Can I talk about The Brady Bunch for a minute? I hope I’m not showing my age here too much — I mean, we all know about The Brady Bunch, right? — but when I was a kid, staying home sick from school meant there was going to be a lot of Bradys in my life.
And if I was really lucky, I would stumble into the three-part Hawaii vacation story arc. What a thrill ride, amirite? There was the evil tiki idol, Marcia in a bikini doing a hula lesson, the tarantula on Peter, Marcia in a bikini doing a hula lesson, Greg wiping out on a surfboard, Marcia in a bikini doing a hula lesson.
It was awesome. (What? I was like 12 years old. I was certainly allowed to have a crush on Marcia.)
I bring this up because I just spent the better part of the last 30 minutes playing the online slot Treasures of Kilauea at the BetMGM online casino, and it just put me in that Brady state of mind.
To be fair, there is nothing Brady about the game or any of the online casino apps that I am aware of, but anytime I’m faced with anything even slightly Polynesian in nature — even when ordering the sauce at Chick-fil-A — my mind immediately goes back to those three episodes. I was a kid. These things stick with me. (Also: I can’t walk through a sliding electric door without the theme song from Get Smart cueing up in my neurons.)
Anyway … where was I?
Oh yeah — Treasures of Kilauea at BetMGM. It’s a pretty awesome slot, and there are no bad luck tiki idols. All is good.
The game, courtesy of Pear Fiction Studios, is a 5×4 slot with an additional reel that spins horizontally up top that can add to your wins — or trigger bonuses (more on that later).
The RTP (return to player) is 96.32%, and the way the game is structured, you’ll frequently win a little, but winning a lot — max win is a healthy 5000x your bet — isn’t going to happen with any regularity.
The gameplay — get three or more items in a row from left to right — is standard enough. But the wrinkle to the game — and it’s a big one — is that wild symbols add up, spin by spin.
What does this mean? If a volcano symbols pops up on a spin, the frame will lock. On the next spin, the lava will disappear and be replaced by whatever else shows up, but the frame itself will remain highlighted. This can happen on any of your first nine spins.
And on the 10th spin? All of the highlighted frames turn into wilds.
In short: Instead of each spin being independent of each other, the gameplay sort of demands you spin 10 times before you call it a day.
But really, you’ll want to spin 50 times, because on the 50th spin, you’ll trigger the “eruption” feature, in which all the lava frames will turn wild and you’ll also be granted additional, random wilds.
Each spin can be had for as little as a dime or as much as $50 but each price point clears the board, meaning, if you get a fistful of wilds on your first nine spins on the dime level, going to the $50 level does not mean your next spin will trigger the wilds.
While it’s possible to win money on any spin, clearly the best chance to win a good chunk of change will occur every 10th spin, when the wilds appear.
Additionally, there are two separate bonus rounds you can win.
The first is if the “idol” symbol appears in the center position of the top, horizontal wheel. If so, you get to spin the jackpot wheel, where you can win one of five prizes: the micro prize, which is 18x your bet, mini (30x), minor (100x), major (500x), or mega (5000x).
The second is if you get three or more “free spins” scatters on any spin. If so, you get a bunch of free spins — but you choose how many. Five free spins will get you 10 wilds per spin, 10 free spins will get you seven wilds per spin, and 15 free spins will get you five wilds per spin. (You get 10, 15, and 20 free spins for four scatters, and 15, 20, and 25 free spins for five scatters.)
Look and feel
This game is very colorful, for starters. And the symbols — I suppose they are tikis or something — are also colorful. And silly looking.
In the background looms a large volcano. A volcano that blinks. And takes deep breaths. And gurgles and snores.
You know what? I’m going with “whimsical.” The graphics are whimsical.
The music is a little slower and darker than expected, but it definitely has that Polynesian vibe. And in an interesting wrinkle, if you don’t spin for a few seconds, a second, calmer soundtrack pops up. Honestly, it would make for great background music while you work.
Upon spinning, there’s a satisfying “click” to each reel, and when you get a volcano-soon-to-be-wild, you get a nice little “ding.”
Altogether, a pleasing experience.
This is a fun slot to play. Knowing that every 10th spin all but promises you a bunch of wilds gets you into a Pavlovian rhythm when spinning.
I played for about a half-hour at the dime level, getting a pair of jackpot spins and one set of free spins. All together, I won $1.40, but at a dime a spin, you’re not going to win or lose big.
It was a great time-passer, all in all, without risk of ruin at the price point.
I also just found out via Google that Maureen McCormick — the actor who played Marcia Brady — is 66 years old now. I need to lie down for a spell.