Balloonies Slot Machine
Balloonies is a 5 reel, 20 pay line slot machine from IGT that focuses on balloons floating through the air.
These aren't just any balloons, though, since they've been twisted into the shape of dogs, elephants, monkeys, and hedgehogs. The balloon twisting gives this game an extra fun element and makes it unlike anything you've seen before.
But what makes Balloonies so unique?
Find out as we cover its background, music, animations, pay table, graphics, bonuses, betting options, and game rules. We'll finish by comparing Balloonies to two other recent IGT slot machines.
Bonus UP TO $1,000
Balloonies Slot Machines Overview
Somebody must have let go of all these balloons because the game takes place in the sky, high above the clouds.
We think that a carnival would've made for a more interesting setting for these balloons, but we won't complain too much about the sky.
After all, the symbols contrast well with the sky and bits of clouds. We also like how all of the betting options are encased in clouds.
Some of the balloons have enlarged eyes that blink, and you'll frequently hear this blinking sound while playing. This doesn't add anything to the game, and it gets annoying after a while.
Luckily, the blinking sound is drowned out by music that plays after you spin the reels. This is a happy, adventurous toon that's nice to listen to while you play.
Most of the sound effects involve balloons from winning combinations popping. You'll also hear the rubbery sound of balloons bouncing off each other when they land on the reels.
Balloonies' animations include the following: stars shooting rainbows towards the multiplier area, confetti flying out of winning symbols, and symbols moving back and forth when appearing in payouts.
Balloonies Pay Table and Graphics
Symbols and payouts for Balloonies are as follows:
- Hedgehog Wild
The hedgehog balloon is wild and substitutes for every symbol except the star and bonus balloon to form winning payouts.
- Bonus Balloon
If you land 3 or more of these pink balloons anywhere on the reels, you'll trigger the bonus round. 3 bonus balloons also give you a payout worth 2x your triggering bet.
- Star Scatter
Every star symbol that lands on the reels gives you a 2x, 3x, or 5x multiplier on your line bet. If two or more stars land on the reels, their multiplier values are added to give you an even larger win. Note that the star only appears on reels 1, 2, and 3.
The dog is the highest paying symbol, offering 1,000 coins for 5 symbols, 150 for 4, and 50 for 3.
The monkey pays 500 coins for 5 symbols, 100 for 4, and 25 for 3.
This symbol pays 400 credits for 5 symbols, 75 for 4, and 20 for 3.
The giraffe pays 300 coins for 5 symbols, 50 for 4, and 20 for 3.
This letter delivers 50 coins for 5 symbols, 15 for 4, and 5 for 3
- K, Q
These letters pay the same, offering 40 coins for 5 symbols, 10 for 4, and 5 for 3.
Balloonies offers cartoonish graphics that go well with the theme. We especially like the exaggerated eyes in all of the animals.
Our favorite symbols include the elephant, hedgehog, and monkey because they offer the best detail. But we appreciate all of the symbols since IGT did a good job in designing this game.
Balloonies Slot Bonus Features
When you land 3 or more bonus balloons anywhere on the reels, you trigger a two part bonus round.
The bonus begins with you being presented 3 balloons, and then you get to perform free spins. Let's go into more details on each part of the bonus as well as the star scatter and floating reels features.
3 large balloons float onto the screen, and you're instructed to pop one of them to reveal how many free spins you get.
We only got 5 free spins both times that we triggered the bonus. But we suspect that you can get more free games than this.
After you've popped a balloon, you'll be taken to a new screen to perform your free spins. The biggest change is the background, which becomes a star filled, nighttime backdrop.
Subtle changes include the dog wearing a sleeping cap, and the absence of bonus balloons. Given that there are no bonus balloons available, you can't retrigger free games.
As mentioned in the pay table section, stars offer scatter payouts worth 2x, 3x, or 5x your triggering bet, and the size is determined randomly.
When you land two or more stars on the reels, your scatter payouts will be added for an even bigger prize. Here's an example: you wager $1.00 and get a 2x star and a 3x star; your scatter payout will now be worth $5.00.
Any time that you form a win, symbols from the winning payout will pop, and new symbols will replace them. Called floating reels, this effect continues until no new wins can be formed.
In our experiences, you won't form many consecutive wins due to the cascading reels. But just having the chance to form consecutive payouts along with star scatters keeps this game exciting.
The 20 pay lines are fixed, but you can change your coin size from $1 to $20. This makes the minimum bet worth $20 and the max wager worth $400.
The minimum spin cost is unnerving, given that you could lose $20 on any spin.
You can autoplay the reels for between 10 and 50 spins by clicking the blue button in the lower right hand corner.
The button next to this lets you change graphics quality to low, medium, high, or best settings. The reason for lowering graphics quality is if you have a slower smartphone or PC and want to make Balloonies run faster.
While the amount that you must bet each spin is concerning, the good news is that Balloonies features a high win frequency.
Not only will you get plenty of wins from the regular symbols, but the star also delivers lots of scatter payouts.
The bonus round is triggered at a normal rate in comparison to other slot machines. Also, the floating reels don't help form many extra wins when compared to similar games.
According to IGT, Balloonies, RTP ranges from 92.4% to 96.23%. The lower range of this is terrible for an online slot, while the upper range is good.
If you can combine 96.23% payback with Balloonies' high win frequency, then you stand a chance of winning big in any single session.
Aside from the floating reels, Balloonies's rules are in line with most other 5 reel slot machines. Below are the main rules:
- Any winning combination during the main game and free spins activates the floating reels feature.
- All symbols from winning combinations disappear, and empty spaces are filled with symbols that float up from below, in sequence.
- Floating reels continue until no new wins can be formed. All wins are formed from right to left, beginning with the leftmost reel.
- The only exception is the star scatters, which can pay from any position on the reels.
- If two or more wins are formed in the same line, only the highest payout is awarded.
Comparison to Other IGT Slot Machines
Balloonies is the only online slot with floating reels that IGT has made so far. Since there's no similar game with floating reels, we're going to compare Balloonies to a couple other recent IGT releases.
Here's a look at how this slot stacks up against Apollo Rising and Zillion Gators.
Just like Balloonies, Apollo Rising has a unique setup, with 100 pay lines and a 5x8 grid. This creates a tall set of reels, and betting options and game artwork are on the right side.
One thing that's fun about this game is its futuristic music and background. You'll hear a mysterious tune every time you spin the reels, while pulses of light shoot through the betting options area.
As for features, Apollo Rising has an expanding wild rocket ship, which fills an entire reel. In addition to substituting for other symbols, the expanding wild also gives you a free re spin.
Unfortunately, the expanding wild and free re spins are the only special features in Apollo Rising, which is its biggest weakness. While we recommend trying this slot out because of its original look and feel, it doesn't have as much entertainment value as Balloonies.
This 5 reel, 30 pay line slot takes you to the swamp, which is perfectly portrayed by water, lilies, and cypress trees.
While the atmosphere is good, the features are what really make this slot.
Our favorite is the gators that jump out of the water to try and eat the animals above; in the process, they turn every symbol in their path wild.
When you land 3 frog scatter symbols on the reel, you trigger the bonus. This takes you to a shack where you pick a crawfish trap to reveal your bonus prize.
Based on the atmosphere and features, we rank Zillion Gators on the same level as Balloonies. If you're a fan of the bayou, then you're going to like this game even more.
Balloonies has a number of aspects working in its favor, including an original atmosphere, good graphics, and nice features.
The sky atmosphere works well with the theme, which involves balloons rising, popping, and being replaced by floating balloons from below.
The graphics offer a mixture of high quality and playfulness, with many balloons twisted into the shape of an animal.
As for features, you can expect a two part bonus and frequent scatter payouts. We found that the scatters gave us more wins than anything in our session.
The one downside to this slot is that you're dealing with a $1 minimum coin size and 20 fixed pay lines. Most players won't be able to afford this, which is why we recommend that you play the game free before risking real money.
The good news is that Balloonies' win frequency is high enough that you'll earn lots of wins.
Assuming you can afford to play or you enjoy free online slots, we recommend that you give Balloonies a try due to its unique look and entertaining features.