Wild Panda Slots
Wild Panda is one of the older slots games developed by Aristocrat Technologies, having been released in the 1990s. This game is becoming rarer in land based casinos due to its age, but it was given new life when Aristocrat released Wild Panda online in 2012.
So are there any changes or upgrades to this new version? Should you even bother playing this 90s slot in an age when casino gaming has become far more advanced?
We'll discuss whether Wild Panda still deserves a place in the modern slots world, but let's first go over the basics of this game.
Another thing you will find is a free, playable version of the game for you to try out below:
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The first notable aspect about this 5 reel game is that it has 100 pay lines. The standard for many slots is 20 to 30 pay lines, so right away you can see why this game is intriguing even today.
The 100 pay lines become even more attractive when you consider that you can activate 2 pay lines for only one cent. So you can unlock all 100 pay lines just by betting $0.50 per spin.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you're going to break the casino's bank, but 100 pay lines create a lot of possibilities on any single spin.
You can also adjust the coin size from $0.01 to $1.00, making the minimum bet worth one cent and the max bet worth $50.00. And like many Aristocrat slots, you can use the auto spin feature to let the reels perform anywhere from 5 to 50 spins without you having to do anything.
We have to say that the number of pay lines and relatively low cost are definite assets for Wild Panda.
Graphics and Animations
The graphics are mediocre, the sound effects are generic, and you won't find any wild symbols during the main game. This isn't the first Aristocrat slot to only have wilds in the bonus round, but it's still worth noting.
As for the theme, you won't be surprised to know that it involves pandas in an Asian bamboo forest. Symbols include many stereotypical aspects of Asian culture like temples, lotus flowers, oriental umbrellas, Chinese coins, and gold fish statues.
The game's background is nothing special either since it's a red bamboo forest, although it's tough to tell this is bamboo until you take a closer look.
On the plus side, this slot machine's cover art, which features a realistic panda eating bamboo, certainly looks good. We imagine this is one reason why Wild Panda initially got players' attention as they were walking through casinos.
You won't see many animations for winning payouts in this game, with most of the animations consisting of the symbols flashing when you win. A couple of exceptions to this include the panda eating bamboo when it appears in a winning combination and cherry blossom leaves sweeping over the temple.
The temple winning combinations feature traditional Asian music, which is one of the few times that you hear a unique jingle during wins. This temple is also the top paying symbol, delivering you 1,000 coins when it appears five times in a winning combination.
The Chinese coin is the scatter symbol, and it multiplies payouts by 4x for 3 symbols, 40x for 4 symbols, and 200x for 5 symbols. Assuming you're able to land five temples in a pay line coupled with three scatters on the reels, you receive the top overall prize of 200,000 credits.
So far, we've painted the picture that Wild Panda just doesn't have anything special to offer players in the modern slots industry.
Like many slots, Wild Panda features generic letters and numbers for some of its lower paying symbols. But the A, K, and Q have letters written over them that, when combined, spell the word PANDA.
If you're able to get all five of these letters on the reels at once, all other symbols disappear while the word PANDA comes together.
The bonus round is pretty basic since you only receive 5 free spins. But the special part is that you finally get to make use of the panda wild symbol.
The panda substitutes for every symbol except the Chinese coin scatter, and you'll typically see a lot of pandas on the screen during your free spins.
We again run into something that's pretty basic here in Wild Panda's bonus round. But trying to spell out the word PANDA can be really addicting and keep you spinning the reels.
We noticed quite a few near misses, where three or four letters would be on the screen. And while this doesn't result in any free spins, it keeps your hope up and makes the game a little more interesting.
Wild Panda Online
You can easily find Wild Panda online these days, which is more than can be said for some of Aristocrat's other popular slots.
The only downside to this is that the online version is exactly the same as what you'll find in land based casinos. We imagine that Aristocrat did this because the land based machine has become rarer, and some people still want a chance to enjoy this classic game.
Regardless, if you've already played Wild Panda in a brick and mortar casino, then you'll be playing the exact same thing online.
Wild Panda Compared to Other Aristocrat Slots
Given that Aristocrat didn't release any updated versions or sequels to Wild Panda, we'll compare this game to a few other popular slots that Aristocrat released around the same time period.
This is pretty much a replica of Wild Panda, except that it takes place in the Australian outback and features a muscle bound kangaroo.
The graphics are a little worse in this game, and you don't spell out any words to trigger the 5 spin bonus round. But one nice feature is that day turns to night as you play.
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Buffalo has slightly better graphics and animations than Wild Panda. For example, the buffalo charges at you when it appears in a winning combination.
The bonus variety is a little better too because you can trigger 8, 15, or 20 free spins by getting 3 to 5 scatters on the reels.
This Polynesian adventure features tiki statues, huts, and canoes. The graphical quality and animations are about the same as what you'll see in Wild Panda.
The bonus round is 8 free spins, which is similar to the basic setup in Wild Panda's bonus round. However, you trigger Tiki Torch's bonus round with three pearl scatter symbols.
It's always hard to compare a slot machine from the 90s to what has been released one or two decades later. Slots technology has improved so greatly that there's no chance for Wild Panda to truly stack up to anything produced in the 2000s.
But there are a few good qualities to Wild Panda, such as its low spin cost, 100 pay lines and bonus triggering concept.
As mentioned before, only having to spend one cent to activate two pay lines is nice. And trying to land all five PANDA letters on the screen adds some fun to this game too.
So if any of this sounds appealing to you, keep in mind that you can easily try Wild Panda online. However, for the vast majority of slots players, this game doesn't have the graphics or features that make it worth playing over many other games.