King Tiger Slots
Released in 2009, Nextgen Gaming's King Tiger is a standard video slot using an Indian wildlife theme for symbols. Because the tiger is native to India and so closely associated with the Indian sub-continent in the popular imagination, the game designers complemented the tiger with pictures of other wildlife from the region including the Indian Elephant (scientific name Elephas maximus indicus), the Gaur (aka the Indian Bison, scientific name Bos gaurus), the Chousingha (aka four-horned antelope, scientific name Tetracerus quadricornis), and the red-headed Sarus crane (scientific name Grus antigone).
Most people who play this game probably won't recognize all the animals, but because it's an older game with very simple graphics there is no opportunity for players to see anything characteristic of these species. The illustrations are full-color but of the quality that might be found in a children's zoology book or encyclopedia article.
The game itself incorporates a couple of advanced design features for the 2009 gaming era but they seem quite tame by contemporary standards. The most helpful feature is the individual pay line prize report. The pay line tabs on either side of the screen expand to tell you how much each line pays when a winning combination appears on it.
The theoretical return to player is 95.05%, which is not bad for a slot game, but more modern Nextgen games may have a slightly better RTP. Return to Player is the estimate of how much money the players will retain as they play over long periods of time. Naturally, any big win you experience could leave you with a lot of money, and you may also lose all your money if you play too long.
Gameplay Features and Mechanics
King Tiger is a 5-reel, 3-row video slot game based on Indian wildlife. The game uses up to 20 selectable pay lines and pays all prizes from left to right. There are two special symbols in the game, a Wild and a Scatter. All tiles that contribute to a winning combination pulsate to help you see which pay line paid. A colored pay line also flashed across the tiles, connecting to the expanded tab that reports how much that pay line's prize paid you.
Prizes are calculated by applying a winning combination's multiplier to the bet per line. For example, if a combination of three symbols pays 20 times and the bet per line is $0.10, then the prize for that winning combination per pay line is $2.00.
The Wild symbol is the tiger for which the game is named. A standard Bengal tiger illustration is used. It substitutes for all other symbols in the game except the Scatter. The Tiger only appears on reels 2, 3, and 4 and it may be stacked. The Tiger roars from any tile that contributes to a winning combination.
The Scatter symbol is a pink Indian Water Lotus, a flower with broad petals that is sometimes confused with a Waterlilly (the petals are much narrower). The Scatter symbol pulsates at least once when it appears regardless of whether it contributes to a prize. The Scatter symbol pays 2 times bet per line for 2 symbols, 5 times bet per line for 3 symbols, 10 times bet per line for 4 symbols, and 100 times bet per line for 5 symbols.
The game has four high-value symbols:
- The Elephant
- The Gaur
- The Chousingha
- The Crane
The Scatter, the Elephant, and the Gaur are the only symbols that prizes for 2 of a kind combinations. All other regular symbols require at least 3 of a kind for a prize.
The Elephant pays 3 times bet per line for 2 symbols, 100 times bet per for 3 symbols, 200 times bet per line for 4 symbols, and 5000 times bet per line for 5 symbols.
The Gaur pays 2 times bet per line for 2 symbols, 30 times bet per line for 3 symbols, 100 times bet per line for 4 symbols, and 1000 times bet per line for 5 symbols.
The Chousingha and Crane both apply 20X multipliers for 3 symbols, 75X multipliers for 4 symbols, and 500X multipliers for 5 symbols in winning combinations.
The remaining (low value) tiles in the game are the traditional playing card "A", "K", "Q", "J", "10", and "9". The "A" and "K" pay up to 200 times bet per line for 5 symbols in a winning combination, the "Q" and "J" pay up to 150 times bet per line for 5 symbols, and the "10" and "9" pay up to 100 times bet per line for 5 symbols.
All of the game controls and informational widgets are placed below the screen area with the reels. A status line directly beneath the reels displays little tips explaining the game or spouts short platitudes like "Good luck!" and "Feel the power and the majesty of King Tiger".
To the left of the status bar is an orange sound control icon that toggles game sound on and off.
A red Info button is displayed right beneath the sound icon. Click on Info and you are taken into the help screens, which show you the pay tables and explain the rules of the game. There are six screens. Use the Back and Next buttons to scroll through the screens and click on Game to return to the game.
The Autoplay button brings up a dialog with Nextgen's characteristic slider control that allows you to set from 0 to 100 automated spins. You can click on Last Settings or adjust the slider and then click on Start. The amount of your wager is deducted at the beginning of each spin and the game stops if your balance drops below the amount of the wager. You can also stop the auto spinning at any time.
Your current Balance is displayed just below the Autoplay button.
To the right of Autoplay you'll find the Pay Lines control. Use the plus and minus buttons adjust the number of active pay lines up or down. You can also click on the numbered tabs on either side of the screen playing area. Clicking on a numbered tab activates all the pay lines up to that line, or deactivates all the lines above it. For example, if you have 10 active pay lines and click on 15 then 5 more pay lines are activated but if you have 17 active pay lines and click on 15 then you turn off 2 active pay lines.
You can click on Max beside the Lines control to active all 20 pay lines. This does not affect the amount of the bet per line.
The Bet control uses plus and minus icons to allow you to scroll through all the bet per line values, ranging from 0.02 to 4.00. You can click on Max to the left of the control to just set it to $4.00 per pay line. This does not affect the number of active pay lines.
The Total Bet amount per spin is displayed just beneath the Bet control. Hence, if you bet the Max pay lines (20) and the Max bet per line ($4.00) you will see $80.00 in the Total Bet window. This is how much is deducted from your balance on each spin, even in Autoplay spins.
To the right of the Bet control is a Gamble button. This is only active immediately after any spin where you win a prize. See below for details on how this works.
The last control on the right is the Spin button.
Immediately beneath the Gamble and Spin buttons is the Win widget that tells you how much your total win was for the last spin or bonus game.
Bonus Round & Gamble Feature
The Free Spins bonus game begins as soon as 3 or more Water Lotus symbols appear on the screen. All prizes during this bonus game are tripled.
You may trigger more free spins while one set of free spins is still playing.
The status bar beneath the reels tells you which Free Spin (of the current set) is being played.
The Gamble feature gives you a chance to win some extra money. This feature is only active after a spin (or Free Spins game) in which you won a prize.
In other words, you can only gamble with a prize just won, not your normal balance.
Click on the Gamble button and you'll bring up a dialog with two sets of options separated by a face down playing card.
The options on the left are RED and BLACK. Choose one. If the playing card, when turned up, has your color, you double your money.
The options of the right consist of the four suits of a standard playing card deck. Pick one of these instead of Red or Black. If the playing card is of the suit you chose, you win four times your money.
You can keep doubling or quadrupling your money until you hit the game's limit or until you lose your money. This is an all-or-nothing game so you must win every time in order to keep going.
There is a control that reveals the playing card history if you feel better knowing which cards from a virtual deck have already been dealt to you during the current Gamble feature.
Click on Take Win to claim your winnings and exit the game.
King Tiger is hardly the game you want to write home and tell all your friends about. The soundtrack consists of synthetic music and the only ambient sound of any worth is the tiger's roar. Even the bonus game fails to excite you as it doesn't use any splashy transition screens, change background, or use an interesting musical instrument. Even a synthetic sitar would have been a nice touch. Except for the fact the background music changes, you almost would not know you were in a bonus game until see that the prizes are paying three times what they normally would.
If your first exposure to a Nextgen slot game is one of their more modern offerings the controls may be a little off-putting for you. For example, you can change the number of active pay lines in this game. That seems to be less important to players than game designers realized in the first decade of the 21st century as many contemporary games have done away with choosing the number of active pay lines.
The Gamble feature makes this game more interesting, as does the chance to retrigger the Free Spins bonus. Toss in the triple prize on the Free Spins and this game holds up well against others that came out at the same time. It's a play-for-the-money kind of slot game more than a "oh, this is cool" slots game. Don't look for back stories, interesting characters, or great music.