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Admit it — you’ve probably thought there’s a New Jersey online slot about about every possible theme. But I bet you didn’t think of balloon modeling.
Well, now thanks to the brains at IGT, you’ll discover that it exists!
How exciting can a slot about balloon animals be? Well, the answer will surprise you.
And in a neat little twist, when these balloons pop, you won’t be disappointed. That usually heralds a nice win. Let’s take a closer look at this imaginative and engaging slot.
Overview: The Balloonies
Okay, so you’ve loaded up the Balloonies slot and the first question you may be asking yourself is “where are the reels?” Well in Balloonies, there aren’t any as such.
When you hit the spin button, rather than spinning wheels, the balloon symbols rise from the bottom of the screen to fill up the 5×3 console. It’s a very clever way to do things and the sound effects in this section are absolutely spot on.
Other than that, the game operates in the same was as any other slot. There are 20 fixed paylines and you can wager from $0.20 up to a maximum of $1,000 per bet, depending on how flush you are feeling.
That is a huge range and means the Balloonies slot is perfect for low-stakes players as well as high rollers.
The jackpot is 1000x your line bet, which at higher levels means a decent award, and even for smaller stakes players that is a nice win.
However, this is a slot that rewards players with smaller amounts more consistently, but with a little added twist, which we will look at in the special features section below.
Who will The Balloonies slot appeal to?
Balloonies is one of those rare slots that has appeal across the board. Traditional slot players may not be too enamored of how the game is presented, but the payout rates and the number of times you can hit a decent win, as well as the free spins round, will certainly attract them.
The range of stakes you can play for means that it appeals to all forms of slot players, from those who play for micro stakes to the big money players. And people who enjoy more quirky slots will certainly be entertained here.
Gameplay: The Balloonies
But there are lots of other little gameplay quirks that make this a very enjoyable game.
Firstly, in terms of presentation, Balloonies is top notch. IGT has a reputation for producing beautiful slots and this one is no different.
From the cartoon-style graphics, with little touches of humor thrown in, to the perfect sound effects and gentle music, this isn’t a slot you play fast, but rather one you slow down and savor.
There’s the playing card low symbols (all of which are balloons) as well as the higher balloon animals high.
There is also a fantastic scatter symbol (the star balloon) which not only awards a guaranteed win, but also a multiplier for any win associated with this wild of successive spins.
Successive spins? That’s right, because Balloonies has a “rolling reels,” or in this case an “exploding balloons,” feature, which means when you hit a winning paylines, the balloons in that payline explode and are replaced from below by other balloons. This can trigger multiple winning paylines from a single spin.
There’s also a free spins feature, accessed by landing the bonus balloon across the first three reels. In short, Balloonies has everything a top-class slot needs to appeal to New Jersey online gambling fans, and presents it in a unique and imaginative way.
Special features: The Balloonies
Star scatter multiplier
This is without a doubt one of our favorite slot features. When landed on the reel, this balloon gives you a guaranteed win and a multiplier.
If you land a payline and the star scatter, then your payline win is also subject to the multiplier. Furthermore, if when the balloons pop and another payline is triggered, you also receive a multiplier on this win.
Land another star scatter and the multiplier is increased by that amount. This is a fantastic feature and means big wins are possible at any time.
This is Balloonies’ version of “rolling reels,” where winning payline symbols disappear and are replaced by other balloons floating up from the bottom of the reels. This can help produce multiple payline wins from a single spin.
Hit three bonus balloons on the first three reels and you enter the free spins round. Pick one from three balloons to decide how many free spins you get and then you get more star multipliers with higher values during free spins appearing, which can add real value to your total win.
The star scatter multiplier is a fantastic addition to the game and means you can win even without a winning payline.
Not only that, it can transform a mundane win of five or 10 coins into a much bigger one if you get lucky with floating reels or perhaps trigger another scatter multiplier when the new symbols appear.
Free spins bonus round
Free spins are not too difficult to hit and when you do, they tend to pay out a decent amount. It is not a life-changing win, but it is often more than enough to keep you spinning the reels with a smile on your face.
Humor and presentation
Balloonies looks and sounds fantastic. With little touches of humor (watch the animals’ eyes when the balloons pop for example), it is a real treat to play.
The main downer I have with this slot is its variable RTP being between 92.4 and 96.23 percent, with the larger stakes players enjoying the bigger RTP. In our opinion, the best online slots in New Jersey are those with a single RTP for all players regardless of stakes.
Non-retriggerable free spins
It can take a while to hit free spins, so it is a little disappointing that you cannot retrigger them from within the bonus round, especially when the maximum number of spins you can get is 14.
Small base game wins
Most wins, especially with low symbols, are smaller than your wager. But to be fair, this is mitigated by how often the multiplier scatter appears to boost your win to a more appealing level.
Graphics and soundtrack 4/5
Balloonies is a great example of how a slot doesn’t have to be hugely complex in terms of presentation to work.
The graphics are simple and crisp, and the music is perfectly suited. In combination, they work superbly well.
Originality and creativity 4/5
We love the floating reels, we love the multiplier scatter, and we like the free spins round, although we feel that last one could be a little more rewarding at times and be improved by having the ability to retrigger from within free spins.
Play value 3/5
Balloonies plays better if you are prepared to pay slightly more per spin as it offers a greater RTP at higher wager levels.
Jackpot potential 2/5
At 1000x your line bet, you can win a nice amount at Balloonies, but in truth it is the regular smaller wins and multiplier bonuses you pick up that will keep you playing.
Repeat play 5/5
Balloonies won’t let down your enjoyment. This is one slot you will come back to time and time again without hesitation.
Total score 18/25
Balloonies is a creative, imaginative and entertaining slot. It offers a lovely balance between risk and reward.
Balloonies is packed with some outstanding features (notably the multiplier scatter) and is without doubt one of the best slots we’ve played for some time.