Pink Elephants: Overview
Sequels are tricky, no doubt about that. If the first was a hit, then you've got a readymade audience of keen consumers to pitch your sale to. It's delicate, though isn't it? Do you take the fan base by the hand and lead them somewhere totally bizarre that could raise the roof, or horrify them with the weirdness of the new direction. Or, do you play it safe and rehash the original with a few tweaks? That is also an approach that can easily garner as much criticism. Or are we overthinking it?
Either way, Swedish developer Thunderkick has chosen the second option and taken its 2017 smash hit slot Pink Elephants, made a few changes to the visuals and fine-tuned the math model. The result is Pink Elephants 2.
The first impressions won't dazzle those that played the original, but it's an upgrade nonetheless. For one, the 6-reel, 4-row grid has left the arid deserts and shifted to a quasi-galactic scene full of mountains, stars, and a grassy field littered with what looks like broken Stargates. The title of the slot has certain connotations and the visual representation certainly lives up to them which is a great start to the follow up slot.
Getting on board this trip means selecting bets starting at 10 p/c and go up to £/€100 per spin. RTP is more or less the same on 96.13%, but one significant change is the volatility which has actually been lowered slightly. Certainly, that makes for more balanced gameplay which should go well with the increase in overall potential.
Looking at the lineup of symbols, instead of the lemur family making up the premium symbols, we get a tribe of goats this time which Thunderkick has named the blue, green, orange and purple goat. This makes sense when you consider the new mountainous setting. The mythical pink elephant is the highest paying symbol - six of the spooky looking dudes are worth 10 times your stake.
The rest of the paytable is made up of 9-A royals, printed on grey chunks of rock. To form winners, at least 3 matching symbols are needed left to right, with the exception being the elephant that only needs 2. Since winning symbols can land on any row, this means there are 4,096 ways to win. Tossed into the mix is a pink 'W' symbol, which is the wild and can substitute for any other pay symbol. Like before, there isn’t a lot more to do in the base game other than wait with bated breath for the bonus game to rear up and shake the game.
Pink Elephants: Features
The symbol to look out for is the elusive golden peanut scatter which can land anywhere on the reels. When 3, 4, 5, or 6 are in view, they trigger the Bonus Game and award 7, 11, 15, or 19 free spins respectively. Just as before, what helps is the random Mystery Scatter Symbol feature. This can strike at random during the main game to add 1-5 scatters to the reels and increase the chance of hitting the Bonus Game.
During free spins, Elephant Orbs appear and are collected. Each one fills a meter located next to the four goat symbols to the side of the reels. When a meter is filled, the respective goat symbol is upgraded to the next one up on the paytable. When the final fourth symbol is filled, only then are all goats changed into the pink elephant symbol, and things get real. Also, whenever a meter is filled, it adds +1 free spin to the Bonus Game. Moreover, the golden peanut scatters remain in the bonus game, and 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 of them award an additional 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 extra free spins.
Pink Elephants: Verdict
Pink Elephants 2 is like taking a car and giving it a new paint job, adding an extra gear, and extending its top speed. Oh, and maybe hanging some fluffy dice from the mirror. Pink Elephants 2 might not be a revolution compared to the original, but its alterations will probably please dedicated gamers. Visually, things aren't hugely different, but they are a minor enhancement with a change of scenery and some new characters.
The volatility may have been slightly lowered, but the max potential has instead been increased. This pink elephant has been poked with a stick and like in cartoons; his eyes have gone blood red while steam pours out of his ears. The first Pink Elephant slot could produce wins of up to 8,200x, while the new version is capable of hitting 10,000 times your stake. Again, not a revolutionary difference, but likely enough to entice fans of the original to give it a go.
For the rest though, the changes present a rather tantalising proposal. The gameplay is as good as ever, meaning a so-so base game that reaches potentially epic climaxes during the bonus game. If you liked the original, the odds are good you'll also dig the remake.
Pink Elephants 2 may seem remarkably low on upgrades, but the new math model does make it a vastly different game and one that is nearly as fun as the first.