New Game Reviews: Celestial Sun Riches, The Price Is Right
iGP’s resident slot guru Frank Legato takes a look at two popular online casino games: Celestial Sun Riches from Konami, and The Price Is Right from IGT. Can we hear you say “Plinko”?
If the current industry shutdown has done anything, it’s put new emphasis on real-money online casinos games. The major manufacturers have thousands of games available to you online, including many you’ve enjoyed in land-based casinos.
Every week, this iGaming Player feature gives you the lowdown on the top games available on New Jersey’s iGaming sites.
Celestial Sun Riches
Celestial Sun Riches employs a feature that’s been a hit among fans of Konami games out in the casinos. It’s called “Strike Zone,” which refers to a part of the reel array in which certain symbols change to wild symbols, multipliers and other bonuses. The land-based games in this series increase the size of the Strike Zone as the wager increases.
In Celestial Sun Riches, the Strike Zone is set in the center of the five-by-three screen (five reels, three rows of symbols each). The middle three reels comprise the Strike Zone, and any time wild symbols land in the zone, they become wild multipliers, and they… well, multiply.
Wild symbols in the Strike Zone become either 2X Wild or 3X Wild symbols. In the former, two adjacent reel spots turn into wild symbols that multiply all wins by two. The 3X Wild symbols turn the three reels in that row into wild symbols, guaranteeing at least a four-symbol win.
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The game also has a wheel bonus feature. One or more “Special Sun” symbols trigger a second screen depicting a horizontal bonus wheel, on which the slices award free games, multipliers or credit awards. The number of spins of the wheel corresponds to the number of Special Sun symbols in the triggering spin.
Check out the video here:
Celestial Sun Riches: Five-reel, 50-line game; Strike Zone bonus feature; wheel and free-spin bonus events
Denomination: .01, .02, .05, .10, .25. .50, 1.00, 2.00, 5.00
Max Bet: 100, 200, 300, 400, 500
Payback Percentage: 88%
Hit Frequency: 35%
Top Jackpot: 100,000 credits
The Price is Right
This adaptation of one of IGT’s most popular themed video slots is based on the game show The Price is Right. In this case, it’s a five-reel, 25-line game, with three rows of symbols per reel. In the base game, a random “Punch a Bunch” feature can multiply a win by up to 20X. ‘
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Three bonus symbols trigger a spin of “The Big Wheel” for cash or one of three bonus games fashioned from popular segments of the famous game show:
- “Plinko” recreates the pegboard game from the TV show, with mystery multipliers dropping down the peg board for guaranteed wins.
- “Cliff Hangers” presents the arcade-style mountain-climbing game from the show. It is a play-until-you-lose style of bonus game. The player starts with “Yodel Guy,” the Bavarian mountain-climber, at the bottom of the mountain for a 1X prize. As long as the player wins, Yodel Guy keeps climbing the mountain to increase the multiplier for the wins—10X, 15X, 20X and 25X. The 25X level is the top of the mountain, and the bonus event ends after the 25X win.
Here’s the video:
The Price Is Right: Five-reel, 25-line game; wheel bonus for second-screen events based on the game show The Price Is Right
Denomination: .01 to 10.00
Max Bet: 250
Payback Percentage: 92.89% to 96.25%
Hit Frequency: Approximately 35%
Top Jackpot: 37,375 times line bet
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Slot Dictionary: Terms to Know
- “Payback percentage”—also known as return to player or RTP—refers to the percentage of wagers that are returned to all players over the active life of a game. A 94 percent payback percentage does not mean you will get 94 percent of your money returned to you every time. It means there is a 6 percent house edge on the game. (Even a 100 percent payback doesn’t guarantee you’ll win—it means there’s no house edge. It’s like the flip of a coin.) Manufacturers offer operators a range of percentages, and it’s up to the operator to pick which to offer players.
- “Hit frequency” refers to the percentage of all spins that will result in a win of some kind. Remember that these wins can often be less than your bet. (If that happens too often, you should find another game!) Some manufacturers do not provide this statistic; in this case, we estimate based on the volatility of the game program
- “Volatility” refers to the manner in which wins are distributed on a slot machine. Low volatility means there will be lots of little hits, with wins of some kind very frequently (again, watch for too may wins less than your bet). High volatility means the hits are fewer and farther between, but there are many more huge wins—the kind that can turn a losing session into a winning session.
- “Ways to Win” refers to a game in which there are no paylines. In this style of game, adjacent like symbols on the screen register wins, and the number of spots on the entire reel set determines how many ways the player can possibly win on each spin.
- “Cost to cover” refers to the level of wager required to activate all the paylines on a screen. The good advice was always to wager enough to activate all the paylines, but these days, most games use this figure as a minimum bet. (Too may people were betting a penny on a penny game in the past.)