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Ritchie Valens La Bamba

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Ritchie Valens La Bamba Slot Machine

Although Ritchie Valens died when he was only 17, killed in the same plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper, he has remained famous to this day, mainly because of the song La Bamba. US-based games developer Realtime Gaming (RTG) has made their contribution to immortalising the man and the song in their Ritchie Valens La Bamba video slot, that takes punters back to the origins of rock ‘n’ roll. 6 reels, yes, that’s right, 6 reels, of themed symbols, such as record players, concert tickets and signed photos lead you to features such as expanding wilds, multipliers and free spins with extra wild symbols.

It’s a fantastic-looking online slot that sets the action in a classic American diner, complete with a black and white checked floor, red vinyl seats and ads for cola drinks on the walls. The theme extends to the control buttons, where we see that the spin button is a record player and the rest are made to look like they are part of a jukebox. Symbols are highly realistic, particularly the images of Ritchie Valens and it’s all accompanied by the legendary song and a couple of other classic tunes playing along in the background.

The Realtime Gaming developer is one of the top companies in the online and mobile casino markets. Until recently, their range of slots had comparatively simple graphics, certainly when seen next to the state of the art games being released by NetEnt, Playtech, Betsoft and others, but they have recently improved dramatically and Ritchie Valens La Bamba is a great example of what they are now capable of.

Rockin’ Reels

This is an All Ways Pays (AWP) slot machine, where any 3 or more of the same symbol, in any positions on adjacent reels will return a prize. Those symbols include an old-fashion radio that’s worth 3 coins when it stops on 3 reels, and up to 120 when it’s seen on all 6 reels. Going up in value, there’s also the photos of Valens and an autograph book, each of which is worth up to 150 coins, while the shoes and record player are valued at a maximum of 200 coins.

A 1950’s style TV returns a high limit of 250 and an electric guitar can pay you up to 500 coins. The top symbol in normal play is a Ritchie Valens badge and it’s worth between 50 and 1,000 coins when it’s seen on adjacent reels.

Although he won’t be seen on reels 1 or 6, so can’t make up winning combinations on his own, Ritchie Valens is still valuable, as he’s the wild symbol in the game, able to act as all except the scatter symbol if he can fill in the gaps in a sequence of matching symbols across the reels. This is also an expanding symbol, although as it’s an AWP slot, it’s more for visual effect than working to complete win-lines. He will, however, double the value of any combination that he helps to complete.

Free Games with Extra Features

The record is a bonus symbol that launches a free spins round when it’s seen on any 4, 5, or 6 adjacent reels, although just 3 scatters is worth a consolation prize equal to the triggering bet amount. There’s enhanced payouts in these games, along with richer mixes of symbols, all depending on how many scatters triggered the bonus feature.

If 4 scatters appeared, you get up to 20 free spins and any wins during them will be randomly multiplied by 1x, 2x, or 3x. Should the feature start when 5 scatters appeared, as well as up to 20 free spins, you will not only qualify for the multipliers, but those wins should become more frequent, as extra wild symbols are added to reels 2 through to 5. The best outcome however, is for a full line of 6 records to land across the game, as you get up to 20 spins, plus wild symbols on all reels, making it really easy for Ritchie Valens to complete combinations and pay out some great rewards.

Any of the free spins features can be retriggered by 4 or more scatters appearing in the right places in a single bonus game, and there’s 20 more spins added on to the end of the current round. With a top prize of 6000x the stake possible in these games, Ritchie adds riches to players’ bankrolls when the right symbols and multipliers fall into place.

Betting Options

As there’s no paylines, you won’t be able to activate just part of the game for tiny stakes, although this isn’t a good idea anyway, as inevitably a high=paying combination will turn up on an inactive line when playing this way. The minimum stake is just 0.30 per spin and this can be raised in stages to a substantial high limit of 300.00, but there’s still free Ritchie Valens La Bamba slots available for practice spins.

While the soundtracks to many games are often switched off, this is a slot where the music enhances the whole experience, assuming you like rock n’ roll, which presumably most, if not all gamblers who want to play this game are going to.

Other options include 3 speeds and an autoplay function that sees the reels spinning for up to 100 times on their own, stopping when the feature is triggered. The jukebox-style control buttons are a good example of the improved graphics and thoughtful design that Realtime Gaming are now adding to their range.

The King of Slots

As Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were on the same ill-fated flight, perhaps it’s only right that they are together in the RTG collection, as the Big Bopper video slot game is part of the same series. The action moves to a cinema, but the same high-quality graphics are seen, along with symbols such as old radios, guitars, microphones and musical notes.

The expanding wild Big Bopper symbol will triple payouts, while landing the letters BOPPER across the 6 reels will trigger any of 3 special features, including the Chantilly Lace free spins that can come with multipliers of up to 10x, and the White Lightning free games that carry on until the music stops. The Big Bopper Instant Win feature sees bet multipliers increasing while he sings, and if he goes on for long enough, the reward can be 250x the stakes.

Unfortunately, there’s no Buddy Holly slot machine, but with luck RTG are working in one, so watch this space, as it could be heading to RTG powered online and mobile casinos any time.

A Fitting Tribute?

Although 3rd February 1959 will forever be known as the day the music died, the Ritchie Valens La Bamba video slot does its part in keeping his memory alive. This outstanding game is filled with symbols representing the singer and the times, while the rewards from landing Ritchie on the reels can be substantial. Triggering the bonus free spins will be something to celebrate as well, especially if 5 or 6 scatters launched the round.

It’s a mobile optimised slot that can be played on a range of compatible devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows smartphones or tablets, but of course works just as well on desktops and laptops, where the details stand out for all to enjoy.

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