One of the things that make video slots interesting and immersive is the different cultural narratives from around the world that developers choose as their theme. China Mystery by Konami is a fresh take on everything Oriental, or specifically, Chinese. For hundreds of years, China was indeed shrouded in mystery, known only by the cultural icons that travelled along the Silk Route. The game features a number of symbols integral to Chinese culture.
China Mystery is similar to many other slots that use many of the same icons representative of Chinese culture and their long and varied history. However, Konami has done well to infuse the slot with its signature features so that it does not become just another Oriental slot game. Hence, it is the bonus round players need to aim for in the 5 reels x 3 rows and 30 payline slot.
The game has been gracefully designed and is elegantly framed with dragons, a subtle reminder about the mythological traditions of China. The audio is lively and entertaining, especially when two scatters, gold coins with a Chinese inscription land with a musical thud, keeping you waiting for the third one that can trigger the bonus rounds. The wild is a lady with a straw, which replaces other symbols to help form winning combinations, and takes a pretty turn when that happens.
Each of the symbols have a value and multiplier, according to which you are rewarded when they land in winning combinations across 3, 4, and 5 reels from left to right. The high-paying symbols are the golden turtle and a gold coin with another Chinese inscription. The turtle is a symbol of power and integrity in Oriental traditions. They provide payouts of up to 1,000 times your original bet. Next are the jar with the purple flower and the Chinese lantern. The lantern is one of the most potent cultural symbols of China. They pay out up to 250 times your bet if they land in tandem across 3, 4, and 5 reels.
The bonus symbols are, of course, the wild and the scatter, both of which can pay high. The lady in her straw hat provides a smaller multiplier than the scatter. If the lady (now she is really your lucky symbol) makes a winning combination with high-value symbols, your wins could be significantly higher. The low-value symbols are the standard cards 9, 10, the royals and the Ace, which pay between 100 and 150 times the original bet. However, even they can land in extremely profitable combinations if they cover all 5 reels.
During the free spins rounds all your payouts are doubled. This means you get payouts with a 2x multiplier without staking any of your own money. And if you can manage to cover all the positions on the grid with the golden coin scatters, you stand to win a whopping 450 free spins that can also be re-triggered. But how likely that could happen depends on how lucky you feel. With a 96.08% RTP, the maximum payout of China Mystery is 300,000 coins at the highest bet.
The Balance of Fortune is a pet Konami feature that can be found in its other games in many versions. The feature can award you a windfall if both the ladies, Lady Luck and the wild Chinese lady, are in your favor. Once you land those scatters across, 3, 4, or 5 reels, you earn 8, 10, and 15 free spins respectively. The best part is that during the free spins rounds all payouts are doubled.
But here comes a variance of the double-or-nothing risk gamble feature found in many games. When you trigger the free spins you will be given the option of giving up your free spins for a ‘credit prize’. The amount depends upon how many free spins you won. You can win from 40 to 639,000 credits.
In addition, if the scatters smile on you more often, and you have 20 free spins left, you can use them to pile up some more juicy wins. You will be again asked if you would like to hand over those winnings to the Balance of Fortune for a ‘mystery prize’. If the payouts from other free spins rounds have not been to your liking, you may want to put yourself on the balance.
Since most slots enthusiasts prefer to play while on the move, China Mystery has been fully-optimized for all major mobile platforms. This includes Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. Players can enjoy the slot and get rewarded on all contemporary smartphones and tablets, from budget phones to the most sophisticated iPod.
Furthermore, the game carries HTML5 programming that automatically adjusts the game’s platform to the small screens. With full HD clarity and audio integrity, playing on the go was never so exciting. Just make sure that your mobile device supports modern browsers since the game can only be played online, for which you need a reliable internet connection at all times.
China Mystery is a productive oriental-themed slot with sufficiently creative game play. The betting range it offers can be suitable for both casual gamers and people who look for those big wins. The slot machine has several attractions as far as game play is concerned. The scatters, wilds and the free spins help the game come alive since significantly rewarding spins can be few and far between in the base game. Do play this slot, especially if you are an Oriental-theme fan, but keep an eye on your bets.