Sat, May 4, 4:03am by William Brown
Last Updated Mon, Oct 7, 11:25pm
There are reoccurring themes and features in many on today’s Asian style pokies. With Fu Dao Le, Bally have taken them all – and crammed them into a single game. There are mystery reveal symbols, red envelope instant wins, 4 progressive jackpots (via a picks game), nudging wilds and a free spins bonus.
The design features classic Chinese babies, riding giant koi carp. When you get the free spins bonus, the screen is covered in beautiful red lanterns. On the reels the symbols show a familiar mix of symbols used for Asian themed slots by all the pokie studios. Here are the reasons to give Fu Dao Le a spin:
Instead of using separate wild and bonus symbols, Bally has combined them into ‘Wonus’ symbols. I thought this was a typo until I started to spin! These show an elaborate gong. They appear on the middle 3 reels only.
You need all 3 to trigger the free spins game. The scene changes, with red lanterns appearing all around, and the classic Asian tune changes too. During these free spins, normal wilds replace the ‘Wonus’ symbols on the middle reels. The gongs now appear on the last reel. Each time one appears, an extra free spin is added to your total. These are frequent enough to keep the bonus feature running way beyond your initial 8 free spins.
On every spin in both the base game and free spins bonus, you’ll see strips on the reels showing a golden design. When these land on the reels they will often cover one or more reels completely. When the other symbols have stopped, these strips open to reveal a symbol a random. This can be any regular symbol – and will often link with the ones already on the reels to create multiple line hits.
Mystery symbols don’t reveal Wonus symbols or red envelopes.
There are 4 progressive jackpots in the Fu Dao Le pokies. These range from mini through to maxi. To win them, you’ll need to enter a randomly triggered picks game. This is tied in with nudging wild symbols on reel 3. When these cover the entire reel, the jackpot game might start!
This game involves a screen of 15 traditional gold coins. Each pick will reveal one of the jackpots. You are awarded whichever one you hit 3 of first.
The ‘Red Envelope’ jackpot is separate. This is a smaller amount (seeded at $38). To win it you simply need two special envelopes – one on reel 1 and the other on reel 5.
Despite the large number of features, this is a traditional pokie in many ways. This shines through with the symbols used for wins. There are red lanterns, gold ingots and the koi carp with Fu babies riding them. Alongside these you’ll find the regular filler playing card symbols.
All-ways wins are in use. This gives you 243 potential winning combinations over the 5×3 grid. With the stacked mystery symbols in play, it is possible to win on all 243 ‘lines’ from a single spin. Your spins are in odd amounts, starting at 38c and going up in a mix of round numbers and 8’s.
Fu Dao Le has a rich, red design. There are some nice small touches, for example the spin button is a traditional red lantern. This pokie is quiet between spins, with a classic tune playing in short bursts each time you hit the spin button. The music only becomes constant when you enter the free spins bonus game.
Both Fu babies and koi carp are common sights. This is the only pokie I have come across where the babies are riding the giant carp! When you do enter the free spins, lanterns fill the screen instead.
This Bally pokie has combined almost every feature of rival studio’s Asian slots – and put them in one place. With the solid Bally production, Fu Dao Le certainly looks the part. The action is intense at times, with bonuses and features never far away.