Mahjong X: Slot Overview
Using mahjong, the popular tile-based game developed in 19th century China, is one-way software providers can clearly say, 'Hey, here's an Asian-themed game if you'd like to play one.' Pragmatic Play's Mahjong X certainly has an obvious focus, as its gaming grid is covered in mahjong tiles, while the surrounding imagery and voiceovers have a strong Asian influence. Something else obvious about Mahjong X is that it's a Sweet Bonanza remake, yeah, another one, meaning players get a scatter wins slot with stacking multiplier symbols in a free spins round.
A sacred-looking spot is where Mahjong X is located, one with hanging lanterns, rocky terrain, and flicking corner roofed buildings. The most eye-catching part was the golden and blue dragon perched on the right side of the gaming grid. The dragon is very ear-catching as well. When winning scatters appear on the board, he calls them out in what is presumably Chinese. If you can understand the language, Mahjong X will probably be a lot more meaningful. Otherwise, you'll have to pretend the dragon is saying things like 'nice hit' or 'big win' or whatever else you think a dragon might say to encourage someone while they are gambling.
Mahjong X's action takes place on a 6-reel, 5-row gaming grid, which has a scatter wins pay mechanism. This is a popular device now that does not use ways or pay lines to evaluate wins. Instead, when at least 8 identical pay symbols are in view in any position, a winning scatter is created and a payout made. Base bets of 20 c to $/€100 per spin may be chosen with an ante bet as well as a free spins buy feature available. With the ante bet switched on (the stake increases by 25%), more scatter symbols are present on the reels, doubling the chance of winning free spins naturally. Mahjong X's RTP range is 96.49% - 96.6%, and its volatility is medium/high.
All of the pay symbols are mahjong tiles, and apologies for not knowing what they signify, but players of the tabletop game will likely be better clued up. When landing a scatter win consisting of 8-9 matching symbols, the payout is 0.25 to 10 times the bet, rising to 2 to 50 times the bet for a 12+ cluster win. When a winning scatter is on the screen, the symbols involved in the win are removed by the game's tumble feature. This causes symbols to drop and new symbols to come in from above to fill any empty spaces, providing another chance to win. Tumble sequences end when no new win appears.
Mahjong X: Slot Features
Mahjong X does not have wilds, so the other symbols to look out for are scatters, which are needed to trigger free spins and multiplier symbols, which are not available in the base game.
The scatter symbol is easy to spot since it is green, while the pay symbols are all white. Hitting 4, 5, or 6 scatters pays 3x, 5x, or 100x the bet, respectively, and also awards 10 free spins. During the round, hitting 3 or more scatters means +5 additional free spins are awarded. In free spins, multiplier symbols are present on the reels. These are golden sycee symbols displaying a multiplier value of x2 to x100. Multiplier symbols stay on the screen until the end of a tumble sequence. When a tumble sequence finishes, the value of all multiplier symbols in view is added together, and the total multiplier value is applied to the total win of the sequence.
With multipliers being such a key draw in Mahjong X, players who wish to go straight to the free spins round where they are available can do so for the cost 100 times the bet.
Mahjong X: Slot Verdict
Sweet Bonanza is the gift that keeps on giving for Pragmatic Play. Not only is it a popular slot in its own right, but it has also formed the basis or been the inspiration for a number of games since then. Mahjong X is obviously one, and just a few days or so before this review, so was Rujak Bonanza, a slot with an apparent Indonesian focus. It seems Sweet Bonanza may be doing the rounds in various Asian markets in different guises. Where next, one wonders? Like Rujak Bonanza, Mahjong X is another fully functional remake with an attractive outer shell.
Nothing's new in terms of features or gameplay, which is good or bad depending on your viewpoint. Mahjong X delivers scatter wins and, later on, multiplier symbols in free spins, as well as Sweet Bonanza or any of the related slots. It's kind of hard not to when it's basically a clone and all. What else is there to say? Mahjong X stirs scatter wins, tumbles, and multipliers together in an enjoyable enough mix, though something new tossed in there wouldn't have been awful. Interestingly, while Sweet Bonanza famously touted wins of up to 21,100x the bet, that figure does not appear here, nor does any other figure since Mahjong X does not provide a max win number.
From a technical perspective, Mahjong X performed as expected (hard not to), so interested gamblers get another chance to sample a set of features which have proven their worth for a while now. The theme is neatly done, especially that dragon calling out whatever it is when certain things occur on the reels, which will probably be even more entertaining for gamblers within Mahjong X's scope who have no trouble understanding the vocabulary.
Mahjong X might be worth a try, but the lack of unique features make it less compelling for those seeking an exciting, novel gaming experience.