The Black Mamba slot machine is the latest rock-based branded title from Swedish gaming outfit Play'n GO. Once again Play'n GO have gone down the obscure European rock band route rather than the world-renowned rock superstar path taken by NetEnt with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Guns ‘n Roses, & Jimi Hendrix. Whether PnG is just looking at keeping the licensing costs low, or just trying to champion less well-known but equally worthy Euro talent we don’t know – I’d suspect a bit of both. In any case, from 14th November 2019, Black Mamba joins Play'n GO’s other branded rock slots, Sabaton, House of Doom, and Demon, for your consideration.
For the uninitiated, Black Mamba is an Italian four-piece rock band comprising Martina Cori (vocals), Cecilia Nappo (bass), Alexandra Maiolo (guitar), and Fred Marangoni (drums). According to their website, Black Mamba “has given the 70s and 80s Rock sound the revival it has been waiting for.”
The game itself is a 5x5 grid slot in which winning combinations are formed by three or more identical symbols anywhere on the grid as long as they are vertically or horizontally adjacent. Winning combos are then removed from the board, their spaces filled by any symbols still above them.
This is a highly volatile slot packed with mini-features and a free spins round which benefits from enhanced versions of the base game mini-features as well as extra, added bonuses.
Black Mamba comes with a max payout of 5,000x the bet size and can be played from €0.20 to €100 a spin.
Design & Symbols
The background to the slot is of a typical underground rock club, dimly lit with exposed brick walls decorated with band posters and logos and a black bar littered with beer bottles. The reel set meanwhile is a typical 5x5 grid set up with translucent black reels. Either side of the gameboard is stacked speakers, with the reels acting as the ‘stage’ in this scenario. Individual band members appear from time to time standing in front of the speaker stack to the right of the reel set. Throughout the game, you can hear parts of the band’s song collection.
Low-value symbols are microphones, headphones, plectrums, and cymbals. High-value symbols are band members Alexandra, Cecilia, Fred, and Martina, as well as the Black Mamba wild. Martina, who is the highest value symbol is also a wild and appears with a 2x multiplier. Get five Martina’s in a row to win 50x your bet size. As well as three or more identical symbols in a row awarding a cash win, three or more in a row of any combination of band members also awards a cash win.
- Increasing Win Multipliers
- Solos (one each for Alexandra, Cecilia, Fred, and Martina
- Free Spins
Increasing Win Multipliers
As Black Mamba operates a cascading symbol mechanic, it is possible to string together a number of reaction wins after symbols cascade from above to replace symbols form winning combinations which are removed after the win. Each consecutive reaction win adds a 1x win multiplier to the next cascade. The win multiplier resets to 1x when there are no more winning cascades. A winning combo of 3 low-value symbols transforms the middle symbol into a wild for the next cascade. A winning combo of 3 high-value symbols transforms the middle symbol into a Martina wild for the next cascade.
Each band member has a solo feature which can appear randomly after any losing spin and appear after EVERY losing spin during free spins. When activated the chosen band member takes their place in front of the speaker stack and performs their solo reel modifier. They are as follows;
- Alexandra: Destroys 2 sets of any symbols
- Cecilia: Adds up to 2 wilds to the grid
- Fred: Transforms one set of symbols to another set of symbols
- Martina: Removes all symbols except wilds from the bottom row and replaces a band member symbol with a Martina Wild (if there are any band members on the bottom row). Martina’s solo only takes place during the concert feature and after every spin in the free spins round.
To the right of the reels, the bass speaker also takes the form of a charge-meter. The charge meter has six segments. A segment is filled with every band member who forms part of a winning combo. Land 4 or more win contributing band members in one spin to activate the concert feature. Prior to the concert feature starts, the reels and any win multiplier are both resets. During the concert feature, all four bandmates add their solo reel modifiers one after the other. Landing 5 or 6 band member symbols in winning combos from the same spin and you are have deemed to have “overcharged” the meter which allows the win multiplier from the previous spin to roll over into the concert feature.
Clearing the grid of all symbols awards 8 free spins. During free spins, the active band member performs their solo after every losing spin. Martina performs her solo after every single free spin. Triggering the concert feature during free spins is also possible. Furthermore, triggering the concert feature with a charge of 4 adds 2 more free spins. Triggering the concert feature in free spins with 5 or 6 charges adds 4 more free spins. Free spins start with the win multiplier which was in place when they were triggered. The win multiplier increases by 1x after each consecutive win. When there are no more winning reactions the win multiplier drops to the multiplier in place when free spins were triggered. Clearing the grid during free spins pays an instant win of 50x the current bet size.
Our Thoughts on Black Mamba
Although Black Mamba is very similar to another of Play'n GO’s grid slots (Rise of Olympus), it does offer something new with the addition of the increasing win multipliers and an extra reel modifier (Martina) which removes the bottom row and adds wilds.
As ever, Play'n GO’s graphics, design, and animation are rather good, and the Rock theme lends itself well to such a dynamic game. In fact it may seem as though there are too many features to comprehend in one sitting. In reality, however, most are simple reel modifiers which are easy to follow.
This fast-paced game has decent potential and a highly enjoyable bonus round. The rock thing may not be to everybody’s taste, but it is a lot of fun and another great slot from Play'n GO.