This slot uses the popular theme of Native American Wildlife. With a buffalo, coyote and eagle all featuring on the reels. Like most Ainsworth slots titles, this has the feel of a live slot which has been adapted later for online play. The game-play is solid, rather than anything fancy - and the action takes place on the reels, rather than though complex break-out bonus games. For the most part this slot is serious and atmospheric. One exception for this is when you hit the stately looking eagle in a win. A short ‘battling banjo’s’ type tune comes in, which is very much out of character with the rest of the slot. It is hard to know whether this is deliberate humour, or whether someone got their clichés mixed up.
Graphically, this slot is better than many older live games which have transitioned online – though not up there with the best titles. The symbols are on the plain side, and sit against a beige background. The animals are very much in portrait formation, all of them looking you right in the eye. There are a couple of non-animal symbols. These are the eggs (I’m assuming these belong to the eagles) and the rocky canyon view. Anyone that has enjoyed Ainsworth or Aristocrat slots before will be familiar with the click-click of the reels stopping. If you hit the ‘stop’ button right away after spinning, all the reels stop at once. This creates a sound like something is breaking (amusing enough to try once at least!). There are tunes for different sized wins; and a background music track when you hit the bonus game too.
There is only a single bonus game, which starts off with 10 free spins. This does have some stacked wilds involved – which can help you build up some significant wins.
There are 3 ways you can play this game in terms of the win lines, 1, 10 or 20. With stacked wilds during the bonus round, I would recommend all 20 every time. You can bet from just 1c per line. For the high rollers out there the max bet is $250 per spin – that’s $12.50 per line. You can gamble wins on the flip of a playing card (red / black) and spin without clicking with auto-play.
As you might expect from a game named ‘Eagle Bucks’ the Eagle plays a big role in the biggest prizes. This is the wild symbol, and will count as any symbol except for the ‘shield’ (logo) which is the scatter. You will get 1000 coins for 5 on a line, plus any other combinations that the wild symbol completes.
For regular symbols, the rocky archway in a canyon is the next biggest prize. This is worth 300 for 5. The coyote is next (200 for 5) followed by the deer, buffalo, and eggs which all pay 150. There are 6 playing card symbols which make up the smaller wins.
The remaining symbol is the logo (known as the ‘Shield’ in this game). This is a scatter, and pays 100x your total bet for 5 anywhere on the reels, 10x your bet for 4 and 2x your bet for 3. Hitting 3+ Shields will trigger the free spins bonus round.
There are two variations of the free spins game, which are selected at random. Sometimes you will get the version where the Eagle covers row 5 with wilds, and other times you will not. This does make a difference, as during the bonus Eagles landing on rows 2, 3 and 4 expand to cover the entire reel. This gives you plenty of opportunities to accumulate some bigger wins – and makes up for the fact that the regular prizes are smaller than on some other slots. One small difference to the pay-outs is that there are no payments for 2 of a kind during the bonus game.
You can retrigger the bonus (though only for 5 more spins) by getting 3+ shield symbols while the game is running.
I’m still a little baffled by the battling banjos tune when the Eagle makes up a win. There is nothing terrible about this effect; it is just out of context in a richly produced and otherwise serious slot game. I’ll give Ainsworth the benefit of the doubt and put this down to the famous Australian sense of humour.
All-in-all this is a solid, though unremarkable slot. The saving grace for me is the expanding wilds in the bonus round – which at least give you a shot at hitting multiple wins at once. If you enjoy the Native American animals theme, then this is a playable enough example. If you are after a more interactive game, then there are better options elsewhere.