On the reels of this Konami slot, you will find a lady with eyes shielded by a wide-brimmed hat. It is never quite explained whether she is a secret agent. China Mystery has other Asian symbols which are more traditional. They include a glowing golden turtle, a traditional lamp, and an ornate purple vase.
China Mystery slots have all the familiar touches of Konami slot games. The sound effects and setup will be instantly familiar if you have ever played China Shores, Dragon’s Law, or the Great Moa. Action stacked symbols are in use. This means your biggest wins come from spins where you cover a lot of reels with the same symbol.
This game gives you a shot at winning hundreds of free spins at once. You get up to fifteen spins for every active win line showing the coin bonus symbols. You get to choose to take your spins, or gamble for a credit prize instead.
What will you play next?
China Mystery: which symbols will be action stacked?
Konami uses ‘Action Stacked Symbols’ on most of their slots. This system makes one symbol (picked at random) dominant each time you hit the spin button. It works by having long strips on all reels as blanks until you hit spin. The random symbol then fills the blanks. You can easily see the effect – each spin sees one symbol more dominant than the others.
Wilds (the mysterious lady), bonus coins and high-paying unique symbols can all become action stacked. It is possible to cover all five reels in the same symbol – creating maximum wins overall thirty win-lines at once.
Free spins are calculated per line
You need to hit three of the coin symbols on an active win-line from the left to trigger the main bonus feature. This is a different system than found on most slots, where scatter bonus symbols are used.
Also different is that you get eight, twelve or fifteen free spins for each active win-line you connect with the bonus symbols (for three, four or five). If you are lucky enough to pick the gold coins as your Action Stacked Symbols, then you could trigger a huge number of free spins at once.
Before you get to your spins a screen showing the classic ‘justice’ scales appears. You are offered the chance to continue with your spins by clicking the button on the left. If you prefer or are short on time, you can take a random credit win instead. This is based on the number of free spins you won. You will see the minimum and maximum amounts listed.
This ‘Balance of Fortune’ offer continues while you still have twenty or more spins remaining. You will see the icon to the top left of the reels. This becomes inactive if you go below twenty spins.
Free spins are at the same bet level as the triggering spin. You can retrigger for more spins. As a significant booster – all wins are doubled compared to the paytable during your bonus.
Setup: how China Mystery slots work
Konami opted for a clear and simple setup for their China Mystery online slots. There is a 5×3 reel grid, and thirty fixed win-lines are used. You can spin from 30c and up, with a multiplier of coins bet per line available, along with max bet and auto-spin. There is a useful turbo mode, plus the ability to toggle the sound on and off.
The mysterious lady is a wild symbol. This only appears on the last four reels, and so will not be able to create wins. This lady will substitute for all the other symbols – including the gold coin bonus symbols.
Gold writing on a red background may unravel the mystery of this game. Even if you can’t reach Chinese characters, you will enjoy the 1000 coins per line top prize for five of a kind. This, along with the coin symbol, pays for just two from the left. The other symbols (turtle, vase, lantern and playing cards) require a minimum of three to trigger a prize.
Golden dragons: China Mystery slot design
This slot is enjoyable, despite the graphics being at least a decade behind current graphic design technology. It is plain and simple, with few animations and a lack of detail. When you win with the lady, she will appear to turn around, cape flowing behind her.
On top of the reels are a pair of golden dragons, facing inwards towards the green logo. The symbols spin over a pale green patterned background. When you hit the free spins bonus, the background becomes dark. Sound effects are all used on other Konami slots, from the clicks of reels stopping to the tune for big wins.
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Wrapping up: will you uncover the secret behind China Mystery?
If you have not played Konami slots before, then this game will showcase much of the gameplay that makes their titles so popular. You have the Action Stacked Symbols. These make it possible to win across all thirty lines in a single spin. The balance of fortune option is also used elsewhere. This lets you choose credit wins instead of the free spins bonus. While volatile, games like China Mystery are solid and enjoyable – with every chance of hitting a huge winning spin.
Konami slots are often found in cabinets that let you select from several different titles. You will find Konami games in mid-sized and above casinos in Canada. Check it out next time you visit the Hard Rock Casino in BC or the Century Downs Racetrack in Alberta.