To get the lowdown on this intriguing new release, we spoke to Jeremy Coleman, Commercial Director at Pear Fiction games, who told us what to expect.
32Red: Could you introduce the new slot in your own words?
Jeremy Coleman: Blazing Mammoth XL is a sequel to the original Blazing Mammoth which came out a couple of years ago.
The original is our second-best performing slot of all time and still produces great numbers month after month. It still has a popular audience in the UK, and it’s incredibly popular in Italy.
It’s a game that still has an audience, and when we were looking at possibly doing a sequel, it seemed like a nice one to do. We’ve kept the artwork relatively similar to the original. But this time, where the first game had just one mammoth, in this second game we’ve introduced a whole family of mammoths, including a very cute baby mammoth.
And we’ve introduced those mammoths to be featured within the base game and the bonus round too.
32Red: Can you tell us more about the Swift Hits feature?
JC: Swift Hits is our own mechanic. The original game was an Epic Strike game where you had, I think it was five jackpot amounts that sat on the left-hand side of the screen. If you collected enough of the special symbols, you could get those Epic Strike Jackpot wins.
Swift Hits is our variation of that and it’s a means of offering more opportunities to win. When those Mammoth symbols come on to the reels, in the base game but also in the bonus game, then you get those Swift Hit Jackpots.
You need a certain number of Mammoth symbols in a spin to land a Swift Hits win. At which point you get the “Blazing Mammoths” rampaging across the screen.
But more Mammoth symbols mean bigger prizes. So six will give you a 15x pay, seven symbols will give you 50x, and so on until you get to those higher amounts.
We’ve also got a Purple Mammoth which acts as a reel splitter, and a Red Mammoth which will re-spin the reel. Ordinarily, the reel display is a five by three as standard. But when those splitter Mammoths come in – you can get more than one on a spin – it gives the game so many more ways to generate a win.
When the Purple Mammoth comes in he will split the reel, turning it from three symbols into anything from four, five or six. It’s more engaging, more eye-catching for the player and it generates more opportunities to win.
The game starts off with 243 ways, but with this feature that number can go up to hundreds or thousands, if three or four of those splitters come in at the same time – there’s a maximum of 7,776 possible ways to win.
Pear Fiction is known for producing very engaging games, games that tend to be feature rich. This game is slightly more straightforward. But the simplicity of the original Blazing Mammoth is what made it popular, so we’ve tried to stay true to that.
32Red: What do you put the slot’s success in Italy down to, just out of interest?
JC: The original game won a recent “Slot World Cup” with Lottomatica in Italy. Whilst sometimes we have a very clear indication of why some games are successful in various markets, there are some instances where we can’t always be sure!
Chicken-themed games are incredibly popular in Italy, for example! Leprechaun slots are very popular in the UK, but you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do well in other markets with that theme.
Different styles work in different markets. And whilst we try to create games that are fairly universal, this one definitely has a sort of steer towards the UK and Italy as key markets that we’re hoping the game will really do well in.
32Red: What should players be aware of if they trigger the Free Spins feature?
JC: When the feature is triggered, you’ll spin a wheel. First of all, that wheel will decide how many Free Spins you’re going to get, and then you discover your starting multiplier.
The reason I say starting multiplier is because once you’re in that bonus game, every time you get a line win with a Wild attached to it, that Wild will then spin and give you anything from one up to 100.
And that’s a number that will get added to your multiplier, and your line win will be multiplied by that new amount. So if you start with 2x and then you’re lucky enough to get a line win with a wild and that comes in with 5x, then your total multiplier is 7x, for example.
So every line win then have the 7x multiplier applied to it. But the idea of that bonus game is, you really want to grow that multiplier. If you can get any of those big amounts, like 25x, 50x, 75x, or even 100x, then every line win after that will be impacted by that multiplier.
So even with relatively modest wins, a hundred times multiplier is going to add up with every spin. So you’ve really got the opportunity to generate some nice wins.
You can retrigger the feature too. The number of free spins you were initially awarded, if you’re lucky enough to get a retrigger, you’ll get that same number again.
So, if you got eight originally on the wheel, you’ll get another eight. If you’ve got 15, you’ll get another 15 and so on. The retrigger is reasonably accessible, and reasonably frequent. It’s a great way for players to expand their enjoyment of the bonus game.
32Red: So what should players be most excited about?
JC: When I’ve been showing the game in various demos, the visual style has really made people smile or even laugh; people have just responded really positively.
The three different coloured mammoths are very popular. If you get a really big win celebration, as with all Pear Fiction games, we tell a story in the celebration.
With this game, it starts off with the baby mammoth, there in the ice age setting. And then the wild animals who also feature as symbols in the game approach. So you’ve got a wild bear, a saber-toothed tiger, and a wolf. And the little mammoth looks a little bit nervous, as they start chasing after the baby mammoth.
But if you’re lucky enough to get a big enough win, all three of the big adult mammoths are standing behind the baby, right? As if to say back off, don’t you dare come near our baby mammoth! So it’s a nice story, featuring some of those little touches that Pear Fiction are quite well known for, the transitions in and out of the games.
For me though, the most exciting part of the game is the bonus game. Really building up that multiplier to try and get some really nice juicy wins. I think that’s what’s going to make the game really popular.
32Red: Speaking slightly more generally for a moment, when it comes to creating new slots, how important is it to you to try and bring something new to the experience?
JC: It’s vital. For Pear Fiction, we’re very well known for our artwork, our creativity; our games use very bright, vivid, colourful artwork that always gets a huge amount of compliments. All credit goes to the creative team, the design teams that work on those aspects of the games.
But it’s not just that, it’s also about mechanics. We are looking to do new things, looking to create exciting characters. Our games are very character-based, whether it’s a mammoth, whether it’s the granny in Granny vs Zombies, whether it’s a little piggy in Squealin’ Riches.
We try to create characters that the players will respond favourably to; that they’ll enjoy seeing and where they’ll want to see how their story develops within the game. Because that creates that sense of longevity and retention within the game.
We love creating exciting creatives concepts and mechanics. It’s the only way to stay ahead in this industry because it’s so competitive.
32Red: It might be too early to talk about, but has there been any talk about a sequel, like maybe a spin-off just featuring a Baby Mammoth?
JC: That’s a nice idea! But the short answer is no, let’s see how this one goes first. This is our first sequel to an existing title. We have got a couple of other sequels in mind for next year. But I think it’s a bit early to see whether or not there’ll be more legs in the mammoth story.
I would love it if there is! If players really responded to Blazing Mammoth XL, then who knows whether we could go down that route with a third Blazing Mammoth story. We’ll have to wait and see!