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El Paso Gunfight XNudge Review
El Paso Gunfight XNudge from No Limit City is based on the legendary ‘4 Dead in 5 Seconds’ gunfight in the town of El Paso Texas and is the third in No Limit City’s line up of Western-themed titles after Deadwood and Tombstone. The game takes us to the bar at Keating’s Saloon in 1881 where Marshal Dallas Stoudemire has the final say. If you’re looking for a slot with multiple features, selectable volatility and buy features*, you can’t go past El Paso Gunfight.
Read on for the full review!
|SLOT FEATURES||Selectable Volatility, Free Games, Respin, Roaming Wilds, Multipliers, Block Wild, Nudges|
|RELEASE DATE||4th May 2021|
|GAME PROVIDER||NO LIMIT CITY|
|SLOT TYPE||Video Slot|
|REELS, ROWS, PAYLINES||4-3-3-3-2 layout 216 Ways|
2-3-3-3-4 layout 216 Ways
Up to 4-3-3-3-4 layout 432 Ways
|BET LEVELS||0.25 – 50.00|
|MAXIMUM WIN||44,440x Your Stake (Capped)|
|SCATTER SYMBOL||Yes: SKULL|
|WILD SYMBOL||Yes: STOUDENMIRE|
|RETURN TO PLAYER||96.06%|
- Stoudenmire xNudge Wilds. Wilds that nudge in and award a multiplier. The win multiplier increases by 1 for every step the Stoudenmire Wild nudges. If more than one of these wilds land, their multipliers values are added together. Stoudenmire xNudge Wilds will be upgraded in the bonus modes if they land on a reel with a Jumping Wild.
- Deputy & Marshal Raid. This feature is triggered by the badges on reels 1 and 5 and will turn the low symbols and the premium symbols into one randomly chosen symbol. Landing both badges also increases the reel area to 4-3-3-3-4 and transforms the badges to wilds.
- Gunfight Spins. These 3 scatters turn into Jumping Wilds and will move across the reels during the 8 Gunfight Spins. These will be upgraded by landing any badge or even both badges. The Deputy & Marshal Gunfight Spins 3 scatters plus any of the badges, also combines the Gunfights Spins with the transforming of low or premium symbols.
- Drunken Gunfighter Spins. 3 scatters and both badges trigger 10 spins on a 4-3-3-3-4 reel area with 5 Jumping Wilds. Stoudenmire xNudge Wilds are also sticky in this feature.
- 4 dead in 5 seconds. Landing all five characters in the base game – including Stoudenmire – triggers a respin where the Wild expands to cover all three middle reels.
The paytable isn’t very welcoming and a little untidy. Prizes are not rounded and a little odd. Prizes increase by 1 coin through the royals, for example 5 of-a-kinds of 10 through to Ace pays 20, 21, 22, 23, 25 coins and 3 of-a-kinds for the same pay 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 coins. The same is found with the high tier symbols. This flatness and lack of attention to prize mapping isn’t evident in previous games and seems as though the pays were generated by a simulation rather than a mathematician. There is absolutely no evidence of volatility in the paytable and with 85% of prizes at-or-below bet… where does the claimed volatility come from?
The music is a fine touch in El Paso Gunfight. While more laid back and less edgy than Deadwood, the soundtrack fits perfectly with the game. Amidst the chaos of gunfire and carnage, the music hums uninterrupted in the background, balancing the game FX well. Certain larger win tunes include rather crude voiceovers adding to the immersion. Lots of fun.
Where to begin? There are so many features and variables it is impossible to define how this game plays as it plays very differently between the two Stances. The option to change your volatility once a feature is triggered is an awesome feature in itself, as it allows you to alter your strategy for feature play.
Choosing your Stance affects volatility but does not affect feature hit rates as the features are scatter based. Although the Stance shrinks and heightens reels 1 and 5, any feature requiring symbols on those reels requires them on both reels 1 and 5 or either reel, evening out their chance to hit.
As the flat paytable suggests, you’ll be unlikely to see a Big Win celebration in the Base Game as there is little to chase than feature triggers. Landing any win is difficult enough and prizes are less-than-stellar. All the action comes from the features. While the feature hit rate isn’t published, it feels as though it’s around 1 in 200… give or take.
Of course, if you’re impatient you can cut to the chase and buy your way into the feature, if the buy feature option is available in your jurisdiction*. Typical of No Limit City’s buy bonus feature, there is a menu of options to choose from. All 5 features are available ranging from a cost of 80x to 800x your bet plus a feature randomiser for 238x.
FYI: As a general rule of thumb for Feature Buys, the cost to buy into a feature (from any developer) is the average prize for that feature. A 100x feature cost has an average win from that feature of 100x.
You can choose your ‘Stance’, from High Volatility to Extreme Volatility with a flick of the switch above the reels. This in turn switches the reel layout from High 4-3-3-3-2 to Extreme 2-3-3-3-4. The reason this seemingly insignificant change makes such a difference to volatility is, in any slot where pays run from the leftmost reel, reel 1 defines the rest of the combination. In Extreme mode, all 216 winning ways are concentrated through two positions on reel 1 (compared to four positions in High mode).
This is quite clever as it doesn’t change the core math. Other developers with player selectable volatility change payouts or bias pay distribution between high tier and low tier prizes or both when offering volatility options. The switch of the reel layout does not require any math changes to effectively change volatility, it naturally changes the game’s win balance from a majority of 3 and 4 of-a-kinds to a majority of 4 and 5 of-a-kinds at the cost of the other. This in turn helps players identify with their preference easier as the core math does not change.
The Glory Spin
44,440x your bet is nothing to frown at, which tips in at £2,222,000.00 if playing max bet. This is the highest win achieved over a simulation run of 43 million games and also where the game caps if you reach it. No doubt operators won’t be too pleased with this figure. The game’s win potential isn’t evident from the get go and certainly a mystery in what feature it is achieved.
Delights and Surprises
- Clever method to change volatility
- Well-choregraphed and built
- Ability to switch volatility on feature trigger
- Very difficult to learn
- A little dull to look at. Heavy use of brown reduces immersion
- Lack of depth in the paytable
El Paso Gunfight is a game to keep an eye on. Put aside some of the shortcomings and just… play. You’ll need some time to figure out the play mode that’s right for you as there is just so much variety on offer. In any mode, there’s not much going on in the Base Game and all the volatility is crammed into the features. All in all, a fun and immersive game to play.
El Paso Gunfight gets 77 Spins out of 100 based on the following ratings:
|RUN FOR MONEY||40|
*Not available in all jurisdictions