Mon, Jul 16, 7:59pm by Noah Taylor
Last Updated Tue, Oct 8, 12:53am
Thunderstruck II is the exciting sequel to the original Thunderstruck poker machine. While the first Thunderstruck game was great for it’s time (it was developed in 2004), Microgaming realized that by 2010 the game was starting to lag behind the newer pokies games being developed by their competition.
That’s why sites like Royal Vegas and other casinos using their software were so excited when Thunderstruck II was developed that year. The game immediately became one of the most popular pokies in the casino, thanks to the way in which it built on the original Norse theme of the first game. Now, Thunderstruck II is one of the top online pokies in the industry, and well worth a look for Australian gamblers.
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Thunderstruck II is a five-reel slot machine, but that’s only the beginning of the story. This was one of the first pokies that used the new 243 Ways system for slots, an idea that pretty much ended the need for paylines on some machines.
In a 243 Ways game such as this one, players do not play a variable number of paylines. Instead, they pay a flat rate per spin which can win on any combination of symbol positions running from left to right. Essentially, that gives players all 243 possible paylines during every spin; to get to that number, simply multiply 3*3*3*3*3, which accounts for all possible symbol combinations on a five reel game with three rows of symbols being shown on the screen.
Players have several different coin denominations to choose from, and can bet at ten different coin levels. Each “level” is actually worth 30 coins, which means you must bet between 30 and 300 coins on each spin. All prize wins are multiplied by the level you are playing on.
Despite the interesting betting style, the goal of the game remains the same. Players are tasked with matching three or more symbols running from left to right across the reels. The more symbols you match, the more you can win. As in the first Thunderstruck game, the lower-value symbols are represented by card ranks from nines through aces, while the more valuable symbols are represented by Norse ships, a depiction of Valhalla, a valkyrie and several Norse gods.
The biggest prize is reserved for the game’s wild symbol, which is the Thunderstruck II logo. If you hit five of these symbols in a row, you’ll win a massive prize of 1,000 coins (or 10,000 coins on the game’s highest betting level). Of course, like any wild, this symbol can also help by linking up with other symbols to create winning combinations.
The game also features a bonus hammer symbol that acts as a scatter. Hit two or more hammers anywhere on the reels during a spin and you’ll win a prize equal to a multiple of the total amount bet on that spin.
More excitingly, three or more hammers will also grant you access to this pokie’s free spins game. Thunderstruck II offers four different free spins features that unlock the more times you trigger the bonus. You’ll start with only the first game unlocked, but more will become available as you play. The bonuses are as follows:
Valkyrie: In Norse legend, the Valkyries had power over who would win and lose in battle. During free spins though, you’ll do nothing but win! In this version of the bonus round, you’ll get ten free spins during which all of your winnings will be subject to a 5x multiplier.
Loki: This shape shifting god is often seen as a trickster figure, and his game is the first you’ll unlock after activating the bonus game a few times. You’ll get 15 free spins, along with a Wild Magic feature on the third reel that can randomly make other symbols wild as well.
Odin: The ruler of Asgard is the next to have his bonus game unlocked, and offers players 20 free spins. In addition, you’ll randomly be awarded with a Wild Raven feature that will turn random symbols into 2x and 3x multipliers.
Thor: The god of thunder is the host of the final bonus round, and awards players with a massive 25 free spins. This game also features a rolling reels feature, in which winning combinations will leave the reels and make room for new symbols to fall into place. Each time this occurs, a multiplier will increase, up to a maximum of 5x. This will only end once no new wins have been made, at which point your next spin begins as normal.
If the original Thunderstruck was a classic example of how to make a solid and enjoyable poker machine, Thunderstruck II was a great example of how to take an already good game and modernize it. Thunderstruck II pioneered many new features in online pokies, and remains one of the most popular machines in the industry today. The theme is great, the features are outstanding, and the graphics and sound are much improved over the original form of the game. If you’re looking for a single machine to try for the first time at www.RoyalVegas.com, Thunderstruck is one of our favourites – and will likely become one of yours, too.