Balloonies is a mobile-only, 5-reel fixed 20-pay line slot from IGT. The rather unusual theme of this game is balloon animals – long balloons fashioned into animals and other objects by creepy clowns at children's parties. In this game the balloons have been fashioned into dogs, elephants, monkeys, giraffes and what appears to be a hedgehog – we couldn't think of a more inappropriate balloon animal than a hedgehog, what will all the spikes and all. The cunning balloon manipulator has also fashioned an ace, king and queen too.
This IGT game features the unique 'floating reels' feature. Instead of rolling around the reels, when you hit the 'spin' button in this game the symbols float up the screen – just like balloons would. Additionally, all balloons that form a winning combination burst once your win has been announced. This allows for fresh balloons to be inflated and to rise up the reels, where new winning combinations may be formed. This process repeats until no more new combinations are formed.
You start these balloon-popping antics by selecting the size of your coin. This can be anything from 0.01 to 5.00. The twenty lines are in play at all times, so your total bet is your coin size multiplied by twenty. You score winning combinations by landing at least three symbols in sequence on a pay line from and including the left-hand reel. When you're ready to pop, hit the 'spin' button.
Payout & bonus rounds
The lowest winning payout is 5x, which is achieved if you land three kings or aces. The top paying balloon animal is the dog, which wins you the jackpot in normal play of 1,000x your coin size.
The hedgehog symbol acts as the wild symbol in this game. He substitutes for all other symbols aside from the bonus balloon symbol and the star multiplier. Note that the hedgehog only appears on reels two, three and four.
The star multiplier symbol is a very welcome sight indeed if you happen to be lucky enough to land it. If it appears in a winning combination it will multiply your win by 2x, 3x or 5x. Note that if you are really fortunate and land two or even three multipliers in a winning line their values are multiplied together.
If you land three bonus symbols on the first three reels (bonus symbols only appear on the first three reels anyhow) you are through to the free spins bonus round. Three large, traditional balloons will appear on the screen and you must choose to pop one in order to reveal the number of free spins you will receive. The minimum number of free spins you can be awarded is four, and the maximum is fourteen.
Like a famous tubed snack, the 'danger' with Balloonies is that once you pop, you won't be able to stop! This game is simple yet is a great deal of fun to play, especially once those balloons start to pop and new ones float up the screen. Our only qualm is that IGT have made this game mobile-only. Come on IGT, we need a desktop version of this great title!