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Gates of Xibalba Slot Review

GOSU GAME REVIEW

We open every Pragmatic Play game review with a quick rundown of what this interactive gaming juggernaut has been doing recently. Pragmatic has become so big as a brand it now seems to keep expanding into new markets, striking novel partnership agreements weekly. In December 2023, we saw that it boosted its content contract with Flutter, adding its live casino products to the Betfair and Paddy Power sites.

Concerning games, Pragmatic Play’s portfolio is now slowly reaching the six-hundred title mark, with these products available at more than half a thousand online casinos worldwide. In the first week of the last month of 2023, this provider churned out four reel spinners to the Web for online gambling fun. These releases were Candy Jar, Gates of Olympus 1,000, Juicy Fruits Multihold, and Gates of Xibalba. The last is the subject of our focus here, and it was the first of these four releases, set loose on December 1st, 2023. In the first week, this game became available to games of chance fanatics. It did not post the numbers we would expect from a Pragmatic Play title, and below, we seek to explore why.

Theme & Design

Mayan/Aztec slots have been a thing in online gaming ever since this space’s inception. Today, around five hundred and fifty of these games populate online casino lobbies, and some of the most-played of these include Temple Tumble by Relax Gaming, Gonzo’s Quest Megaways from Red Tiger, and Pragmatic Play’s own Gems Bonanza. The creator of Gates of Xibalba, Pragmatic, has multiple entries in this genre. Mayan/Atzec-theme games this Malta provider has released which have made some noise over the years include John Hunter and the Mayan Gods, Secret City Gold, Aztec Bonanza, Jane Hunter and the Mask of Montezuma, and Aztec Blaze, to name a few.

Know that Xibalba is a term for the underworld in Mayan mythology, where death gods rule. Peter & Sons has a slot with this name and theme that came out in late 2021, which is pretty good.

The visuals here are cool to look at, and the tribal soundtrack, while repetitive, does its job fine. The reels here spin inside a stone monument that is likely the gate from this slot’s title, appearing much like a portal at the top of temple steps, with it getting flanked by snake statues, and a god shooting lightning from his hands stands right of the reel grid. The symbols pop with color, contrasting nicely against the dominantly blue and violet soundtrack. We must say we are not fans of the music overlaid on top of this slot’s base tune, as we think it interferes with it and creates a sense of audio confusion. The audio effects and the big win animations played here could have gotten better adapted to this game’s theme. They are too cheerful and do not go well with the chosen motif. At least, that is what we think.

The button configuration of Gates o Xibalba is the typical one Pragmatic Play always uses.

Gates of Xibalba

Specs & Gameplay

Gates of Xibalba is a 6×5 scatter-pay slot with an RTP setting of 96.25% and a high variance math model in play. The maximum exposure setting here is x5,000, with the wagering range starting at $0.2, up to $100. Gates of Xibalba is a spinner that implements the tumble mechanic, more popularly known as the cascading one. Hence, in every winning spin, prize combos get paid out, and the symbols that comprise them vanish, leaving the remaining tokens to fall at the bottom, allowing new ones to come in from the top, filling empty spots, and allowing for new reward combos to form.

The low-pay tokens in this pay-anywhere game are different runic-like symbols. These produce wins of x2 to x8 for combos of twelve to thirty symbols, materializing in view on the same spin. Their high-pay counterparts are five masks, boasting max win values of x10 to x50, for twelve to thirty matching tokens from this group stopping in view at the same time on the grid.

There is no wild in the Gates of Xibalba slot, as you would expect for this type of game.

Bonus Features

You get multiplier symbols in Gates of Xibalba, which are represented by different-colored stone balls that can carry values from x2 to x100. They randomly appear during the free spin round and the base game, in tumbles, and during regular spins. In the base gameplay, these values get gathered and accumulated at the end of a tumble sequence. Hence, their values are combined to enhance your total win.

The free spin round can get triggered by landing four to six scatters, which are god chieftain-like head tokens. They pop in on every reel, paying on any position. For four-of-a-kind combos, they pay out wins of x3. For five-of-a-kind ones, an x5 prize gets awarded, and for six scatters landing on a spin, a reward of x100 gets supplied. Depending on the scatters landed you can get ten, fifteen, and twenty on-the-house reel rotations. The round has a four-level progressive feature, which collects multipliers. In the first, multiplier values start at x2, up to a mode max of x100. To reach the second one, you need six collected multipliers. The third asks for eleven. And to get to the last one, fifteen are required. In the final level, multiplier values begin at x50. In the third, they start at x15. And in the second, they go up from x8 up to x100.

You can buy your way into the first level for a price of x100, x200 is the cost for instant access to level two, and the last two tiers come with price tags of x400 and x500, respectively. Naturally, this is only available in markets that allow Bonus Buys.

Gates of Xibalba

GOSU Verdict

While Gates of Xibalba did not wow us, it is a bit more engaging than the usual Pragmatic Play fare. It is a reskin of Forge of Olympus, but that did not bother us too much. We would call it decent, as the execution here is pretty good, and we found the presentation compelling. We are sure that many will shy away from this game, calling it too derivative. Yet, if you have not played similar scatter-pay slots, then this one will not be a horrible choice.

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