Money Mouse (Pragmatic Play): Overview
Update: since this review was published, the provider has informed us that the game is intended solely for the Asian market. Unfortunately, this might not be entirely reflected in the review which can appear skewed due to the fact that Europe and Asia are two very different markets. We ask our readers to keep that in mind.
Completing Pragmatic Play's Asian slot duo is Money Mouse. Where Magic Journey used a unique formula to present something new, Money Mouse uses a totally worn approach. It's one of those games that reminds you of about 20 other slots. Jin Ji Boa Xi springs to mind, as does Caishen's Cash (minus the potential). If the gameplay feels familiar, there is a good reason for that. Money Mouse is a clone of another Pragmatic slot titled Wolf Gold and shares practically everything except the outer graphics and sound effects. Pragmatic certainly like to create Asian themed slots, the catalogue is bulging with them. No harm in rehashing a popular theme if that's what you're into, but it is a little less forgivable if the end result is so unoriginal. Still, there are a trio of jackpots, and a bunch of extra features so let's not completely write it off just yet.
Within the broader Asian genre, is there a name for this specific type of slot? There should be, there are plenty of them floating around to warrant a more granular categorisation. You can probably tell from the screenshots, but it is one of those slots with the red or green background, a whole lot of gold, and symbols straight from a souvenir shop. Not knocking that style, just saying. Money Mouse is based around celebrating the Chinese New Year and should be released just in time for it. In the Chinese calendar, 2020 is the Year of the Rat. Money Rat doesn't have the same ring to it as Money Mouse though. The connotations and imagery are not quite so cute.
Against the bright red background, the game grid contains 5 reels, 3 rows, and 25 paylines. The user interface is classic Pragmatic Play which is good because it's clean and flows well. Bet levels can be set by adjusting the coin numbers and values. It amounts to stakes that start at 25 p/c and go as high as £/€125 per spin. Money Mouse runs on the same stats as Wolf Gold which means an RTP rating bang on 96%. Volatility remains the same as well, at 3/5 lightning bolts or medium-high setting. Skip to the paytable and there are 8 regular symbols in total, four low, four premium. The four low are royals J – A crafted with brush strokes. The four premiums are oranges, drums, firecrackers, and a dragon mask. So-so value all round, with the dragon mask worth 20 times the stake for five of a kind. The happy smiling mouse character is the wild which substitutes for the other pay symbols and also pays out up to 20 times the stake when five land on a payline.
Money Mouse (Pragmatic Play): Features
Played Wolf Gold? Well you will know all about the features which have remained the same. The golden tree laden with gold coins is the scatter and appears on reels 1, 3, and 5. When three land they pay 1x the stake and trigger 5 Free Spins. During free spins, the middle 3 reels meld together and only land giant 3x3 sized symbols. Scatters remain a part of the bonus round, and three in view award 3 more free spins, with no limit to how many can be retriggered.
Unmissable above the reels are the game's three Jackpots. The values are fixed and depend on the size of the wager. The Minor is worth 30x, the Major 100x, and the Grand Jackpot will return 1000 times the stake when triggered.
The final symbol of note is the lantern icon. This is the Money Symbol and will show up with either a number or MINOR or MAJOR values on it. When 6 or more of these symbols land, during the base game or free spins, they trigger the Money Respin feature. Money Respins start by locking the Money Symbols that launched the feature to the reels and removing all regular symbols. There are three respins in total. Every time a Money Symbol lands it is locked and the respins are reset to 3. The feature continues until the respins run to zero, or the grid is filled with Money Symbols. At the end, all of the values are totaled together and paid out to the player. If all 15 positions are filled with Money Symbols then the Grand Jackpot is also paid out.
Money Mouse (Pragmatic Play): Verdict
It's interesting to see how different Money Mouse and Magic Journey are. It's as if the creative team conjured up something original, but the accounts guys freaked out that it was a little too different and players needed something more familiar they could relate to. So out rushed a Wolf Gold clone, just in time for the new year too. The result is uninspiring.
Money Mouse is really only for players who love these styles of slots (probably aimed towards the Asian market), there is nothing else here to light your fire otherwise. Max potential is ok and comes during the free spins feature. There, players have the chance of pocketing up to 2,500 times the stake with the help of the mega symbols.
Being such a straight-up clone, it's hard to shake the feeling of Money Mouse being a cheap knock off. Like those Louis Vuitton bags that street sellers hawk for five bucks. Or a genuine 'Rolax' watch with the gold peeling off a day after you've brought it.
Money Mouse is an all-out clone of Wolf Gold with not a whole lot going for it.