Wheel of Fortune: Ultra 5 Reels Slots Machine
Since its television premiere in 1975, Wheel of Fortune has become one of America’s highest-rated, longest-running game shows. It has also become an instantly familiar brand, having been spun off into board games, video games and the ubiquitous slot machines found in many casinos.
Having licensed the brand for those casino slot machines, IGT now offers Wheel of Fortune: Ultra 5 Reels, an online video slot game available for free or paid gameplay on desktop, tablet and mobile platforms.
How to Play Ultra 5 Reels Slots Game
Wheel of Fortune: Ultra 5 Reels slot machine starts the player of with a $1000 balance. With all 30 paylines automatically activated, along with a unexplained $20 committed to “features”, the minimum bet is set at $50. The only option to modify the bet is to increase the value of “coins” being played—between $1 and $300—multiplying the original $50 bet. The player can choose between activating a single spin or triggering an autospin option for 10 to 50 automatic plays.
The symbols on the five reels are a mix of familiar and unique slot icons. There are classic slot symbols, like fruits and 7s. A minimum of three consecutive identical symbols need to be lined up from left to right to achieve a payout, with the fruits paying less than the 7s.
There are two wild symbols that simultaneously provide payout multipliers. The animated WILD symbols spin between 2x and 5x multipliers when part of a winning payline. Appearing less frequently, the Wheel of Fortune 5x symbol is an automatic 5x wild card multiplier when parked in a winning line.
Because this game doesn’t offer a progressive jackpot, the player needs to keep a lookout for the bonus game symbols—Scatter Wheels and Ultra Wheels—to achieve the potentially largest payouts.
Ultra 5 Reels Bonus Games
In order to launch the Scatter Wheel bonus game, a minimum of three Scatter Wheel symbols need to appear anywhere on the five reels. When three, four or five of these symbols appear, each one turns into its own automatically spinning mini wheel, each offering winnings between 50 and 510.
The Ultra Wheel bonus game is more intricate than the Scatter Wheels. When Ultra Wheel icons appear three times anywhere on the second, third and fourth reels, the player is taken to a new screen. Once there, he or she spins reels that determine how many of the Ultra Wheels will be spinning for winnings, while also potentially delivering payout multipliers.
Next comes the Ultra Wheel screen wherein the player spins the wheels determined by the previous screen. Wheel 1 offers winnings of 300 to 10,000. Wheel 2 pays out 150 to 2,500. And Wheel 3 offers 100 to 1,500. If the player won a multiplier in the first screen, he or she taken to a third screen to spin a wheel to determine the multiplier: 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x or 10x. The potential winnings are sizable if the player gets to spin all three wheels and earns a multiplier.
There are a number of very good elements in this game. Wheel of Fortune: Ultra 5 Reels shows off the great potential of video slots by providing more involved and interactive bonus games than analog slot machines can. Despite the greater complexity, this game’s winnings and payouts are much easier to follow than in many other free video slot games. It’s also fun to see Vanna White herself show up to clap for one’s big winnings and to cheer on the Ultra Wheels’ bonus multiplier wheel.
But despite the brand name and the GIF-like Vanna images, this game has very little to do with the actual Wheel of Fortune game show. There are no phrases to complete or letters to turn. The narrative voice doesn’t belong to Pat Sajak or Jim Thornton. And the monotonous music is unrelated to the show.
The very high minimum bet is a big problem for the game. Unable to choose paylines and not knowing what the $20 worth of “features” means, the player may not stick around for long or even start playing in the first place. Meanwhile the game’s distorted curved reels, likely intended to appear three dimensional, instead just look distorted.
Despite these issues, this online video slot game provides plenty of enjoyable gameplay. It may not keep regular slot players glued to the screen, but older fans of the show will enjoy Wheel of Fortune: Ultra 5 Reels, especially when Vanna shows up for the big payouts.