Eastern Cultures Unite
Panda Manga is using Japanese comic book aesthetics but definitely takes place in China. You can tell by the lush bamboo groves in the background and the wooden buildings with pointed roofs in the distance. Every detail is like a silhouette against the purple night sky, while the reels and command buttons were designed to look like they were drawn on rich paper.
Panda Manga might be inspired by a cartoon aesthetics, the final product is very refined and simply beautiful to look at. We loved the commitment to the theme, and in the end didn’t mind the little mix up between the 2 East Asian cultures at all.
The basic game rules in Panda Manga are as simple as following the command bar from left to right. You have 5 reels and 25 paylines in total, with plus and minus buttons to let you activate lines and choose your next wager. You have the possibility to bet from 0.25 to 75 credits at every turn, which is a decent betting range but still shorter than in many other 888 slots like Mafia Madness, just to name one. The bet max button is available for players who feel like going all-in, and you also have the autoplay game mode handy in order to allow the reels to spin freely for a while, while saving and applying your current bet settings over and over again.
The paytable of Panda Manga contains card icons as well as cherry blossoms, paper fans and lanterns, sushi rolls, the kanji (ideogram) for “cooperation”, for some reason, and a Chinese doll. As you can see, the 2 cultures are still thoroughly mixed even on the paytable. Your top prize in the base game corresponds to 500 times your current bet, which is once again less than in many other 888 slots. Panda Manga has a medium volatility and will let you score prizes frequently, but you will have to really play big in order to unlock some nice cash prizes.
A Little Boost Along the Way
To make Panda Manga a little more dynamic, the developers have added two special symbols on the reels of the game. The first one of them is a panda, naturally, and acts as the wild card of the game. You can use it to substitute for the basic icons of the paytable listed above and unlock extra cash prizes in the process. Wild combinations can also trigger prizes of their own, up to x750.
On the other hand, the temple symbols cannot be replaced by wilds but work as scatters. Three or more of them anywhere on the reels award 8 free spins and up to 50 times your total bet value. During the free spins, the doll, kanji and sushi symbols all become wild as well, which is a huge boost.
Cute, Simple, and Perhaps Too Much So
Panda Manga blends two cultures together and produces an adorable result, with easy rules and a fast gameplay. The different cash prizes are, however, not as generous as we would have liked them to be. The free spin bonus round is a welcome help, but 8 free games seems a little stingy compared to other 888 slots.
If you are a fan of Japanese animations, 888 has you covered. You can try Evangelion or Ghost in the Shell, or both, and see how you feel becoming part of your favourite animes.