Anyone who has been around the online slot game scene for a while will know that Dia de los Muertos, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead, is one of the go-to themes for many of the top software studios. And Pragmatic Play continues this trend with their version of the calendar event in Mexico, although they have dropped the word 'the' for obvious reasons. Day of the Dead in the South American country, of course, ties into Halloween, and these elements come through in a game that comes with a couple of features, decent winning potential and a few spooky moments here and there.
Slot machines with a Dia de los Muertos theme are ten a penny in the iGaming universe, but this is a Pragmatic Play release, a developer who has given us titles such as Big Bass Bonanza and Empty the Bank. So, they naturally breathe new life into the concept by taking everything that works and adding their own take on proceedings, such as a max win of 4,500x and visuals that allow Halloween to infiltrate subtly. Walking Wilds, something we will come onto shortly, are an exciting inclusion because they have a couple of roles and actions, and they always result in a positive outcome.
Like many others who create slots that fit an event on the calendar, Pragmatic will be hoping punters at UK casino sites specifically will want to spin the reels all year round. The betting range of 20p per spin minimum and a max stake of £100 will help as it makes the game accessible, as does the ability to play on a range of devices, including mobile. The slot also ranks at the upper end of the scale for volatility, which fits with the top prize of 4,500x the stake.
Most of the icons that appear in Day of Dead are regular symbols, aside from a couple of wilds and a scatter. Instead of the traditional 10 – A royals as the lower-paying selection, we get spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs, which is a nice and welcome change from the norm. The rest of the symbols are made up of theme-related images, including maracas, drum, guitar, dog and three characters.
The regular version of one of the two wilds can pay directly, with wins of up to 0.4x the stake. However, the expanding wild will trigger the Walking Wild Respin feature, and the scatter can produce free spins and respins. It’s the walking wilds that the gameplay centres on, and they’re active in the base game and features.
If anything is going to prevent this slot from being another generic game with a Day of the Dead theme, it’s what is on offer via the bonuses, features and jackpots. Everything very much starts and ends with walking wilds, which are represented by a gravestone. When they appear, they expand to cover the reel, triggering the Walking Wilds Respin feature, where a respin will repeatedly occur as the wild takes a step to the left. The re-spins end when the wild walks off the screen, but others can be found during to keep the round alive.
The skull scatter will also prove useful, as its presence on reels 1, 3 and 5 during a spin will trigger the Free Respins feature. Two walking wilds are guaranteed, and they will make their way from left to right. If punters happen to stumble across a gravestone icon during the bonus round, the current multiplier will rise, increasing winning potential significantly.
The features, primarily because of the involvement of walking wilds, are the star of the show. And some players will be delighted to hear that there is the option to buy into the Respin Bonus feature without having to spend time or money triggering it. But it will set you back 100x your stake.
Pragmatic Play’s venture into the Day of the Dead theme has resulted in them calling their release Day of Dead because of titles that have gone before. And, it’s a topic that gets a lot of coverage. But, this is a decent effort by one of the top studios in the business, and there are no other slots in this genre ready to play at PartyCasino when we did this review.