Mon, Jul 16, 8:13pm by Noah Taylor
Last Updated Tue, Oct 8, 12:53am
Houdini may be the greatest magician of all time, still famous almost a century after his death. Now, his exploits and fame are the subjects of an online poker machine that can be played at Royal Vegas Casino. With a classic look and feel, some very big payouts and a number of bonus games based on the legendary magician’s greatest tricks, this is one pokie that should satisfy any crowd.
The basics of Houdini are similar to what you’d see in most online pokies. It’s a five reel, 25-line poker machine that requires you to match symbols from left to right across your active paylines. Players can only bet one coin per line, however, you can adjust the stakes from a penny up to £8 per line. You’ll be matching a variety of symbols, ranging from poker ranks like jacks and aces to a number of items you might see in one of Houdini’s acts: handcuffs, magic hats, and so on.
Houdini pokies can be played for free, or with real money. At Royal Vegas, Australian players can use AUD currency as well.
For an especially large win, you’ll want to find the Houdini wild symbol. Of course, this substitute can fill in for any other symbol to help make a winning combination. However, it’s most lucrative when you make a combination of all wild symbols on the same payline. Match five in a row, and you can win 10,000 credits! At the maximum bet level, that can mean a win worth the equivalent of well over $100,000.
Of course, you couldn’t have a Houdini pokie without making sure it had a few tricks up its sleeves (pun intended). In this case, there are three different bonus rounds that can be reached during gameplay.
First, there’s the Houdini Escape game, which is activated should you manage to hit three escape bonus features on any active payline. This game will result in a second screen where you’ll be presented with Houdini and six mysterious boxes, each of which holds a different instant prize. You’ll be allowed to continue opening boxes and receiving more instant credits until you hit the “collect” symbol, which will end the game and award your winnings.
Next up is the Balloon Bonus. Hit three of the Balloon Bonus symbols on any active payline, and you’ll get to play a knife-throwing game with the goal of popping balloons! The more balloons you hit, the more money you win, as each balloon will reveal a hidden prize. Once again, you’ll get the chance to keep hitting balloons until you come across the collect symbol, which ends the game.
Finally, there’s the Scatter Bonus. If you hit three locked chest symbols anywhere on the reels, you’ll be transferred into the bonus round where you’ll see three locked chests. Open them all to collect prizes, and you’ll be awarded with bonus credits!
One of the best parts of the Houdini pokie is the way the game captures the feel of a Houdini performance. The graphics and animations aren’t anything special, but as with any great magician, looks can be deceiving. The style of the graphics seems perfect for a turn-of-the-century magic act, with the reels made to look like a stage and a marquee displaying the name Houdini. One of the nicest touches in this regard is also one of the smallest; it’s pretty amusing to hear a crowd “ooh and aah” as you come close to unlocking one of the game’s many bonus rounds. There are also some period appropriate musical cues that really help sell the theme.
Houdini isn’t one of the more complex online pokies you’ll find. Although there are three different bonus games, they’re pretty similar. All three are the standard “pick ‘em” type games that have you earning prizes until you pick the wrong choice, which ends the game. There’s certainly no reason to complain about the fact that there are three different ways to get to such games, and the prizes they award can be quite nice; however, a little more variety would have been nice.
Overall though, that’s just a minor blemish on what is otherwise a very entertaining poker machine. If you’re a fan of Houdini, this game won’t quite substitute for one of his legendary performances. However, it is a solid and engaging slot machine with plenty of big prizes – and when you’re talking about pokies, what else can you ask for?