You never quite know which pokies will strike a chord with the great gambling public. On the surface Chimney Stacks from Bally Technology seems like an outsider to be considered a classic. Yet this quirky slot set in a Victorian Era city has remained a favourite both live and online for many years. It is set against a city at night, you can see the outlines of the roofs of buildings – with plenty of smoky chimneys.
Those chimneys also appear on the reels. In fact, they are the most important part of the game. They are 4 rows high, and also wild, connecting many wins over the 40 win-lines. When you get the free spins bonus feature, the chimneys become more important still. Here are the highlights of this popular pokie:
Free games symbols appear on reels 1, 3 and 5 only. As usual you need all 3 to get 2x your triggering bet and to trigger the bonus games. While the regular spins take place in the daytime, the free spins bonus is set at night. You can see the tops of buildings around the reels, in a hazy smoke fed by thousands of wood and coal burning fireplaces.
In the regular games, wilds are single symbols (though they will come in stacks at times). In the free spins games, these are replaced by tall chimney symbols – which appear on reels 2 through 5. These are made of brick and have the word ‘Wild’ written from top to bottom.
You then get 10 free spins to hit as many wins as possible.
Whenever a chimney symbol hits the reels, this sticks in place for the remainder of your spins. What you are hoping is to get one covering all 4 spots on the reels – making that reel completely wild. If one covers 3 spots, it also sticks, though there is one symbol above which still spins. If you get all 4 reels covered in chimneys, you will be looking at a series of very profitable spins at the end of this feature.
There are no bonus symbols in play, so you can’t retrigger or otherwise extend this time around.
As with most Bally pokies, the number of win-lines is fixed and so can’t be adjusted by players. There are 40 lines in play with Chimney Stacks, covering a 5-reel, 4 row setup. You can bet from 1c per line and up from there. In live casinos (outside of high-limit gaming areas) bets will top out at around $2.
The wild symbols, which show a city in silhouette (a rooftop view of the chimneys), is wild and does come in small stacks on the reels. Your biggest base game wins will come from when you get groups of these connecting multiple winning combinations. Other higher paying symbols are all related to the era. They include a weather vane, top hat and a device to blow air into your fireplace.
There are a los of playing card symbols in play. Aces down to nines are used, with their usual bold, primary colours. These can dominate the reels a little at times.
While it is not specified which Victorian-era city is used for the design, London is a solid candidate. The famous fog, and style of buildings fits perfectly. The artwork has been updated, with more recent versions having clearer designs and smoother game-play.
When the free spins start the chimneys make for an imposing view. They block out entire reels, and fly past when you spin. If you do get a few reels covered in these, you can expect the coin-fountain animations to be a regular occurrence.
This is a simple pokie, with just the one free spins game and small stacks of wilds in the base game. It still gets played – and is found in live casinos as well as online. While it can’t compete with the multi-featured new games, Chimney Stacks is still enjoyable. With a completely unique theme, and the shot at 4 completely wild reels, this classic game still has that all-important big win potential.