Shinobi Spirit

(Print Studios) Slot Review

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Shinobi Spirit: Slot Overview

The internet provides a wealth of definitions should you ever stumble upon a word you're not 100% sure of. Of the many available websites, we've turned to the Urban Dictionary, which defines the word 'shinobi' as 'A high level ninja, highly trained in the art of stealth. Roughly translates into "Walker of Shadows" or "Warrior of the Night."' Pretty badass, in other words, and a stack of badass-ness has been wedged into Shinobi Spirit, an online slot from developer Print Studios. It's a game that is easier to get a grip on when seen in action because it's not a regular run-of-the-mill slot. At least, the bonus isn't regular since it's not a hold 'n win round per se, but it has echoes of a hold 'n win round. Perhaps it's best we just slash on in and see if we can come up with a working definition.

Ninjas originated in Japan, and it's to a stretch of this ancient land players are transported to for Shinobi Spirit. A harmonious scene greets gamblers as they enter, where a transparent gaming grid sits on a grassy field with a water feature to one side and a rustic building on the other. What helps make this a relaxing place to inhabit is Shinobi Spirit's music, which is just really nice. Its swirly, majestic quality could push it into a video game or an animated cartoon. This is Print Studios' way, though. The team doesn't just sling derivative slots out to the masses. Instead, they craft gambling tools, sometimes with video gaming elements in them, like Reavers, and players get a taste of this when Shinobis start slashing bamboo in the base game and the Shinobi Bonus round.

Shinobi Spirit slot
Shinobi Spirit slot - base game

As well as organically triggering the Shinobi Bonus, players have two ways of possibly shortening the process. One is by buying the round for 100x the bet; the other is by activating the Scatter Boost, which increases the stake by 50% to have more scatter symbols on the reels. Regular stakes vary from 10 p/c to $/€20 per spin, and when betting this way, the RTP is a healthy 96.26%, rising further to 96.67% when using the Scatter Boost feature, then further still to 97.18% when buying the Shinobi Bonus. Highly volatile, a 5x4 gaming panel with 26 paylines is where the action is held.

Shinobi Spirit's pay table has 8 regular pay symbols, which in ascending order are the Green Sign, Blue Sign, Purple Sign, Red Sign, Barrel, Lantern, Bamboo, and Dragon. Landing 5 matching sign symbols pays 1 to 2.5 times the stake, whereas 5 of the higher paying symbols is worth 5 to 100 times the bet. Wins pay left to right, from the first reel onwards, and no wild symbols appear on Shinobi Spirit to help link matching symbols.

Shinobi Spirit: Slot Features

Shinobi Spirit slot
Shinobi Spirit slot - bonus game

There might not be a wild, but Shinobi Spirit drops a lot of other symbols onto the board at various points. Two important symbols in the base game are Bamboo Prize symbols and the Shinobi symbol. Both are also available in the bonus round, along with several special Event symbols.

Bamboo Power

Bamboo Prize symbols can land in the base game on reels 1 to 4. Each Bamboo Prize symbol possesses a value of up to 1,000x the bet. When a Shinobi lands on reel 5, he runs and slashes any Bamboo Prizes on the same row, awarding their values.

Shinobi Bonus

Landing at least 3 scatter symbols triggers the Shinobi Bonus, played on a 5x5 game grid, with at least 1 Shinobi on the board. In addition, if 4 or 5 scatters trigger the feature, players also collect 20 or 100 times the bet, respectively. Shinobi Spirit does not award a set number of spins or respins. Instead, as long as a Shinobi is active, the feature will continue to spin.

Each Shinobi (having more than one at a time on the grid is possible) starts with 3 lives, losing 1 life per spin. However, for each slashed symbol, the Shinobi gains a life, up to a maximum of 3. Bamboo Prizes double in value with each additional slash. Also, it is possible to land Event symbols which behave like so when slashed by a Shinobi:

  • The green box - adds its prize value to all Bamboo Prizes that have not been slashed.
  • The mask – starting from this position, the Shinobi will slash in the direction of the highest total of Bamboo Prize values. At the end of the slashed direction, the Shinobi repeats the process until there are no more symbols in its view that can be slashed.
  • Shuriken – the Shinobi will perform an extra slash in the direction of the highest value of the total of Bamboo Prize symbols, perpendicular to its facing duration.
  • Dragon – any Bamboo Prize slashed by the Shinobi is slashed two times. This effect persists as long as the Shinobi is present on the grid.

At the end of a spin, Bamboo Prize symbols may merge, removing all prize symbols except one, collecting the total prize amount in one place. The final symbol is the Golden Shinobi, possessing 6 lives instead of 3. Whenever a Golden Shinobi slashes a Bamboo Prize, the value is added to all remaining Bamboo Prize symbols.

Shinobi Spirit slot
Shinobi Spirit slot - golden bonus game

Shinobi Spirit: Slot Verdict

Hiya! Like Pine of Plinko, Shinobi Spirit was a real game of two halves. There was the base game, which struggled to get off the ground much of the time, and the bonus round, which showcased Print Studios' dazzling imagination. Not just imagination either, as the Shinobu Bonus is where ideas have been turned into reality and now inhabit the three-dimensional realm for experimental players' enjoyment. Enjoyment there is to be had, too, of a kind that is unavailable anywhere else.  Though there is a faint resemblance to the gameplay of ELK's Sumo Sumo slot, the slicing of Bamboo Prizes by Shinobis, the gameplay in general, is so out there it could only have come from a blue sky-thinking provider. However, where another outfit might have floundered under the weight of blazing its own trail, Print Studios executes its experimental ideas so well as to make head-scratching concepts palatable, desirable even.

The only slight moan was that the base game could be a little low-energy at times. As if nothing good was ever going to come of it. On a technical level, the opposite is actually true since, on any spin (for example), a Shinobi might dart out and slash a 1,000x Bamboo Prize. The more valuable pay symbols are quite lucrative, too, or at least they might come in useful to keep a balance buoyant before the Shinobi Bonus triggers. Manage to hit Shinobi Spirit's max win, and the balance should reach a substantial level of buoyancy with a 20,000x the bet payout.

It's funny; an initial cursory scroll through the paytable, glancing at all the special symbols on display, created the impression Shinobu Spirit was a hack 'n slash hold 'n win game. In reality, Shinobi Spirit is very different to a regular streak respin slot, or any other slot for that matter, and well worth test driving for an example of what's currently happening in the avant-garde of online slot gambling.


Part slot, part video game, part meditation session, Shinobi Spirit is another boundary-pushing online slot from Print Studios.

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