The Grand Show

(Push Gaming) Slot Review

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The Grand Show: Slot Overview

Sometimes, and this an observation rather than a criticism, casino game developer Push Gaming feels like that ultra-manly actor who has made 20 action films and is now branching out into rom-coms and period pieces, maybe a little bit of Shakespeare. Where once the studio was largely famed for its frighteningly challenging slots, Razor Shark, for instance, the team has expanded into making more casual, mainstream-friendly slots, such as 10 Swords. Again, not a criticism, just an observation. Another game that slips effortlessly into a more mainstream sector of the market is The Grand Show, a circus-themed slot built around Instant Prize symbols (including Jackpot symbols), free spins and a rather curious, in a good way, Bonus feature.

The Grand Show plays out in different environments, depending on the game phases. For starters, the base game is held out of doors, in the daytime, in front of a cluster of pointy-topped circus tents. Free spins keep things where they are, but night falls, while the Bonus game ushers players inside one of the tents to show what it can do. Till the Bonus round happens, The Grand Show looks and feels somewhat generic/classic, shall we say, along the lines of The Golden Ticket 2, for example, yet the game is in possession of one or two tricks which may surprise.

The Grand Show slot
The Grand Show slot - base game

A little toned down, given Push Gaming's rep, The Grand Show is a medium volatile slot, pushing out all manner of RTP values, depending on how gamblers choose to play. 96.28% RTP is generated when betting 5 c to $/€100 per spin, plus two Push Bet options are available, as well. One option makes it more likely to trigger free spins for a stake increase of 40% (RTP 96.35%), whereas the other increases the chance of triggering the Bonus feature for an extra 60% on the stake (RTP 96.38%). Free spins and the base game are held on a 5-reel, 4-row gaming matrix with 20 paylines.

A circus font has been used for the J-A card rank low pays, worth 2-4 times the bet for a 5 OAK winning combination. Then, the highs are popcorn, a hotdog, a clown, and a ringmaster, paying 12x to 100x for a 5-matching symbol combo. On all five reels, the wild may land, substituting for all regular pay symbols. A line of 5 wilds is also worth 100x.

The Grand Show: Slot Features

The Grand Show slot
The Grand Show slot - free spins

Two main events make up The Grand Show's key features. One is the free spins round; the other is the Bonus feature. At all times, be on the lookout for winnable Instant Prize symbols and Jackpot symbols.

Instant Prizes and Jackpot Symbol

Instant Prize symbols land bearing values of 1x to 500x the bet, while the Jackpots symbols are the Mini, Minor, Major, Mega, and Grand, worth 10x, 50x, 250x, 1,000x, and 10,000x the bet, respectively. Top Hat symbols may land on the leftmost and the rightmost reels. When a Top Hat symbol lands on the leftmost reel, it collects Instant Prize symbols or Jackpot symbols on consecutive reels, starting from the leftmost reel. Instant Prizes and Jackpot symbols may land on any reel.

Free Spins

The ticket symbol is the scatter symbol. Hitting 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols in the base game awards players 10 free spins, or 10 free spins with minimum x5 Instant Prize symbols, or 10 free spins with minimum x10 Instant Prize symbols, respectively. During free spins, landing 3, 4, or 5 scatters awards a further +3, +4, or +5 free spins, respectively. Other than the higher minimums, nothing really officially separates free spins from the base game.

Bonus Feature

Should a Top Hat symbol land on both the leftmost and rightmost reels, the Bonus feature is triggered. Any Instant Prize symbols or Jackpot symbols in view when this happens are carried over to the Bonus Feature. Once triggered, 6 spins are awarded, and play takes place on a 5x8 gaming grid. Only the bottommost 5 positions spin. On the rightmost side, you'll see a column of multipliers, multiplying prizes on their row. On the bottom of reels 1-4, Instant Prize symbols, Jackpot symbols, or Nudge Up symbols may land. When an Instant Prize or Jackpot symbol lands on the bottom row, they move up by +1. The next spin then takes place. If a Prize moves up to where there is already a Prize, they merge into one, increasing the values accordingly. The Nudge Up symbol nudges any Prize on its reel up by +1. Should all 4 positions on the top row be filled, the Grand Jackpot is awarded, and the Bonus concludes.

On the bottom position of the rightmost reel, these symbols may land:

  • Nudge All - nudges all Prizes up by 1.
  • Boost - increases all Multipliers on the rightmost reel.
  • Retrigger - awards 1, 2, or 3 additional spins.

When the spins run out, prizes on the grid are multiplied by the multiplier on their row, and their total values are paid. If the Bonus feature is triggered during free spins, play returns to the free spins round to continue the remaining free spins once the Bonus has concluded.

Feature Buy

The Grand Show's list of feature buys are these ones: Free spins triggered by 3 scatters - 46.4x the bet, Free spins triggered by 4 scatters - 86.6x the bet, Free spins triggered by 5 scatters - 147x the bet, Random free spins - 75x the bet, Bonus Feature - 58.6x the bet, Super Bonus Feature where prizes have a minimum of x10 - 450x the bet.

The Grand Show slot
The Grand Show slot - super bonus game

The Grand Show: Slot Verdict

Games Global studios (as well as others) have absolutely flooded the market with these sorts of static jackpot slots, so the thought of firing up yet another one might send a quiver of dread zipping down the spine. However, there are slot makers, and there are slot makers, and Push Gaming is one that sits comfortably at the alpha end of the casino game maker scale. The team's games just tend to come with a touch of class the regular mid to bottom-tier casino games lack, and so it was with The Grand Show, which, fair enough, is not the be all end all of glorious gasp-inducing spectacles but has the goods to shoot off entertainment that is, pretty grand, when it wants to be.

Funny how slots often come in 2s, 3s, or more, whether by accident or design. However, not long before reviewing The Grand Show, we'd tangled with Hungry Bear's circus slot, Big Top Terror, and the two slots are very different in a variety of ways. Only really bringing the other game up to highlight the world of difference between a studio relying on proven features woven within passable audiovisuals and a studio that consistently pushes the evolution of online gambling onwards and upwards. That word 'pushes' there was the clue as to which studio is which.

Whilst much of The Grand Show is admittedly fairly standard land a collector symbol, land some Instant prize symbols, get some cash action, it still manages to bend the rules and add novelty. This despite prominently displaying those dreaded static jackpots. For the review, The Grand Show's main event was easily its Bonus feature. When it's going well, the Bonus feature can be highly entertaining as it lands prizes, nudges them upwards, then doles them all out at the end with the help of the relevant multipliers.

The rest of The Grand Show is more commonplace, fair dues. But, when considering the total package, including a 10,000x max win, then PG game producer Michael Engan's words, 'The Grand Show… looks like a take on a classic slots game, but offers something new,' ring true.

Good

The Grand Show might look like a garden variety three-ring circus slot, but it has a novel trick or two up its sleeve to play.

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