Kathmandu in Nepal is a favourite destination for many. Beautiful narrow streets, its luscious green countryside with the backdrop of stunning mountain ranges, and the grand temples and other architecture that gives the place its signature landmarks. Microgaming tries to capture the magic of this small yet welcoming capital and add a little excitement to the mix too.
Presented over the standard 5 x 3 reel setup with a stripped-back 9 paylines, this simple slot is livened up by its ornate and decorative theme. To be fair there is only so much life you can inject into a game with the theme alone, with a certain amount of effort needed in the way the game actually performs. The question is, have they done that here?
The symbolism of the subcontinent
Here the symbols have been lifted from the stereotypes of the theme, and with varying degrees of authenticity. Lower-value symbols come in the form of the standard playing card deck, the 10, J, Q, K and A providing this cover. Higher-value symbols include a map of Nepal, goods at a market, a fine looking elephant and the vista of the sun rising over a mountain.
The wilds in the game come in the form of a spinning wheel wild and a temple symbol wild. The game’s scatter is a nice ornate bell, and is the way into the game’s main bonus feature. Having just the nine paylines will be quite limiting, and we do wonder what the point of having the extra wild is, if not to just frustrate players.
Free spins are the best feature, making the effort to play this game just for this is perfectly acceptable we think. There are 15 available, activated by getting 3, 4 or 5 bell scatters at random across the reels.
During this feature, there will also be a random multiplier of up to 5x your win, and if you get a further three bells whilst the feature is running, those spins and that multiplier will be repeated.
And here we come to the most tempting of any feature across the entire industry of online slot gaming: the gamble feature. Hit gamble after a win to play a double or quadruple guessing game with playing cards. Choose the right colour for double your win, choose the correct suit with it to quadruple your win. You have five goes in a row, but get any wrong and you’ll lose the whole lot.
We strongly recommend that you are very careful with this gamble feature though. As tempting as it may be to double your money, you’ll more often than not wipe yourself out within a handful of loses. There is nothing wrong with a bit of a flutter when the going is good, but never use it as a way to rescue a waning cash pot. It’ll end badly.
Kathmandu is an average game, with a nice theme idea, but without the execution to bring it to life. We can’t not recommend it, as there is a smidgeon of money to be made, but don’t set your alarm to get onto this one. If you’re one of those people who like a bit of retro, you may see something in this game we don’t, but it’s doubtful.
Words: David Bailey-Lauring