Loaded PI Slot

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As the old adage goes, art is anything you can get away with. So it’s great to see an art movement that was set up in the 1950s getting to star in a 5 reel, 25 payline slot game. Particularly when you throw in a mysterious Dick Tracy character, a femme fatale to rescue and a sinister looking villain to defeat.

Nektan have produced Loaded PI, which gives retro a good name. As well as that, it has a unique theme, Wildcards, Free Spins and uncomplicated gameplay. The maximum bet of 25.00 isn’t particularly steep, so this looks like one you can enjoy, rather than chew your fingers down to. But are big wins also PI in the sky? Read on to find out…

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You Can’t Start Without Art

This game really is doing things differently. There’s no intro video or loading page, though you are asked if you want sound enabled. On the main screen, there’s no name of the game on the main screen or betting option buttons at the bottom. There’s not even any music. The very top and bottom of the screen curiously have gold bars, the option buttons are on the left, with the spin button on the right. In the middle part of the screen is a black cab cruising in a dark street, complete with shadows.

But what really stands out is the very funky artwork in tribute to the Pop Art movement made famous by Andy Warhol. The 5 reels really do dominate the main screen because of the symbols. The dame, hitman, magnifying glass, car and badge make up half of them. They’re all stylishly drawn. Even the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 stand out, because of the wackiness of the design. There’s no distinction between the card symbols which is a shame though.

As Easy as Apple Pi

You’ll struggle to find a game that’s easier to play than this. You can play up to 25 lines, but you can select any number between that and 1. This isn’t a high-roller game, as reflected by the betting options. You can play for as little as 0.01, with the others being 0.05, 0.1, 0.5 and 1. There’s no Max Bet button but the maximum you can play is 25.00.

There’s no Auto Play which is a shame. It’s always a useful feature. In case you’re worried the game is too slow, there is a Turbo speed, which does make a significant difference. Your Balance and your Bet are listed at the top, though what you win is shown quickly at the bottom of the reels. It would be nice if it was more prominent.

The top 5 themed symbols are all worth a different amount, with the loaded PI badge valued the best. The 5 card symbols are worth 3 different amounts. Though this game is all about simplicity, a little movement from a winning image would be nice. The 25 winning lines are shown in the paytable. The payout rate is an impressive 96.3%.

Opening Spin Bonuses

This game isn’t so much about bonuses, but there are Wildcards and Free Spins. The Wildcard symbol is the private investigator, gun in hand, who is seen as part of the background. You won’t get any extra credit for them, but they will help you get to the winning prizes. The Free Spins symbol (a reverse arrow of the Spin button) is a lot better, even if it’s not given enough detail on the Paytable. If you get 3 of them you’ll get 15 extra spins, 4 is 25 and 5 is 50. The music is the same as during normal spins.

How Great Thou Art

What’s great about Loaded PI is that it’s almost two genres in one. Funky retro art as well as a detective story set to a Film Noire background. While Private Eye (Microgaming) has a themed bonus game where you pick out a suspect, the artwork is nowhere near as stylish. Private Eye (NuWorks) has up to 5 Progressive Jackpots but the designs look far more basic. The symbols may not be imaginative on Loaded PI, but the artwork really is fantastic and you’ll struggle to see better on a similar themed game.

Locked and Loaded

When reviewing any slot game, a lot of the time it can come down to style v substance. Loaded PI falls into that. One or two extra features, like an Auto spin and a themed Bonus Game, would significantly improve it. However, the retro theme is fantastic and the design jumps off the screen It’s also incredible easy to play, especially on your mobile and there are some good prizes up for grabs.