Anime is all the rage these days – there’s certainly demand for it, which is why Playtech decided to make Magical Stacks, a Japanese anime themed mobile slot. The theme revolves specifically around the “magical girl” trope found frequently in Japanese anime pop culture.
It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but the eccentric symbols and fantasy-like girls have an element of kawaii that any fellow otaku would appreciate. Keep reading for the inside scoop on this mobile slot.
Now, click to read whichever section tickles your fancy.
|Release Date||May 2016|
|Slot type||Video Slot|
|Platform||Android App, iPhone App, Browser|
|Return to Player (RTP)||95.03%|
|Slot Reels/ Paylines||5 reels/ 20 paylines|
|Min/ Max Bets||20p – £400|
|Free Spins||Up to 10 free spins|
|Features||Free Spins, Win multipliers, Mystery stacks|
|Pros||Unique theme, exciting features|
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Magical Stacks is a five reel, 20 payline slot with a realistic-looking arcade machine interface. You’re greeted with a short intro of the anime protagonist’s transformation from an ordinary school girl to the magical girl she actually is – say hello to your new best friend! She’s perched on the side of the arcade machine throughout the game while in the back is a blurry background of an arcade area. Playable from a mere 20p to a staggering £400, this game will also suit both casual players and more serious players with the wide wager range that it offers.
Let’s move on to one of the more fascinating parts of this slot. What quirky symbols hold the higher value in the magical girl world? Those of the fruity kind – the typical casino arcade-style watermelons and cherries – as well as the bells, bars and the purple sevens. The ordinary symbols are pretty much the standard playing card symbols, being J, Q, K and A in the style of Japanese characters.
In this slot, wilds in the base game are the pink-haired girls which can offer payouts of up to £500 and as wilds, can also replace all other symbols except the bonus and scatter symbols. On the other hand, wilds during the free spins round are the white-haired girls.
The mystery cube with a question mark is a bonus symbol and the scatter symbol is the white creature pet that looks like it resembles a “kyubey” for those of you Madoka Magica fans out there. Then last but not least there’s also the gold medallion with the pink gem embedded in the middle which serves a special function in the bonus rounds, which we will explain in detail in the next section.
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Introducing… the Super Magical Free Games feature which one can trigger by landing 3 or more of the white pet scatter symbol on any reel. By getting this, you are automatically awarded 10 free spins and also a random multiplier amount ranging from 2x to 5x before the feature starts.
During the free spins round, each time you get the medallion symbol on the fifth reel your multiplier will go up by 1 up to a maximum of 5x, and for each time you don’t get a medallion on the fifth reel, the multiplier goes down by 1 but only to a minimum of 2x, so all would have not been for nought. Landing more of the white pet scattered symbol will re-trigger more free spins indefinitely and more mystery cubes will appear during this round.
Speaking of which, we haven’t covered the feature involving the mystery cubes yet – the Mystery Stacks. Stacks of these cubes appear randomly throughout the base game, but have a higher chance of appearance during the free spins round. These eventually all turn into the same symbol, which can be any symbol at random except scatters and the medallion symbol. We think scoring on this feature gives the highest potential for big wins (“Sugoi!”) if they match the same symbols that already on the reels, especially if they turn out to be wilds.
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We loved the pixelated style of this slot that Playtech so thoughtfully crafted, since it really jives with the theme of Japanese arcade and added a cute, fun vibe. The bright colors and animations were also aesthetically pleasing – my favourite one is the one where the magical girl uses her staff to cast the medallion into a multiplier.
With all its animations and cut scenes, Magical Stacks runs smooth across all devices on various platforms, and from the comprehensive tests we put it through, it passed with flying colors.
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We think Playtech successfully embodied Japanese gaming and anime pop culture particularly well in Magical Stacks compared to other slots, down to its zany soundtrack, shimmery sound effects and even audio blurbs in Japanese. That in itself is a feature that we feel is extremely worth it.
The Mystery Stacks are also a cool feature that adds an element of surprise to the game. It’s not enough to just have Wilds, and the added feeling of unpredictability at the start could potentially be really rewarding in the end.
Playtech has equipped Magical Stacks with sufficient extra features that could result in some big wins. The RTP is 95.03% and we feel that the best way to go about it is during the free spins feature where the big potential multipliers can offer some nice results, especially if you’re lucky enough to land multiple high value Mystery Stack boxes. Overall, a great concept if you’re looking for a cute, fun theme that isn’t too serious.