Buffalo King (Pragmatic Play): Overview
Buffalo King is a video slot that leans more to the conventional side with a very familiar look and feel to it. Buffalo King has players heading back out west to the windswept prairies of North America. This is a land devoid of human habitation and one that is completely taken over by the wildlife. The big docile buffalo is obviously the star of the show, but he is backed up by several of his furry friends. If the stats are anything to go by, Buffalo King is a very high-paying slot. But, numbers aren’t everything, and things have been so and so when it comes to the true potential of slots from Pragmatic.
Being a North American wildlife slot there are no points for guessing what the background setting is. It’s a classic desert scene at the end or break of day with plenty of tumbleweeds, rock formations, and blazing skies. We could probably spend a whole section talking about all the apparent similarities with other slots as there are bits and pieces borrowed from more than one provider, but we'll let you be the judge of that.
Depending on which angle you have your mobile (portrait or landscape) you’ll also have a bunch of animals staring at you in that passive, ready for the abattoir expression they seem to have in these kinds of games. The soundtrack is rather rousing. It alternates between a Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and the Bonanza soundtrack depending on what stage of the game is in play. The sound effects are pretty good too, with each spin accompanied by the hooves of stampeding buffalo.
Play takes place in a game grid made up of 6 reels, 4 rows, and no set paylines as such. As long as similar symbols land adjacent to each other from the first reel they can form combinations. This provides Buffalo ling with 4,096 ways to win. An excellent setup that is usually appreciated by players. A range of bet levels is available from a minimum of 40 p/c to a maximum of £/€60 per spin. It has the traditional Pragmatic Play UI, including auto and manual spins. Auto spins come with turbo option, which is super quick. Volatility gets the full 5 lightning bolts which is as high as it gets, and it shows. No complaints with the RTP which is a touch above average on 96.06%.
The rules screen has 11 regular base game pay symbols, 6 low and 5 premium. The low pays are 9 – A royals with nothing special to set them apart. The 5 premiums are our animal chums – a moose, wolf, cougar, eagle, and buffalo. Combinations are formed by 3 – 6 symbols and the buffalo is king at 7.5 times the stake for six across a full payline. Players are assisted by a rock wall Wild which appears on reels 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 and substitutes for all symbols except the bonus symbol. The base game can get a little tedious at times, but with a chance to hit big even before you've managed to trigger the bonus, the thrill of knowing a big win can potentially be delivered with any spin helps break some of the monotony and provide glimmers of hope.
Buffalo King (Pragmatic Play): Features
While the base game does pack some punch, the true potential of Buffalo King can be found within its free spins round. The key to unlocking the best the game can offer is the golden buffalo bonus symbol which can appear on any reel. During the base game if 3, 4, 5, or 6 land they award 8, 15, 25, or 100 Free Spins respectively.
Along with the sheer numbers of free spins, the real magic lies in the wild symbol. It still substitutes for pay symbols as before, but during free spins, it also comes with a win multiplier of x2, x3, or x5. If more than one wild is involved in a win, then its multipliers are multiplied together up to a staggering 3,125x. The bonus round can be retriggered and can go quite crazy at times - 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 bonus symbols award 5, 8, 15, 25, or 100 additional free spins.
Buffalo King (Pragmatic Play): Verdict
In terms of gameplay mechanics, Buffalo King is similar to other highly volatile Pragmatic Play slots. What this means is gaming sessions that can just as easily turn into watching your bankroll steadily vanish into oblivion as winning big. When it comes to winning big, Pragmatic Play claim that wins of up to 93,750 times the bet are available. A massive figure indeed, but highly unlikely to ever happen. Even a 5,000x hit would probably be considered a miracle. It would also be interesting to see what sort of win caps will be placed on Buffalo King. Because without one, high rollers are looking at payouts of over €5 million which also seems unlikely.
The path to big wins is obviously the large number of free spins that can be triggered and retriggered, and the multipliers they bring. The feature is actually not as hard to trigger as you might expect from a highly volatile Pragmatic slot, which is good. However, because free spins aren’t rare, don’t expect to win big every time they are launched. They can be just as much of a tease too and 10x rounds (or even less) are not uncommon. Then again, get free spins on a good roll, and the rewards can be pretty astonishing. It’s not going to happen often, but with reels 2 - 6 stacked with x5 wilds, the result is a multiplier of x3,125. Combine that with the first reel full of Buffalos, and you are looking at that 93,750x potential windfall.
Don’t manage to hit those heights and the game is quite happy to absorb bankrolls though. Buffalo King is one of those high volatile all-or-nothing slots. Recreational players might get drawn in by the romantic appeal of the wild west. But, if they aren’t prepared for a rough ride, Buffalo King can easily result in some saddle sore chafing.
There is also a Megaways version released by Pragmatic Play titled Buffalo King Megaways. The 5,000x potential is lower yet far more realistically achievable than what is advertised in the original.
While Buffalo King might not pack enough original mojo to rise far above other well-known titles in its genre, it plays fast, looks good and offers plenty of thrilling action.