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I must admit, while it is inordinately good fun to participate in, the whole idea of a Piñata does make me wonder who came up with the idea of stuffing a cardboard animal full of goodies so that a group of people could then beat it to a pulp with a stick.
Regardless of its origins, a Piñata does have great appeal for people who want a little something extra at a party and the exciting Spinata Grande slot from NetEnt is a celebration not just of the many different types of Piñata beasts that exist, but of all things Mexican in general. So let’s take a closer look at the slot which may have a somewhat groan-inducing pun as its title, but which also delivers one hell of a punch.
Overview: Spinata Grande
The Spinata Grande slot is set against the backdrop of a sun-kissed Mexican town with people and cars moving in the background and balloons floating in the sky. The game is a 5×4 reel slot with a total of 20 paylines in play, which seems to be the default standard for NetEnt games these days. You can’t select paylines, but you can alter the coin size from $0.01 up to $1.00 per spin, meaning a minimum bet of $0.20 and a maximum bet of $20.00.
What is immediately notable however is that on the reels there are a number of very large symbols that cover 2×2 or 3×3 squares on the reels. Spinata Grande has a Colossal Symbol feature that not only offer payouts in the same way smaller symbols do, but some can be used to trigger key features of the slot (which we’ll examine in a bit more detail below).
Who will the Spinata Grande slot appeal to?
Given the sheer number of unusual features in the Spinata Grande slot and the fact that it has a completely unique design, this is most certainly a slot that will appeal to someone seeking a change from the usual 5×3 slots that are somewhat ubiquitous nowadays. The sheer wealth of features and how innovative they are will certainly keep those seeking a different type of slot interested.
The biggest payline jackpot on this slot isn’t huge. That being said, you can trigger multiple paylines in order to get a larger win of up to 3,000 coins, which is considered a good-sized win, especially when played for the higher amounts. It is fair to say that this is a slot which will appeal to fans of games with regular smaller payouts, rather than a big single jackpot game which pays out less frequently.
Gameplay: Spinata Grande
The gameplay of the Spinata Grande slot is really what makes the game what it is and I cannot start anywhere else on this without first talking about the presentation. Once again NetEnt has done themselves proud by producing a slot which not only looks fantastic, but where the backdrop is animated, and the reels and symbols on the reels are perfectly done.
I must admit, there is a feel of the PlayStation 4 game Little Big Planet with the graphics, and whether that is intentional or not, it works superbly on the slot. What you have here is a game that is bright, vibrant, cheerful, and above all hugely fun to play and that sums up the entire point of a Piñata at a party.
The sound of the slot fits in well with the Mexican party theme and this extends to cut scenes and when you trigger bonus features. In addition, the bright vibrant colors of the symbols on the reels also gives the slot a really positive vibe.
The low symbols are the usual playing card symbols from 10 through to Ace and the higher value symbols are the Piñata symbols of which there are four: a fish, a bird, a donkey, and a bull. The maximum payout for landing any five of these on a payline is 300 coins for the bull down to 60 coins for the fish.
However, to help you land more wins you will find that there are a number of Colossal Symbols on the reels on every spin. Every high and low value symbol (plus the feature symbols outlined below) can be either a 2×2 or 3×3 Colossal Symbol and these can be used as standard symbols to help create winning paylines
The other main feature of the base game is the Mini-Slot Feature. This is a slot machine dressed up like a Mexican (it sounds weird, but oddly, it works) and when you land this 3×3 slot on the reels, the mini slot feature activates and spins a smaller 3×3 reel set containing different symbols.
For every coin you land you win a cash prize. There are three coins: bronze (20-coin prize), silver (40 coins) and gold (80 coins). However, you can also land a star symbol, which when you land three anywhere on the mini slot triggers a free spins round. You receive 5 free spins for landing three stars, with one additional free spin for every other additional star you land.
During Free Spins you also have a Colossal Wild placed on the reels which can help you land some huge wins and you can also retrigger the Free Spins bonus although during free spins, the Mini reels only contain extra spin symbols and the bronze coin bonus.
Special features: Spinata Grande
On the reels all the high- and low-value symbols, plus the key feature reel the Mini Slot, are all Colossal Reels. These can be 2×2 symbols or 3×3 symbols in size and they operate both as standard symbols completing paylines and also in the case of the Mini-Slot, triggering the bonus feature of the game.
The Mini-Slot feature is a 3×3 Colossal Symbol which when landed activates a small 3×3 reel slot which can award either cash prizes or free spins (or a combination of both) to the player. There are cash prizes awarded in the form of gold, silver, and bronze coins which have different values (80, 40, and 20 coins respectively).
Free Spins & Colossal Wild
Land three of the Free Spins symbol during the Mini-Slot spin and you will receive 5 free spins, with every additional free spin star symbol you land triggering an additional free spin. During Free Spins the Colossal Wild is placed on the reels, another 3×3 Colossal symbol, which can help you land multiple payline wins.
The presentation on the Spinata Grande slot is out of this world. The music is perfectly suited, graphics are crisp and clear, and everything knits together like a cartoon rather than a slot. Top marks to NetEnt for producing such a wonderful looking and sounding slot.
Although the wins in Spinata Grande are not big, they do come relatively regular and while many wins are not huge (some smaller than your wager) you do hit a fair number of mid-sized wins and the occasional bigger win (especially during free spins), which can boost your bank balance considerably.
The Colossal Symbols work very well indeed, especially when they land on the first second and third reels when they can trigger a win on their own. Most of the better wins in the game will come about when you use these symbols, especially during free spins.
One of the biggest omissions in the game is the lack of multipliers. Given this deficit, adding in a 2x multiplier on any win completed by a Colossal Wild or other additional reward would have have taken the sting out a bit.
No Wild in base game
Perhaps the greatest omission in the slot however is that there is no Wild in play in the base game, only during free spins. The absence of the Wild makes hitting wins more difficult, although this is offset somewhat by the use of the Colossal Symbols, which do make hitting wins a tad easier.
If you are looking for a game that offers big jackpot wins, then the Spinata Grande slot isn’t for you. This is most definitely a lower variance game where small- to medium-sized wins on a regular basis are the order of the day. Most wins tend to be low value, which can eat into your funds when you don’t top them up with a slightly bigger win.
Graphics & soundtrack 5/5
There’s no denying that Spinata Grande looks and sounds absolutely superb. From the bright, cheery graphics, the clever cut scenes and the atmospheric music, this is an immaculately presented slot in every way.
Originality & creativity 4/5
NetEnt has taken some brave decisions with Spinata Grande; no Wild in the base game and no multipliers do detract a little from the game, but the Colossal Symbols and the Mini Slot game do give this a huge amount of originality.
Play value 3/5
This is a lower variance slot and as such, the play value is good regardless of how much you play for. However, you can still hit quieter runs of spins when the game can take a little chunk or two out of your bankroll.
Jackpot potential 2/5
Possibly the biggest knock against the Spinata Grande slot is that it doesn’t have a huge jackpot available (120,000 coins seems to be the maximum), making this a slot aimed at the player who prefers regular small- to medium-sized wins rather than a rare big jackpot.
Repeat play 5/5
There’s so much to love about the Spinata Grande slot, from the presentation to the genuinely fin and engaging gameplay. It isn’t the perfect slot by any means but it has enough of a hook and pulling factor to keep you playing time and time again.
Total score: 19/25
Spinata Grande is a superbly executed low-variance slot offering a compelling mix of original and unusual gameplay. It has outstanding presentation and genuinely engaging content which will have players spinning the reels for a long time to come.