If you’ve ever dreamed of waxing down your board and hanging ten, then the Cash Wave slot machine from Bally Technologies might be the game for you. This title has five reels and 40 paylines, and the graphics and overall theme pay tribute to the surf culture on both coasts of the United States.
Bally Technologies is one of the largest designers and manufacturers of slot machines on the planet. As such, their games can be found in a variety of settings, and this is certainly true of the Cash Wave machine.
The game originally appeared in brick-and-mortar casinos throughout North America, and its immediate popularity led to a quick conversion for the online market. Despite its presence in both the real and virtual worlds, mobile players are still waiting for a version that can be used on their smartphones or iPad.
It should be noted that land-based gamers have a bit of an advantage over their Internet counterparts. That’s because the original version offers more paylines and free games, so anyone who’s obsessed with this title might want to plan a trip to Las Vegas to get the full experience.
Cash Wave is categorized as a penny slot, since each payline can be activated for as little as 0.01. This results in a minimum wager of 0.40, as the rules require all lines to be active during a spin.
If you’re a more aggressive gambler, the machine allows you to risk up to 10.00 per line. This leads to a rather hefty maximum wager of 400.00, which should satisfy even the most reckless of high rollers.
Between these two extremes are a number of other available denominations. Bally has a long history of offering betting options to players of all economic levels, and this game has done nothing to change that pattern.
Like most slots from Bally, Cash Wave emphasizes quality gameplay over flashy graphics and sounds. This might disappoint players who are used to animated reels, but hardcore gamblers have long since realized that reliability is worth far more than fancy artwork.
One novel touch that’s in keeping with the game’s surfing theme is the presence of a big wave. Just before the reels spin, a massive surge of ocean water careens across the screen, and I’m often reminded of the final scene from Point Break when Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) faces down a legendary wave on Australia’s Bells Beach.
Besides the flourish mentioned above, there’s not much else to report. The score and sound effects are fairly generic, and the graphics are static and uninspiring. This is a running theme with Bally, so players usually know what they’re getting into.
In keeping with the theme of fun in the sun, the Cash Wave slot employs a number of symbols associated with the beach. These include a smiling blonde woman, a VW van, surfboard, flip-flops, suntan oil and a towel, and, of course, playing card values ranging from nine through ace.
The wild icon substitutes for all symbols except the free games scatter. During the bonus round, this symbol becomes a stacked wild.
The scatter is labeled “Free Games,” and the player can unlock the bonus round by getting three of these on the base reels. It doesn’t offer a payout by itself, but the potential bonus prize still makes it the most coveted icons in the game.
When the Free Games symbol appears on reels two through four of the base game, this feature is activated. The player receives five complimentary spins, with a special wild configuration appearing during each game. These include the following:
If the stacked wilds become part of a winning combination, all icons within that group are converted into wilds for the duration of the spin. This leads to some major wins, and players who live for bonus rounds are certain to be tickled pink.
While the overall presentation of the Cash Wave slot machine may be lacking in excitement, the game more than makes up for it with a lucrative bonus round filled with wild symbols. The minimum bet of 0.01 per line is perfect for those who want to stretch their bankroll as far as possible, while the maximum of 400.00 should make ambitious gamblers feel right at home. This is another solid entry in the Bally catalog, and I’ve come to expect nothing less from the company over the years.