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The Red Queen Pokie

Mention the Red Queen and most people think of the villain from Alice In Wonderland, but the Red Queen pokie from Aristocrat, is a totally unique game that has nothing to do with Lewis Carroll’s classic tale.

Overseen by a somewhat creepy Queen, the reels of this game are filled with images of a white lion, black knight and golden apple, while the list of colours doesn’t end there, as players will also see the classic playing card symbols 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K and A in various greens, yellows, blues and more.

Played out over 5 reels, with symbols over 4 rows, like many Aristocrat pokies it doesn’t have paylines and instead uses the Xtra Reel Power format where players win a prize whenever 3, 4 or 5 of the same type of symbol stop on adjacent reels in a line running from the left side.

This has the effect of giving more frequent wins, although they are on average on the small side, which most people prefer to games where they get less frequent payouts, even if those are higher value ones.

Only found at land-based casinos, The Red Queen is found housed in a fairly plain cabinet, where the main game and control buttons are topped off with a game logo and not much more.

Playing Red Queen

Stakes start at 0.60 and go up in multiples of that amount, so it’s a game for all but the smallest of bankrolls, while players can activate 3, 4 or all 5 reels, although clearly, if only 3 are active it’s not possible to get lines of 4 or 5 symbols for the biggest wins, so most people will opt to play all 5 reels.

With so many ways to get a win, it’s common for multiple lines to be made up on each spin, with the lower value payouts coming from the playing card symbols. To make it even easier to get multiple payouts, the higher value picture symbols can appear stacked several high, but there are also some special icons that will take players to the bonus games.

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The Red Queen

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The Red Queen
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Bonus Features

The most valuable symbol is the Queen and she stares out at players in slightly un-nerving way, but as she pays the biggest wins, players are sure to welcome her onto the reels anyway. She’s also a wild symbol, so can act as all except the scatter if it’s possible for her to complete winning lines. So, anyone landing any of the same symbol on reels 1 and 3 for example, plus the queen on reel 2, will be paid out for 3 in a line.

The golden apple is a scatter symbol, meaning that it doesn’t have to appear in any particular positions to be worth a prize. Any 3 or more landing at once will also trigger the main bonus feature of The Red Queen, which starts off with 7 free spins.

7 spins doesn’t seem like many, but there’s a twist in a re-spin feature that can double this number. The idea is that any time players get a partial line of symbols, they can hold any number of reels and re-spin the others once again. Landing a K symbols on reels 2 and 3 for example, could be turned into a winning combination by players holding these reels and re-spinning 1, 4 and 5.

If a K turns up on reel 1, then it’s a winner, while landing it on reels 4 or even 4 and 5 will lead to some bigger payouts. The free games can be retriggered if the golden apple lands in any 3 or more positions during these spins, with the new games added to the end of any still to play out in the current round.

The Verdict

While many Aristocrat pokies come with multiple bonus features, The Red Queen keeps things nice and simple, which makes it a good game for newcomers to try out. The design is pleasing enough, without being too fussy or over-detailed, although there’s lots of symbols here, from the playing card 8, where most games start at the 9, through to the Queen herself.

The Xtra Reel Power format can be quite rewarding and will certainly help to keep players at the reels as they spin up win after win in this pokie, which, like all games from Aristocrat, has a good return to player ratio.

Everyone likes a free spins round and this one has an added dimension in the re-spins facility, although there are no extra symbols added to the reels, so there’s no actually any more chances of getting multiple wins during the free spins than in the normal run of play.

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