier and the size of the bet you are making on each spin.
All in all, there's nothing to dislike about how the Monkey Warrior slot looks or plays, but it is also not the most original way to approach a Chinese legend-themed slot.
What's on the reels?
There are just a total of eight standard symbols on the reels in the Monkey Warrior slot. Three of these are the playing card low symbols, the Queen, King and Ace and another low symbol is what looks like a vial of green liquid, which we assume is some kind of magic potion. These symbols all offer wins from 0.4x your bet up to 2x your bet for five across a pay line.
The higher value symbols begin with a scroll and then include the three character symbols, there is the green man, the purple pug and lastly the blue emperor figure. Wins with these symbols range from 0.8x your bet up to 20x your bet for five of the emperor symbols.
Of course, with so few symbols on the reels, the symbols are not stacked but you can win across multiple lines with different symbols on the same spin and it is through this that you will land some of the better value wins in the base game.
There are a trio of other symbols on the reels in the base game that are directly linked in with the three main bonus features of the slot.
The Monkey Warrior himself is the Wild symbol in the game and it can be used as a substitute symbol only. It substitutes for any of the standard symbols outlined above, but it does not offer any wins for landing the Wild symbol itself across the reels, other than when it is used in conjunction with other symbols.
The Wild symbol is very useful in the base game as it can be used to land some of the better value wins, but it does not trigger quite as often as you get in some other slots.
Free Spins features
The Free Spins bonus round is triggered when you land three or more of the Bonus symbols anywhere across the middle three reels during a standard spin. When you do you are taken to a new set of reels and the Free Spin round begins.
You receive 8 Free Spins for the bonus round and during the Free Spins feature only the four higher value symbols, the Scatter and the Money symbol (more of which we have in the section below) are shown on the reels. This of course increases your chances of landing a bigger value win, although the lack of a Wild symbol in this bonus round doesn't help. However the fact that symbols are stacked in the Free Spins round means that you can win across multiple lines more easily.
If you can land three or more of the Bonus symbols during the Free Spins round then you can re-trigger an additional eight Free Spins and you can do this an unlimited number of times. You can also trigger the Money Symbol bonus from within Free Spins, as well as the base game.
Other bonus features
The other main bonus feature of the slot is the Money Symbol bonus. On the reels during the base game and Free Spins are the Money Symbols, each of which has a random value of cash ascribed to it based on your total bet, as well as a figure taken from either the Mini, Minor, Major or Grand jackpots.
If you can hit six or more of the Money Symbols across the reels on any spin then you trigger the Money Re-spin feature after all the wins from the slot have been paid.
When this is triggered the reels will change once again and all the other symbols other than the Money Symbols will disappear. You then start with 5 Re-spins and on each re-spin, you could possibly add further Money Symbols to those already landed on the reels.
How many re-spins you get is decided by a randomly triggered bonus game where you get to select a chest after your re-spins. The chest will award you either 1, 2 or 3 additional re-spins. You then play through these additional re-spins until either you run out of re-spins, or you have filled the reels with the Money symbol.
If you manage to land one of the Jackpot values on the reels, then you will win that jackpot prize alongside your other cash wins. Furthermore, if you manage to cover all 15 positions on the reels with Money Symbols then your total win is subject to a 2x multiplier.
Best feature of the Monkey Warrior slot
Although it is difficult to trigger and perhaps more difficult that it should be, the Money Bonus game is the best feature of the Monkey Warrior slot. The fact that the Money Symbols are stacked on the reels does help in trying to trigger the bonus but it is still very tricky to get the six you need on the reels. However, when you do trigger the game, you can win some sizeable prizes.
What does the Monkey Warrior slot lack?
For me, the Monkey Warrior slot is just a little to punitive at times. You can spin for a long time before you access a bonus and sometimes the wins that you land on the bonus game are not particularly high. The wins even in the bonus features tend to vary in size greatly and in a mid to high variance game, you feel like you will struggle to get a decent payoff even if you hit the major bonus features. As such, the slot doesn't feel as rewarding as it should.
The Monkey Warrior slot is a very decent game and it has some nice features. The Money Bonus round is particularly good and tends to offer better value wins than compared to the Free Spins bonus which is a little more variable in the size of the wins. The base game is nice enough but doesn't really have the wow-factor that the very best games have. I think slots that like mid-variance games with some interesting bonuses will be intrigued by what this slot offers but others may be a little frustrated by how the game plays out, especially in the base game which does tend to drag a little.
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