Fri, Oct 5, 4:29am by Mia Chapman
Last Updated Fri, May 15, 10:06am
There are now two versions of the Big Kahuna pokies. Both are classic games, with the older (simply called Big Kahuna) a throwback to the earliest years of online slots. The newer version is called Big Kahuna: Snakes and Ladders.
Both have a tropical theme. You’ll find fruits, masks and volcanoes on the reels – along with an island native. There are multiple bonus games to enjoy. In the classic Big Kahuna pokie, you’ll find two entertaining picks bonus games. For the newer version, free spins are available, along with a more interesting bonus game based on the snakes and ladders board game.
You won’t play either of these pokies for the latest graphics or special effects. What they do offer is the solid gameplay you’d expect from online specialists Microgaming – plus plenty of big win potential.
You’ll find both of these games at online casinos that feature Microgaming pokies. They can be enjoyed in demo mode, which will allow you to check out the different features. You can then decide which one to start with when you play for real money.
Note that these are older slots, which use ‘Flash’. You might need to install this (or a plug-in). You will simply be asked to allow it to run in some browsers.
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The original Big Kahuna pokie has a flexible setup. You can choose to play just one win-line or any number up to the maximum 9. There are 5 reels, with 3 rows of symbols on each. It is possible to play up to 5 coins per line.
An advantage of fewer win-lines is that the prizes per line are big. These are topped by the logo wild symbols – worth 8000 coins for the maximum 5. These replace all the regular symbols (not the volcanoes, masks or monkeys). The other unique symbols show a masked native, a big lizard and different tropical fruits. Monkey symbols are scatters, paying up to 200x your triggering bet for 5. Volcano and Mask symbols trigger the bonuses.
Big Kahuna: Snakes and Ladders has more win-lines. 15 are in play, with bets of up to 15 coins per line allowed. The mix of symbols is different, with female and male natives, a tiki mask, lizard and monkey making up the higher paying winning symbols. Fruits again trigger the lower prizes. Wilds have the biggest prize, with snakes and ladders bonus symbols appearing on reels 1, 3 and 5.
Design-wise, these games have a retro look. What they do have is plenty of action when it comes to bonus features.
The original Big Kahuna has two different picks games. These trigger with 3+ of either the volcano or mask symbols. They are short bonuses, which are entertaining in a quirky way. The newer snakes and ladders game features a board game bonus. It also features free spins, which are trigger at random from the base game.
These games on the original Big Kahuna pokies are more profitable when you trigger them with more of the special symbols. If you start the volcano bonus with 5 triggering symbols, the top prize is 2500 coins. Trigger with 3 and this top prize goes to 625 coins. The game is simple, you see a native at the top of a volcano – and pick a fruit combo to appease the gods. He drops it in, and you win the coins.
The mask bonus has a top prize of 4375 coins. This involves choosing carved masks. You keep picking until you get one which says ‘collect’ keeping any coin wins you uncover along the way.
For the Big Kahuna Snakes and Ladders game, the logo symbols double any wins they become a part of during the base game. At random, you will receive 5 free spins. There are no special symbols needed for this bonus.
During your spins, all wins are double. This means that any win that includes a logo wild symbol will now get 4x compared to the regular paytable.
This entertaining bonus is triggered by snake symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5. It is a version of the classic board game with a twist. There are 3 cartoon severed heads hanging on the top right. They speak to you while you play.
You pick coloured dice from the right-hand side. Each one can be used once. They move you along a snakes and ladders board. You’ll go up ladders and down snakes just like in the board game. After a few spins, you can choose to collect (a multiplier of your bet based on how far up the board you got) or spin another dice.
This adds a small element of strategy to the game – especially when you are in a spot where it is possible to land on a long snake with the next throw. The ‘talking heads’ make this an entertaining bonus feature.
Both games have plus points. With the original, playing just 9 lines means you can spin for bigger coin sizes – increasing your potential for big line hits. The bonus features are quirky on the original, though not as entertaining as the board game on the next version.
Only the newer snakes and ladders version of Big Kahuna has a free spins game. This is triggered at random (no special bonus symbols necessary). You get 5 free spins, during which all your wins are double. This means wins with wilds get a 4x boost compared to the regular paytable.
There are no progressives, though there is plenty of big win potential. On the newer game, you can win up to 200,000 coins during the free spins bonus. The original lets you win up to 200x your triggering bet with 5 of the monkey scatter symbols.
You’ll find the newer (snakes and ladders) version of the Big Kahuna at many online casinos. Microgaming slots are not available for real money in Australia at the moment. You will need Flash player to run this game.