Tue, Jul 9, 7:45pm by Mia Chapman
Last Updated Fri, May 15, 12:27am
The name of this Ainsworth designed pokie might immediately make you think of the weather. However, you’d be wrong this time, as ‘Big Thunder’ is a giant ape, a similar character to the infamous King Kong. This great ape appears across the reels as the wild symbol. The ape is joined by African themed symbols such as a snake, golden masks and drums.
Big Thunder is set up so you can play it in exactly the way you want to. You get to choose the number of lines and the coin value. It is possible to play the game for as little as 1c, all the way up to $30+ per spin.
During the game, you’ll come across a free spins bonus feature, where multipliers can give any wins a handy boost. And at any spin, you can win one of the four impressive jackpot prizes.
You do have the opportunity to play Big Thunder for free. The game is available both in live casinos and online. If you play the online version, some casinos will offer it as a free play option. This gives you the ideal way to give the pokie a ‘test run’ before you play for real money (either online or at the casino).
You’ll have to make two choices before you hit spin for the first time. The first choice is the number of lines. This is set by default at 30, but you can choose any number between 1 and 30. The next choice is the coin value. The minimum coin value is just 1c and this rises to $10 (or more at some high-roller casino sites). Simply multiply the number of lines in play by the coin value to get your total stake for each spin.
The setup of the screen shows a 5×3 reel configuration, although you will notice a small ‘one symbol’ reel to the right of the main game area. This additional reel comes into play for jackpots and free spins (more details later).
The highest paying symbols in the base game are the themed images. These include the mask, a shield with African markings, the snake, a waterfall and a drum. The lower paying symbols are represented by the familiar playing cards.
Throughout the game, the Big Thunder title character acts as the wild. He appears on reels 3, 4 and 5 only and substitutes for all other symbols apart from the logo / scatter. This symbol can be stacked on these three reels. If you’re lucky enough to fill these reels with the wild, you might be looking at a seriously big win.
There are two main extras when playing Big Thunder. A free spins bonus feature and the chance to win one of four jackpots. Add to this the frequent wilds in the base game and scatter prizes, and you have a slot with plenty of depth.
To enter the free spins bonus feature you’ll need to land three or more logo symbols. This scatter symbol pays 2x, 20x or 50x your total stake when 3, 4 or 5 appear on the reels respectively. In addition, you’ll also get to enjoy 15 free spins.
Each of the free spins can be more profitable than the base game for two reasons. First, all the playing card symbols are removed from play, leaving only the higher paying symbols. Second, the mini 6th reel will spin and give the chance of a multiplier. 3x and 5x multipliers can appear on this final reel and this multiplier will be applied to any wins.
If you land three or more scatter symbols during the free spins, an extra 5 spins will be added to your total.
Big Thunder doesn’t feature progressive jackpots that rise over time. Instead, there are four ‘fixed’ jackpot amounts, these prizes are based on the stake you choose. The higher stake you play, the more you can win.
The jackpot format for Big Thunder is ‘King Strike’ which is used at several Ainsworth designed games. To land a jackpot you’ll need a five in a row with the King Strike jackpot on the final reel. Here’s how you’ll win each of the four jackpots:
It’s unusual to find a jackpot format where these large prizes are won directly on the reels. Other jackpots usually offer their own bonus game or are won randomly. You’ll know exactly when you’ve won one of these jackpots immediately. Having landed the five symbols in a row, you’ll have that great moment of drama as you wait to see if the King Strike symbol lands on reel six.
Yes, you’ll trigger the free spins bonus feature when you land three or more scatter symbols. As well as an instant scatter win, you’ll enjoy 15 free spins. During these spins, the sixth reel can add a multiplier into the mix to boost your wins.
Big Thunder can be played both at a live and online casino. While the live casino option doesn’t allow for free play, you can enjoy a free play online version.
While there are four jackpots to be won, these are not progressive jackpots. These are fixed based on your stake. For example, if playing for 1c, the major jackpot is $100, while if playing for $30 per spin, the major would be $10000.
Yes, much of the Ainsworth range is available online. This allows for play within your browser on your mobile device.