Yanaha’s Rite: Slot Overview
A quick Google search revealed the name 'Yanaha' means either 'brave' or 'she faces the enemy'. In movies, at least, Native American names always carry with them a deeper meaning that somehow reflects their personality. Just how well Hollywood represents reality or is simply reinforcing a stereotype is an interesting question. Coming across as more than a little stereotypical is Yanaha's Rite from provider SG Digital, which crams every Native American cliché into one big slot. However, it's also an intriguing game, offering a number of features and mechanics that are quite unique.
Slots set in the North American prairies and deserts are nothing new, but right from the start, it's clear Yanaha's Rite does things out of the ordinary. The first clue is its 4-reel, 6-row grid matrix, which pays both left to right, as well as top to bottom - also expanding during free spins. SG went to town on the theme by including such things as a Totem Pole in the ground against a hot, dry, rocky background and the enchanting sound of panpipes. A Native American chap on the left waves in the wind, beating a drum during free spins to unleash grid modifiers.
Yanaha's Rite can be played on any device, where players set stakes from 20p/c to £/€50 per spin. The game uses a scatter collection system of sorts, which starts from scratch when changing bet levels. However, progress at each level is saved so you can return to a previous stake without losing anything. Decent stats can be found at every turn, starting with an RTP value of 96.7%, while the game runs on a medium/high volatile setting.
Even the symbols do their best to represent Native American culture, including 4 low and three mid-paying artistic designs. Scanning the paytable is a bit like stepping into the Desert Watchtower on the Grand Canyon's southeastern rim. Higher value symbols are made up of 3 characters – a brave, a lady, and the chief in a full feathered headdress. In the base game, combinations up to 6 of a kind are possible, paying out up to 5 times the bet for the Chief premium, or 8 of a kind in free spins for a 20x the bet win. Lastly, wild symbols land to replace any pay symbol to help complete a combo, but they only appear during free spins to do so.
Yanaha’s Rite: Slot Features
Running alongside the Dual Ways pays system is a round of free spins boasting 4 various reel modifiers. To trigger free spins, 4 scatters symbols are needed; however, the way they do this is a bit out of the ordinary. How it works is when at least one scatter hits, it lights up a quarter of the Totem Pole next to the reels. If 4 scatters are collected during the next 20 spins, the bonus game is awarded. While collecting, a counter appears above the grid to track how many of the 20 spins are left.
8 free spins are awarded and 4 new modifiers become accessible. On every free spin, the man on the left bangs his drum to let loose an etheric animal spirit shape which bounds onto the grid, awarding one of these four Spirit Modifiers:
- Bear – the lumbering bear applies a random multiplier of x2, x3, x4, x5, or x10 to any wins.
- Eagle – adds a number of wilds to random positions on the board.
- Hare – adds mystery symbols to the grid, which all transform into the same pay symbol.
- Wolf – adds extra positions to the grid for the rest of the feature, making it up to 8 reels wide at the most.
Scatters continue to appear on the grid during the bonus round, so filling the Totem Pole during the feature adds +5 more free spins to the remaining total.
Yanaha’s Rite: Slot Verdict
Yanaha's Rite delves about as deep into Native American culture as a slot has ever been, and this immersion manages to add a curiosity factor to see exactly what might unfold. Some might find the game overly clichéd, fair point. Others might even be offended by a perceived cultural appropriation, but every part of Yanaha's Rite is so convincingly in theme it drags you into its unique game world. As well as the thematic attraction, the unusually laid out grid, and the Dual Ways pays system layer on intrigue, so initially at least, you want to see what it will do next.
Hit spin, and the way reels cloud over to reveal new symbols rather than spin could be the first divisive act of the game. It might not be a deal-breaker, yet after a while, you kind of miss some reel-spinning action, plus the cloud device is a tad slow, an accusation that could be aimed at other areas of the game – Spirit Modifier animations, for example. Some may enjoy these extra quirks; others may find them a chore to have to sit through. They all add to the experience though, so if this subject interests you, these extra touches are sure to please.
Gameplay-wise, Yanaha's Rite produces more positives than negatives. Good on SG for being all innovative by coming up with Dual Pays Ways. As well as being quite original, the pay system gets a chance to work with the reel-expanding Wolf modifier to produce some fun moments. Speaking of potential, Yanaha's Rite has SG's standard £250,000 win cap, but like the paytable says, not all stake levels are able to hit such an amount.
For a game that's different enough to stand out, it's worth taking a look at Yanaha's Rite. Theme and gameplay offer something you don't see every day, so kudos to SG for being experimental and not simply following the herd. It'll help if you're into things like spirit guides or dream catchers or the magical side of Native American life. If you are, then Yanaha's Rite will be a rich cultural journey.
Taken as a whole, Yanaha’s Rite is a fairly well-produced game that delivers a pleasing gaming experience for those that are into the spiritual side of things.