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Thunderkick’s Esqueleto Explosivo is about as insane as the name makes it sound. For those who might not know, the name translates to “Exploding Skeletons”, and the skeletons in question seem to be a mariachi band performing on the Day of the Dead in Mexico. And they explode, while they sing.
Quirkiness aside, though, continue reading our Esqueleto Explosivo slot review to find out whether this slot can entice you over to the dark side to play a game with the dead.
|Esqueleto Explosivo Details|
|House Edge: 2.80%||Return to player: 97.20%|
|Autospin: Yes||Softwares: no download - instant play, mobile, Mac|
|Released: February 1, 2015||Min Bet: 0.1|
|Max Bet: 100||Scatters: No|
|Gamble: No||Max Coins: 17|
|Reels: 5||Paylines: 17|
|Spins: No||Bonus Rounds: Yes|
|Wild: Yes||Software: Thunderkick|
|Esqueleto Explosivo comparison|
|House Edge:||2.80 %||4.02 %|
|Return to player:||97.20 %||95.98 %|
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Thunderkick’s campy, Dia de los Muertos themed slot is a video slot played across 5 reels and 17 paylines. 17 paylines may not sound like all that many, but Esqueleto Explosive includes enough features to fully take advantage of all 17 of those opportunities.
Players can wager anywhere between £0.10 and £100 on a single spin, meaning that everyone from the most casual players to the high rollers can all find a wagering amount that’s comfortable for them. The auto spin feature works like a dream, and we found ourselves setting it to 50 spins the most often while testing.
Esqueleto Explosivo has an RTP of 96%, which is above average for video slots. This is a medium volatility slot, meaning that while large wins are rare, they’re still possible, as well as giving players relatively regular small and medium-sized wins. We found ourselves spinning wins that were 15-20x our stake relatively common during our Esqueleto Explosive slot review testing.
Thunderkick certainly outdid themselves when it comes to Esqueleto Explosivo’s visuals and soundtrack. Each of the symbols is a detailed, ornate decorated skull, with each symbol being differently coloured and uniquely decorated, so there’s no chance of mixing any of them up.
Even the “spinning” animation is beautifully done. The reels don’t actually spin here, but stacks of coloured and decorated skulls drop out of the sky into neat stacks (the bottom skulls of each reel landing on the rest of the mariachi musicians’ skeletal necks), and the skulls tumble forward and off-screen when the next spin begins.
The soundtrack is far better than the vast majority of slots we review. The background music itself is quiet, subtle, and fits with the theme. The skulls each make a satisfying, bony “clack” noise as they fall from the sky and land in their stacks. There are traditional mariachi notes whenever the player wins, and an entire mariachi ditty gets played (along with firework noises) when the player scores a big win.
Where the audio truly stands out in Esqueleto Explosivo is that the mariachi skulls sing when paylines are activated. This might sound cheesy, and it sort of is, but the quality of the sound bites are great. And combined with the clacking skulls and other background noises, they all come together to create a really fun and somewhat whimsical auditory experience.
Thunderkick are no strangers to creating outstanding audiovisual experiences, though. Another one of their slots, 1429 Uncharted Seas, is just as stunning, albeit in a completely different way. It’s clear that this is a studio that puts a lot of thought into how players interact with their games.
As we mentioned above, all the symbols are stylized, decorated skulls in the traditional Mexican style of the Day of the Dead. Unlike most other slots out there, there are no high-paying or low-paying symbols, but a modest roster of 6 symbols. 5 regular symbols, and Explosivo wild symbol.
Here’s the most you can get out of each symbol:
The Explosivo Wild symbol is a golden skull, and can’t be confused with any of the regular skulls. The Wild can substitute any other skull, and appears often enough that small to medium wins happen frequently, even with only 17 paylines.
This slot is a little different to most others in that, technically, any spin could result in massive bonuses. There isn’t a separate bonus feature, like we see in many other slots, but the combination of dropping symbols and the Mucho multiplier, as well as the frequency of the Wild symbol mean wins of 15-20x your stake aren’t all that rare.
The golden skull Wild symbol has another special feature other than just being able to substitute any other symbol: it explodes. What this means is that whenever a Wild symbol drops down, once the wins have been registered, if any, it destroys itself along with all surrounding symbols.
The Wild is the centre of the explosion, meaning that if a Wild happens to be in the middle of one of the centre-reels, the 3 symbols above, 3 symbols below, and a symbol to the left and the right all get destroyed with it, leaving a gap of 9 symbols to drop down from above.
Also, whenever a Wild explodes, even if there have been no wins registered, the Mucho Multiplier increases. This means that even if your initial spin wasn’t lucky enough to register any small wins, a Wild or two could set you up for larger wins once new symbols drop down.
Whenever you hit a win, the symbols that combined that win explode and more symbols drop down from above. This gives players the chance to chain together bigger and larger wins. Every time combining skulls explode and more drop down from above, the Mucho Multiplier increases, meaning the next round of wins (if any), are likely to be even bigger than the ones they replaced.
This is really similar to the “cascading symbols” feature that a lot of other slots games feature, like Megaway’s Bonanza slot. The way that this combines with the Mucho Multiplier feature, as well as the chance for new Wilds to drop down from above make this an excellent opportunity to chain together small wins until your final win for the spin is several times larger than your original stake was.
This is the feature that ties all the other features together to create regular, significant wins in Esqueleto Explosivo. At the bottom of the screen there are a number of multipliers, and each time new symbols drop down on a single spin, either because of winning combinations or exploding Wilds, your multiplier increases.
An initial spin starts at a 1x multiplier, but then that increases to 2x after the first drop, 4x after the next drop, then x8, x16, and finally, x32. Of course, getting all the way up to a x32 multiplier isn’t all that common, but you’ll find yourself getting to x4 and even x8 regularly.
There’s only one thing we can really say to end this Esqueleto Explosive slot review: we love it! This is one of those slots we think every online slots fan should try at least once. From the gorgeous visuals and immersive audio, to the wonderful balance of bonus features, there isn’t much we’d change about this game except maybe adding a bonus game. We definitely recommend giving these exploding skeletons a spin, or even trying out the sequel: Esqueleto Explosivo 2!