Duanwu Slot from Bally
There are already several spectacular Asian themed slots in the Bally range. These include popular titles such as Dragon Spin and Fu Dao Le. Duanwu (which translates as Dragon Boat Festival) adds a new angle to this genre – in the form of the quick-shot jackpots. You can win a progressive jackpot prize at any time during play, by hitting a 5 of a kind along with a special symbol on the 5th reel. This slot is beautifully produced, though not as over the top in size and scope as some other titles. You’ll find a free spins bonus round, and also an on-reel feature where you choose a jade box to win an instant prize.
Setup and Base Game Wins for the Duanwu Slot
This game features 50 win lines, which cross a 5 by 4 grid of reels. You can spin from 1c per line, or 50c per spin – up to around $5 per spin (this depends on the casino). There is no option to reduce the number of win-lines in play – though with plenty of wilds on the reels this would reduce your winning opportunities.
The best paying of the regular symbols is 3 ‘Fu Babies’. These are specially made-up baby characters from traditional Chinese stories. If you get 5 of them on any line, 200 coins come your way. While this is fairly low for a ‘top prize’, you need to keep in mind that the stacked symbols and wilds do mean that up to 50 simultaneous wins are possible.
Other unique symbols are all Asian classics, though the graphics for them are new. These include an elaborately decorated green dragon, red and gold bracelet, golden carp and a pink lily. You will find playing card symbols aces down to nines making up the smaller regular wins.
Wild symbols are represented by the bright red lanterns, which really stand out on the reels. These substitute for the regular symbols – though not the gold coin scatters.
Scatter symbols are in the usual dual role of paying out depending on the total number on the reels, and triggering the free spins bonus. You need 3 or more, with 10, 15 and 20 free spins – plus a cash prize of up to 20x your total bet amount coming your way.
Jade Boxes On Reels Bonus Game
If you hit 3 of the special jade box symbols on reels 1, 3 and 5 – you will get an instant prize via a special picks game. These boxes expand, and you will see an instruction to pick one of them. You simply tap the screen, which reveals a multiplier for your spin amount. The best is 20x, with 3x, 4x and 5x also possible.
Duanwu Slot Free Spins Bonus
When you trigger this bonus there are some fireworks on the reels, and you’ll see a press to start message appear. The free spins game has a major difference to the base game – you get a wild reel each time you spin. This is indicated by a flaming border and will be filled with the red lanterns. The gold coins are not on the reels during this bonus – so it is not possible to retrigger for more free spins.
Quick-Shot Jackpots Feature
You can win a progressive jackpot on any spin. To do this you need to combine a 5 of a kind win with a special ‘quick shot’ symbol in reel 5. If you hit more than one win like this, it is possible to win several jackpots per spin.
There are 3 levels of prize, and which one you win depend on a combination of the value of the symbols that trigger it, and whether or not you have wild symbols involved in the win. The best prize comes with the top symbols (babies and the other Asian symbols) and no wilds. Keep in mind that you will have wilds in every spin during the free spins game. This increases your chances of winning multiple smaller jackpots, though does also mean that you can’t hit the top prize.
Colorful Asian Design
The three babies on the top of the cabinet make an eye-catching impact – and these characters make an appearance above the reels before you hit the bonus game. Overall, this is smooth and looks razor sharp, with a lot of detail in the symbols and plenty of small animations.
Red lanterns look good, though it is the golden carp the green bodied dragon which really catch your eye. Small effects like fireworks and flames around the reels are understated, though very effective. You’ll get an upbeat traditional Chinese tune playing while you spin, which kicks on a level when the free spin bonus game starts.
Should You Take a ‘Quick-Shot’ with Duanwu?
For fans of Asian themed slots, this one ticks all the right boxes. The game is attractive and solid, and there are enough features to keep you entertained without letting things get too complex. I like the quick-shot jackpots concept. This has the ability to turn any spin into a jackpot. Adding a wild reel to the free spins is also welcome. This increases your chances of winning the mini and minor jackpots multiple times during the feature.
About the Dragon Boat Festival – Duanwu
Every year around the summer solstice, China and its territories hold the ‘Dragon Boat Festival’, known as ‘Duanwu’. This is a public holiday, and involves a lot of eating, drinking (especially wine) and racing in boats which are painted as dragons.
A lot of historical events and myths combine around this festival. People wear special perfumed medicine bags, and hang icons of Zhong Kui to guard over them for the next year. There are also games including making eggs stand on end, and even writing of spells.