Nektan software’s Loaded PI slot has been designed especially for mobile casinos Canada play on smart phones and tablets, although it also plays with no problem on a desktop or laptop, using a mouse or track pad to access the controls. But the mobile optimisation means these controls are not at the base of the reels, as digital slots fans are used to. Instead, they are presented as four buttons, which click through to more detailed menus, set on either side of the game within easy reach of players’ thumbs on the touchscreen.
Distilling Every PI Tale into One
Over a century and a bit, the detective genre has developed some iron-clad tropes: the hard-bitten, cynical PI who’s smarter than the police; ruthless mobsters meeting in smoky dens; worldly nightclub singers in the wrong place at the wrong time; all-night stake-outs in uncomfortable locations. Loaded PI draws on all these images in the slot’s backdrop and its playing symbols.
The influence of film noir, pulp fiction and detective comic books is clear in the Loaded PI artwork; slot icons appear in three invisible windows across the five reels, so they spin unsupported in space against the sinister background. This shows our hero the PI in an alley at night, staking out an expensive car in a dimly lit city street.
A big-band soundtrack that sounds like a TV detective-show theme tune accompanies the reel spins, switching to something more swelling and anticipatory during the free spins rounds.
Fast, Simple Play for Mobile
Because Loaded PI is a slot specifically designed for mobile play, trade-offs have been made to avoid cluttering up the screen and to ensure quick, seamless play. There’s no Gamble feature, for example.
The game also offers no bonus features, apart from the free spins round that plays on the same reels as the base game. Again, this is a trade-off to facilitate speed on mobile devices, and the game does play satisfyingly quickly, even when it runs through all winning paylines after a spin. There is a turbo option among the controls to make Auto Play even faster.
Simple Paytable Layout Makes Everything Clear
In another design choice particularly suited for mobile slot play, the Loaded PI Game Info menu consists of just three pages: Playing Instructions, Paytable and Win Lines, which lays out the 25 paylines available. Players use the Stake/Lines button to set the number of lines they want to play, and they can adjust their bet per line from 0.01 to 1.00 in the relevant currency.
The Paytable page lays out all the symbols in one frame that shows the prizes on offer for three, four or five of a kind, beginning on the leftmost reel. The Poker symbols 10 to A have the lowest values, with five As scoring 125X the line bet. Game-themed symbols are a magnifying glass, a nightclub singer, a 40s police car, a cigar-smoking mob boss and the PI’s detective shield. Five shields score the top win; 1,000X the line bet.
The PI himself is the Wild, and the only other symbol is a curved arrow bearing the word Spins! If the player gets three or more of these Scatters in any position, they trigger 15 free spins.