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As someone who plays a lot of different slots as part of my work each week, I’ve experienced the vagaries of machines and variance at work. Usually this means lots of losing spins and seeing my cash reserves dwindle down. Occasionally though, you hit a slot that seems to want to throw money at you, and the Piggy Riches slot from NetEnt was my most recent example of that.
Of course, that is not to say everyone will suddenly have the luck that I was fortunate enough to have when playing the game, which is why I always play these games several times to find out (and sure enough on subsequent plays, things were much tougher), but it is fair to say that there’s lots to enjoy about this unusually themed slot. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what Piggy Riches has to offer.
Overview: Piggy Riches
Piggy Riches is a slot which combines porcine characters, male and female, alongside extraordinary wealth. There’s plenty of nice touches on the slot, including the Piggy Pig car key fob, a direct imitation of Rolls Royce, and the game is imbued with little touches of humor and character. I particularly like the little “oink” you hear when you land a Scatter symbol on the reels.
This is a somewhat standard 5×3 reel slot with 15 paylines in play on every spin. Your wager size is controlled by altering the amount of the Coin Value (from $0.01 to $0.25) and the Level (from 1 to 10) which means you can play for a minimum of $0.15 or a maximum bet of $37.50 which definitely puts this slot on the mid to lower stakes end of the spectrum. There’s also a very enticing jackpot of up to 360,000 coins available to be won.
Who will the Piggy Riches slot appeal to?
The Piggy Riches slot is a game that will certainly appeal to most players, especially those that like to play for mid to lower stakes. Higher rollers won’t find too much to entice them here but jackpot hunters certainly will, with a fabulous 360,000-coin jackpot up for grabs, which when played at $0.25 per coin can translate into a significant amount of cash.
In terms of the slot features, the slot does boast a clever free spin round which will certainly draw in players that enjoy this particular feature. The theme of wealth mixed in with pigs is perhaps a little off putting on paper, but when you see the slot you’ll actually enjoy how NetEnt have managed to imbue the game with some lovely humorous touches.
Gameplay: Piggy Riches
When you load up the Piggy Riches slot, the first thing you will notice is that the slot is pretty much a standard NetEnt game. By that we mean the console will be familiar to players of NetEnt slots with the usual Level and Coin Value buttons used to control your wager size, an Auto Play and Max Bet button either side of the spin button and the main reels sat above the controls.
The theme of the slot is wealthy and in particular, wealthy piggies, and alongside the usual playing card low symbols (10 through to Ace) there are five other symbols on the reels offering higher value wins. These are a piggy bank stuffed with cash, a purse brimming with money, the Piggy Pig luxury car key, a gold credit card, and the highest value symbol, the bags of gold coins and jewels. These offers a payout of 2,000 coins if you can hit five on a payline but they also offer a payout if you land just two on a payline (and they are the only symbols to do this).
The backdrop for the slots is a very large gated mansion, which again fits in with the theme but it is quite difficult to make out behind the reels as they are somewhat opaque.
Once you have selected how much to play for you can get the reels spinning and what you will find is a game that offers a higher degree of variance than usual. What this means is that you can play it in one session and win very little and see your bank balance take a bit of a pounding, however in another session, you can hit some big money wins.
The base game is pretty standard fair with the high and low symbols listed above accompanied on the reels by the usual two Bonus features. The first of these is the Wild symbol, which in this game is the male pig. This substitutes for any of the high or low value symbols to create winning paylines across the reels and can be landed on several reels during a spin to increase the value of a win considerably. It can also pay out across several paylines.
The second symbol is the female pig Scatter symbol and this serves two functions. Firstly, two or more on the reels will earn you a cash prize of between 2 coins and 100 coins (depending on the number of scatters landed). However, if you land three or more of the scatters, then you also win some free spins in addition to your cash prize.
When the free spins round kicks in you are given a choice of how to take the bonus, you can select from three options, hidden behind the scatters. These include a number of free spins and a multiplier and the general rule of thumb is the more free spins you opt to take, the smaller the multiplier is and vice versa.
Once this bonus kicks in, you are then also awarded one additional free spin for every scatter symbol you land on the reels and this can really extend the free spins round beyond the initial number of spins. It is the free spins round that does offer the largest value wins in the game.
Special features: Piggy Riches
The male pig symbol is the in-game Wild and he serves a very simple function in that he replaces high and low value symbols to help create winning paylines during the base game and also during the free spins bonus round.
Land three or more of the female pig Scatters to launch a Free Spins bonus round where you get to select from three options a number of spins and a multiplier. Once you do this, the round will begin. The greater the number of spins you select, the smaller the multiplier, or you can opt for fewer spins and a larger multiplier.
Additional Free Spins
During Free Spins, for every scatter symbol that you land across the reel, then you will receive one additional free spin. This is a feature which can and does trigger relatively frequently which does boost the length of the free spins round considerably.
I suppose the link between pigs and wealth comes from Piggy Banks, but oddly enough, the combination of fabulous wealth and piggies does work rather well. It is simple enough for anyone to follow and the little touches of humor throughout the slot do add to the overall playing experience.
Mix of wins in base game
Although this is a higher variance slot, you do still hit some runs of decent wins in the base game and what is pleasing is that not all wins are very small amounts with a decent percentage of the base game wins offering players a very decent return on their initial bet.
Free Spins & extra Free Spins
The Free Spins game is well done. It is nice to have a choice of spins and multipliers, meaning you can pick which option you prefer, rather than being forced into having a stated number of spins and a stated multiplier. The additional free spins during the bonus round by landing a scatter is a fabulous feature and really improves the bonus round considerably.
This may not necessarily be a negative for some players who much prefer higher volatility games, but if you prefer more regular wins then Piggy Riches probably won’t fit the bill. However, as I experienced, as well as sessions where the slot plays tight, you can also have sessions where it seems to throw money at you.
Hard to trigger Free Spins
Hit the slot when it is playing a little tighter than normal and it can be a real exercise in patience to trigger free spins as it can take a lot of spins which when played at higher wager levels can be expensive.
Small number of paylines
With only 15 paylines in play, you can find, especially if you are used to playing slots with more paylines, that you’ll think you will hit a win, only for the symbols not to be on one of the paylines.
Graphics & soundtrack 3/5
There’s nothing wrong with the presentation of the slot at all, and there are some lovely touches of humor throughout the game. However it isn’t pushing the boundaries of what you can do with a slot, hence the 3/5 rating.
Originality & creativity 4/5
Ordinarily, a slot that has just a Wild and Scatter symbol and a free spins bonus wouldn’t rate more than half marks, but I think the fact you get to pick your bonus in terms of number of spins and size of multiplier, plus the scatter symbol adding one free spin during the bonus round, really do give this game a little extra originality.
Play value 3/5
I’ve given this slot slightly above average play value with the proviso that you understand that this is a highly volatile game. You can see your bankroll smashed if you play too many spins at too high a price. However, get the slot when it is feeling more generous and you can win some huge amounts of money in a short time too.
Jackpot potential 5/5
With an amazing 360,000 coins up for grabs in this slot, you can really win some massive prizes even wagering just $0.25 per coin as the maximum. This is certainly a slot that jackpot hunters will target.
Repeat play 4/5
The only thing that may dissuade you from playing is if you hit a run of spins when the slot plays very tight. However I feel most people will want to give this slot a real go to see if it offers them a chance of a massive win.
Total score: 19/25
Piggy Riches is a great example of a slot that takes a simple, standard set-up and tweaks it to produce a fast, fun and hugely enjoyable slot that offers a lovely balance between risk and reward and the potential of a huge jackpot.