Tue, May 14, 3:00am by Noah Taylor
Last Updated Mon, Oct 7, 11:24pm
Ed is undead, he is also the star of this comedy-style Halloween pokie from Bally. This is a live casino pokie with a big screen and plenty of entertaining animations. While Ed is certainly the main attraction, there is plenty more going on. You’ll find eyeballs and that old zombie favourite, ‘brains’ on the reels – and the obligatory graveyard features too.
The game-play is as entertaining as the theme. You’ll find random on-reel features, free spins and a picks game which can trigger a nested wheel bonus. Better of Ed also features progressive jackpot prizes. Here are the key reasons to join dead Ed:
Your zombie host can appear in a few different ways in the base game. When you see him over the reels before a spin, you’ll know that you are about to get some extra wilds. Examples include the characteristic zombie shuffling walk over the reels. My pick is the one where he starts eating the symbols – before turning towards you completely covering the reels for one big ‘chomp’.
Once the wilds are in place the remaining symbols spin as usual. With 5 or 6 extra wilds reasonably common, these random features certainly have big win potential.
If you get 3 special bonus symbols, you’ll trigger 10 free spins. This would be welcome on its own – though the wild symbols stay on the reels during this feature.
These will hit on reels 2 through 5, and a small lock symbol will appear on any that do. They stay in place for your remaining spins. By the time you get to the final few spins, you can have a lot of these wilds in place!
The picks feature in Better off Ed is random. You know this will start when a lot of bats fly over the reels. This causes the reels to disappear, replaced by a cartoon graveyard scene. This is a simple game, you get 3 picks, each of which will show a number. That is then multiplied by your line bet.
What you want to see is a bonus wheel symbol. This is beneath one of the gravestones. It gives you a shot at winning bigger cash amounts, or the progressive jackpots. This wheel has bones dividing the segments. In an entertaining animation, a zombie hand will appear from the ground, and its finger will be used for the pointer.
A solid setup underpins the complex bonus features for Better Off Ed. This involves 30 win-lines over the usual 5×3 reel grid. Ed is the host of this pokie and also the highest paying symbol, you’ll want to line up 5 of the symbols where he looks straight at you from the reels. Other symbols with bigger prizes include a graveyard, drawing of a zombie and a sign saying ‘caution’.
Wilds do appear (these show a brain design). These are on reels 2 through 5. They can help create wins with the other symbols, though can’t make wins on their own. Playing card symbols are used for the filler / lower paying symbols.
If any zombie could ever be endearing – verging on cute – it would be Ed. He tries to be scary, though looks far too friendly to pull it off. The sequences where he walks over the reels, and eats symbols are brilliant animations, more like a TV cartoon than a pokie.
Things really come to life when you hit big wins or trigger the features. Spider web animations, bats flying around, graveyard sequences and those sticky ‘brain’ wilds are all worth checking out.
While your wins will vary, one thing is guaranteed – you’ll find a session on the Better Off Ed pokies by Bally to be thoroughly entertaining. The big screen is perfect for the many cartoon-like animations. Each of these comes with a different benefit. Often, this will involve extra wilds at random on the reels. If you are lucky, there are 2 bigger bonus games to enjoy. The graveyard picks game is short and sweet. My pick is the free spins, where those sticky ‘brains’ wilds can make for a lot of bigger wins!