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Pandamania Slot Game

Nextgen Gaming released Pandamania, a video slot game, in
November 2014. The game uses active animations on several levels
to enhance the player experience. The game setting is a zoo
where a Panda has managed to escape from its cage and is now
running amok among the exhibits and scenery.

Pandas (more properly, Giant Pandas) are a species of bear
native to south central China. Their striking black and white
fur is recognized around the world. The Panda is even used as a
mascot or trademark for various products and services across the
globe (although many are probably using the Urdu surname Panda).
The name is believed to be a western conflation of the Nepalese
phrase “nigalya ponya”, which means “eater of bamboo”. Bamboo is
the primary food eaten by Giant Pandas in the wild.

Giant Pandas are distinguished from Lesser Pandas, small
creatures resembling raccoons who were once believed to be
relatives of the Giant Pandas. We now know that is not true.
Although classified as an endangered species, Giant Pandas are
kept in 18-20 zoos around the world and they are much loved by
the public. Pandamania plays on the popularity of the zoo-bound
Pandas with a very appropriate zoo setting.

Pandamania uses a random Panda Escape Bonus in addition to
two others plus Nextgen Gaming’s trademark post-spin Gamble
option. The game offers a theoretical return to player of
95.533%, which is pretty good compared to most other slot games.

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Game Basics & Symbols

Pandamania is a 5-reel, 3-row video slot game with 25
optional pay lines. All prizes are paid from left to right and
only the highest possible prize per line is awarded to the
player. The features in-tile animation, active background
animation, and random foreground animation that affects game
play. There are three special symbols in the game.

Except where noted below, all prizes are computed using a
multiplier determined by winning combination times the bet per
line, applied to each active pay line that awards a prize.

Wild Symbol

The game’s Wild symbol is the Panda. Its standard tile shows
the Panda eating candy from a concessionaire’s striped box. When
the Panda can contribute to a winning combination on a valid pay
line its tile becomes animated, showing the Panda tossing candy
into the air and catching it in its mouth. The Wild symbol
substitutes for all others except the Scatter and Pick Me
symbols, and any winning combinations using a Wild symbol pay a
double prize.

Scatter Symbol

The Panda Mania sign is the game’s Scatter symbol. When 2 of
these signs appear they pay 1 times the Total Bet wagered on the
spin, not the bet per line. 3 or more Scatter symbols trigger
the Free Spins bonus game and they pay 5 times, 20 times, or 100
times the Total Bet respectively for 3, 4, or 5 Scatter symbols.

Bonus Symbol

The Pick Me symbol is a special bonus round trigger. These
tiles only appear on reels 2, 3, and 4. When 3 Pick Me symbols
appear the bonus game begins.

Other Symbols


The Zookeeper is the highest value
symbol in the game after the Scatter. His prize values are 3
times bet per line for 2 adjacent symbols on a pay line, 25
times bet per line for 3 symbols, 250 times bet per line for
4 symbols, and 500 times bet per line for 5 symbols.

Zoo Tickets

The Zoo Tickets offer the next highest
value. 2 adjacent Zoo Tickets pay 2 times the bet per line,
3 tickets pay 20 times the bet per line, 4 tickets pay 100
times the bet per line, and 5 tickets pay 250 times bet per

Ice Cream

Candy/Vending Cart – The Ice Cream and Candy
symbol and the Vending Cart symbol both pay 15 times bet per
line for 3 adjacent symbols, 50 times bet per line for 4
adjacent symbols, and 200 times bet per line for 5 symbols.


The “A” and “K” symbols pay 10 times bet per line,
25 times bet per line, and 150 times bet per line for 3
adjacent symbols, 4 symbols, and 5 symbols respectively.


The “Q”, “J”, “10”, and “9” symbols pay 5
times bet per line, 20 times bet per line, and 100 times bet
per line for 3 adjacent symbols, 4 symbols, and 5 symbols

Display & Controls

There are two informational widgets positioned above the
screen with the playing reels. On the left is Total Bet (showing
the product of active pay lines and coin value bet per line). On
the right is your Balance, shown in currency.

A status bar runs across the bottom of the reels playing
area. The game displays tips and messages about the prizes you
have won here.

Below the screen with the reels are a series of game
controls. They are, from left to right:


This blue button with a white letter “i”
on it brings up the help screens, of which there are five.
Use the left and right arrows to navigate through the
screens and click on the red “X” button when you want to
return to the game.


A sound toggle button is positioned just
below the Information button.

Pay Lines

The Pay Lines widget has four components: a
Max Lines jagged bar that is only clickable when fewer than
25 pay lines are active; a red down and blue up arrow to
help you adjust the number of active pay lines; and a
display box showing how many pay lines are active. You can
click on any pay line number on either side of the screen to
set that many pay lines to active status. Higher-numbered
pay lines are deactivated. You can also use the up and down
arrow keys on your computer keyboard to adjust the number of
pay lines.

Coin Value

Next to the Pay Lines widget is a Coin
Value widget. This widget has four components: a Max Bet
icon drawn like a small stack of coins at the top; a red
down and blue up arrow to help you scroll through the
available coin values; and a display box showing you which
coin value is active as your bet per line. You can use
values ranging from 0.01 to 2.00. The right and left arrow
keys on your computer keyboard act as the red down and blue
up controls for this widget.

Win Display

The WIN display bar tells you how much you
won from the last spin.

Gamble Button

To the right of the Win window is
a Gamble button denoted by a red Heart and black Club. This
button is only active after a prize has been awarded and
before you click on Spin.

Autoplay Button

The Autoplay button is next. Click on
Autoplay to bring up a widget with a slider control that
allows you to set how many spins the game will make for you.
It deducts the amount of your most recent wager for
each automated spin. You can choose from 0 to 100 spins. The
game deducts the Total Bet amount for each spin from your
Balance and stops when you interrupt it, you run out of
money, or it completes the last scheduled spin.

Spin Button

The Spin button initiates a single
game. It disappears from view while the reels are spinning.

Pandamania Bonus Rounds

There are three bonus rounds in Pandamania, plus the gamble

Panda Escape Bonus

During normal game spins and Free Spins the escaped Panda may
ring the bell on the vendor cart and come cycling in front of
the screen. He’ll zap 1 or more Zookeeper tiles to turn them
into Wild symbols. This only happens if the converted Wilds will
help award a prize but the Panda does not always help you.

You’ll occasionally see other pandas moving around in the
background, including running behind the reels or diving off a
cliff with a waterfall.

You should see more Panda Escape bonuses during the Free
Spins game.

Free Spins Bonus

When 3 or more Scatter symbols appear on the screen the Free
Spins game begins. You win 10 free games and all prizes are

The game can be triggered again.

Pick Me Bonus

When 3 locks on cage doors appear on reels 2, 3, and 4 you
are prompted to pick one. You may win a single prize or all
prizes. If you win a single prize you may be told to play again.

Gamble Feature

After any spin where you have won a prize the Gamble button
becomes clickable and remains so until you use it or you click
on Spin. You are presented with a new dialog featuring the back
of a playing card.

The Gamble game gives you the chance to double or quadruple
your prize. If you win, you get another chance to double or
quadruple your prize. The game stops when the prizes become too
large, when you click on Cancel or Take Win, or when you lose.

There are two ways to gamble. The first option is to choose
either Red or Black as the color of the card that will be shown.

The second option is to choose one of four playing card suits
(Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, or Spades).

If the card turns out to match your choice you either double
or quadruple your money.


If you want to play a slot game that is filled with random
chances to make money it will be hard to find one that offers
more options than Pandamania. There will be times when the
screen is crawling with Pandas, so the game lives up to the name
quite well.

The ambient sounds and music are suitable for a visit to the
zoo. You may decide to disable the sound after a while. That
won’t affect game play. You don’t need to hear anything.

The busy background is both intriguing and a little
distracting. When the Pandas run amok you’ll smile the first
time and you may even start to look for them after a while.

A Panda runs behind the reels or does something near the
water if a normal Wild symbol turns up and helps win a
combination but other things move in the background too. There
are clouds cruising across the sky, a couple of flags waving in
the breeze, a very active waterfall, etc. None of those special
effects have any impact on the game. Only the Panda running
loose with the vending cart changes anything for you.

One other interesting thing occurs in the game. The normal
Wild symbol and the converted Wild symbol move asynchronously if
they both contribute to a prize. The discrepancy does not appear
to have any significance.

Pandamania is a cute game to play. It is worth a look,
especially if you like games packed with bonus features and
multiple ways to win.