Sat, May 4, 4:18am by William Brown
Last Updated Mon, Oct 7, 11:25pm
Celestial King is the latest game to feature a variation of the Hold and Spin bonus feature first introduced by Aristocrat. This Bally title has a spectacular Asian theme, featuring an animated monkey character above the reels. You can win progressive jackpots, and enjoy big line hits, by collecting special dragon symbols over extended stepped reels.
While the live version of Celestial King showcases the amazing graphics, you can enjoy a smaller version of this pokie online. This includes the full features, and jackpots too. Here are the highlights:
This is the key feature – it is triggered by hitting 5 or more symbols showing money amounts with golden dragons either side. You can trigger this from the base game, or from the free spins. The size of the prizes is determined by your bet size.
In a spectacular animation, the reels grow. Reel 1 keeps the standard 3 rows of symbols, with one being added for each of the next 4 reels. These are topped with the roofs of houses, with 3-4-5-6-7 symbols from left to right.
You now have 3 free spins to add more money symbols. Each time you get one, the number of spins resets back to 3. They appear as blanks, with a gong sounding to reveal the amount of each symbol.
Above reels 3, 4 and 5 you will see the names of 3 small jackpots. These are mini, minor and major. If you completely fill the reel under these names with symbols, that jackpot is yours. Note that picking bigger denominations will increase the size of these jackpots. If you are lucky enough to completely fill the reels with money symbols – you’ll win the biggest jackpot of all, the grand.
When you run out of spins, a pole shoots up from each symbol, looping through the air while your wins are totalled.
You can also trigger a free spins bonus round on Celestial King. Three bonus symbols will get you 8 free spins. While these are welcome for the extra line hits, the main benefit of the free spins is that you can trigger the Hold and Spin bonus more easily.
At the start of your free spins an animation takes place where many more of the money / scatter symbols are added to the reels. You can also retrigger for 8 more spins with 3 bonus symbols.
An alternative way of winning the ‘grand’ progressive on Celestial King involves wild symbols which double as jackpot symbols. If you line up 5 of these, and are betting $4+ per spin, then the big prize could be yours. If you bet smaller than this, those symbols simply count as wilds, replacing the other symbols (not the bonus ones) to create extra wins.
The base game uses a 30 win-line setup, which is not adjustable. You’ll spin a regular reel shape – 5 reels with 3 symbols on each. Bets are in multiples of 50c, which covers all the lines plus the bonus features.
You’ll want to see those wild symbols lining up, as these have the biggest line prize by a long way. Other higher paying symbols show an Asian priestess, a pig and a medal. Flowers and coins come next, with Asian-font playing card symbols providing the smaller wins.
In a live casino you’ll play on a huge screen which makes the most of the spectacular design efforts. At first it is hard to tell whether the lively avatar above the reels is a monkey, or a person. It has very human-like eyes – though the ears give it away! This creature will react to your wins and jump around when the bonus games start. Beyond it is a beautiful full moon picture against golden pagodas.
Hold and Spin bonuses have been around for a while now – though new innovations on this theme are still appearing. I like the expanded reels system on Celestial King. This gives you extra ways to win jackpots, as well as more spaces for those money symbols. The free spins add more scatters to the reels, giving you a better shot at triggering the main feature. The production on this game is amazing. If you enjoy Asian themed games, this one is a must-play.