Sumo wrestling may not have achieved the worldwide recognition or following of tennis or football, but most people do have some awareness of what the sport is. It’s a battle of strength and will between two men, usually large in stature, who use their mass and their understanding of leverage and momentum to force their opponent out of the combat ring.
While sumo wrestlers are almost universally massive, the sport is still one of grace and skill. It takes a lot of discipline and training to achieve the highest levels of the sport. Yokozuna Clash is a tribute to that skill. As a slot machine, it does not do the sport justice, but it may still pique the interest of those who appreciate sumo.
The sport is played on a 5 reel set with 243 ways to win. It’s a pay-both-ways configuration designed by Yggdrasil Gaming of Sweden. You are invited to the “Grand Sumo Tournament” and take on the role of Riku or Haru, sumo wrestlers whose goal is to defeat all of their opponents on the way to becoming the Yokozuna, or ‘Grand Champion’. You can transport yourself to the ring via your computer, tablet or mobile phone, at a cost of as little as 0.10 per spin. The max bet is 125.
There are other sumo slots on the market, but Yokozuna Clash is unique in that it is set inside a sumo hall, and it has some stunning music. There are sumo wrestlers facing off against each other in the foreground, with the reels spinning behind them. The sport is an ancient one, but the gameplay and presentation is fascinating. Yokozuna Clash is well-presented, with a modern feel and engaging gameplay. Some traditionalists might find it a little too flashy, but it’s well done, impressive, and fun.
In place of confusing coin values, the game uses symbols that give cash values relative to your current stake. This makes the game more transparent and easier to understand. There are dragons, tigers, turtles, card suit symbols, tigers and phoenix as symbols in play. The phoenix is worth 12 times your stake if you can get five of a kind. The wild symbol is easy to recognize, having ‘wild’ written on it, and it substitutes for anything barring the scatter.
Free spins are heavily emphasized, and that’s how most of the big wins are offered, but there are some other nice features.
Riku (the wrestler with the blue belt) can add up to two wilds randomly on the three center reels.
Haru (the wrestler with the green belt) can add multipliers of 2x or 3x on winning combinations.
The core of the game is the multi-level “Tournament” mini-game as a Free Spins feature. This mode starts when the free spins scatter lands on both the first reel and the last reel at the same time. You will be assigned one of the fighters to take on a randomly chosen opponent. Each fighter has different powers, including wilds or multipliers, and they will be added to the reels as the sumo wrestlers battle to take each other out of the ring.
Your goal is to win from left to right, making your fighter attack the boss and progress from the left-hand side of the reels to the right-hand side. If you land a winning combination going in the other direction, then you will be pushed back by your opponent. there is a battle bar to show which fighter is currently winning. Turn the bar blue to advance to the next boss. If the bar turns red, you have lost and the free spins end. There are two bosses to defeat before you take home the trophy. Get to the finals and you face the demo sumo. Beat him, and a doubling multiplier is applied to your winnings.
Land a five of a kind combination to unlock the Sumo Clash feature. Between two and four extra symbols will appear on the screen, awarding you an even bigger potential payout. Overall, this is an interesting sumo game with some nice twists and as much of a storyline as you can get out of a slot machine. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but then neither is sumo!