Travel back in time for a visit to the imperial palace on the slot from NetEnt. Long Pao will take you back to the ancient era when mighty emperors were ruling large swats of land in the Far East. The game is clearly geared towards our Asian slot friends with characters and symbols relating to the theme while the game engine itself is a copy of the existing NetEnt slot Jack Hammer. Respins with locked winning symbols and a free spins round with an x3 multiplier can lead to wins of up to 3,000 times your bet.
At the start of 2019, NetEnt shifted part of its focus to new markets, especially the Asian region, which has not really been on the radar of neither game providers nor casino operators. While players from Asia can register at most Malta or UK-based casino operators and also access the games, there was little choice that was actually specifically Asian themed. NetEnt has now changed course and is releasing Asian-titled slots at a rather high speed to cater for the region. However, instead of creating new games, they decided to reskin some of the most popular titles from their current portfolio. Below is a list what they have done so far and what is scheduled for the near future as well as the equivalent NetEnt originals
Long Pao is a video slot with five reels, three rows and 25 fixed pay lines. Wins are awarded for three to five matching symbols on a line from left to right only. You can travel to the Fare East on desktop or mobile from 0.25 to 250 credits per spin. The game has medium variance with a generous RTP of 96.96%.
An artist’s impression of an imperial palace with wooden beams is in the background of the simple game window which is dominated by characters of the royal family. While NetEnt included a traditional Asian acoustic piece as the main soundtrack, they kept the complete effects from Jack Hammer on the respin.
Open the game to find the card royals from J through to A and the emperor’s sword at the low end of the paytable, awarding 1.6x to 2.5x your stake for a single five of a kind. They are followed by four members of the royal family with the emperor being the most valuable. Hitting five on a line will pay 40x your bet while the other three come in at 8x to 12x your stake.
The Chinese symbol for Long Pao, which means as much as the dragon robe, is the wild symbol while a dragon icon marked with “Free Spin!” acts as the scatter. The wild appears on reels two to five only and performs the usual substitution duties.
Central to the entire gameplay on Long Pao is the Sticky Win respin feature. It activates when you score a win with any symbols or land at least three scatters at the start of a spin sequence. Any winning symbols or scatters are locked in place and a respin awarded to potentially land more matching symbols that improve the current winning combination or scatters that would then trigger the free spins. The respins continue as long as symbols are added to the winning combo and ends when you have either a full screen or no new symbol landed. Wins are then evaluated and paid in one amount.
Hitting five scatters anywhere on the reels, either outright on the initial spin or via the respins, will trigger the Free Spins feature. Five scatters will get you 10 free spins with the number increasing up to 30 free spins for nine or more scatters. The free spins can be retriggered indefinitely. During the feature, the Sticky Win respins are in play as well as an x3 multiplier for all wins. To score the maximum win in a single spin you would need a full screen of emperor symbols, which would pay 3,000x your bet.
NetEnt has chosen one of their oldest slots for this reskin, which is not really that exciting. For years now, Jack Hammer has not featured in the TOP100 of most played slots so the popularity is rather lacklustre, hence, only time will tell if our Asian friends will make Long Pao a hit. While the mechanic with sticky wins can lead to some substantial wins, it will need a very lucky day to see a full screen with premium symbols.