The Japanese mafia, known as the yakuza, has been the subject of countless television shows, books, movies, comic books and video games. The Yakuza slot by Fugaso takes this theme head-on and gives it a tremendous amount of respect with gorgeous graphics and a solid playing environment. The gameplay is solid as well, and the volatility is smoothed out by several factors. If you're a fan of low-to-medium volatility online slots that still give you opportunities to win some pretty large jackpots, then this is a game that you will most likely enjoy.
At your first look, this game looks pretty straightforward with five reels and three rows. There are 20 paylines as well, which is the most common number for video slots. With that having been said, the fact that these paylines pay in both directions makes it stand out immediately because that's something you definitely don't see every day. It increases the hit-rate, decreases the volatility and generally improves the gameplay overall.
Betting for this game is straightforward as well, and you will only have to deal with one betting control. Keep the number of paylines at 20 to keep the RTP maxed out, and make sure the only dial you manipulate for betting is the price per payline. This ranges from $0.02 to $5 each for total betting sizes that go fro $0.40 to $100.
Wild Boss Symbol
The boss is the only male character on the reels, so he's pretty easy to spot. He has little hair, is facing the camera directly and is wearing a black suit and tie. This is also the wild symbol, and he's good for a 1,000x payout for five of a kind. Note that this is paid in both directions, so you really get paid 2,000x. This is the largest non-scatter win. Four of a kind of this wild symbol can get you 500x, which is nothing to sneeze at. You'll also be able to pick up 100x when you line up three of a kind of the boss symbol. He substitutes for everything but the scatter.
Scatter Symbols and Free Spins
On all five reels, you'll also find the scattered golden dragon symbol. This symbol gets you a payout of 4,000x whenever you get five of a kind located anywhere on the reels. A win of 400x is yours for four, and you'll pick up 40x for three along the same lines.
This symbol is also responsible for the free spins feature. Whenever you get three or more of the golden dragon on the reels, no matter where they are, you'll be given 10 free spins. Inside of this free spins bonus feature, the wilds expand to cover the entire reel. It's clear that this increases the value of those spins substantially. However, if you consider what happens whenever you get five wilds in this feature, the entire game board becomes filled with them, and you'll win the five-of-a-kind payout for wilds 40 different ways for an enormous jackpot win.
Other Symbols and Winning Combinations
The only female character on the reels has black sunglasses and black hair pulled back, and she gets 800x for five of a kind. The guns and sword pay 600x for five of either, and this becomes 500x for five of the ninja star or the cash symbol.
Dropping down from there is the royal flush from poker, and it gets you 200x when you line up five on a payline. Five of the dark suits (spade or club) pay 150x, and five of the red suits (heart or diamond) gets you 100x. It's worth noting that even the lowest wins for five in the game are pretty reasonable, especially considering they always pay twice since the game pays both ways.
Yakuza is a game that brings together several elements to try to form one cohesive experience. The first you'll notice is the graphics, which Fugaso has done an excellent job with. Next is the pay table, which is value-packed. The one thing that stands out as being a little too typical is the free spins bonus feature and the lack of other features in the game. This slot is perfectly adequate, but we really feel like having some other yakuza-themed features could have been the difference between this being an above-average slot and it being a really great game.