It is a very rare scenario that a sequel is more attractive than the original. But with Buffalo Gold, Aristocrat succeeded in making it happen. It’s a lesson in how to take a time-honored mechanic and develop it, and in a sense, the sequels that are being released for many games today take a page from how this game has developed, including its own recently released sequel, Buffalo. Golden Revolution.
In today’s post, I’ll talk about the game and what it has done to become a strong successor to the original Buffalo. It’s a carefully crafted balance of volatility and stunning line coincidences that make it the game that many are looking for years after its release.
Understanding the game
Like its predecessor, Buffalo, this is a 5×4 reel game. The stake has been increased from 40 cents on the original to 60 cents, mainly to accommodate improvements made to make this game standalone.
The game, like its predecessor, has a payout format in all directions and stacked symbols. A new feature of the base game is that jokers have a 2x or 3x multiplier, which was limited to the free spins bonus area in the earlier Buffalo.
Buffaloes pay if they appear on the first two reels or further on adjacent reels; 5 unique hits on the buffalo will pay off 5 times. Stacked wild symbols and multipliers can quickly increase payouts.
This is one of the attractive features of the game – it can provide some consistent hits even outside of the bonus, and with the addition of multipliers to the main game, it can be even more addictive.
More than half of the Buffalo Gold games I’ve seen don’t give you the choice to activate the gold feature or not, but some, especially in markets like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, do. Disabling the gold feature makes the game feel like the classic Buffalo. But that also means you are missing out on the fun part, the golden free spins bonus.
In the bonus, jokers are multiplied by 2 or 3 times, just like in the original Buffalo game. Combined with the stacked symbols and payout format across the board, this can lead to impressive line wins even at small bets.
The secret sauce for Buffalo Gold in the bonus is a collection of gold heads called the Gold Bonus; there are 15 heads in total, but as you collect more heads you change some of the other animal symbols to buffaloes:
- The eagles change after you collect 4 gold heads.
- Cougars change after you collect 7 gold heads.
- The wolves change after you collect 13 gold heads.
- And finally, a change of moose after you have collected 15 gold heads.
The first two occur quite often as part of the usual bonus, but the other two are more difficult and require much more repeated procs. Chasing 15 Golden Heads and joining the 15 Golden Heads Club is one of the goals that many players have set themselves, who have not yet done so.
So in the process of adding some volatility to the bonus, they created a rare scenario in which many players will play frequently to try and achieve it. This is an incredibly clever additional mechanic, and while it costs more to have it in the base game, it adds a significant improvement that makes the bonus even more fun.