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Game shows can always ignite a certain passion and excitement. Everyone hopes for the big chance to step up and win it all. Fans of the long-running game show The $100,000 Pyramid will love the glitz and glamour of the similarly named slot machine.
IGT’s 100,000 Pyramid offers a big jackpot and a game show-style bonus round to thrill and delight players. Is trying to climb the pyramid worth your time though?
100,000 Pyramid: Appearance
The 100,000 Pyramid does a nice job of eliciting the feeling of being on the show. Most of the symbols are based on key aspects of the game show.
The picture symbols include the Contestants, the Celebrity Star and the Mystery Seven. The bonus symbol is the sign for the Winner’s Circle and the logo stands in for the wild symbol. While the game does use card symbols for the lower-value spaces, the “A, Q, K, J, 10 and 9” also have matching prizes set on top of them to help with the theme. The stack of gold feels slightly out of place, but it blends in with the other items.
The game generally has good detail work, too. Some of the symbols go through small animations during a win, such as the contestants doing a high-five. The basic prize symbols flash or sparkle, which matches the game show aesthetic well.
The sound design also helps create the feeling of really being there. The TV show’s recognizable theme accompanies each spin.
Many of the symbols have a matching sound effect. Instead of just hearing chimes and bells, players will sometimes hear audience reactions to the win. If there’s one negative, it’s that the art and set do look a little blocky and blurry. Players used to sharper graphics may have to manage their expectations a little.
100,000 Pyramid: Core gameplay
The 100,000 Pyramid is a five-reel online slot game with three rows. There are only 15 paylines in play, so players may want to examine them. Players looking for a more gentle pace can choose to play fewer paylines. The game will allow players to play one, three, five, nine or 15 paylines.
There’s no additional bet for the bonus features.
The game requires sets of three for the card symbols and The Contestants symbol, but the higher value slot machine symbols will pay out a small consolation prize for a set of two. All matches have to be made along a payline from left to right.
Wild symbols are included in the game, and they can appear on any reel. The 100,000 Pyramid logo fills this role, and it can fill in for any symbol except the bonus symbol. Appropriately, it is also the jackpot symbol. Getting five of the logo on one payline awards 100,000x the line bet.
Overall, the base game can be a little unforgiving. With only fifteen paylines and a minimum bet of two credits per line, losing spins can take a bite out of the bank. As is common, most of the lower paying combinations are just there to stretch out the game and give the player a few more tries.
The problem is that wilds aren’t particularly generous, and higher paying lines can be hard to form. A lot of the game is tied up in either hitting the jackpot or getting a lucky run in the Winner’s Circle.
100,000 Pyramid: The bonus game
The 100,000 Pyramid game uses a special two-step bonus round, which starts with the pyramid itself and moves on to a free spin round. On any normal spin, bonus symbols marked as the Winner’s Circle can settle onto the reels. If at least three of them show up, then the player gets a shot at the full bonus round. Note that it is possible to get four or five bonus symbols for extra rewards.
When the bonus round starts, players are taken to the pyramid board. The game has sets of tiles resembling the setup on the real show. Although for this game, players are merely choosing pieces to flip.
Players start with two free spins, a 1x multiplier and five picks for the pyramid. Each tile has a hidden prize behind it. Picking a tile will reveal either additional free spins or an increase for the multiplier, and there’s a chance to receive a bonus pick or find the advance arrow. Getting the arrow moves the player up to the next row and bigger payouts.
Starting the game with four symbols on the payline adds more advance arrows into the mix, and a full set of five bonus symbols adds more extra picks. Players can keep picking until they either run out of picks or make it all the way to the top of the pyramid.
Free spins bonus round
Once the free spin counter and multiplier are set, the Winner’s Circle moves on to the free spin bonus round. The game runs through the player’s set of free spins on a slightly altered set of reels.
One big difference is that while it is not possible to trigger the bonus game again, the Winner’s Circle symbols are still on the reels as a special scatter win.
Three, four or five bonus symbols will pay out 5x, 10x or 15x the total bet that triggered the bonus round, multiplied by the multiplier. As a quick technical note, while it is possible to trigger the 100,000x jackpot in the free spin mode, if it is triggered it will not be multiplied by the bonus multiplier.
Our final thoughts
While the 100,000 Pyramid slot machine does a lot of nice work in creating the feeling of the game show, it’s a little difficult to give this one a good recommendation.
Overall, the sound and graphics are good and should please the fans. The bonus round itself is also a lot of fun, with the potential for some really big wins to come out of it. A traditional jackpot is also nice to see.
The problem comes from the average gameplay, which feels a little flat with a lot of long, boring spells. The max RTP of 95.03% is also a little disheartening since players are effectively paying a small but noticeable premium just for a shot at the bonus round.
While this is a nice machine for fans of the $100,000 Pyramid, or even just game shows in general, anyone not in love with the theme will find it a little lacking and may want to stick with the competition.