Pearl Harbor: Slot Overview
December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy." So said President Franklin Roosevelt, after the deadly attack against the US military base in Hawaii by Japan, leading to the United States entering World War 2. In the short term, the attack reduced the American presence in the Pacific, but it didn't prevent the Japanese from surrendering after four years or so of vicious battles. The day was brought to the silver screen in the 2001 film Pearl Harbor starring Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale. Now, it appears in an online slot from the creative team at Nolimit City.
Nolimit City are no strangers to Second World War slots, having raised periscopes for Das xBoot a while back, which was located in a very different theatre than the one players find themselves in for Pearl Harbor. Like Das xBoot, the game takes an Axis-eyed view of the conflict, this time concentrating on the Japanese. Doing so has let the studio use a load of related imagery such as 'circle of the sun' flags, kana style writing, Kamikaze, steely-eyed gunners, and plenty of Tora Tora Tora. Like Das xBoot, Pearl Harbor is presented as if you're taking part in the battle when playing. For instance, the base game displays a sort of targeting system, with dials littered about the place. The two bonus games take to the air, and at one point, you literally get a view of ships about to be bombed, as if playing a video game as much as a slot. Well, maybe not so much, but there is a higher level of immersion in Pearl Harbor than is found in most online slots. You definitely don't feel like you're cranking a one-armed bandit, that's for sure.
To begin the assault, players choose a base bet of 20 p/c to £/€100 and tap away on the play button, or, where possible, switch on the xBet Banzai or pick one of the bonus buy options. Playing in the normal mode comes with a top RTP of 96.06%. Unsurprisingly, the volatility is high, and so is winning potential, should it all come together. A dynamic game gets a dynamic game board hosting the action, which is 7x7 in size but starts each spin with a 3x3 square active. How the rest of the grid is activated will be covered soon.
Focusing the scope on symbols now, Pearl Harbor has 9 pay symbols, creating a win when at least five matching symbols land horizontally or vertically adjacent to each other in the active gaming area. Winning clusters are removed from the grid, allowing new symbols to avalanche in, potentially creating a new win, repeating until no new win hits. Japanese writing-style 10-A symbols make up the low pays, and four military characters are the highs. Creating a five-of-a-kind cluster pays 0.15 to 1x the bet, while at the top of the scale, a 40+ sized cluster win is worth 30 to 625 times the bet.
Pearl Harbor: Slot Features
This section is pretty extensive. While the game is easy to understand when it's in motion, there are a lot of intricacies, and most of them will be detailed here.
Scatters can land on any reel in the base game but only count when they are in the active area. If a scatter is split, and a bonus round is triggered, the scatter's multiplier value becomes an x-Mutlpier in the first bonus round multiplier addition.
Activating the xBet Banzai lets players increase the stake by 50% to guarantee one scatter in the active area, increasing the chance of entering the Dog Fight bonus by x3 (max RTP 96.06%). Or, increasing the stake by 100% guarantees 2 scatters to the active area, thus also increasing the chance of entering the Tora! Tora! Tora! bonus by x10 (max RTP 96.11%).
xBomb Wild Multiplier
xBombs only explode when within the active area, blowing away up to 10 surrounding symbols. They increase the active area size if the xBomb is on the border or in the corner of it. If xBombs are split, they get an x2 multiplier for the first split, then are doubled for each following split. Exploding xBombs also increase the win multiplier for the next avalanche with +1 or the x-multiplier value it has been split into. xBombs explode before the next avalanche, and scatters or transformed wilds not part of a win are not blown away.
Target symbols can land anywhere on the reels. When one lands, the active area expands to include the Target symbol. When part of the active area, it transforms into a wild.
xSplit symbols land in the form of a sword and split all symbols in the direction of the sword's handle. They activate when they are inside the active area after the avalanche has finished. xSplits have 1 or 2 swords, initially pointing horizontally or vertically, in one direction per sword. If an xSplit is split, it gets another sword pointing in a new direction. If it already has 4 swords, a split will add an x2 multiplier. If an xSplit has a multiplier when activated, all symbols it splits get the multiplier or have their current multipliers increased by the xSplit multiplier value. Scatters, Targets, and xBombs get an x2 multiplier when hit by an xSplit. Consecutive xSplits on multiplier symbols double their value, and xSplits become wilds after the splitting action with a multiplier equal to the number of swords it had.
Colossal symbols have sizes of 2x2 or 3x3, and when they land, the active area expands, so they become a part of it. Despite their size, they initially count as one in a cluster win. If a 3x3 symbol is split, it first splits into 3 symbols depending on the direction of the split. A second split splits it in the other direction, a third split splits all 9 symbols into 18 symbols, and a fourth split either gives each symbol an x2 multiplier or multiplies the individual multipliers by 2. The same sort of rules applies to the 2x2 symbol.
Landing 3 scatter symbols trigger the Dogfight bonus mode. For this one, 3 spins are awarded inside an aircraft cockpit. Dials spin to reveal x-multipliers, + multipliers, or nothing. Landing multipliers reset the spin count. Landed + multipliers are added together then any x-multipliers are applied to them. x-multipliers remain active until a + multiplier lands. If the round ends with active x-multipliers, they are converted to + multipliers and contribute to the total. Filling up a column of dials triggers a Dogfight Attack. All multipliers in the column are activated, and if the plane is hit in the dogfight sequence, the prize value is awarded. Lastly, if all 18 dials are filled, a Kamikaze Attack is launched after any Dogfights. In the Kamikaze Attack sequence, a multiplier from a wheel with 10 possibilities, including misses, is generated. If the ship is hit, the multiplier is applied to the total round multiplier.
Tora! Tora! Tora!
This feature is triggered when 4 scatter symbols land. It's the same as the Dogfight bonus, with the addition of Midway Pop and Bomb Drop features.
- Midway Pop activates when a multiplier lands on a dial on the mid-row. The value pops up to the top row of the column. If no value was in that spot, one is randomly placed there - an x-multiplier or + multiplier. If a value is already there, the mid-row value is added to it, and the type remains.
- The Bomb Drop activates when a full row of dials is filled. A bomb gets dropped on a ship, and if it hits, all + multipliers on the row are added and multiplied by all x-multipliers on the row. Extra rules for when the row has only x-multipliers include turning them into a value added to the round total and leaving them active. Full details are in the paytable.
Hitting the Nolimit Bonus button allows applicable players to buy three bonuses. One is the Dogfight mode for 60x the bet (max RTP of 96.24% ), whereas 712x the bet buys the Tora! Tora! Tora! mode (max RTP 96.33%). Or, paying 73x the bet provides a random awarding of either bonus for 73x the bet (max RTP 96.25%).
Pearl Harbor: Slot Verdict
With a focus on the Japanese side of the conflict, Pearl Harbor borrows more from the Axis side of things than the Allied one, and players might need a dash of Kamikaze spirit going into the game. Nolimit City slots generally aren't for the faint-hearted, and Pearl Harbor can count itself as another one of these. As the game sheet warns – 'Wreaking havoc is the only way. There's NO holding back.' That ethos seemed to rule in Pearl Harbor, which was pretty much as ruthless as anything else Nolimit City has created. A sense of all or nothing often pervades the studio's games, and this feeling certainly was experienced during our test sessions.
Cluster-paying grid slots often have a poppin', cascadin', firin' off a sequence of seemingly unstoppable consecutive wins effect. Cluster Tumble from Relax Gaming is a classic example of this. Pearl Harbor could be the opposite. At times it was difficult to get it off the ground, like a Kamikaze pilot who had a last-minute change of heart. While unique, the base game had a vague cross between The Border and Misery Mining thing going on. It rolls, expands, contracts, explodes and slices. Perhaps bed in for a siege rather than a quick hit-and-run attack. Colossal symbols are interesting, and it's worth reiterating that they initially count as one symbol because they might be a tease when they first start landing on the board. Slice them up, though, which didn't happen a whole lot, and they can quickly become more valuable, though.
Better value wins were produced during the two bonus rounds, which like Das xBoot merged gameplay right into the theme. The two rounds might have sounded complicated on paper, but the general gist is adding up + multipliers and applying x-multipliers to them. What makes them more interesting are the numerous extra bits, such as the dogfights and bombing runs when you're lucky. In that regard, Pearl Harbor is like nothing else out there, and it is worth seeing Nolimit City take the hold 'n win concept in a new direction. Two of the primary objectives are filling enough dials to get a run at the Bomb Drop or Kamikaze Attack. Then a substantial prize can be up for grabs. It can exasperate, too, since bombing attacks or fights have to be successful to pocket the win. Fail, and it becomes smoke in the wind.
Get it right, however, and Pearl Harbor possesses a max win figure of 41,127x the bet, leading to the Mission Accomplished! sequence if achieved. It's unlikely to be easygoing; is it ever in a Nolimit City slot? But, like a lot of what they do, Pearl Harbor is another unique experience, which blends gambling with general gaming concepts, with a sprinkle of history on top. Naturally, Pearl Harbor won't be everyone's cup of tea, yet once again, the studio beats to the sound of its own drum and has crafted an experience you won't find anywhere else.
Pearl Harbor is another deeply immersive Nolimit City slot that takes willing participants to places they’re unlikely to have been before in an online slot.