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What is Big Red you may ask? Well, in this slot Big Red refers to one of the most famous creatures that inhabits the Australian Bush, the Red Kangaroo. It may well be seen as a pest, with a particular penchant for chewing up golf courses, but there’s no doubt that it’s just one of many different magnificent creatures that inhabit this part of the world.
Big Red and his creature friends from the Outback are clearly the main inspiration for this slot, with a number of different Australian-dwelling animals on the reels. It’s fair to say that Big Red has been around a while. Stacked up against more modern slots it’s starting to look its age. So let’s see exactly whether this Kangaroo leaps to the top of the slots chart or needs to be culled.
Overview: Big Red
Big Red is an older 5×3 reel slot which has a total of five selectable paylines in play. You can play between 5 and 500 coins per spin. Just click on the red Bet One button to select the amount of coins you want to spin (playing all five paylines that is). Alternatively, clicking the Max Bet button will wager the maximum amount. There is also an Auto Start button to play through spins without having to click the Start button.
The setting for the slot is the great Australian outdoors and, in particular, the red sandy wastelands that comprise much of the Bush. With a somewhat foreboding red sky and a mountainous outcrop in the distance, the setting for the reels does look somewhat alien rather than Australian, but it is rather eye-catching.
Who will the Big Red slot appeal to?
The question of who Big Red will appeal to is a good one. This is a rather basic slot. In truth, it doesn’t pack many of the features that you’ll find on more modern games. That fact, allied with its somewhat basic presentation, makes it a slot that will appeal more to the gamer who prefers more traditional games, but those which still offer a free spins round.
Big Red isn’t a retro game as such, but it is an older online slot that is rather basic. It lacks many of the features you’d find on modern slots. That’s not necessarily an issue though, as you can find plenty of slot gamers that enjoy playing simpler games online today. Obviously too, any fan of anything to do with Australia, or particularly the wildlife you’ll find Down Under, will enjoy this slot.
Gameplay: Big Red
Simplicity is the byword when it comes to the Big Red slot. Once you have selected your size of bet by using the combination of lines to play (you can select from one to five) and clicking the Bet One button to increase the number of coins bet per line, you’re ready to start playing.
With just five paylines in play maximum, Big Red is a very simple slot and showing its age a bit. The soundtrack is non-existent, apart from a few little sounds which trigger when you spin the reels. These sound like a rather poor imitation of a horse galloping rather than reels spinning. There are no animations, no bangs and whistles when you win and it’s all rather understated.
On the reels are a collection of playing card symbols, which are the lower paying options on the reel. You have 9 through King and you can win smaller amounts when landing these on a payline. There are four high value symbols on the reels, which are all famous Australian animals. These include the Dingo, Boar, Eagle and a fearsome Saltwater Crocodile. Five of the Crocs on a payline offers a payout of 1,250 coins.
There are two other symbols on the reels that players need to be aware of. The first is the Scatter symbol represented by a tree. You don’t need to land these symbols on a payline to trigger a win, anywhere on the reels will do. You can win between 2 and 50 coins if you land between 2 and 5 scatters across the reels.
The final symbol is the Wild symbol which is Big Red himself. This symbol appears on the third, fourth and fifth reels. It can substitute for any of the high or low value symbols to create a winning payline. However, when it does this on a spin, you also launch the bonus feature, which consists of five free spins.
During free spins, if you land a scatter symbol it triggers a win of the same value that triggered the round. Furthermore, if you land additional Wild symbols that complete paylines during free spins, you can retrigger the bonus and earn an additional five spins each time. These spins are stacked in the bonus round and show in the top right of the screen. Additional free spins will play once the original free spins bonus has played through.
Special features: Big Red
The tree scatter symbol appears across all the reels and does not have to land on a payline to trigger a win. Two or more scatters on the reels will trigger wins of between 2 and 50 coins.
The Big Red Kangaroo is the Wild symbol in the base game and appears on reels three, four and five. It can substitute for any of the low or high value symbols on the slot to complete winning paylines. When it does, it will also trigger the Free Spins bonus game.
When you trigger the Free Spins bonus you receive 5 free spins. In addition any scatter symbols landed will pay you out the same amount as the winning payline that triggered the bonus game. Land another Wild to complete a win on a payline and you can trigger an additional 5 free spins.
Unusual Free Spins trigger
I like the fact that rather than the typical three scatters setting free spins in motion, it is the wins completed by the Big Red Wild symbol that activates the bonus feature. This is unusual on slot games and gives the slot a little twist.
The gameplay on the slot could not be easier to understand. Even triggering the free spins and bonus round are self-evident. This is an ideal slot for a novice player to learn the ropes on, especially at the lower stakes levels.
Wide range of stakes
One of the nice things about Big Red is you can play this for just a few cents per spin, or you can really ramp up the value and wager up to 500 coins per spin, which would in turn make the value of your wins considerably higher too.
Looking its age
There’s no doubt that Big Red is one of the older slots around today and it’s showing its age in terms of presentation and the number of features on the slot. This is, at best, a basic game with some interesting features but it lacks the pulling power of many modern slots.
Lack of features
The main reason why Big Red doesn’t attract many players is simply a lack of features. One free spins round, with a rather small initial reward of spins is not going to draw in players. Combine this fact with the lower jackpot amounts and you may find it dissapointing.
Lack of Wild wins
The big issue for me when playing the slot is that the Wild symbol does not trigger enough wins, ostensibly because it is used as the free spins trigger. This means that too often, you are left hoping to trigger a win using the low and high value symbols alone and that detracts from the value of the game.
Graphics & soundtrack 1/5
Big Red has the basics and that’s about it. The graphics are rudimentary—although the backdrop is rather nice—and the sounds are very basic indeed. You can tell that this is a slot that was designed many years ago. It just lacks the wow factor when you load the game up.
Originality & creativity 1/5
Big Red may have been original when it was first developed but it has been surpassed by the features of many modern slots. There’s just nothing original in the game to get excited about. Even the Wild triggering free spins is a mixed blessing, as it drastically reduces the amount of Wild wins you hit on the reels.
Play value 2/5
I’ve given Big Red a two for play value as I think the game does offer relatively regular wins. But the lack of Wild wins and the fact that the free spins bonus is short, combined with a small jackpot amount means that I can’t justify giving this slot any more than two stars.
Jackpot potential 1/5
There’s a couple of 1,000+ coin prizes to win in the base game and free spins, but there’s very limited potential for wins beyond this. This size of jackpot doesn’t compare very well with those you can find on many other slots nowadays.
Repeat play 1/5
To be honest, Big Red has had his day and it’s time for the Big Kangaroo to enjoy either a big upgrade, or be allowed to go and live the rest of his days to stud somewhere. The slot is good for a few spins, but this isn’t a game you will be rushing back to play.
Total score: 6/25
Ten years ago, Big Red would have been fine as a slot but in the modern slot industry, it just doesn’t come up to scratch. The features don’t pay as well as you’d like and the game is poorly presented and lacks excitement and depth.