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Lucky Firecracker Pokie Machine

Pokie players who like the Oriental theme are spoilt for choice as there seems to be hundreds of games based around Chinese culture, history or celebrations, and Microgaming have added yet another to the mix with Lucky Firecracker. It looks pretty much the same as the myriad others of this genre, with paper lanterns, lucky coins and Chinese style writing all over the reels, but stick with it. Just because it’s derivative doesn’t mean that it isn’t any good.

It’s got 5 reels and instead of conventional paylines, players win whenever 3 or more matching symbols land on adjacent reels running from the left side. This 243 Ways to Win system is proving to be quite popular across much of the Microgaming range and tends to result in more frequent wins, but with smaller values.

There’s a few bonus features to keep players engaged, such as wild substitutions and a free spins round with multiplier payouts, while players who like to take a bit more risk can gamble each win several times over.

Cracking Open the Game

Set during some traditional Chinese celebrations, Lucky Firecracker plays out against a deep red background embellished with subtle images of lucky coins, with the reels surrounded by a gold border. It’s a fairly simple design and quite effective at invoking the atmosphere. Above the reels we see the title in English and Chinese, while below the game are the control buttons that are used to set bet sizes.

As there are no paylines to select, all that’s needed is for the value of a coin to be decided and the number of coins in play to be chosen. The minimum amount that players can use to start the game is just 0.25 and they can go all the way up to a substantial wager of 250.00 per spin if they want to.

The paytable shows what each symbol is worth, with the usual 9, 10, J, Q, K and A being the lower value ones, although they have been nicely designed to fit in with the theme. Landing the 9 symbol in 3 positions on adjacent reels pays 0.20x the total bet, while getting 5 of them right across the game will pay 4x, and moving up the scale, they playing card symbols are worth progressively more until we get to the A which is worth from 0.32 to 8x the bet.

Bigger wins come from landing the picture symbols such as firecrackers, sparklers, the lantern and the most valuable of the standard symbols are the rockets which pay out 0.48x the total bet when just 2 land, and up to 120x for a line of 5.

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Lucky Firecracker

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Lucky Firecracker
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Sparkling Bonuses

The game title written in Chinese acts as a wild symbol, helping to complete winning lines when it lands on reels 2 and 4, although because it will only appear on these reels, there’s no chance of it making a line on its own.

The other bonus symbol is the lucky coin which acts as a scatter. This has a couple of functions, with 2 of them landing anywhere on the reels paying out 2x the total bet per spin, going up to a 100x win for landing 5 at once.

Any 3 or more will also trigger the free spins game, where players receive 15 spins and all wins are tripled in value throughout them. By landing 3 or more scatters during this round, players are able to trigger an additional 15 spins that will be added to any still left to run.

A simple gamble game can be played after any win, with players needing to choose if a playing card will be revealed as red or black. If they guess right, the value of the win is doubled and they can either collect it, or try to double it over again. Of course any wrong guesses along the way loses the lot, and gamble rounds can be pretty risky.

Cause for Celebration?

Lucky Firecracker shares much of its design and features with other Oriental-themed Microgaming pokies, but if that’s not an issue then players will find a nicely presented game.

The bonus features are nothing particularly exciting, with basic wild substitutions and scatter wins, but the tripling of any prizes in the free spins round is nice, even if the mix of symbols is standard and it isn’t guaranteed that players will get a winning spin.

But a good bet range, the popular 243 Ways to Win format and smooth graphics should all help to ensure Lucky Firecracker is just as successful as similar Microgaming pokies.

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