Those who go to Africa for hunting or animal watching generally don’t have wildebeests high up on their must-see or must kill lists. Usually, that honour goes to the top five (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalos), along with whatever they can bag along the way. Developer Play’n GO seek to redress this by shining the spotlight on the mighty, yet humble, wildebeest. Also called a Gnu, here it has cleverly been dubbed the Win-A-Beest, accompanied by expanding reels, wild multipliers, and free spins.
The wide-open African plains greet players when the game loads. Play’n GO know how to paint a pretty picture, and have gone to town on Win-A-Beest. The 5-reel game area sits in what looks like a safari/hunting lodge structure, its wooden frames lashed together and decorated in horns. Behind it, windswept Savannah grass, hills and African Acacia trees make up the backdrop. A pretty sight indeed.
Playable from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin across any device, the reels are initially laid out in a 2-4-4-4-2 formation to provide 256 ways to win. However, rows and win ways get a boost during the features, as you will see. Winning combinations are formed by three or more matching symbols landing consecutively from the first reel onwards. This, of course, is a bit trickier during the base game since there are just two positions on the first reel, although features help increase the odds whenever they activate.
Despite the beasts onscreen, behind the scenes the math model is not quite so wild. Actually, it is pretty tame, by Play’n GO standards at least, with a medium volatility rating of 6/10. When it comes to RTP, make sure to check the paytable before embarking on the hunt. This is because RTP varies from a default rating of 96.12% can be lower depending on the operator’s configuration.
Looking at the paytable reveals a mixture of African themed icons, dominated by the miffed looking wildlife. It starts with J-A symbols designed as if made out of wood, colourful wood at that. Next are the beasts – leopards, rhinos, lions, and elephants. These four are classed as the high pays, where five of a kind is worth from 2 to 2.5 times the stake.
The Win-A-Beest symbol is called the Super High Pay, worth 5 times the stake for five of a kind. You might think ‘Super High Pay’ sounds like a misnomer in this situation, but the features have a way of seriously enhancing its value. Win-A-Beest comes bundled with two wild symbols - one standard wild and a x2 wild multipliers which doubles the payout when used in a winning combination.
Those animals on the grid look mad for a reason. Win-A-Beest is a slot that can go mental at any moment due to potent features such as Beest Mode, Beest Mode Spins, and Stampeding Spins.
The Beest Mode feature may randomly trigger during the main game or on free spins. When it does, all reels expand to their full 4-row capacity, increasing win ways to 1,024. Not just that, but all standard symbols are removed to make way for wilds, scatters, wild multipliers and Win-A-Beests land during Beest Mode.
Should 3 or more scatters appear in Beest Mode, then Beest Mode Spins are triggered - 3, 4, or 5 scatters awards 4, 6, or 8 Beest Mode Spins respectively. Here, the Beest Mode feature is active on every one of these spins, meaning 1,024 ways to win are in play where only wilds, scatters, wild multipliers, and Win-A-Beests land. This feature can theoretically be retriggered indefinitely.
Landing at least 3 scatter symbols during the base game triggers a different bonus round known as Stampeding Spins - 3, 4, or 5 scatters in view award 8, 12, or 20 free spins. Also played on a fully expanded 1,024 win ways grid, Beest Mode Spins may be triggered from a Stampeding Spin if Beest Mode is active. If it is, then the Beest Mode Spins are played separately before returning to the Stampeding Spins. Moreover, scatters remain on the reels where it is possible to retrigger the feature without limit.
Win-A-Beest might not appear as sophisticated as it is at first glance, but there are some pretty nifty features on board. Beest Mode tears up the grid at any time, totally opening the board in the process. Even better is a batch of Beest Mode Spins, increasing the chances of a metaphorical stampede occurring. Stampeding Spins take it one step further with the chance of combining all three features in a sequence.
Win-A-Beest’s volatility might not be high, but this is a slot that can go insane whilst also being able to offer a decent amount of play time. A quick calculation turns up a figure of 5,120x for a grid of Win-A-Beests when all win ways are active. It gets even juicier when an x2 wild multiplier shows up on the screen. During a billion simulated spins, wins of up to 10,240 times the stake were achieved. Not a bad figure for a medium volatility slot, and a higher than usual one from Play’n GO in general.
Win-A-Beest is yet another Play’n GO slot that is hard to detect many faults in. It looks great, the features can go ballistic, and potential lurks in the long grass, like some big game target. Win-A-Beest might not transcend the African nature genre, but it’s a rock-solid example which sits head and horns over many in the category.
Win-A-Beest proves to be another solid release from Play’n GO with plenty of meat on its bones.