Aristocrat has created a configurable 50-line video slot setup, which they use for several themed games. The 50 Lions slot machine is a great example of this – the same buttons and lines configuration is used for many other games, for example 50 Dragons. You will find this slot in live casinos and also online.
This slot has a jungle feel to it, with cartoon like graphics which remind me of MicroGaming’s Mega Moolah. The lions are stacked on the reels; which means that you can potentially have all of the lines covered in this symbol for a giant win. There is also a free spins round which includes extra wilds and can be retriggered. You’ll also find the familiar ‘gamble after win’ feature which is shared by all Aristocrat slots.
You’ll find a lot of configuration options for the lines played and coin size. You can choose from anywhere between 1 and 50 lines, with the number going up in multiples of 5 online and 10, 20, 35 and 50 in the live version. Coin sizes are from 1c through to 10c, and you can use a multiplier of up to 12x (the ‘max bet button’ gets you there). This means that you can bet anywhere up to $600 on a single spin. While the lowest spin of 1c is possible online, you are unlikely to find this below 25c in a casino. The total bet amount is the key – this is displayed at the top of the screen.
The lion is the top symbol in this game. When it was introduced back in 2003, stacked symbols were a new feature. You’ll see lions on filling up all 4 rows on occasion, and when adjacent reels have several lions, the payouts can get very big. I recommend you play the max 50 lines to take advantage of this feature (as well as maximizing the number of lines which wild symbols can feature in).
Payouts for 5 lions on a winning line is 1000 coins. Zebras and Giraffes come next with 500 coins for 5, and the tribal figures and sunset make up the unique winning symbols of this game. You’ll also find the standard playing card symbols ace through 9 which are common to all Aristocrat slot games.
Sound effects on this game include the familiar ‘retro’ computer generated tunes for wins and the galloping mechanical sound which happens when the reels stop. When you get a win involving a lion, you’ll also hear a roar.
This slot has a scatter symbol in the form of a flower, which is also used to trigger the free spins round. There is also a small prize for 3 of these, which appear on reels 1, 3 and 5.
When you trigger free spins round with 3 flowers, you’ll start with 10 spins. An additional symbol can now appear, in the form of a diamond. This is wild, substituting for any other symbol with the exception of the scatter. You can re-trigger the free spins round with 3 more flowers. This will get you 5 more spins each time. With both wilds and retriggers possible, there is the potential for big wins from this feature.
For me this slot comes into the ‘dated though very playable’ category. Modern slots have far more features, though few have the solid game-play offered by early examples of video slots like this one. The stacked lions can make a big difference to your wins. It is possible to cover the entire screen with these, which would net you 50,000 coins from a single spin.
While the coins and lines configuration is a little confusing, you can always use the ‘total bet’ at the top of the screen as your guide. 50 Lions was one of the first jungle based slots. While many software houses have created more involved rivals, this remains an extremely solid and playable game to this day.