Madame Ink: Slot Overview
To a lot of people, few things in life bestow instant steez like a tattoo does. It's not like shaping your hair into a mullet, or piercing tongues, ears, or eyebrows though. While all of these things score cool points, when the fad is over, you can break out the scissors or remove the metal from wherever it was implanted. The only thing which lasts is the cringy photos.
Tattoos, on the other hand, take commitment. Okay, advances in laser treatment can remove them to a degree; still, tattoos are more or less for life. Therefore when picking one, treat it like picking a life partner, because getting rid of them can be just as painful and will probably leave a scar.
That brings us to Madame Ink, a tattoo-themed slot from developer Play’n GO. It's interesting; tattoos are everywhere now, every man and their dog seem to be getting one. Yet they don't pop up in slots super regularly. WMS had a crack with Ultimate Ink, and Microgaming's Hot Ink might be an option. There is even a couple of obscure 'book of' style tattoo slots from the equally obscure studio Fugaso. Developers are missing out when you consider all of the fantastic art found in these places for them to utilise.
Play’n GO taps it into the arty side of things quite well in Madame Ink. The game's 5 reel, 243 win-all-ways game area is found not in a grimy tattoo parlour, surprisingly, but in the kind of Hong Kong back street you could only find with the help of a local guide. As if around the corner an illegal bare-knuckle tournament is being held for the world's best fighters to prove themselves. It is quite an unusual view, not what you first expect when you hear the words 'tattoo themed slot.' In fact, the game has a strong Asian feel throughout.
Payers can get inked up on any device, selecting bets from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin. Perhaps to reflect the mainstream popularity of tattoos, Madame Ink ships with a medium volatility, rated unusually low at 5/10. It's certainly not a brutal engine running the show, though players can affect volatility via three free spins choices. RTP is a crowd pleaser too, the default setting mind you, due to a rating of 96.21%. As in most Play’n GO games, RTP may be lowered by the operator so be sure to triple check you're playing the best version.
Like a cute little ankle tatt, the rules aren't complicated at all. Madame Ink doesn't use paylines, opting for a 243 win ways system instead. To score a win, you need three or more adjacent matching symbols, sitting left to right from the first reel. Reel position is irrelevant.
The two themes play out on the paytable, which is divided into 4 low pays and 4 highs. The lows are intricately designed clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades, followed by cranes, an oni mask, what looks like a tiger, and a dragon. Premium values aren't massive, since 5 of a kinds are worth 2x to 5x the stake.
Madame Ink: Slot Features
Madame Ink isn't exactly brimming with features, but there are a couple of random modifiers, as well as three variations of free spins. Players choose the one they want when the bonus is triggered.
The dragon-headed ink pot is the wild, which substitutes for all symbols except the scatter. At random, there is a chance the wild expands when it lands to turn all symbols on the reel wild – this is the Wild Ink feature. Combinations of wilds have the same value as the top high pay symbol.
Also at random, Madame's Mystery Reel can land on the middle reel, transforming into a stack of three high paying symbols. All mystery symbols on the reels are then transformed into the same symbol and wins paid out.
Land 3 or more of the 'S' shaped serpent scatters to trigger free spins while picking up an x5 payout. There are three choices when it comes to free spins:
- 12 free spins where the Wild Ink feature is active whenever a wild symbol lands, but no Madame's Mystery feature.
- 6 free spins with the Madame's Mystery feature but no Wild Ink.
- Finally, if you're feeling lucky, go for 3 free spins with both the Madame's Mystery active on every spin and Wild Inks active on every wild that lands.
Madame Ink: Slot Verdict
For a fairly low volatile slot with a couple of decent features, you could do a lot worse than give Madame Ink a whirl. There are certainly more positives than negatives. For one, the setting is quite fresh and doesn't just revolve around plain old tattoos. Fans of Asian themed slots will be as thrilled to fire up the game as devotees of skin art. Its dingy, back alley setting and slightly unfamiliar iconography present a different side of Asian culture than what you usually find in a slot. As usual, Play’n GO have nailed the audio/visual side of the game, so there is plenty of atmosphere.
On the gaming side of things, Madame Ink will never be a hardcore gambler's go to. The under-powered volatility sees to that. In saying so, the bonus game does offer scope for players to see how far they can push their luck. Nosedive on the most volatile choice and those measly three spins feel like a punishment. Get it right though, and wins of up to 5,000 times the stake are possible. Again, another dependable Play’n GO stat. Of course, features will trigger frequently, relatively speaking, and expect most payouts to be in the 10x-50x range with the odd occasional 100x-200x on a good day.
All up, the highly productive studio has done enough to make Madame Ink a playable slot. They've handled the theme well, the features are fun, and decent wins are there. You don't need us to tell you Madame Ink isn't ground-breaking, but it presents Asian culture in a slightly new way so could be worth checking out.
Madame Ink might be underpowered for some, yet the successful blending of two distinct themes with a configurable bonus game might surprise.