Balloonies Slot Machine Review

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Balloonies is a fun-filled, balloon-themed slot game by the gaming company International Game Technology (IGT). The game features transparent reels and helium-filled balloons shaped like several symbols and animals. Instead of the traditional spinning, the balloons rise into the sky against a cloud backdrop and fill positions before popping.

Balloonies has been available on mobile and desktop since 2014. You can play for real money or for free instantly without installing anything. The game may seem cartoonish, but the slot incorporates its theme perfectly and offers some serious payouts.

Game manufacturer:IGT
Number of paylines:20
Game theme:Cartoon, Fantasy
RTP:92.4% to 96.23%
Reels:Five
Min/Max bet:$20/$1,000
Progressive jackpot:No
Regular jackpots:0
Maximum jackpot win:$50,000
Free spins:Yes, four to 14

Themes and visuals

Balloonies features a playful theme and a sky-blue background coupled with colorful inflated animals and symbols with different shapes.

You are first greeted by a cartoon character that “balloons” (expands and shrinks). Before playing, you must select your line bet and play options and whether you’d prefer to play with or without sound. For those used to traditional slots, don’t bother looking for reels in Balloonies; they are transparent.

Instead of spinning wheels, the balloon animals and symbols rise up from the bottom and fill up the 5×3 console. After a winning spin, successful symbols burst with a signature “pop” indistinguishable from that of a real balloon. They are replaced by balloon symbols directly below.

Balloonies has an assortment of elephants, giraffes, monkeys, a blue alien, and a hedgehog as well as queen, ace, and king playing cards. The game also features star-like multipliers that boost wins and a bonus feature offering free spins.

Balloonies’ themes and visuals offer an exciting way to play slots, especially when coupled with the sound effects and music that changes with gaming actions like spins, or when certain milestones are achieved.

Betting options & playing combinationsBalloonies interface

Balloonies has five reels, and betting is fixed – 20 paylines for 20 coins. The video slot has a minimum wager of $20 and a maximum wager of $1,000, which is ideal for both low-stakes and high-stakes players. The game’s maximum payout is $50,000. The return-to-player (RTP) is 92.4% to 96.23%, meaning players get paid back over 96% of total bets over time. High-stakes players enjoy a higher RTP.

What about the jackpots?

At higher levels, Balloonies’ jackpot offers 1000x the line bet. This is a good award for low-stakes players, as well.

Additional features and bonus rounds

Balloonies offers above-average bonuses compared to most video slot games today.

1. Floating reels

Every time you get a winning combination, that combination pops, disappears, and gets replaced by a new one, offering you possibilities for more wins. This floating reels bonus feature continues throughout the game until no more wins can be formed.

2. Star multiplier

Balloonies has a scatter symbol in the form of a yellow star that appears on reels one, two, and three. The yellow star boosts your winnings by awarding cash prizes that double your line bet.

The star multiplier also adds a multiplier (two, three, or five times) to the next float. Star multipliers add together if there is more than one yellow star. This bonus feature offers you an opportunity to win big when combined with winning combos.

3. Free spinsBalloonies paytable 1

This bonus appears on reels one, two, and three only. If you land the balloon bonus symbol there, the free spins feature is triggered. One of the balloons must be popped to determine the number of free spins, which ranges from four to 14. You can’t get more spins in this round, but star multipliers tend to appear regularly, resulting in big wins.

4. Wild symbol

Gerry the Giraffe, Ernie the Elephant, and Mia the Monkey can earn you up to 300x, 400x, and 500x the line bet, respectively. Henry the Hedgehog can appear on reels two, three, and four. When this happens, he may pop other Balloonies, which is a good thing because it acts as a wild symbol, allowing more winning paylines.

Who is this game ideal for?

Although Balloonies has a cartoonish theme, it surprisingly appeals to all kinds of slot players. While traditional slot players aren’t too concerned with how slot games are presented, they would definitely be interested in the payout rates, bonuses, and the frequency of decent wins.

Balloonies appeals to both low- and high-stakes players given the star multipliers and wide betting range that allows bets ranging from 20 to 1000 for a single spin. If you are searching for a well-designed slot with a silly theme and decent odds, look no further.

Similar gamesBalloonies paytable 2

Some similar IGT games include Balloonies Farm and Bubble Craze. Balloonies Farm is almost identical to Balloonies. Balloonies Farm is set on a farm and features farm animals like sheep, cows, and pigs as opposed to the wild animals in Balloonies. The game is similar in every other regard, including reels, paylines, star multipliers, and free spins.

Like Balloonies, Bubble Craze also features transparent reels. The bubbles also rise from the bottom and pop, as with Balloonies’ symbols and animals. The game offers the same kind of fun visuals and rewards like free spins and multipliers.

What’s hot?

Visuals and attention to detail: Balloonies grabs your attention instantly with colorful, fun visuals and unmistaken attention to detail. The sight of balloon animals and symbols popping to release rewards is a rare treat for slot players tired of traditional video slot games.

IGT also went to great lengths to offer amazing details. For instance, the balloon animals blink periodically, accompanied by a matching sound. The symbols are also modeled accurately to match the theme.

Incredible bonuses: The star multiplier is a fantastic addition to the game because you don’t have to get a winning payline to enjoy rewards. What’s more, the star multiplier can increase mundane winnings to a massive payout if you get lucky with floating reels, or if you trigger other scatter multipliers when a new balloon symbol appears.

Decent odds: It’s easy to get free spins when playing Balloonies. When you do, you enjoy a decent payout, unlike traditional slots. The RTP averaging 96% or more for high-stakes players means that players are the ultimate winners in this slot game.

Fun rewards: Balloonies caters to both low and high bets, making the game enjoyable to all. Slot players who don’t care about visuals are bound to be drawn by the incredible odds and bonuses.

What’s Not?Balloonies free spins

Cartoonish theme: The balloon theme may turn off “serious” slot players at first glance, though there is nothing silly about the above-average odds.

Variable RTP: The RTP is 92.4% to 96.23%. High-stakes players enjoy a much higher RTP. A fixed RTP for all, regardless of the stakes, would be better.

Small base wins: Low symbols attract wins that are lower than your wager. Although the multiplier scatter appears often and boosts small base wins, the overall reward may not be as attractive.

Lacks in customization: Balloonies has very little customizable features, which is surprising for a modern video slot game. This is a big deal for players looking for a personal touch.

Final Rating

  • Graphics and design – 3/5: Visually, Balloonies has an exciting feel – the game’s graphics and design stand out. Balloonies isn’t your ordinary video slot game. IGT deserves some accolades for a fun and exciting reinvention of traditional slot game features; however, the balloon theme may not be for everyone. While IGT must have had a target audience in mind, they also accommodated what matters to a slot player.
  • Sound effects – 3/5: Balloonies’ sound effects go perfectly with the in-game experience. You also get to choose whether to play with or without sound. However, the effects lack in variety.
  • Jackpot value – 2/5: At 1000 times your line bet, you clearly get a decent jackpot value. However, you are more likely to enjoy multiplier bonuses and regular small wins than to win the jackpot. When you consider the variable RTP, it’s easy to see why the jackpot value scores a low rating.
  • Replay value – 4/5: Balloonies is undoubtedly enjoyable to play. Although slots can tend to be monotonous, you won’t get tired replaying Balloonies because of the incredible graphics and design, as well as the regular winnings.