Ping Pong Star
Join a gang of sporty monkeys for a match of table tennis on the slot from ZeroFox Entertainment powered by Microgaming’s Quickfire platform. Ping Pong Star emulates the most popular slot format of recent times and comes with up to 117,469 Epic Ways, Cascading Reels, exploding symbols and a free spins round with unlimited multipliers that can lead to wins in excess of 10,000 times your bet.
Admittedly, the release of this slot took us by surprise as we did not expect something that exactly mirrors the Megaways game engine yet comes without a clear reference to Big Time Gaming, who trademarked Megaways. As it is now Ping Pong Start Epic Ways is an identical twin of the most popular Megaways slot Bonanza. The same amount of possible win ways, similar free spins trigger and same reel mechanic with exploding symbols. As of 3rd October 2019, the game was exclusively available at Casino Rewards brands but it might go global within the next few months.
Update 5th October 2019: As the game makes no reference to the Megaways engine, we approached CasinoRewards on 3rd October 2019 to get clarification on who is behind the development. We were told that Ping Pong Star was designed by ZeroFox Entertainment, which is according to their statement a subsidiary of the CasinoRewards Group. I guess, you could call it an in-house studio. The slot however is hosted on Microgaming’s Quickfire and Viper clients as CasinoRewards is offering their games exclusively via those two platforms. Ultimately, we decided to update the initial review with the received information but to leave the game under the Microgaming tag.
Ping Pong Star is a video slot with six reels and up to 117,649 ways to win. The number of Epic Ways from 324 to the maximum is randomly determined for every spin. Your quest to become a ping pong champion on desktop or mobile starts at 0.20 credits and peaks at 20 credits per spin. The game has medium to high volatility with an RTP of 96.22%.
The giant game window is set against a stone wall with an entrance to the Ping Pong Tournament Hall visible in the background. Flanked by trees, the reels are encased in a bamboo frame and separated by ivy greens. The monkey contenders dominate on the reels while a bongo soundtrack provides the main audio.
The pay symbols start at the low end with the card royals from 9 through to A, awarding 1x to 1.5x your stake for a single six of a kind. They are followed by four monkey table tennis players in purple, blue, yellow and red frames. Hit six across the reels to win 2x to 60x your bet.
A champion’s trophy is the wild symbol, appearing in the horizontal bonus reel only and substituting for all regular pay symbols. A golden icon with a crown acts as the scatter. It will change into spelling the word STAR when more than one lands on a spin.
Extra Reel and Cascading Reels
One of the main attractions of this type of game engine is that there are no two consecutive spins that are the same. Each round can have anything from 324 to 117,649 ways to win. At the start of a spin sequence, symbols cascade from the top onto the six reels based on the random selection of reel positions. In addition, the bonus reel at the bottom of the game window spin four symbols into view abeam reels two to five adding an extra symbol position to those reels.
In total, each reel can have up to seven symbols on every spin. A display at the top shows the total amount of active Epic Ways for the current round.
Wins are paid for adjacent symbols from left to right. The symbols from a winning combination will explode to make room for new symbols to cascade into place. This will continue as long as a new winning combination occurs after a tumble. Wins are accumulated from all cascades and paid before the next spin sequence starts.
Everyone who played Bonanza from Big Time Gaming or Diamond Mine from Blueprint Gaming will know what bonus feature to expect on this slot. And although it is the only feature, it can pack quite a punch as it comes with an unlimited progressive multiplier.
You will need to land minimum four scatters spelling the word S-T-A-R in one spin sequence to trigger 12 free spins. Any additional scatter appearing in the same sequence will award +5 free spins. During the feature, the scatters appear in the horizontal bonus reel only. Three or four scatters will add +5 and +10 free spins, no limits.
The kicker in the free spins is though the unlimited progressive multiplier. It starts at x1 and increases by x1 after each winning cascade, meaning it can increase multiple times within one free spin. And since there is no limit to how high it can go, it can have a significant impact on your potential winnings, turning even just small wins into mega hits. We estimate the maximum win potential to be in the same range as its siblings, around 10,000 times your bet.
Well, as mentioned earlier, this was a surprise and it will be interesting to see how the situation will develop in the next weeks or months and how Big Time Gaming will react to this release. While the game was developed by what is apparently a 100% subsidiary of the CasinoRewards Group, it runs on the Quickfire and Viper platforms, which itself are owned and controlled by Microgaming. You can judge for yourself whether the latter was or still is involved. We will keep our eyes opened and update the review should new details emerge.
Other than that, Ping Pong Star offers solid slotting action as to be expected from this game format and on top decent win potential. It will add another alternative for players who like this particular reel mechanic.