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China River Slot Machines

China River is a 5 reel, 30 pay line slot machine that Bally developed for land based casinos. But China River has since been adapted for online play too.

The name explains this game completely because it takes place on a Chinese river. And like most Asian themed slot machines, this one features various lucky Chinese symbols.

The challenge when making a game like this is how to avoid being too cliché.

Does China River avoid the generic category and offer something more than just a typical Asian themed slot? Also, does this game have any special features and / or bonuses that set it apart fromthe industry?

Find out as we cover everything that you need to know about China River, including its betting, graphics, pay table, and bonuses. We’ll also discuss how this game compares to other Asian themedonline slots.

Overview

China River takes you to a peaceful scene, where a person is rowing their boat across the river. You’ll also see bushes with beautiful flowers blooming, mountains, cherry blossom trees, and agolden pheasant sitting atop the reels.

This game doesn’t feature any music until you spin the reels, at which point you’ll hear a traditional Asian beat play. You’ll also hear a generic tune after every winning combination that youform.

Overall, China River does a good job of portraying its Asian theme through the music and background. You won’t be amazed by the graphics and music, but it’s enough to create a pleasantexperience.

Betting Options

The 30 pay lines are fixed, but you can change the coin denomination from $0.01 to $15.00. This makes for a minimum bet of one cent and a max wager of $450.00 per spin.

The $0.30 minimum doesn’t make this the ideal low roller game, but it’s lower than some of the other Bally online slots that we’ve seen.

You can also auto spin the reels for 5 20 reels with your selected betting options. The only other available option is the ability to turn sound on and off.

Based on the limited number of options and simplistic gameplay, China River is a slot that anybody can enjoy regardless of their slots experience.

Graphics

For an older slot machine, China River’s graphics are strong. The best looking symbol is the golden pheasant, which looks like it comes from a high quality modern slot.

Other symbols like the Chinese writing, frog, and golden pot aren’t as impressive, but they look better than what you’ll see in the average online game.

Animations

China River only offers a couple of animations, including cherry blossoms blowing by the golden pheasant, and fireworks shooting out of the Chinese writing.

You’ll also see the golden pheasant sitting atop the reels, moving its head around to look at the sky and symbols. The bird looks up and down in a robotic manner, but it’s still fun to watchwhile you’re playing.

Return to Player:

Return to player for China River is 93.98%, which is below average for an online slot. This shouldn’t come as a shock, though, because many other Bally games that were adapted to online playalso feature low RTPs.

China River Pay Table

The symbols and payouts in China River are as follows:

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Golden Pheasant

The pheasant is the wild symbol, appearing on reels 2, 3, 4, and 5, and substituting for everything except the emblem bonus symbol. The pheasant offers no payouts on its own.

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Chinese Writing

The writing pays 1,000 credits for 5 symbols, 100 for 4, 25 for 3, and 2 for 2.

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Lotus Flower

The lotus flower pays 500 credits for 5 symbols, 100 for 4, and 20 for 3.

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Golden Pot

The pot pays 250 credits for 5 symbols, 50 for 4, and 15 for 3.

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Frog Statue

This green frog statue pays 200 credits for 5 symbols, 50 for 4, and 10 for 3.

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A, K

These letters are ubiquitous and pay 150 credits for 5 symbols, 25 for 4, and 5 for 3.

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Q, J, 10, 9

These letters / numbers pay 100 credits for 5 symbols, 20 for 5, and 5 for 3.

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Chinese Coin

The coin is the bonus symbol, and it triggers free spins when appearing 3 or more times anywhere on the reels.

We mentioned earlier that the symbols look good, but our one complaint is the use of generic letters / numbers to fill out the low paying symbols. With so many different Chinese symbols of goodluck, we think that Bally could’ve easily came up with some more original symbols than letters / numbers.

China River Slot Bonus Features

The Chinese coin will either give you 8 free spins for 3 symbols, 10 free spins for 4 symbols, or 10 free games for 5 symbols when it lands 3 or more times on the reels. In addition to gettingfree spins, you’ll also receive 5 credits for 3 symbols, 20 credits for 4 symbols, or 100 credits for 5 symbols.

All free spins are played with the triggering bet and number of pay lines, and payouts are doubled during the bonus. You can also retrigger free spins at any time by landing 3 or more coinsanywhere on the reels.

Another feature is that each reel contains stacked mystery symbols that are replaced with one random symbol after each spin is initiated. Mystery symbol positions are replaced with the samesymbol per spin, and the only symbol that can’t be a mystery symbol is the golden pheasant.

The bonus features in China River aren’t very in depth, especially the free spins, which are just basic free games with a 2x multiplier. But it’s still nice that China River contains both freespins and the stacked mystery symbol features.

Comparison to Other Asian Themed Slot Machines

Asian culture is one of the most popular slot themes in the gaming world. And we’ve selected a few popular online slots to compare to China River.

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Choy Sun Doa

Translating to God of Prosperity, Aristocrat’s Choy Sun Doa deals with golden statues and Chinese symbols of good luck. Symbols that you’ll see include Choy Sun Doa wild, gold ingot scatter,gold dragon, gold coin, jade bracelet, koi fish, red envelopes, and letters / numbers.

One exciting thing about Choy Sun Doa is that it’s a 243 ways to win slot, meaning you have 243 possible winning combinations. The only catch is that you must play all 5 reels to be eligiblefor 243 ways to win.

This brings us to the betting options, which allow you to play 1 5 reels, and change your coin denomination from $0.01 to $2.00. Most games don’t allow you to change the number of reels inplay, which makes this slot unique.

The graphics in Choy Sun Doa aren’t as sophisticated as China River’s visuals, which is especially noticeable in the background. The symbols, although not ugly, lack the same amount of detailthat China River offers.

The only animation that you’ll see is when Choy Sun Doa appears in a winning payout combination. He begins laughing, and the screen behind him turns into yellow and orange rays.

Choy Sun Doa doesn’t offer any music, but it does have sound effects that are reminiscent of a 1990s arcade game. This is another area where China River has an advantage because we like theauthentic Asian music over the arcade style sound effects.

Free games are triggered when you land 3 or more gold ingots anywhere on the reels. You get to choose which free games you want, with the trade off being that more free spins comes with a lowermultiplier.

Example

20 free spins come with a 2x, 3x, or 5x multiplier, while 5 free spins come with a 10x, 15x, or 30x multiplier.

Overall, Choy Sun Doa is a fun retro slot machine that has some decent features. But China River has better quality graphics and music, which gives it the edge.

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God of Wealth

Rival Gaming’s God of Wealth deals with the same subject as Choy Sun Doa, only in a newer and more colorful format.

This game seems more god like with the angelic music playing, and a peaceful scene in the background. Speaking of which, the background features rustling trees, mountains, and a temple.

Symbols include the God of Wealth (wild), gold ingot (scatter), dragon, tiger, ox, dragon mask, lantern, and 8s. The detail in these symbols is excellent, especially with regard to the dragon,tiger, and gold ingot.

The ingot triggers free spins when it appears 3 or more times anywhere on the reels, and it pays 10 credits with 4 symbols, and 200 credits with 5 symbols.

Triggering gold ingots remain on the screen, and you select each one to reveal up to 10 free spins. During free spins, the God of Wealth replaces the dragon, ox, or tiger when he appears onreel 3.

When it comes to bonuses and symbols, China River and God of Wealth are equal to each other. But God of Wealth gains an advantage with regard to graphics and music since it’s one of the bestAsian slots in this department.

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Zhanshi

China has seen many wars over their lengthy history, and Zhanshi pays homage to ancient Chinese warriors.

The first thing to like about this 5 reel, 25 pay line game is the atmosphere, which is complete with a detailed fortress in the background and traditional Asian music.

Zhanshi’s graphics are excellent, especially regarding the detail in the symbols. Speaking of which, a warrior wild, fortress scatter, horse, battle flag, sword, and letters / numbers are foundon the reels.

The only complaint we have about Zhanshi is that, despite being new, it uses generic letters / numbers just like the older slot machines on this list. But Zhanshi offers enough style andfeatures to make up for the generic symbols.

You can unlock two bonuses in this game, including Feature 1, which is triggered by 3 or more warriors anywhere on the reels. The warriors remain on the screen, and you select one to revealbetween 15 and 25 free spins. During this round, temple symbols are changed to warriors or horses, and all wins are tripled.

Feature 2 is triggered when you land 3 or more temples anywhere on the reels, and this awards you 10 free spins with a 2x multiplier.

Based on its graphics, music, and multiple bonuses, Zhanshi ranks among the best Asian themed slots that we’ve seen.

Conclusion

China River is a good game for players who are new to 5 reel slot machines because it has simplistic betting options and rules. You won’t struggle to understand complicated multipliers, bonusrounds, or special features in this game.

On the same token, China River offers enough frills to prevent it from being totally boring. You can earn both free spins and mystery stacked symbols to boost your winnings.

More good points to this game are the graphics and background, with the latter featuring lovely flowers, mountains, cherry blossom trees, and a golden pheasant. The detail in the symbols is good,with the pheasant and Chinese writing standing out.

Moving to the negatives, a $0.30 minimum bet seems high for an older, unsophisticated slot machine like this one. This bet size is standard for land based casinos, but it’d be nice if Ballychanged the minimum bet to one cent for the online adaptation.

Another drawback is the RTP, which is under 94%. While this is good for land based casinos, it’s not competitive with modern online slots, which offer 95% to 96% RTP on average.

One more negative is the use of generic letters and numbers as symbols. As mentioned before, there are so many different Chinese good lucky symbols that Bally could have incorporated more intoChina River.

Our Thoughts:

In summary, China River is a decent slot machine with solid graphics, a nice background, and adequate features. But based on the low RTP and generic symbols, we only recommend this slot machineif you like trying different Asian themed games.

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