Review of the All-New Buffalo Diamond Slots as Showcased at G2E 2018
There was one slot which really had heads turning at the Aristocrat booth at the G2E gaming expo in 2018 – a brand new addition to the Buffalo slots family called Buffalo Diamond.
This combines a lot of familiar features with a new progressive way to up your free spins count.
If you have ever played the Harley Davison slots, then you’ll be familiar with this idea. I have explained it below. Buffalo Diamond is most similar to the Buffalo Grand games, in terms of game-play and features. The reels are a different shape, and the diamonds add an element of strategy.
Here is a quick summary, with the full write-up below:
- Free spins increase separately for each stake level as you collect diamonds on reel 5. These come with win multipliers and are accessed via the wheel bonus.
- Reels are in a diamond configuration. This is a 4-5-6-5-4 shape, giving you lots of opportunities for big Buffalo wins.
- Wheel bonus games award jackpots as well as free games. Note that you need to bet max ($4 per spin) to be in with a shot at the huge ‘Grand’ jackpot.
- In the free spins game, you get wild multipliers on the middle reels. This is the same as the original Buffalo games – though keep in mind you get an overall multiplier too.
- Retrigger free spins with gold coins (again, in common with the other games). Just 2 are needed to get 5 extra spins.
Buffalo Diamond Slots: How the Progressive Free Spins Work
On the display below the reels, you’ll see a list of free spins for each bet level. This is shown on the picture below.
There are 3 coloured diamonds, which appear on reel 5. Each time you get one the number of the matching free spins multiplier goes up by one. This happens whether you win them or not.
An element of strategy is involved.
For example, if you see that the $1.60 bet has a higher number of free spins (they can reach 100+), you might choose that one instead of the $2.50 bet (or the other way around).
As the time between wins of a certain stake level gets longer, the number of free spins can get huge. I can see people playing ‘just one more’ banknote to try and hit these. While people will be patiently waiting in the wings to have a try!
Accessing the Free Spins on Buffalo Diamond: The Jackpot Wheel
Buffalo Diamond has a curved cabinet, which bulges out at the top. This works well with the wheel bonus – giving you the perspective of the outside of a giant wheel.
To trigger this, you need 3+ of the bonus wheel gold coins anywhere in view.
You click to spin - and will be hoping to win a jackpot. The biggest (the Grand) is huge, in the demo game at G2E this was set at more than $500k. Let’s see if the casinos keep this amount. You need to bet max ($4) to be in with a shot at the big one.
On this wheel you will also see the 3 free spins segments, matching the progressive total at your stake. These are brightly coloured with the multiplier and number of spins clear.
I’m assuming that jackpot wins mean you spin again to hit the free spins – though I’ll have to play a live version to be 100% sure on this.
During the Buffalo Diamond Free Spins: Retriggers and Multipliers
Fans of the classic Buffalo slots will know how the free spins work. You can retrigger with 2+ coins (for 5 extra spins and up), extending your games indefinitely.
The sunset wilds still have multipliers which appear after the spin is completed. These will be either x2 or x3. They work together, so 2 of the x3s in a winning combo will boost your win by x6.
With the progressive free spins also having a multiplier to your total win of up to x4, there is plenty of potential for hand-pays here.
Buffalo Diamond Slot Reel Setup
You’ll find a lot of symbols on these reels. With a 4-5-6-5-4 setup, and all-ways wins (where symbols on consecutive reels pay), there is a lot of space for wins.
With the big prize free spins, something has to balance this. It looks like the prizes for the playing card symbols and animals are smaller than on the classic versions. With the help of those wilds, which do not have multipliers in the base game, you’ll probably not feel this too much.
Design / Animations
Not much to add here for fans of the other Buffalo games. Aristocrat have kept things very much familiar – including the sound effects (screeches for wild multipliers, shout of ‘buffalooo’ and bell sounds.
Using an S-shaped cabinet gives the game a quirky look. These are looking like the next fashion in cabinets. Finally, the new wheel looks impressive, with giant, brightly glowing segments.
Buffalo Diamond Slots: Wrap Up / Mark's View
I love the Buffalo slots, with Buffalo Gold my personal pick. I’m hoping that this new Buffalo game will appear on casino floors very soon. The key difference is the progressive free spins. These are separated for different stakes and will go up very high if not won for a while.
It’s going to be extra hard to pass this slot if there are 50+ free spins at your usual stake level – you have been warned!
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