The real-life Red Baron was on Manfred von Richthofen, a world war 1 German fighter pilot who shot down more enemy aircraft than anyone else. His legend has now been made into a slot by Aristocrat, complete with fighter mission and free spins bonus round. This is a ‘reel power’ slot, which dispenses with standard win-lines, giving you 243 possible winning combinations instead.
Red Baron is a colorful game, though the graphics are relatively simple compared with many of today’s slots. You’ll be lining up planes, targets, Richthofen’s famous dog, an airship and profile of a woman too. The familiar click-click of each reel stopping is in place, as are the (slightly irritating) retro computer tunes when you get a winning combination. You will have the opportunity to gamble after each win by choosing the color or suit of a playing card.
With reel power games you do not select the number of lines. It is possible to choose how many reels you want to be included in the ‘all-ways’ system, which awards wins for any consecutive symbols from left to right regardless of which line they appear on. If you choose 4 reels instead of 5, you’ll reduce the potential winning combinations from 243 to 81, for me this is not worth the savings in credits.
You can choose to bet from 2c, which gives a spin value of 50c for all 5 reels. The max (Aristocrat always let you select this with a handy ‘max’ button) is $100 per spin. There is an autoplay feature too.
The top symbols on this slot are the Red Baron himself, and his red bi-plane. 5 of either will get you 1500 coins, with the lady worth 1000 for 5. The remaining unique symbols (airship, dog and radio) are worth 400, 250 and 200 respectively for 5 – with the playing cards making up the remaining wins.
There are two other symbols to note. First the medal is the wild in this game. This only appears on reel 3, and will substitute for any other symbol. Unusually, this includes the target symbol, which is the scatter. The target only appears on reels 2, 3 and 4. All 3 will trigger the mission and free spins round and pay a multiple of the total bet for that particular spin.
There are two parts to the bonus feature, which immediately makes this slot more interesting than many other Aristocrat titles. First of all you need to choose from one of 5 missions to shoot down enemy aircraft. The idea is that the more you shoot down, the bigger your multiplier of the win from the spin that got you to the feature. If you choose a big number and do not reach your target, then you can lose out. The choices are 4 planes for 10x, 8 for 15x, 12 for 25x, 16 for 60x and 20 for 140x. If you shoot down 25 or more (by having them appear on the reels) then you’ll get an additional 40x regardless of which option you picked.
You will also accumulate wins like normal during the 15 free spins. There is one additional feature here, the medal wild will multiply any wins which it is a part of by 2x, 3x or 5x. Remember that this symbol will only appear on reel 3.
Manfred von Richthofen had an incredible 80 confirmed ‘kills’ in the skies of World War 1, before he was shot down himself on the 21st of April 1918. The German national was the best fighter pilot of any nation, and became a national hero – receiving Germany’s top military honors. His story has been the subject of many books, and even a feature film.
This is a step up from the average Aristocrat slot title, offering interesting variations on the normal solid game-play you’d expect from this company. I liked the missions, though have not tried out the higher ‘kills’, preferring to ensure some profit from the occasional features. I’d recommend this game to fans of Aristocrat slots as an entertaining variation from their normal fare.