Fri, May 31, 3:54pm by William Brown
Last Updated Tue, Oct 8, 12:20am
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Fairy Ring pokies are a product of Microgaming and available for player at online casinos that run their software package. This poker machine is a traditional style game with few reels and pay lines, few special features, and a small variety of available wager sizes.
Classic pokies like Fairy Ring are designed for a specific variety of Internet casino gambler. Part of the appeal of a game like this is the small wager variety – the choice of betting using one of five relatively small credit sizes appeals to bettors that have a small budget or that want to get a lot of play time out of their bankroll.
Microgaming produces large multiple pay line poker machines, games with progressive jackpots, and those that have high quality 3D graphics and cinematic sound effects; they also produce titles like Goblin’s Gold and 1 Arm Bandit, which don’t use a huge number of pay lines, special features, or reel symbols.
Titles like this one that offer a smaller selection of jackpots and nothing in the way of bonus games or opportunities for free spins are a favourite of a certain breed of poker machine gambler. Unlike some of Microgaming’s low dollar machines, this game does include a wild symbol, so it is a bit more complex than the company’s other three reel / three line titles.
The logo and the image tucked behind the reels make this title look an awful lot like the old 8-bit Nintendo fantasy games: The Legend of Zelda comes to mind. The background image is well-detailed and the logo flashes with a glint of the sun while the bettor sets up the game to the wager size he wants.
The theme is indeed fantasy-based; icons used on the reels include both themed images (bizarre fantasy-style butterflies and mushrooms) and traditional poker machine symbols (groups of bar symbols). The most important image in the game is the winged creature from the game’s name – she is a wild symbol that replaces all others in the game to form winning combinations; a combo of three fairies also leads to the game’s biggest prize.
The graphics, sound effects, and short animated scenes that play when symbols form combinations stay true to the fantasy theme, though there is no plot to speak of. Classic pokie players aren’t looking for side games or a complex plot; the use of attractive symbols and a simple reel and pay line arrangement are enough to keep classic game fans happy. The most complex thing that happens during play is the animation of the fairy character when she’s used as a wild symbol or when three of her symbols appear to form their own winning combo.
Classic pokies aren’t normally known for offering a huge variety of bets in different sizes. This three reel / three pay line offering from Microgaming falls in line with that pattern, allowing just one coin wager per line on three lines for a total coin bet size between one and three per spin.
One way Fairy Ring stands out from the classic poker machine crowd is the variety of available credit sizes – the bettor can set each credit to be worth $0.25, $0.50, $1, $2.50, or $5, for an actual bet-per-spin range between $0.25 and $15 each round.
Many traditional-style games have just one or two credit sizes to pick from, so bettors who like to vary their wagers but also want classic machine play should be very happy with this Microgaming release. On the other hand, limiting each line to just one credit bet per spin is more limiting than other traditional pokie titles.
The image of the beautiful sprite from the game’s title is both a wild symbol that can stand in for all other game symbols and the title’s most valuable reel image – landing three of her images on an active line leads to the game’s biggest prizes, which vary depending on the line she appears on.
For three symbols on the first line, the bettor wins 1,500 credits, worth between $375 and $7,500. Three of her reel symbols on the second line will pay out 3,000 credits, worth between $750 and $1,500. The largest prize in the game comes for spinning three wild images on the third line, for a payout of 5,000 credits, worth between $1,250 and $25,000. That is a large max pay out, especially for a classic style game with little in the way of special features and a bet variety that tops out at $15 per spin.
For most fans of classic poker machines, the lack of special features is what makes the game special – that’s counter-intuitive but accurate. Fairy Ring has no bet or jackpot multiplier symbols or features, offers no scatter symbol or free spin opportunities, and while it does have a wild symbol, it doesn’t act as a multiplier or perform any other special function.
But don’t think of this lack of extras as a liability; some poker machine bettors are seeking out simpler games like this that don’t require a ton of concentration or a complex pay table. The entire game can be seen at a single glance; just three reel symbols lead to payouts, so the pay table can be memorized in a minute or two. No need to worry about bonus games or spinning special symbols to get at the most valuable pay outs – three wild symbols always leads to a big prize no matter which of the three reels they appear on.
The fact that this game is on the simple side is a feature attractive to bettors looking for an easy to understand game to distract themselves for an hour or two.