Tue, May 14, 3:11am by Noah Taylor
Last Updated Mon, Oct 7, 11:24pm
There are two candidates for the river this pokie refers to – the Yangtze or Yellow rivers. Whichever it is, Bally has done an excellent job making the colours pop-out from the screen. While this game is instantly recognisable as an Asian themed pokie, there are some new ideas. A jade frog icon and a glowing lotus flower can be seen on the reels – along with more common symbols.
Stacked symbols help give the game-play a distinctive feel too. With different symbols stacked at different times, you never know just what you are going to see. Connect those stacks with wilds, and you could be looking at a flood of wins. Here are the reasons that wins could flow your way while enjoying the China River pokies:
On the reels of this game there are long strips of symbols which are left blank up until you hit the spin button. At that moment, a symbol is selected at random to populate all those places on the reels. This means that every time you spin you will see one symbol dominating the reels.
While usually you will watch those super-stacks wiz past, other times they will hit multiple reels. Your biggest wins on China River will come from those spins when you cover 4 or 5 reels completely in the same symbol. If this is one of the higher paying symbols or wilds, you could be looking at a large prize.
Gold coins are the scatter / bonus symbols. Unusually, these can also come in stacks on the reels. To trigger the free spins, you need to line up these coins on one of the 30 win-lines. When they come stacked, you could trigger the bonus a full 30 times.
That would get you 8 free spins for each combination you line up – a huge 240 free spins to start your bonus game. Keep in mind that it is possible to retrigger for even more free spins during play.
The reels and symbols become darker for the free spins, though there is little change to the game-play. You will get a welcome 2x multiplier on any wins you do get – the perfect time to get a full screen of the Chinese character symbols which are the wilds!
There are 30 win-lines in play on China River. These cross a regular 5-reel, 3-row grid. Your bet levels start at 30c – and go up in multiples of this amount. With super-stacked symbols making it possible to cover all 30-win lines at once, you’d expect the line hits to be on the smaller side to compensate. Luckily, this is not the case – you can win up to 1,000 coins per line for 5 of the Chinese writing symbols.
Other higher paying symbols include the lotus flower, golden lions guarding a pot, and the jade frog. Your smaller wins will come from playing card fillers. Aces down to 9’s are in use.
Wilds can be found too; these connect other wins – substituting for everything except the coin scatters.
I had to do a double take the first time I saw the upper part of the cabinet of China Rivers. The bird shows amazing, vivid plumage. This sits in a tree, overlooking the river, right above the reels.
On the reels the symbols have plenty of detail too. The jade frog looks very realistic, and the pink lotus flower has a somewhat surreal feel to it. Having a symbol dominate the reels each time gives a different feel to many online pokies. When you hit multiple reels of the same symbol, you could be looking at the fountain of gold coins which is triggered by big wins.
Sounds-wise, I’d say this was a generic soundtrack for Asian pokies. Things get livelier in the free spins bonus game.
If you enjoy the many Asian pokies around today, then China River is another solid example to add to your list. The only thing missing is a jackpot / picks game. The novel game-play with a mystery symbol dominating the reels on each spin keeps the base-game fresh. With the ability to win up to 240 free spins at 2x pays quickly shows you where the action is in this vivid Asian poker machine.