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Rocket Returns Pokie

With so many pokies available to play online and at casinos, it can sometimes be difficult for games developers to come up with something truly different, but that’s exactly what Bally Technologies have managed to do with Rocket Returns, where reels are replaced by 9 individual positions arranged on a honeycomb pattern.

Designed to look like a 1980’s arcade game, it’s got the classic Bar and 7 symbols in play, along with a firework that launches a bonus round and a stick of dynamite that’s a wild multiplier and helps to land extra winning spins. Although they aren’t actually spins, as the individual positions do a little animated flip to unveil new combinations, but as that’s a bit long-winded, we’ll stick to calling them spins anyway.

Playing With Fireworks

One look at this pokie and it’s immediately obvious that this is no ordinary game. The simple backdrop gives the impression of a starry night, with a cityscape lit up by fireworks, but it isn’t very detailed and won’t distract from the action on the symbol positions.

Above the game is the title, which is presented in the same blocky format as the symbols, adding to the illusion that this is a very old game, but the up to date control buttons give away the fact that this is actually a modern pokie, designed to look old.

Hexagonal symbol positions are laid out in a 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 format running from top to bottom, and players win a multiple of their total bet amount whenever between 4 and 9 of the same symbol, type stop in any adjacent positions at once.

The lowest value symbol is the single Bar, which pays 1x the bet when 4 appear, going up to a maximum of 30x for a screen filled with 9 of them. There’s double and triple bars that are worth progressively more, while the orange 7 symbol is topped in value by the blue 7 that pays from 1x to 250x the bet when appearing in 4 to 9 spots at once.

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Rocket Returns

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Rocket Returns
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Bonus Bits

The wild symbol will only land on reel 5, which is the one right in the middle of the pattern and works in the standard way by substituting for others if it will then complete a winning combination. It’s got the added advantage that any pattern it completes will be randomly multiplied in value by 2x or 3x, although it’s also possible that the multiplier won’t be applied, which seems a bit mean, but hopefully won’t happen too often.

The red and white striped rocket is a bonus symbol and if it lands on reels 1, 5 and 9, which run down the centre of the game, it will open up a free spins round.

Just 5 free spins are awarded, which doesn’t seem like much, however, if the bonus symbol turns up in just 1 position during them, an additional spin is added to the total each time, while landing 2 of them is worth an extra 2 spins and should 3 bonus symbols appear at once, a further 5 free games are awarded.

There isn’t actually an upper limit to the number of free games that can be gained this way and in theory, players could have an infinite number of spins, but good luck with that, as the software will have been designed to avoid handing out too many.

However many are given, the wild multipliers are still in effect throughout them, but now the maximum is raised from 3x in the base game to 5x, so players should be able to pick up some decent win along the way, even if they only get a few free spins.

The Verdict

Arcade style games can still attract their fans and Rocket Returns is a classic example of a pokie that’s gone all the way to look like the sort of thing people would find in a 1980’s, or maybe even a 1970’s arcade.

The pixelated graphics and simple design of the symbols certainly make it stand out, but it’s the unique way that the 9 positions are laid out, the way they flip rather than spin and how winning combinations are formed that’s really the most important things here.

Anyone looking for something different could well find a few spins, or flips, or whatever they want to call them, of these symbols could be a rewarding experience, especially when they trigger an unlimited number of free games, complete with those wild multipliers.

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