There are two Hummin’ Bird pokies in the Ainsworth portfolio. These are Sugar and Spice Hummin Bird and Sweeter than Sweet Hummin Bird. The ‘Mystery’ part of the title comes from the progressive jackpots. Many Ainsworth pokies have progressives which are won completely at random – including these Hummin titles. The setting is an exotic jungle. You’ll find tree frogs, toucans and an impressive conical volcano as the main symbols.
Aside from the random jackpots, the focus of the Hummin’ Mystery slots are the free spins bonus features. These are different for each title, with some novel aspects to the games including sticky changing symbols and spins to show how many reels will have stacked wilds. Here are the highlights:
Bonus symbols stand out on the reels of both Hummin Mystery titles. These show a golden frame in a diamond shape. Inside is a view of a classic volcano, complete with fire at the top of the cone. You will trigger the free spins with just 3 scattered bonus symbols. Hitting more will get you big scatter wins to go with your features.
The features are different for the two games:
Sweeter Than Sweet Hummin Bird: Here the Hummin Bird symbols take on a new role. In the base game they are wild symbols, simply replacing regular symbols for extra wins. In the free spins they become mystery reveal symbols. Each one will change to reveal a symbol at random after every spin. Even better, they stick in place. This means you can get a lot of birds all changing to the same symbol when the reels stop. This has the potential to make your final few spins very profitable.
Sugar and Spice Hummin Bird: Before your free spins start, you’ll see two mini wheels (viewed side on). These spin automatically, giving you a number of wild stacks on the reels (up to 4) and a number of free spins. When your spins start some reels will have super-stacks of Hummin Bird wilds. You could cover 4 entire reels with these if you get lucky.
What these bonus features have in common is the ability to easily retrigger them. You only need 2 of the volcano bonus symbols to add 5 extra spins to your total. Full retriggers for both games start with 3+ (along with those welcome scatter prizes).
Both games use the 5×3 reel setup which Ainsworth are famous for. The number of win-lines and denominations will vary. The default in most casinos is 50 win-lines and 1c coins, with multipliers up to 5x available.
Wilds are in play, these are vivid jungle flowers, with multi-coloured leaves. The highest paying regular symbols are the hummin birds, which come with a hovering animation when you win. The other higher paying animals include a toucan and a bright green tree frog.
Royals (those bold, bright playing card symbols) are used to supply the smaller wins.
These pokies look different to most of the regular themes you’ll find. While they don’t have that big screen special-effects library of more recent games, the symbols are certainly detailed. The volcano is viewed from afar. This looks both imposing and impressive – appearing in a perfect cone shape.
The main characters on the reels are the hummin birds. These look wonderful, with shimmering colours and real movement to their tiny wings. I also liked the bright green tree frog and toucan designs. There are some minor animations, such as the jungle flower spinning around – though nothing that would compare with the more recent Ainsworth designed pokies.
When you win the mystery jackpot, the reels will disappear, with flame effects around. When the view clears, you’ll find out if you won the big (grand) prize or one of the smaller ones.
I enjoyed both of these titles – which now benefit from having mystery progressives available on any spin. While the base games are the same, there are big differences in how the two free spins bonuses work. For Sugar and Spice, wild reels are the main draw. Sweeter than Sweet sees mystery reveal symbols covering the reels, with more getting added after every spin. Add to this the exotic jungle setting, and you have pokies which are a break from all those regular themes.