Gung Pow is a bastardised English translation of the Chinese word bianpao, meaning firecracker, and a play on the English word gunpowder. It is also the name of a slots title from Microgaming, designed with fans of Chinese New Year celebrations in mind. Typical Chinese music plays in the background as fireworks explode, and the five reels hanging against a midnight-blue sky are black, to show off the title’s vibrant colours better.
Apart from that, Gung Pow doesn’t present any story or quest. The player is simply trying to score matching symbols in succession. There are no pay lines, however. Instead, Microgaming’s 243 Ways system is in place: any matching symbols anywhere on adjacent reels count towards a winning combination, as long they start on Reel 1 and continue consecutively across the reels. Some symbols score prizes for two of a kind, but most require matches of three or better.
Base Play Uses 12 Symbols
The six poker symbols used in Gung Pow, from 9 to A, are drawn in the faux-Chinese script familiar from take-away menus. All these low-value symbols require three of a kind or better to win prizes. The top prize among these symbols goes to five A on one pay line: it’s worth 2,000.00 if the player is betting a total of 250.00 per spin. The Gung Pow logo is the Wild symbol, appearing only on Reels 2 and 4.
The higher-value symbols all deal with lights in the sky, most of them firecrackers. In increasing order of value, they are a string of squibs, a trio of sparklers, a Chinese paper lantern, a box of thunder flashes and a trio of colourful rockets. The rockets and thunder flashes begin winning prizes at two matches, and the rockets win the biggest prize in base play: 30,000.00 for five of a kind, based on a 250.00 total bet.
Scatter Serves Dual Role
A familiar lucky Chinese coin with a hole in the centre is the Gung Pow Scatter symbol. Two or more Scatters anywhere on the reels wins the player a multiplier of the total spin bet; in varying increments from 1X for two Scatters to 100X for five of them.
Three or more Scatters, apart from winning the player a bet multiplier, also trigger a round of 15 free spins. All wins during the free spins are trebled; meaning a player betting 250.00 can win a maximum of 90,000.00 on one spin. Another three or more Scatters during free spins also retrigger the round, giving the player 15 more free spins, and the round can be retriggered indefinitely.
Gamble Feature Included
Like many Microgaming Canadian popular online slots titles, Gung Pow features a Gamble button. This will only appear after a winning spin, and it gives the player a chance to risk double-or-nothing by guessing a card colour. If they guess right, the win is doubled, and they can gamble any single win up to five times. If at any point they guess wrong, of course, they forfeit the original win. It isn’t wise to gamble big wins, but the Gamble feature can help players increase their smaller prizes; for example, any prizes that win less than the original total bet.