Sky Rider represents the launch of a new game brand from Aristocrat featuring the “Max Stacks” brand of stacking symbols. The brand is part of the slot-maker’s new “E-Series,” the “e” being for “entertainment”—games designed for players who seek out slots for the entertainment value of the games themselves, and not necessarily for the gamble.
Sky Rider is launching with two base games, “Golden Amulet” and “Silver Treasures.” The common thread is that the player gets to pick the symbol that will show up as stacked symbols—clustered symbols creating big wins—in free-game spins.
Each of the two base games is available to casinos in several payline configurations: 10 lines, 30 lines, 40 lines, 50 lines or a whopping 100 lines. Both games feature lots of low-level hits in a steady stream of winning combinations.
The central feature, though, is the free-spin bonus games, which are triggered by stacks of scattered symbols on three or more reels. “Max Stacked Symbols”—scatter symbols stacked on all five reels—provide the highest return in the bonus games.
In Golden Amulet, the number of free games depends on the number of stacks triggering the bonus. Three, four or five stacks of scatters trigger nine, 18 or 36 free games, respectively. Silver Treasure, on the other hand, employs a novel free-spin option: The player picks the major symbol to be stacked on reels throughout the free-spin round. (It can be a “mystery choice” picked by the computer as well.)
The number of free games depends not only on the number of stacks triggering the feature, but on the stacked symbol chosen. If it is a high-value symbol, a stack of those on the reels in free spins is much more valuable, so fewer free spins are granted. If it is a lower value, more free spins are awarded—up to a maximum of 72. In effect, the player is selecting the volatility of the free-game bonus round.
Manufacturer: Aristocrat Technologies
Format: Five-reel video slot; 10, 30, 40, 50 or 100 lines
Max Bet: 100, 500, 600, 800, 1,000
Top Award: 100,000
Hit Frequency: Approximately 50%
Theoretical Hold: 4%—14%