Shangri La Basic Information:
Lost cities – more often less impressive than they seem. From the abandoned building projects of China to the abandoned build projects of Russia, in actuality these are far more creepy than rewarding. Shangri-La, though? Shangri La puts these entries to shame. Granted the city of Shangri La is fictional, but the very idea is one of mysticism and peace. It is only natural that such a place would be the eventual topic of a pokie. Is it worth your time to join the search for this city, or would you be better off staying at home? Read our review to find out…
This pokie was created by the developers at NextGen Gaming. These guys are another software designer with a heavy focus on slot based games. While not as prolific as the likes of Microgaming or NetEnt, this team does not let their lesser visibility affect the quality of their creations. This game was released on the 6th of March, 2017.
The NextGen system is compatible with a great many devices which are capable of running Flash. This means most PCs, Apple computers and tablets, along with a variety of other mobile devices. Check if your device supports flash, if it does you should be able to run games from NextGen.
Shangri La comes with a total of 15 paylines over 5 reels in a 3×5 layout.
- The minimum coins bet are static.
- The maximum coins bet are static.
- Minimum coin size sits a 0.01
- Maximum coins size sits at 10.00
- The return to player offered by this game is 96.63%, which approaches the higher end of average.
Shangri La is a game built around simplicity, and because of this the game has a notable lack of options. Rather than the traditional option screen, Shangri La has the majority of its options available from the main game screen.
- Betting Quantity Buttons
These simple increase or decrease the bet per line, though the paylines themselves cannot be customised.
- Audio Button
Moving the cursor over this button gives the player the ability to either set the volume at a specific level or mute the entire game.
- i Button
This is used to open the main game information screen. This section includes helpful information on symbols, game rules and payouts.
When this button is clicked the player is brought to the autoplay settings screen. From this screen the player is able to use a slider to determine the amount of autospins which they wish to play out. They can also simply set it to the last used settings.
The fictional city of Shangri La was first written of by British author James Hilton in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon. Hilton describes this city as a magical and harmonious place, safe from the hustle and bustle of the rapidly industrialising world. The location of this place is somewhat similarly mysterious, though we do know that it is found somewhere towards the western end of the Kunlun Mountain range.
Essentially, Shangri La counts as some type of utopia. It is a place where the people age much slower, and are in great attunement with the mountains and life itself.
In reality Shangri La is related to Shambala, another ancient mythical kingdom from the Tibetan Buddhist religion. This was actually sought out by explorers from the east and western but was never found, most likely because it was, you know, not real.
Other Features and Bonuses
The wild symbol in Shangri La comes in the form of this symbol which is simply labelled by the game as ‘Girl'. This can substitute for any symbol except the scatter. It can appear on reels 2,3 and 4 only. One or more of these substituting in a win doubles the payout.
The added wilds feature in Shangri La can be randomly activated during any spin. When this occurs additional wilds will be randomly added to the reels.
The scatter symbol in Shangri La appears as a golden something. Not exactly sure what that is supposed to be. These do not need to appear on an active payline in order to generate a win. If three or more of these are gained on a single spin the player will gain access to one of the game's bonus features. These are listed in the bonus games section below.
- 3 scatters give a 60x multiplier
- 4 scatters give a 300x multiplier
- 5 scatters give a 3000x multiplier
The added scatter feature in Shangri La can be randomly activated during any spin. When this occurs additional scatters will be randomly added to the reels.
This game also comes with a gamble feature. This feature is activated by simply pressing the button which appears on the bottom right hand side of the screen after any normal win. When this is pressed the player is brought to the gamble screen. On this screen the player can attempt to double their bet by selecting a 1/2 chance of winning red or black card draw. Alternatively, players can attempt to quadruple their bet by selecting a suit, each of which come with a 1/4 chance of winning. This process can repeat until the player has loses a gamble or the unlisted gamble limit is reached.
The bonus feature in this game are won when the player is able to gain three or more scatters in a single spin. Once this occurs the player will be randomly given access to one of four different bonuses. These are listed as follows:
The free games feature is just what it sounds like. When this is active the player will be given a total of 8 free spins. During this feature the player has access to the special wilds features. This feature includes greater chances of randomly added wilds as well as the expanding wilds feature. This feature allows wilds which land on reels 2,3 and 4 to be randomly stretched to fill the entire reels. Additional free spins can be retriggered from within this game.
The super free games feature gives the player 12 free spins. During this game the player has access to the special wilds features, just as with the regular free games bonus. Additional free spins can be retriggered from this game.
The chest bonus brings the player to another screen when it is won. On this screen the player is given a number of chests which can be clicked on. Many of these chests contain multipliers, which can slowly increase the prize to 15x the total bet maximum. The player is able to keep playing this until either they reach this maximum multiplier or until they reveal a trap.
The last of these bonuses is the trail bonus. When this is won a map of prizes will be shown. From here the player spins a wheel to randomly determine how many steps they will move on this map. This game will continue until the player lands on an ‘x' icon, or until the player reaches the maximum payout of 100x the total bet.
How to Play:
Basic play for Shangri La is as simple as a player selecting a betting amount and clicking spin.
Clicking the autoplay button allows the player to go through a selection of different amounts of autospins.
Overall Design and Usability:
A sharp looking game to be sure, and one which really illustrates the level of talent on offer from the developers over at NextGen Gaming. This game runs with the idea that Shangri La is a colourful and joyous place, which takes inspiration from the more striking parts of Asia's history and culture. This means gems, weapons, animals and architecture, all of which are fantastically well designed and well suited to the theme. The animations here could use a little work, however, as the spinning of the wheels especially feels a little choppy. This doesn't effect the gameplay at all, but it does somewhat ruin the brilliant affect of the rest of the game.
In terms of usability Shangri La is fairly average. When it comes to playability and reliability the game is great, the issue comes from a lack of options. This means that players on older or less powerful devices lack the ability to turn down the graphics or effects the make the game run better on their machines, which is a little bit of a let down. This lack of options also applies to the other areas in the game, including the autoplay function.
Where to find it:
NextGen Gaming may not be as common as the big boys in the business, but they still do very well. Check out the following links for website reviews which offer games from the NextGen Gaming framework. From here you can decide which casino works for you, and you can jump right in!
Shangri La is a game which suffers slightly in terms of usability, and in terms of animations, but those are the only areas in which this game does not excel. The static graphics here are great, combining history and mythology to great effect, and the general design of the game is strikingly pretty in almost all cases. Combine this with a solid bonus structure and you have a game which is a heck of a lot of fun. There are many games which we can only feel are worth recommending if you are a fan of the theme, but this is not one of those games. This is a pokie which everyone who loves pokies should be able to enjoy, so check it out if you get the chance.
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