While many slots are themed on China, and some on India – the tiny country of Nepal is not well represented in online slots. Kathmandu from MicroGaming sets this record straight. This 9 win-line, slot takes many exotic symbols from Nepal. You will find elephants, ancient temples and rare fruits on the reels. In case you were wondering where Kathmandu can be found, one of the symbols shows a map.
An ornate bell plays an important role. This scatter symbol can trigger a free spins bonus game. During your free spins you will have an extra wild symbol. In addition to this, all wins are subject to a randomly assigned multiplier – which can give you up to 5x the amount on the pay table.
This game has the look and feel of an older online slot. The number of win-lines crossing the 5 reels reflects this. You will find 9 lines, which are non-adjustable. You can bet from 2c per line and up, and spin with up to 20 coins per line. This gives plenty of flexibility for players with different sized bankrolls. If you hit the ‘expert’ button on the control panel, additional options including auto-play will appear.
Wilds are represented by a circular instrument, a type of drum. These symbols have the biggest prize, in addition to their role as a substitute for the regular (not scatter) symbols. This is much bigger than the other prizes. If you get 5 wilds on any of the 9 win-lines, 6000 coins will come your way.
A circular symbol showing a multi-domed temple is the highest paying regular symbol. This is worth 750 coins for 5 of a kind, 100 for 4, 25 for 3 and 4 coins for just 4 from the left. As you will see below, this becomes an important symbol during the free spins game.
Higher paying symbols are completed by a country view showing temples (worth 600 coins for 5), an elephant in traditional costume (400), fruits (250) and the map (200). Lower paying symbols are the standard playing cards, aces down to tens.
Ornate bells are scatter symbols, which means they are not tied to the win-lines. The prizes for scatters are traditionally expressed in multiples of your total bet amount for each spin. If you get 5 bells anywhere in view, 100x your spin amount is awarded. You will get 25x this amount for 4, 3x for 3 and your bet back for just 2 bells anywhere in view.
If you hit 3 or more scatters, you get 15 free spins with two big benefits.
First, during your free spins, all wins are subject to a random multiplier between 2x and 5x what is on the pay table. This is shown underneath the reels after each win. Second, the domed temple symbols join the drums to become wilds. This increases the number of wilds on the reels significantly, giving you the potential for many more wins.
You can retrigger this bonus by hitting 3+ of the scatters at any point.
As an older game, the graphics are not as detailed as those on the latest online slots. The overall impression is positive, with the artwork bringing out the mysterious nature of this ancient country. The most familiar symbol will be the elephant (or rather the close-up of its head) with a traditional head-dress. The temple symbols have an exotic feel to them.
When the ornate bells hit the reel, you will hear a clanging sound. This is complemented by ambient casino sounds, and an odd soundtrack which plays during the free spins round. The reels take up most of the screen, which does not leave room for background graphics. You will find a stylised logo underneath the reels.
MicroGaming have stepped out from the usual themes with this game, and for me it was a successful diversion. Kathmandu is a solid slot more than an intensive or varied one. The older graphics do work well to bring out the mysterious nature of Nepal.
Game play wise the big draw of the base game is the potentially huge win with 5 wilds. Things get more interesting in the free spins round. Here you will have an additional wild, together with random multipliers for each win.