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Oddly enough, of all the big cats that you see as the focus of slot games, lions and tigers are not the most common I’ve come across in the past few years. I’ve certainly seen more panthers and jaguars as the subject of slots or portrayed in slots in some way, and the unusual Prowling Panther slot is just one good example of this.
Set against the backdrop of a verdant jungle, the Prowling Panther is one of the newer breed of Multiway Extra slots. It offers a total of 720 ways to win on a 3-4-5-4-3 reel set up. This can take a little getting used to initially if you’re more accustomed to playing a standard 5×3 or even a 5×4 reel game.
Overview: Prowling Panther
The first thing that is immediately apparent when you load up the Prowling Panther slot is that it is set up in the more unusual 3-4-5-4-3 symbols on each reel. As a result, it is a Multiway Xtra slot featuring 720 ways to win on each spin. That sounds great, but it’s worth remembering that the first reel is crucial on slots and there are only three symbols on this reel.
IGT, who has a strong track record in producing excellent slots, developed the game. In Prowling Panther your bet is set at 50 coins in value. You cannot alter this, although you can change the size of the coin from $0.01 up to $20. Hence, you have a bet range of $0.50 to $1,000. This means this is a slot that can be played by all, from the microstakes gamer up to the higher roller.
Who will the Prowling Panther slot appeal to?
With the unusual layout of the Prowling Panther slot, added to the massive number of paylines in play on each spin, this is definitely a game for a slot player looking for something a little more involved than the standard 5×3 reel slot. However, it is also a game for patience. Even with all those paylines it can be a little time before you hit a relatively decent-sized win. RTP is between 92% and 96%, which means a higher volatility slot.
There’s lots of slots on the subject of cats and Prowling Panther is a good addition. It’s packed with unusual features and these will certainly attract players to give it a try. It will also have plenty of fans that have played the casino version. This is a faithful port over of the game that proved very popular in brick-and-mortar casinos. A jackpot of 50,000 coins is also very enticing.
Gameplay: Prowling Panther
The only decision you need to make before you spin the reels is what value coin to wager. Given that this is a slot that rewards patience and is highly volatile, you should factor that in. Make sure you choose to play with a coin value that will allow your bankroll to play for a lengthy session.
Once you have done this it is simply a case of clicking Spin or using the Auto Play option. Auto Play allows up to 50 spins, to get the reels spinning for you.
The first thing you note is that Prowling Panther does have excellent production values. The animations are very smoothly done, as is the soundtrack that accompanies the slot. It’s a simple melody playing over a jungle beat that suits the pace and style of the game.
On the reels there is the usual selection of lower paying symbols. These are in the form of the playing card low symbols, 10 through to the Ace. There are three higher paying standard symbols on the reels. These are a trio of jungle inhabitants: a parrot, a toucan, and a black panther, which is the higher paying symbol of the three and rewards players with 500 coins if landed five across the reels.
One of the best features of this slot is the Wild symbol, which is a Multiplier Wild. This symbol appears on reels 2, 3 and 4 and can be stacked on these reels to help create multiple winning paylines. Not only does the symbol replace higher and lower value symbols, but it also awards a 2x multiplier on all wins that it’s part of and counts as two of the symbols it replaces, not just one. This can result in some massive wins in both the Free Spins round and base game.
The only other symbol on the reels is the Golden Panther. This acts as the in-game scatter symbol and is found on all five reels. In order to trigger the Free Spins round, you need to land at least one of the symbols on each of the five reels. This would trigger 8 free spins. However, if you land more than one panther on any single reel and create more winning lines, you can trigger additional free spins, up to a maximum of 96 spins.
Furthermore, during free spins, you can earn additional spins by landing the Golden Panther symbol across the reels once again, with up to 256 Free Spins retriggerable this way. A different reel set is used to denote that the game is in Free Spins mode (a nighttime setting), but the size of the wins and symbols used remain the same.
Special features: Prowling Panther
The fact that the symbols can be stacked or appear more than once on the reels following a spin does make it possible to land some multiple payline wins. This is a great way to trigger some of the bigger wins available in the base game and adds value to otherwise smaller wins.
The 2x Wild Multiplier is without doubt one of the key features of the slot. It is this feature in both the base game and during Free Spins that can potentially allow you to land a huge win, especially if you can land it stacked on one or more of the reels.
Free Spins bonus
Land five of the Golden Panther symbols across all reels and you’ll trigger a Free Spins round. For every payline you trigger the symbols on you earn 8 free spins. This means you can have a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 96 Free Spins triggered. You can retrigger Free Spins from within the bonus game. These spins are played out against a different colored backdrop and reel set.
It is very apparent that the Prowling Panther slot has its roots in real-world casinos. The production values on the slot are high and the music very in your face. However, it works very well and really suits the style of the game perfectly.
Massive wins possible
Big wins are possible on the Prowling Panther slot as it is volatile and that is a huge incentive to play. However at 50 coins a spin, you do need to budget sensibly to give yourself every chance of landing some of the biggest wins available on the slot.
Simple to play even on different reel set
At first glance, it may appear that Prowling Panther is a very difficult and unusual slot to understand. Quite the contrary, as there are just 8 standard symbols, plus a couple of simple-to-understand features, making it as easy to play and enjoy as a standard 5×3 reel game.
Hard to hit free spins
My biggest gripe in the base game is the Free Spins bonus. It is extremely hard to hit at times. You’ll find you get three or even four of the Golden Panthers lined up, only for the fifth reel to let you down time and time again.
Free Spins volatile
The other issue with Free Spins is that when you do eventually trigger them, there is the question of whether they are worth it. The payouts you get do vary massively. It can be frustrating to finally trigger the bonus, receive just 8 free spins and then walk away with a prize that is much smaller than some base game wins.
Highly volatile slot
Perhaps it is unfair to say that the volatility on the slot doesn’t work, but it is certainly worth noting for punters that like slots that offer more even payouts. You can spend a lot of money on Prowling Panther with no reward, conversely, you can spend a small amount and win a large sum.
Graphics & soundtrack 4/5
The high production values of the original slot have been captured well for the online version and the game looks and sounds excellent. The celebratory music when you hit a big win is particularly evocative.
While this is never going to score full marks for originality as it is based on a pre-existing slot, this is an excellent port over from the real world to the online world. They have captured all the key features and unusual set up and these translate superbly.
Play value 2/5
Being a highly volatile slot, Prowling Panther is never going to offer great play value.
For every session where the bankroll dwindles, you can have one where a big win puts you back in the black quite comfortably.
Jackpot potential 4/5
The 50,000 coin jackpot is huge especially when you play at a decent-sized coin value. The fact that you can trigger big wins in both the base game and free spins really does give this slot plenty of jackpot potential for those players that enjoy bigger jackpot games.
Repeat play 4/5
Triggering free spins can be annoying and time consuming but all other aspects of the Prowling Panther slot play very well. This is a game that people will certainly play and come back to repeatedly.
Total score: 18/25
Prowling Panther is a superb port over from real world casinos onto the digital platform. It retains all the key features that made it such a hit in casinos around the world. A fast, fun and enjoyable game that offers superb high-volatile slot gaming.