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Ride ’em Cowboy! Did you know that Rodeo’s original meaning in Spanish was “Round Up”? This explains why the skills required by vaqueros and cowboys evolved into a sporting event that to this day retains a huge amount of popularity in the western portion of the United States, particularly Wyoming, Texas, and South Dakota, as well as the Canadian province of Alberta.
To celebrate the popularity of the modern day rodeo, WMS has come up with the Wild Rodeo slot. It features a rather rugged cowboy and a bevy of beautiful cowgirls as your company as you spin the reels on this 5×4 game with an unusual maximum amount of paylines available to play on each spin. Let’s take a closer look to see whether this slot can be easily roped down, or not.
Overview: Wild Rodeo
Wild Rodeo features a 5×4 reel layout and there is a choice of different number of lines you can play. The maximum is 178 lines, a somewhat unusual number. You can also play 25, 50, 75, or 125 lines per spin too, with your total bet scaled depending on the amount of lines you play.
Speaking of your bet, this is controlled by the number of lines you select and the multiplier function. This allows you to place bets from as low as $0.05 per spin up to $35.00 per spin. Meaning this is definitely more a medium to lower stakes option for gamers. The backdrop for the slot is a floodlit rodeo with a packed crowd in attendance.
Who will the Wild Rodeo slot appeal to?
This is a slot that will definitely appeal to anybody who likes to have a good deal of flexibility over the number of paylines they play. It’s also a great value slot. You can wager the maximum 178 paylines for just 0.35 per spin, which is rare value to find on any slot these days. So fans of slots that offer cheap spin cost compared to paylines available will certainly enjoy this game.
Rodeos will, of course, be popular with certain slot fans too. If this is something you enjoy then you’ll also get a lot from the slot. However, you certainly don’t need to be keen as mustard on this form of entertainment to enjoy the slot. There’s some decent slot features, including an unusual way to utilize extra Wild symbols, which certainly gives the slot added appeal for slot gamers looking for something a little different.
Gameplay: Wild Rodeo
Once you’ve selected the number of paylines in play (I’d always recommend playing the maximum 178 paylines, especially for just 0.35 coins at the lowest level) as well as the multiplier, you can start the reels spinning using the spin button. You can also use the handy Autoplay option which allows you to set up to 25 automatically controlled spins.
The reels are comprised of a mix of higher and lower value symbols. The latter are the ever-popular playing card low symbols (this time from 10 through to the Ace). These generally offer mall wins. The higher value wins come from the better value symbols. There are a total of five of these: four cowgirl symbols and a single cowboy symbol. He is the highest paying standard symbol in the game, alongside the top cowgirl, with a payout of 150 coins for 5 on a payline.
However they are not the highest paying symbol on the reels. This is the Wild symbol, which offers a maximum payout of 300 coins if you land five on a payline. The Wild also substitutes for any of the higher and lower value symbols on the reels to help complete winning paylines.
One of the best features of the Wild Rodeo slot is the Wild Connections feature. On reel 2 and reel 4 there are two different horn symbols. One with the horns pointing to the right (reel 2) and one with them pointing left (reel 4). If you can land both these symbols on the reels during a spin then you trigger the Wild Connections bonus.
Any symbols that are part of a payline between the two symbols will transform into Wild symbols. Furthermore, the two horn symbols will also transform into Wild symbols offering you the chance of a fantastic win.
In addition to this feature there is also a Free Games Bonus round. This is triggered when you land the Cowboy riding the bucking bronco scatter symbol on the first three reels. The scatter only appears on the first three reels, so this is the only way to trigger the bonus feature.
Once triggered the player then receives a randomly awarded amount of free spins, either 7, 9 or 11. In addition, the reels change for the free spins round to signify this. Other than this the slot plays as per normal. Although it should be noted that you cannot trigger additional free spins from within the free spins bonus round.
Special features: Wild Rodeo
The Wild symbol is easily identifiable due to having the word Wild written large across it. It’s the highest paying symbol in the base game when landed five on a payline. The Wild can substitute for all high and low value symbols, but not the scatter or the two horn symbols.
Wild Connections bonus
Land the two horn symbols on reels 2 and 4 and you trigger the Wild Connections bonus. This turns Wild both the horn symbols and any symbols connecting them on a payline. This feature alone can lead to some of the best wins available in the base game.
Free Games bonus
Land three or more scatter symbols on reels 1, 2 and 3 and you trigger an randomly awarded 7, 9, or 11 free spins. The reels change for the free spins round and you play through the bonus feature immediately after it’s awarded. Free spins cannot be retriggered from within the bonus feature.
Great value to play
The cost of $0.35 to play 178 paylines is outstanding value when you consider most slots will make you wager at least $0.01 per payline in play. This means that you can play a large number of paylines for a very small amount of money per spin and that means great value for the player.
Nice mix of wins
The base game does have a nice mix of wins and you can trigger multiple wins using different symbols on a single spin. Most wins tend to be around your stake amount or slightly less, but your account is topped up from time to time with considerably larger wins on a relatively frequent basis.
Wild Connections bonus
The Wild Connection bonus is hard to hit in the base game but it can be responsible for some of the biggest wins you can land in the game. As such, it is well worth playing for and trying to trigger. It works especially well of course with the higher value symbols bracketing the newly created wild symbols in the middle of the screen.
Lack of multipliers
With the size of the wins in the game being relatively low, a few multipliers dotted throughout it, such as on a Wild completed win, or when in the free spins round, would have made this a more appealing slot to play.
Free Spins tough to hit
The Free Spins bonus can be tough to hit at times and on most occasions doesn’t really pay out a huge amount. It can be a little underwhelming to play for so long to trigger it and then emerge with a win just 5x or 10x your usual stake.
Small jackpot wins
The biggest issue the Wild Rodeo slot has is that the jackpot sizes for hitting five symbols on a payline are very small. 300 coins and 150 coins are generally much smaller than most slots nowadays and this is unlikely to keep too many players interested in the longer term.
Graphics & soundtrack 3/5
The graphics, cut scenes, and soundtrack are all exactly what you would expect for a rodeo-themed slot and they don’t disappoint. They are not the most groundbreaking though and while they do the job, they can get a little repetitive, especially in the base game.
Originality & creativity 4/5
There’s some nice touches on this slot, in particular the Wild Connection feature which is a great way to build a higher paying bonus into the base game and additional Wild symbols alongside the usual Wild option. That and the innovative way you wager on this slot means a decent score here.
Play value 5/5
There are few slots that offer players quite as good value for money as the Wild Rodeo slot. To be able to play 178 paylines on a slot for just $0.35 as a minimum bet is almost unheard of. That is outstanding value in terms of your wager, hence the high score here, but it does come at a cost.
Jackpot potential 1/5
And this is where the cost of that low initial wager is felt. The size of the prizes on this game are very small indeed with such low top prizes for five on a payline. With a maximum win of 300 coins per payline, this is a slot that does not pay much even when you land a bigger value win.
Repeat play 3/5
Wild Rodeo is a slot that you will enjoy for the first half hour of play and come back to again, but when you realize that although you get great value in terms of cost of spins, the jackpots just don’t really make that game too appealing, then you’ll likely find yourself looking for a new slot to play.
Total score: 16/25
There’s some great features on the Wild Rodeo slot and I love the play value of the slot, but the small wins are what stymies this game. This has almost zero appeal to higher stakes players but those seeking a fun and enjoyable value slot to play will find plenty to keep themselves amused.