Black Mamba (Play'n GO): Overview
Black Mamba is the fourth in a series of rock band themed slots developed by Play'n GO - the other ones being House of Doom, Sabaton, and Demon. As was kindly pointed out in the comment section of the Demon review by rock artist Marielle Tengström, much of our criticism that time around stemmed from ignorance of the classic rock scene. Safe to say, we learned a lot from her input and made a promise to ourselves to do better research going forward.
If Demon was a niche slot, Black Mamba is even more so. Not in terms of gameplay, it's a rather typical Play'n GO grid slot offering as you will see, but in terms of the theme. So, who are Black Mamba then? Well, turning to Wikipedia didn't make us much wiser. All that came up was an article about a Ugandan anti-terrorist organisation going by the same name - great guys we're sure, but not what we were looking for. Going by their Spotify bio, Black Mamba is an Italian four-piece hard rock band made up of vocalist Martina Cori, bassist Cecilia Nappo, guitarist Alexandra Maiolo, and drummer Fred Maragoni. Being a relatively small and unknown band, it comes off as a bit of a strange choice for a branded slot. At the same time, it gives us a chance to discover new music while also helping struggling bands with some publicity.
On the production side of things, you can expect loud music, lots of moving parts and blinking lights vying for your attention. A rock club serves as the setting for the game with the actual reels being positioned on a stage. Instead of Greek gods, as is the case in Rise of Olympus, you'll see one of the band members standing next to the reels to indicate the active feature. When it comes to symbols, the lower value ones are represented by various music-related items such as microphones, headphones, guitar picks, and drumsticks with cymbals. More rewarding are the band members - Alexandra, Cecilia, Fred of which 5 in a cluster will give you 5 times your stake. Any combination of those three symbols will give you 3 times your stake.
There are also two wild symbols included in the game - a regular wild which comes in the form of the band logo, and a 2x wild which is represented by vocalist Martina Cori. Land a combination of 5 of her and you'll win 50 times your stake. Highly volatile, you can play the Black Mamba slot across all devices from 0.20 to €/£100 per spin.
Black Mamba (Play'n GO): Features
Mechanically, Black Mamba is not very different from other Play'n GO grid slots like Rise of Olympus and Troll Hunters 2. It makes use of the same 5-reel, 5-row grid on which winning combinations are achieved when 3 or more symbols connect in clusters either horizontally or vertically. Furthermore, when wins are formed, the winning symbols are removed to make way for new symbols - allowing you to win repeatedly from a single spin. Each time you land a successful winning cascade, a win multiplier will also increase by 1x just like you've seen in Red Tiger's Dragon's Fire Megaways slot.
As you may be familiar with if you played any of the other grid slots mentioned here, Black Mamba also comes with randomly triggered features that may activate on a non-winning spin - here referred to as Solo features. Depending on which band member that is currently active (indicated by the band member standing next to the reels) a unique ability is performed as such:
- Alexandra - Two symbol sets are demolished and eliminated from the grid.
- Cecilia - Will add one or two wilds to the grid.
- Fred - Will transform one set of symbols into another symbol.
- Martina -When Martina is activated, she will demolish the bottom row, removing all symbols except wilds as well as creating a Martina symbol in place of other band members in view. If no band member symbol appears on the bottom row, no wild is awarded. This feature can only be activated during the Concert feature and in the free spins round.
No Play'n GO grid slot is complete without a Charge Meter. Landing wins with the band members contributes to filling the meter which has 6 sections in total - it's filled by 1 for each symbol. Now, when 4 sections have been filled, the Concert feature will come into play, and if all 6 of them are charged, the meter is overcharged, and the win multiplier is carried over into the feature as an extra bonus. Once the Concert feature has been activated, the band members will take turns performing their associated acts. Again, if you triggered it with the charge meter overloaded, you'll also benefit from a win multiplier.
The highlight in Black Mamba is the Free Spins feature which comes into play when clearing the grid of all symbols. Here, the band members will perform their individual solo acts on each losing spin. Better yet, Marina will do it on every single spin. You'll also benefit from a win multiplier - it resets between rounds to the multiplier value carried over from the triggering spin, but is otherwise unlimited. The free spins round can be re-triggered as well by charging up the meter in the same way as described previously - 4-5 and 6 symbol charging will award 2 or 4 spins respectively. Finally, the Concert feature can be triggered during the free spins round too while clearing the grid will give you an instant cash prize of 50 times your total stake.
Black Mamba (Play'n GO): Verdict
To newcomers, the game may seem overwhelming when laid out in writing like this. Veteran players, meanwhile, were probably rolling their eyes wondering what's new. Indeed, if you've played any other grid slot from Play'n GO, nothing here will really take you by surprise. The biggest difference, maybe, is the use of the win multiplier, but other than that it's pretty much Rise of Olympus with an Italian rock band theme.
So, is it worth playing? Absolutely yes. If you're a fan of these grid slots, then you'll probably enjoy Black Mamba as well, although there is always a risk that some will be put off by the theme (while others will love it, of course). Not many other providers can compete with Play'n GO in the grid slot segment, and although most of these titles are fundamentally similar, we don't seem to get enough of them.
Mathematically, the Black Mamba slot is equally well balanced as its siblings, but at the same time, it's also highly volatile. The top prize here is 5,000 times your stake, and while the probability of that happening is less than 1 in 100 million spins ("So there is a chance" as Lloyd Christmas would have said), the relatively low max win makes for more balanced gameplay that also allows for more frequent 500-1,000x payouts. Overall, Black Mamba is another great addition to the Play'n GO grid slot series, or as the band members would have said - Black Mamba, molto bene.
Black Mamba (Play'n GO)
● Reels: 5
● Rows: 5
● Paylines: Cluster
● RTP: 96.50% (Alt. 94.50%)
● Max Payout: 5,000x
● Volatility: H (10/10)
● Bets: 0.20 - 100 EUR
● Features: 4 Solo Features, Charge Meter, Concert Feature, Free Spins
● Release Date: November 14, 2019
Bigwinboard Rating - 81%