Wheel Winner is a bonus system developed by Ainsworth Technology which can be used on many of their pokies. The showcase slot game for this feature is Fortune Queen, which is themed around Cleopatra – the famous ruler of Ancient Egypt. When you trigger the wheel, you’ll see a lot of sparkle compared to the bold coloured segments used on most games.
As well as the random jackpot wheel bonus, Fortune Queen has a potentially very profitable free spins game. Look out for the diamond wild symbols which can appear on the middle 3 reels! The Wheel Winner system is sure to be used in many more Ainsworth titles. Each of these will have its own game play and novel bonus features. Here are the highlights:
Each of the Wheel Winner titles has 4 progressive jackpots. These are not the multi-million life-changing amounts you find on some pokies. With a top prize seeded at around $5000, they are certainly still worth winning.
At random the reels will be replaced with a wheel, facing you, with a stopper at the top. Some of the segments are covered in diamonds. Those have the word ‘jackpot’ on them. The remaining segments have credit amounts – which match the coin size you are betting with.
If you stop on a jackpot, the screen disappears behind a flaming animation. You are then awarded one of the 4 jackpots at random.
Fortune Queen is the main game currently using the Wheel Winner system. On this game you can trigger 8 free spins with 3 of the logo symbols anywhere on the reels.
When this bonus first starts, you might think it is identical to the base game. When you get a diamond symbol on reels 2, 3 or 4 – things change fast. Those diamonds are wild, substituting for everything except the bonus symbols. They become sticky during this bonus feature – staying in place for your remaining free spins.
If you are lucky enough to get good coverage early on, you can get several spins at the end with several guaranteed hits. You’ll be hoping for the higher paying symbols on reels 1 and 5, lining up with those locked wilds. If you are lucky enough to retrigger this bonus, you could be looking at a lot of big wins!
Again, based on Fortune Queen, the setup will be the regular Ainsworth Technologies 5×3 grid with 50 win-lines. After you choose your denomination, it is simply a matter of adding a bet multiplier and hitting the spin button.
Wild diamond symbols are in use during the base game – sometimes appearing stacked (in long lines) on the middle 3 reels. Other symbols are a mix of the low-paying playing cards, and symbols related to Ancient Egypt. Look out for the close-up view of Cleopatra’s eyes – this is the highest paying of the standard symbols. Pyramids, flowers, eye symbols and golden scarab beetles make up the remaining unique symbols.
The bonus when used for the Wheel Winner gambling machines really does stand out compared to wheels on other pokies. Not only does it have diamond backed jackpot segments, it has them grouped together. Rather than the jackpot / credit hit / jackpot standard, there are groups of 2 jackpot segments together all the way around.
Contrasting with the diamond look of this bonus wheel, you’ll find Fortune Queen is black and gold. As you might expect from Ainsworth Technology, there is a lot of attention to detail for the symbols. These are gold, and sparkle when they get involved in a win. You will see the Queen herself wearing a veil. The eyes (and other symbols) leave you little doubt about the identity of this royal. Scarab beetles have an excellent golden scheme.
The sound effects include those distinctive double clicks when the reels stop. There are jingles when you win a jackpot via the Wheel Winner system too.
I enjoyed Fortune Queen and look forward to seeing the Wheel Winner system added to other pokie titles. Having a random shot at a jackpot or big credit prize after any spin certainly adds a little excitement to otherwise standard games. Fortune Queen only has a single bonus feature. This free spins game is certainly worth hitting. With sticky diamond wilds accumulating as your free spins progress – the final few spins can be very profitable!