Thunderhorn Slot Machine
My first impressions of Thunderhorn by Bally were that it was a poor take on Mega Moolah from MicroGaming. After playing for a while, I’m happy to say that there are some good reasons to try this game – despite the plain graphics. For a start there are 1024 ways to win on the reels. Instead of win-lines, any consecutive symbols starting from the left hand reel count as wins. The free spins bonus round also comes with a nice random element. Each time you hit a winning combination you will see a multiplier for that win shown at the sides of the reels.
The background to the reels is the African Savannah, with some rugged mountains in the background. This imagery contrasts with the plain white and cream background to the reels themselves – which gives the game a retro look and feel. Symbols are a mix of animals (leopard, rhino), African clichés (drum, face mask, decorated bowl) and playing card symbols. You will find minor animations on the reels, along with what can only be described as terrible sound effects. The leopard roaring is so bad that it verges on funny. Most of the other sounds are the computer tunes which are shared between many Bally slots.
There are no win-lines as such, and you’ll access the 1024 possible combinations for a payment of 40 credits. How much you spin for is up to you, with a range of 1c through $10 per credit giving a range of 40c to $400 for each spin.
Having any adjacent symbols (2+ for the animals, 3+ for most of the others) does produce a lot of small wins. You will often find these come in groups, especially when the African tree (the wild symbol) is involved. This makes the individual wins small, with bigger windfalls coming when you get several 4+ of a kind wins at the same time. The animals pay the most, with 7.5x your spin amount for 5 of the Rhino symbols (the Thunderhorn from the title).
The gold circle with ‘Bonus’ in it is the scatter symbol – as well as triggering the bonus free spins game. If you get 5 of these on the reels you win 15x your spin amount, with 10x for 4 and 2x for just 3. You’ll need a minimum of 3 to trigger the bonus game.
Bonus Game for Thunderhorn
Before you start your free spins, there is a short but impressive animation of a Rhino running across the reels. This is replaced with an African shield / mask. The background to the reels changes to a night version of the savannah, and the logo at the top is joined by a countdown of your spins and total won.
There is an interesting twist to this bonus game – random multipliers.
Each time you land a win, you will see what looks like fireworks to either side of the reels. This gives you a multiplier for that win. Mine were between 2x and 8x – resulting in some significant wins. If you do not trigger a win for any spin, these do not appear. In combination with wilds and with the 1024 possible winning combinations, this multiplier makes a big difference.
Summary of Thunderhorn
This not the best looking savannah themed slot I have ever played. If anything it looks and feels a little dated. After playing for a while, it did start to grow on me. The classic Bally focus on engaging game-play was of course a factor. More importantly was the extra interest from the free spins bonus round. If you are lucky enough to hit one of the bigger multipliers at the same time as one (or more) 5 of a kind wins on the reels, then this will can result in some big wins. This slot will be too simple for many players. If you enjoy a slot you can relax with, that still has that big-win potential, then why not check out Bally’s Thunderhorn for yourself.