Microgaming are partnering up with Alchemy Gaming again, and this time they're taking us to the plains of Africa to explore their latest release, Africa X UP, which gives players the chance to collect tokens and build their way towards features with impressive win multipliers as high as x25. With an RTP of 96.37%, this highly volatile game offers players the chance of wins up to 30,000x bet. With expanding wilds, an array of feature buy options, a collection system and 243 ways to win, let's take a closer look at Africa X UP.
Visually, Africa X UP takes place in – well, Africa, obviously. With deserts, trees and mountains in the background, the theme ties nicely in on the reels, where symbols involve some typical tribal imagery, and the animals you would expect to see wandering these plains, including elephants, perhaps the most easily recognisable animal when we think of Africa, with their herds wandering through 37 countries in the second largest continent on earth. Upbeat audios ring through, keeping true to the theme without being too distracting.
Africa X UP Base Features
Taking place across 5 reels, Africa X UP offers players 243 ways to win, with wins formed by matching at least 3 symbols in any position on adjacent reels, beginning at the leftmost reel. Symbols available begin at the lowest paying 10, J, Q, K and As, paying between 1.33 and 3x bet for 5 of a kind lines, followed by buffalos, rhinos and elephants, with 5 of a kind payouts between 3.33 and 4x bet. At the topmost end of the pay table, landing 5 of of a kind male or female characters will award wins of 4.33x and 4.67x bet respectively.
5 of a kind wild symbols award wins of 5x bet, with wilds also expanding to fill the reel they land on, and substitute for all symbols except Scatters, represented by X UP symbols.
To the left of the reels, the X UP meter is always in view, with 23 positions to fill in total. X UP Scatter symbols can land on any reels, and landing 2 in view awards an X UP token, with multiplier benchmarks as more tokens are collected and therefore more positions on the meter are filled.
As players continue to collect more tokens, the free spins multiplier they will be awarded on their next trigger will also increase – multipliers available are: x2, x3, x4, x5, x7, x10, x15, and x25.
If token collection reaches the final stage of x25, free spins will be automatically triggered. X UP Collection is calculated per bet amount, not average stake.
Africa X UP Bonus
Landing 3 X UP Scatter symbols triggers 8 free spins, whilst also awarding a trigger value of 2x bet. At this point, the multiplier that has been reached on the X UP meter will be awarded as the win multiplier for the duration of free spins.
During free spins, landing 2 X UP Scatter symbols awards an additional +2 free spins, and an X UP token, which is added to the collection meter, helping to increase the win multiplier during free spins. The collection meter stays filled to the triggering level during free spins.
Once free spins are completed, the collection meter resets, but any progress on other stakes that have not triggered yet will remain.
Players in appropriate regions can opt to buy straight into the Free Spins feature, however they must first trigger at least one bonus organically, on any stake. Until this happens, the feature buy is locked. Once unlocked, there are 10 options to choose from, depending on the win multiplier chosen:
- 1x: 18.67x bet
- 2x: 26.67x bet
- 3x: 38.67x bet
- 4x: 50.33x bet
- 5x: 61.67x bet
- 7x: 86.33x bet
- 10x: 120x bet
- 15x: 181x bet
- 25x: 300x bet
- Random: 80x bet
Any X UP Tokens already collected reduce the feature buy cost.
The team at Alchemy Gaming have produced a game that builds an impressive amount of excitement without feeling as though we have to wait too long to see some nice potential (although experiences will vary). The X UP Token and subsequent collection meter work somewhat in a similar way to the Heartstopper feature we have come to recognise from Big Time Gaming, in that we continue to build and collect, knowing that at the end a feature will trigger automatically – at the x25 mark, in this case. That said, along the way we have the chance to trigger features, which can make things feel a bit heartbreaking, removing all progress at that point.
However, once the feature triggers, rather than being stuck with what we're given, Africa X UP offers players the chance to continue building the win multiplier and triggering extra spins during the feature, meaning we could reach the highest level regardless of the start level.
Win values available are some of the strangest we've seen so far, and with values of 0.33 decimals, it is hard to calculate as you see wins clocking up, but with expanding wilds in play and 243 ways to win, there is the potential for some huge wins during the base game, keeping things moving nicely as we wade towards the feature. RTP is more than fair at 96.37%, and stake options are decent, making this high volatility game a good choice for both casual and established players alike, boasting wins up to 30,000x bet in size.
For those able to avail of feature buys, the options are vast, and as tokens already collected are taken away from the cost of buying a feature, players can build on a regular stake and later choose to buy the rest of the way, making it one of those feature buy options where things feel fair. Overall, a great release from the team, and something players should enjoy.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.