Free China Shores slot
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Now, it is no surprise to those of you that peruse the Gamingslots reviews that the Bally Technologies slot China River has never carried much favour with our review team due to its reputation for being harder to penetrate than Fort Knox! So you can imagine the scepticism when I was handed this Konami Gaming slot title of China Shores and I loaded it up to be greeted with a very similar feel to that of China River... uh oh. In my head I am saying: "Thing positive thoughts, think positive thoughts".
China Shores is a 5 reel, 30 payline slot from Konami Gaming that has a strong Chinese theme (no joke, I actually saw it mentioned as a Japanese-themed slot somewhere else – trampling over centuries of history right there!) and after playing it for a while I am pleased to announce that it is nowhere near as painstaking as China River.
The symbols across the reels consist of a number of Chinese-related symbols that are set against a Chinese landscape. These include a golden tortoise ornament, an urn, Chinese lantern, and your regular 9-through-to-Ace symbols.
The Wild is represented by the panda symbol and this does bring back memories of playing the Wild Panda slot by Aristocrat which is a slot that I very much enjoyed and still do. This symbol can substitute for all other symbols, except for the Scatters, to complete winning combinations. The Wilds do appear on reels 2, 3, 4, and 5 only so don't keep your eye on reel 1 wondering where the hell the Wild is!
Speaking of the Scatters, these are represented by the Ying and Yang symbols. If you manage to hit five of these symbols across the Scatters then you will trigger a 100x your line bet win which is not to be sniffed at. In addition, if you hit three or more of these Scatters across the reels then you will trigger the free spins bonus round. You will initially be awarded at least 8 free spins but if you are lucky enough to trigger the free spins with five Scatters then you can earn 20 free spins. The good news is that the free spins can be re-triggered! In an interesting twist, you may exchange the free spins for a bonus prize at any point with the Balance of Fortune that gives the player the choice between free spins and a cash reward.
China Shores also comes with the innovatively-named Action Stacked Symbols feature! This is where each of the five reels contains a number of adjacent positions that are randomly substituted with all of the symbols except for the Wild symbols.
Overall, China Shores surprised me. I mean, I grew up playing Konami Playstation games such as Pro Evolution Soccer and Metal Gear Solid so I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when the first slot I was given to review by them was a China River carbon copy. Luckily, first impressions did not stick and this actually turned out to be a decent effort from Konami Gaming and I can't wait to review more of their slots.