Upon first playing this ‘new’ Las Vegas slot machine, you may, like me, get a slight feeling of Déjà vu, if that happens I don’t blame you, as this is far from an original game. 5 Fortunes is more or less simply an updated version of the very popular 88 Fortunes game. It uses most of the same mechanics, exactly the same unique progressive jackpot linked bonus round and is also Asian themed.
If you simply can’t get your fill of Chinese flavoured slot game titles, big progressive potential jackpots and you love 88 Fortune’s Fu Bat Baby pick-win bonus round, will 5 Fortunes have anything new to offer you or will it simply sit awkwardly in the shadow of its older brother?
Let’s spin those five active reels and find out what this new game brings to the Chinese banquet table, on the surface with an 8.80 max bet and 243 ways to win, it’s still the same title, does it have hidden secrets?
Like the previous fortunes game this title follows a traditional Asian tone, specifically a Chinese animals theme in this case, and the reels and overhead pay-table screen are overflowing with Oriental symbolism, colourful icons, classic wind instrument sounds effects and music. The cabinet, aside from minimal modernisation in screen quality, is largely unchanged though there was really nothing wrong with the old one and it’s hard to critique re-using its basic setup.
The reel icons and pay symbols themselves are all new for this game, barring the ubiquitous A-9 playing card symbols which form the low pay icons on the game, you will find no less than nine higher pay symbols depicting various ancient Chinese animals, a fixed wild tapestry and a bonus spin triggering scatter which takes the form of a shield.
The first bonus is unchanged from the 88 game, Pick up 3 or more of the shield scatters at max bet to enter the Fu Bat bonus round, here you will find 12 gold coins to select from, each pick reveals a Fu Bat baby and you continue picking till you match 3 of the cute oriental children. There are four different babies available each relating to one of the four jackpots, Mini, Minor, Major, & Grand. At base level these are 10, 25, 800 and 10,000 credits respectively so if you only hit the base minor jackpot at an 8.80 max bet, you may feel a little short-changed, we hoped this had been altered for the new game but sadly not.
The second bonus is all new however and also triggers with the scatters, though at any bet level. This in the form of a free spins round with volatility selectable wilds. When the round initiates the game name suddenly makes sense, you have 5 symbols to pick from, the higher value icons will show up less often whilst at the lower pay end they will be more frequent in the spins round, this gives the player an almost gamble like feature where they can choose to risk their free spins on a potential big prize or not.
In all honesty, this game is better marketed as a new 88 fortunes game with enhanced bonus features. If you put the two games side by side, apart from the reel icons they are almost identical in layout, structure, gameplay and sound. The new bonus round is nice and 5 Fortunes is a very good game, as after all it is the already great 88 game with more added. All Bally need to do is call it what it is, a replacement for a much loved and venerable slot title.