Serengeti Kings is an exciting new slot game created by the slot game masters at NetEnt studios. NetEnt has been cautious about entering the “Bonus Buy” slot market, possibly because such features are frowned upon (or even banned) in many of their biggest markets. Their initial strategy was to release two versions of each game, one with the bonus buy feature and one without.
That approach appears to have been dropped for Serengeti Kings. If you are in the United Kingdom or any other market which prohibits bonus buy features, the option to purchase a bonus round will simply not be visible whilst playing Serengeti Kings.
This change opens up the possibility of bypassing the limitation using a VPN to change your location to another country before opening the game, but be sure to talk to casino support before you do this – some casinos prohibit the use of a VPN completely, whilst others are okay with it as long as you only switch it on whilst playing your desired game.
Serengeti Kings Slot Game Overview
Let’s be honest; NetEnt’s recent output hasn’t been great. We’ve seen them publish a bunch of mediocre titles recently, but don’t look away just yet – Serengeti Kings is a return to form for what was once the most formidable force in online gaming, and who knows what they have planned next!
Slot developers appear to have upped their game in terms of sound and music quality recently – the background music in Serengeti Kings is somehow lively yet unobtrusive. Within 10 minutes of beginning to test a new slot game, I will normally be searching for the mute button. I’m pleased to say that was not the case here, so congratulations to the musician responsible for the audio used in this game.
Spinning the Reels for the First Time
Spinning the reels for the first time, Serengeti Kings, pretty much seems like any other slot. You might notice that each time a Lion appears on the reels, it will be collected and added to the meter shown in the top-right corner of the screen. A similar looking meter on the left-hand side of the reels looks to be counting to 12 each time you spin. What is happening?
Here’s where things get interesting – Serengeti Kings has two modes of play. You begin in Lion Spins mode, which takes place during the daytime, then switch to Panther Spins mode after 12 spins. On your 12th lion spin, the Lion Feature activates, and all collected lion symbols will be placed on the reels at random. Any lion placed on top of a panther will transform into a wild. I managed to collect 12 lions during my first 12 spins, resulting in a decent win.
At this point, the graphics transforms from day to night, the background music stops and is replaced by the sound of crickets, and you will begin collecting panthers instead of Lions. It’s an interesting idea that has been implemented extremely well. The lions and panthers you collect have an interesting effect on the bonus buy feature too, so be sure to check our Special Features section below for more details about that.
Serengeti Kings Paytable
The scatter symbol has no value of its own in this game, which I always find a little disappointing. Fortunately, Serengeti Kings makes up for this in several other ways. Firstly, the wild symbol sits firmly atop everything else on the pay table in this game. Wilds pay 50x, 10x, or 3x your stake for lines of five, four, or three respectively. That might not sound impressive at first, but bear in mind that many more wilds tend to appear during the Lion and Panther features, and they are reasonably common in the base game as well.
Beneath this, you have the lions and panthers themselves, which both feature payouts of 5x, 2x, and 1x. Again, that may sound small but keep in mind that these symbols often transform into wilds, gain multipliers, and pay out multiple times due to the 26 paylines.
There are four further animal symbols with five-of-a-kind payouts of 3x or 2x, as well as five royals, which pay just 1x your stake for a full line of five. I think that’s a good enough justification to skip talking about their lower payouts!
The special features offered by Serengeti Kings continue to throw up many surprises – this is undoubtedly a unique game that has had a lot of thought put into it. Let’s start with the Lion & Panther features, which are automatically triggered every twelve spins.
Lion & Panther Features
The Lion and Panther features occur every 12 spins, and place all your collected symbols onto the reels in random positions, but interesting things start to happen when specific symbols happen to overlap.
- If a lion is placed on top of a panther, or vice versa, that symbol will transform into a wild.
- If a lion or panther is placed on top of an identical symbol, a multiplier will be added to the symbol.
- If a lion or panther is placed on top of a wild, a multiplier will be added to the wild.
Unlike most games where multipliers affect the total payout, Serengeti Kings takes a different approach. The multipliers added following the situations described above only affect paylines which happen to intersect with the multiplier symbol. The game has 26 paylines, and it is entirely possible for every one of them to end up with a different multiplier attached to it by the end of the Lion or Panther spins.
Serengeti Kings Free Spin Feature
I was lucky enough to hit the free spins feature after playing less than 20 spins, and better yet, it was triggered by four scatters. This is important because the number of scatters which trigger the feature has a significant effect on your chances of hitting a big win.
A three scatter trigger awards 12 free spins, but your collected lions and panthers are not transferred to the bonus round. Instead, you’ll need to collect as many as you can during the feature. Hitting four scatters, as I did, also awards 12 spins, however this time around you’ll start the feature with your lion and panther counters intact. A five-scatter trigger once again gives 12 free spins, but both your lion and panther counters will increase by five before the start of the bonus round.
During the base game, you can only collect lions during lion spins, and panthers during panther spins. This does not apply during the bonus round, however – every lion and panther which lands on the reels will be added to your counters during the twelve free spins. On the last spin, all lions and panthers will be placed on the reels in random positions, similar to the Lion or Panther Features, except with both at the same time.
This inevitably results in many wilds and multipliers being created, so it can be very exciting to play this feature when your counters are showing really high numbers of panthers/lions.
The bonus buy feature in Serengeti Kings allows you to select between three, four, or five scatter triggers. I don’t remember ever seeing a game offer this option before, but then again, the number of scatters which triggers the bonus round doesn’t usually make such a huge difference to your winning potential like it does in Serengeti Kings.
The price of the three-scatter trigger is fixed at an unusual 58.7x your stake. The four and five scatter options change in accordance with the number of symbols you currently have on your meter. Even with just a few symbols collected, the price of these options seems very high. With 3 lions and 1 panther, the price of a four-scatter bonus round was 113.7x my current stake. Using the five-scatter option, which bumps these numbers up to 8/6, the price was an eye-watering 270.5x my stake.
As I was playing in fun mode, I figured I would give all three options a try anyway. On all three occasions, I finished the bonus round in profit. Despite this, I struggle to recommend using the five-scatter option, as the price just seems ridiculous. Another site has stated that during their testing, they saw prices of roughly 358x their stake for the five-scatter option, yet also came out in profit both times they tried it.
I’ve given you as much information as I can here but am not going to make a recommendation either way. Try these options at your own risk.
Serengeti Kings – Our Verdict
This is perhaps the single most interesting slot I have come across in quite some time. High-quality graphics and sound ensure that the generic theme is soon forgotten, and the switch between lion and panther modes ensures that you won’t want to leave the game before completing your current set of 12 spins. It may not have the insane payout potential of some of the latest Megaways games, but in my opinion, it’s a lot more fun than playing yet another clone of Extra Chili. Seek this one out – you won’t regret it!
Serengeti Kings Game Details
|Release Date:||September 2nd, 2020|
|Theme:||Animals (African Safari)|
|Special Features:||Alternating Game Modes, Lion/Panther Features, Free Spins Feature|
|Layout:||5×4 with 26 Paylines|
|RTP (When playing normally):||96.2%|
|RTP (If only bonus buy is used):||96.1% (3 Scatter Option), 96.7% (4/5 Scatter Options)|
|Cost of Bonus Buy Feature:||Please see Bonus Buy feature section below|
|Maximum Win:||1,300x Stake at 1x Multiplier – Maximum Possible Win Unknown|