Red Baron Slot Machine
The slot machine featuring a historical war hero known as the Red Baron was released by Australian casino game manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure in 2008.
The Red Baron slot machine was designed to celebrate the wartime accomplishments of Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, the famed German fighter pilot who dominated the skies during World War I. During his tenure with the German Army Air Service, or Luftstreitkräfte, the Red Baron was credited with 80 air combat victories, earning his name as the legendary ace of aces.
Although Richthofen fought for the German Empire during the Great War, the feats of accuracy and courage he displayed during dog fights earned the Red Baron grudging admiration even from his enemies. The combination of Richthofen's lordly lineage and his fiercely painted bright red fighter plane led to the nickname he's known by today, but during his life, the Red Baron was more commonly known as Der Rote Kampfflieger, which translates to The Red Battle Flyer in German.
As is the case with Aristocrat's other historically themed games, such as the Roman volcanic eruption title Pompeii, the Red Baron slot machine is designed with several subtle touches meant to evoke the spirit of his era.
Introduction to Red Baron
The title screen for the game features the words Red Baron written in distinctive old English script, with the lettering colored in gold and red. The man himself occupies the right-hand side of the title screen, with an actual portrait of the tight-lipped Richthofen dominating the foreground. The background of the title screen is colored in a deep hue of red while black crosshairs target the silhouette of a fighter plane. Finally, a medal made up of a blue cross and gold eagles hang from the top of the title screen.
This medal is known as the Pour le Mérite, which translates to for merit in French, and it was given to soldiers of the German Empire who excelled on the field of battle. While many slot machines might substitute a generic medal image here, the folks at Aristocrat ensured that every detail of the real Pour le Mérite was recreated, adding a certain sense of grandeur to the game.
During the base game, the background screen for Red Baron is much simpler, depicting only the cloudy skies which Richthofen once conquered, but shaded in his signature red.
When it comes to the reel symbols you'll be chasing, the usual assortment of Aristocrat card rank symbols of 9, 10, J, Q, and K will be in play. Notice, however, that the A card rank symbol has been removed. The game's themed symbols include the following:
Aristocrat's commitment to a historical accuracy within its themed slot machine lineup shines through in the Red Baron. By incorporating bonus game missions based on targeting and collecting planes, the company ensured that players who revered the Red Baron's role in military history can play the part.
Gameplay Features and Mechanics
New players sitting down for their first session on a Red Baron slot machine may feel like a pilot jumping behind the cockpit of a plane they've never flown before.
That's because Red Baron is one of Aristocrat's Reel Power slot machine titles, which means the usual web of pay lines used to connect winning combinations has been ejected. With five reels on the screen and three symbols appearing on each reel, players land winners whenever three of the same symbol appears on adjacent reels, no matter which position on the reels they've fallen.
The combination of five reels and 15 total symbols creates a total of 243 possible winning combinations for players to look for on each spin. Reel Power slot games offer a higher level of volatility because of this, as you'll land winners a little less often than in a standard pay line game. To remedy this, Red Baron offers relatively high payouts during the base game, so players are adding a bit of risk in hopes of netting a greater reward.
With a minimum coin denomination of $0.01, Red Baron falls under the penny slot heading, but when playing this Reel Power game players must pay for all five reels per spin. At five credits per reel, this puts the minimum cost to cover per spin at $0.25.
As a Reel Power game, Red Baron allows betting in increments of 25 credits per spin, so players can up their bets to 50 credits, 75 credits, or 100 credits, before topping out at 125 credits.
Coin denomination levels increase in increments of single pennies from $0.01 through $0.10, with the next jumps coming at $0.25, $0.50, $1.00, $2.00, $5.00, $10.00, and $25.00. High rollers aside, the majority of penny slot players will be playing in either $0.01 or $0.05 increments, and the latter amount offers a reasonable $1.25 cost to cover per spin.
As a Reel Power game, Red Baron offers players their choice of reels to purchase, rather than pay lines. The cost per reel breaks down as follows:
- Reel 1 = 1 credit
- Reels 1 - 2 = 5 credits
- Reels 1 - 3 = 10 credits
- Reels 1 - 4 = 20 credits
- Reels 1 - 5 = 25 credits
In effect, players who are accustomed to the pay line system can envision Red Baron as a five reel, 25 pay line machine under this system. Another way to look at the Reel Power system is by examining the total number of possible winning combinations you'll have in play by purchasing various reels.
Purchasing just one reel for a single credit will activate just seven of the 15 symbol slots on the screen, giving you only three possible winning combinations. That number jumps to nine possible winners and nine symbol slots when you purchase two reels. Three reels give you 11 reel slots and 27 possible winning combinations while four reels in play activate 13 reel positions and gives you 81 possible winning combinations. Finally, if you purchase all five reels, you'll have every one of the 15 symbol slots activated, for a total of 243 possible winners.
All in all, the overwhelming majority of players on Reel Power machines like Red Baron opt to purchase all five reels. The potential for wins jumps exponentially with each reel, and you can only activate the game's full array of interactive bonus features with all 15 reels available to you.
The tried and true Aristocrat formula, combining gameplay features like wild symbols, scatter symbols, free spins, bonus games, and multipliers, is used to provide Red Baron's base game structure. Players searching for huge progressive jackpot scores will probably be better suited looking elsewhere, as the game doesn't offer access to payouts from a larger prize pool. For a basic list of specifications for Red Baron, see below:
- Wilds: Yes
- Free Spins: Yes
- Multiplier: Yes
- 2x, 3x, and 5x during base game
- 10x, 15x, 25x, 60x, and 140x during bonus round
- Bonus Game: Yes
- Progressive: No
- Return to Player: 95.7%
During the Red Baron base game, you'll be playing for a reasonably generous pay table, as two symbols carry jackpot status payouts of 1,500 credits. Landing five of a kind in either the Red Baron portrait symbol or the red fighter plane symbol returns the 1,500 credit reward. Four of a kind in Red Baron portraits is good for 1,000 while three of a kind pays out 500 credits. Land four of the red fighter plane symbols and you'll receive 500 credits, and 200 credits come your way for three of a kind in red fighter planes.
Five of the German woman symbols pays out 1,000 credits, and for five of the zeppelin blimp symbols, the payout is 400 credits. If you land five of the Weimaraner dog symbols you'll receive 250 credits, and 200 credits are the reward for five of the antique radio symbols. Five of the K card rank symbols pays out 150 credits, and five of the other card rank symbols pays out 100 credits.
The wild symbol for the Red Baron base game is the Pour le Mérite medal symbol, which can substitute for all other symbols except for the scatter symbol to create winning combinations. The Pour le Mérite wild symbol only appears on the third reel, but whenever it does, it will automatically apply a multiplier of 2x, 3x, or 5x, to all winning combinations it helps to create.
The scatter symbol for the Red Baron base game is the bulls eye target symbol, which can form winning combinations from anywhere on the reels. It only appears on the second, third, and fourth reels, though. Whenever the bulls eye target scatter symbol forms part of a winning combination, the associated payout will also be multiplied by the total bet. More importantly, the bulls eye target scatter symbol must be hit in order to trigger the free spins bonus round.
The Red Baron Bonus Round
Whenever the bulls eye target scatter symbol appears on the second, third, and fourth reels at the same time, you'll trigger Red Baron's free spin bonus round and earn 15 free spins.
Following along with the game's military minded theme, Red Baron offers players their choice of five distinct missions and an extra mission before beginning the free spins bonus round. In each of the missions, your objective is to collect a predetermined number of the red fighter plane symbols as you can during the free spin allotment.
Chasing more of the red fighter plane symbols is obviously more difficult, so you'll earn higher payouts, while attacking a smaller number offers smaller, but safer, gains. Adding to the intrigue, you can retrigger the free spin bonus game and earn 15 additional free spins whenever you land three more bulls eye target symbols.
The five bonus missions and extra mission are explained in detail below, with the multiplier applying to the total credits bet on the triggering spin:
- Mission 1
- Mission 2
- Mission 3
- Mission 4
- Mission 5
- Extra Mission
Collect four or more red fighter plane symbols to win 10x total credits bet
Collect eight or more red fighter plane symbols to win 15x total credits bet
Collect 12 or more red fighter plane symbols to win 25x total credits bet
Collect 16 or more red fighter plane symbols to win 60x total credits bet
Collect 20 or more red fighter plane symbols to win 140x total credits bet
Collect 25 or more red fighter plane symbols to win an extra 40x total credits bet
For players betting the minimum of $0.25 per spin, entering the free spins bonus round and searching the skies for 20 red fighter plane symbols would net $35.00, or 25 x 140. When you up the ante to $1.25 per spin, as many Red Baron fans prefer, scoring the 20 red fighter plane kills will return a bounty of $175.00.
The Red Baron slot machine by Aristocrat continues the company's tradition of using small, yet crucial, details to strengthen a historically themed game.
World War I buffs, pilots, or military members who studied Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen's true impact on the history of aerial combat will appreciate Aristocrat's attention to detail. And slot fans who couldn't tell the Red Baron from G.I. Joe will still find themselves sitting for long sessions after they trigger a few of the mission-oriented free spin bonus rounds.