It is nearly time for Chinese New Year and this coming year will be the Year of the Dog. So you'll be barking up the right tree if you decide to play the latest release from Realtime Gaming celebrating this important festival.
The slot is called Fu Chi, which in Chinese means to help or assist, and this slot tries to help you by offering up two different progressive jackpots to be won, as well as a 10,000-coin main game jackpot.
Realtime Gaming know that their new slot is another addition to the already heavily populated Oriental-themed slot arena and as such, this is a game that is going to have to offer something slightly differed to all of the other games available to play. The challenge for Realtime Gaming was to ensure that was the case.
Have they achieved their aim? Well let's take a closer look at this slot and find out for ourselves.
Where can I play the Fu Chi slot?
If you want to bring in the Chinese New Year in style at a highly reputable casino that offers the Fu Chi slot from Realtime Gaming, then look no further than Sloto'Cash Casino or Uptown Pokies casino, which is a popular Aussie-based casino offering a wide choice of different promotions for both new and existing customers including a great value starter bonus.
At Uptown Pokies sign up today using the promo code POKIES1 to claim a fantastic 250% bonus plus 50 Free Spins on your initial deposit. You can then also go on to claim additional bonuses ranging from 100% to 150% on your future deposits.
Furthermore, with each deposit you make you not only get a lovely Matched Bonus but also an additional 50 free spins apart from on your sixth deposit which will see you take home an extra value 100 Free Spins to enjoy.
That's not all though as a quick look through the slots many and varied promotions reveals that there are a number of other promotions available on the site at any one time meaning you have a massive choice of offers available to use each week, giving you great value for money as you play.
I have to say that the presentation of the Fu Chi slot is something of a mixed bag. The backdrop to the slot is a rather beautiful evening sky with the reels housed in what looks like a Chinese Pagoda. It's a relatively common way to present the reels on an Oriental themed slot, so we don't score too many points for originality here.
There's a slow and steady musical backdrop to the slot that rather than sounding too celebratory, sounds more ominous than perhaps it should be. The reels themselves are housed inside what would be the Pagoda and it is the usual 5x3 reel set up.
All in all, the initial set up is a little underwhelming initially, but things do improve when you land a win and the more cheery music kicks in and you get fireworks exploding in the night sky, with accompanying sound effects.
With the main controls of the slot at the foot of the reels and the two progressive jackpots displayed in the top right hand corner, setting up the game as you want is very simple and the font used alongside the predominantly red and gold livery of the slot, do give the game the right ambiance.
What's on the reels?
As this is an Oriental-themed slot, there are none of the usual playing card low symbols on the reels this time around and instead you have a total of six different Chinese themed characters as the six lower value symbols. These offer pay-outs that range from just 3 coins up to 200 coins.
There are three middle value symbols, and these are the firecrackers, the red bag and the orange and blossom. These offer pays of between 15 coins and 500 coins depending on whether you land three, four or five on a winning line.
The highest value symbols, of which there are two, are the lanterns and the flower. These symbols offer pays from just 2 of them on a line (but the pay-out for that is just 5 coins) however you can win 50, 200 or 1000 coins if you land three, four or five on a line.
One thing I have to say is that while familiar for Asian players, he Chinese character symbols are somewhat more difficult to ascertain between than more westernized characters and as such, to western-based players, this can be a slot where you never feel truly at home with what is on the reels as it is not easy to see obvious wins with these characters initially.
The Wild symbol is the dog (which represents the new Chinese Year of the Dog) and this is a x2 Wild, which not only can replace all the usual standard symbols, but also the Scatter symbol too.
In addition, when a winning line is completed using one of the Dog Wild symbols, then the win you receive is subject to a 2x multiplier, doubling the size of the win. This means that all the coin prizes outlined above for standard wins are doubled if they are landed with the help of a Wild.
Of course, the other interesting thing to note about the Wild symbol is that it can also be used as a Scatter symbol, which gives you an additional way to trigger the Free Spins feature as we will discover in the section below.
Free Spins features
To trigger the Free Spins bonus you need to land three or more of the Scatter symbols anywhere across the reels. This symbol is the Zodiac symbol but you can also use a Wild symbol to help land Free Spins and also a Wild symbol used in conjunction with one or more Scatters will also double any cash wins you receive from the scatter symbols alone (which range from 1 x your total bet up to 100 times your total bet).
As we have noted, the Wild can be used to trigger the Free Spins bonus, but if you manage to trigger Free Spins without using a Wild symbol to help you trigger the feature, then the number of free games that you receive will be doubled from the standard amounts of 15, 20 or 30 free spins.
During your Free Spins, any wins you land are also subject to a 3x multiplier which of course will treble all your wins and you can re-trigger the free spins bonus game by landing more scatters during the course of the bonus, which will add the same number of free games to your total as the original trigger.
Other bonus features
The other big bonus features of the Fu Chi slot are the two progressive jackpots which can be won on any spin at any time. There is the Minor Progressive, which has a prize which is usually around a few hundred dollars and there is also the Major Progressive which has a prize which is usually worth over $1,000.
These prizes are triggered at random in the base game and there is nothing you can do on the reels to help you land the progressives other than spin them as every progressive win is awarded entirely at random, regardless of the outcome of the spin.
Best feature of the Fu Chi slot
For me, the best feature of the Fu Chi slot is definitely the 2x Wild symbol. I love the fact that it can be used to substitute for other symbols as happens on every other slot, but that also it can be used to help trigger the free spins bonus. The added twist of triggering free spins without a Wild symbol and receiving double the amount of spins, is a great little addition to the slot and really makes hitting the bonus in this way an achievement. This and the fact that there are some nice progressives, plus a very tempting 10,000 coin jackpot to be won in the game itself, mean that this slot has appeal for those players that enjoy bigger prizes.
What does the Fu Chi slot lack?
I don't feel that the Fu Chi slot is the best graphically. By that, I mean that I think the music and the backdrop of the slot have been nicely done but I think the symbols on the reels are too similar, especially for western-based players, for whom the characters on the lower value symbols are very difficult to tell apart initially. That does improve as you get used to the slot (and if you focus on the color of the symbol rather than what it looks like). My other gripe is that it can be a very long time in between triggers of the Free Spins bonus and this difficulty does make it a hard slot to love.
The Fu Chi slot is a real mix. In terms of an Oriental-themed slot it certainly hits the mark in many ways. The bonus game can be very rewarding, there's some very nice sized jackpots to chase and of course, the random progressive jackpots are always a plus for any game. However, as a medium to high variance slot, this is not a game that offers up its rewards easily and you need to invest a lot of time (and sometimes money) in order to get the best out of it. If you enjoy Oriental-themed slots of a higher variance, then this ticks all the right boxes for you, but if you prefer something a little more rewarding more often, then you are probably better off looking at a different game to play.
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