It seems Bally really want to cash in as much as possible on the worldwide popularity of their 88 Fortunes Slot. Aside from the 5 Fortunes title which is essentially a straight follow up, they have now produced a new casino game in Big Red Lantern, which also draws heavily from the 88 game.
If you are one of the many players who love the Asian themed slots, this may still appeal to you, whilst the structure remains unchanged with 243 ways and 5 reels, the progressive jackpots are gone but that has brought the max bet level down to make this a low stakes player game. With the pick win bonus removed, a free spins bonus with unlimited re-triggers replaces it, is it enough to make this game entertaining its own right?
Like its siblings Big Red Lantern is an Oriental flavoured slot machine with heavy Chinese influences evident through the reels and symbols, including of course, a large paper lamp, which is crimson in colour…..
The music is very similar to the other titles this is based on, as are the reel images, which, although unique to this game, are drawing from the same theme, graphics quality and colour palette, they look interchangeable with the other slots. This doesn’t mean the game isn’t pretty, the symbols on the existing titles are well drawn and so are these, they just aren’t adding much new to the genre.
Two things do stand out which are new to the Chinese banquet provided on these slots. Firstly, and for many this will be a biggie, Big Red Lantern has a max bet of 3.00 credits, less than half what was needed to play the previous games at max reward, we guess this is possible due to the removal of the progressive jackpots.
Second is that the bonus round is a pure free spins round, which can be endlessly retriggered. With the lower variance in this game you should see more solid wins here given the relative scarcity of them in the base game round and the wilds can really aid you here. An interesting thing about the free spins round is that it can be triggered by wilds or scatters in the first 3 reels of the game, rather than the wild not being able to replace a scatter as with almost all other slot game titles.
With what is hopefully the last of this Chinese trilogy, Bally have now given users a full range to choose from within this theme, with two games offering progressive jackpot rewards, one with a pick win bonus and one with spins and now a third which offers a lower cost of entry to the theme and a pure spins round. I’m not sure Big Red Lantern is entertaining enough in its own right, given you could just play 88 fortunes at a lower bet and have more available to you in gameplay and features. That said, not all players want a jackpot seeding from their game play so this could fill a niche in between the other two.