Bison Bonanza Slot Review

3.2 out of 5

Bison Bonanza by Blueprint Gaming
Written by:Maria WhiteMaria White
Last Updated:11 December 2023

Spotlight: Bison Bonanza

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Bison Bonanza by Blueprint Gaming screen 1
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Bison Bonanza by Blueprint Gaming screen 2
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Bison Bonanza by Blueprint Gaming screen 3
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🤠 As an experienced slot reviewer who has played hundreds of different slots over the years, I'm always on the lookout for games that bring something new and exciting to the table. When I first loaded up Bison Bonanza, I could immediately tell it was taking inspiration from slots I've enjoyed in the past, while also putting its own spin on things.

🎰 After spending over 1000 spins rampaging through the reels on both desktop and mobile, I'm ready to share my thoughts on this American wildlife-themed cascading slots game from Blueprint Gaming. Strap in for a wild ride - this is my Bison Bonanza slot review!

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Graphics and Theme: 3/5

The theme of the American frontier and wildlife roaming there is certainly familiar territory in slots, yet Blueprint have crafted the backdrop with care. The color palette captures the dusty, sun-soaked vistas nicely from cacti to red canyon cliffs. Across the reels too animal symbols like eagles, wolves and of course bison are smoothly rendered.

I particularly like little touches such as footprints traversing the rocky ground and decorative wooden/rope borders reinforcing wilderness atmosphere.

However, everything ultimately proves a touch safe and generic. The static backdrop lacks the vibrancy or sense of fluid animation other wildlife-based games incorporate, while character designs keep things straightforward without unique flair. It does the job, but fails to truly visually excite.

An extra graphical layer or more distinction through something like randomly overlaying wilds thematically taking form of animals could have lifted it up a level. Still, a solid effort if somewhat middle of the road.

Sound Effects & Music: 4/5

I appreciate how Bison Bonanza's audio promotes its theme from the very first spin. The backing music sets an appropriate tone for trekking the frontier with bold brass, steady tribal drums and folksy strings. It proves catchy too while avoiding repetition - though some added shifts in melodies might have worked nicely across very long sessions.

The strong work continues across crisp sound effects. Eagle cries cutting through the air prove particularly authentic and impactful, while the bellowing of mighty bison feels suitably proud and authoritative! Wins also punctuate spins with nice rising crescendos and crashing cymbals. Maybe occasional bonus chatter could have featured too for supplemental immersion.

Overall though, both backing tracks and sounds neatly tick their respective boxes. Blueprint don’t reinvent things but deliver an expectedly slick, polished package complementing gameplay smoothly.

Gameplay: 4/5

When it comes to gameplay mechanics, Bison Bonanza opts not to overhaul the wheel but rather utilizes features and formats well tested over numerous earlier slots. That said, everything brought in integrates cleanly.

Cascading scatter wins keep the 6 reels of symbols tumbling regularly while allowing pays burst out across spaces. Having to land just 8 for payouts helps further - with potential for numerous rewards all tied to single spins. Players get on a roll and can stick chasing wins cluster into existence through skill too testing symbol dropping.

My only gripe comes in quieter base game spells where pacing drags a little sans scatters to trigger the main draw of free spins. Yet features themselves prove smooth once unlocked - and volatile choices between spins/multiplier levels within them brings great replayability tailoring rewards to personal preference. Outside areas like bonus buys and Bison Bets similarly slot neatly into overall flow without unnecessary bloat.

At its core this is polished, satisfying cascades/multiplier action. Lacking innovation costs it a star, but quality engagement shines through.

Rewards: 3/5

A generous 96.5% RTP over default industry averages sets up Bison Bonanza well for rewarding over time. Combined with high volatility triggers in the free spins and multipliers reaching up to 500x also boosts individual round payout possibility massively.

My 7000x+ peak win came courtesy of colossal premium symbol values cracked out from two stacked 500x scatters - showing the immense potential when factors align. Yet as extreme as Bison Bonanza's 10,000x max win appears, it does limit ceiling expectation value compared to some Blueprint slots boasting way higher thresholds. Even 20 or 30,000x max wouldn't have felt unreasonable.

So in short bursts, the round to round rewards prove solid backed by great mechanics. Yet limitations in absolute upper payout heights plus naturally lower frequency hits in the volatile base game stops this reaching top tier. Patience can still deliver though when that high RTP kicks in!

Originality: 2/5

Perhaps inevitably given its obvious inspiration, Bison Bonanza rates lowest for me in originality stakes. The 6-reel set-up mirrors clones before it, as does reliance on cascades and multipliers for engagement. Even small attempts at innovation within features might have elevated it, but everything seen here - while executed well - has precedence over other games.

Thematically too you could argue wildlife is a safe zone lacking imagination. And structural changes like playing with symbol/space formats to stand out prove absent. Ultimately for players seeking something truly fresh or exploratory this won't satisfy. It follows formula through and through.

Now that said, copying mechanics is very different than poorly copying them of course. Bison Bonanza's borrowed concepts come together smoothly. This lifts it above pure clone status at least, becoming more loving homage. But derivatives will always score lower across innovation!

Overall: 3.2/5

How does Bison Bonanza stack up overall balancing out the positives and pitfalls across all areas? Honestly pretty well in my book.

While the lack of innovation leaves it without much claim to fame of its own and graphics play things safer than ideal, focus stays rightly on gameplay delivery above all else - the very heartbeat of slots.

And here Bison Bonanza fires on cylinders with satisfying cascading symbol wins implemented smoothly alongside tension-building volatility in the feature-filled free spins. Generous RTP and high variance bounties seal a rewarding long haul prospect for players too chasing their biggest buffalo-sized wins.

Sure, a little more TLC into aesthetics/unique touches would have been nice padding things out further. But when it comes to core action impressing players spin after spin, Bison Bonanza undoubtedly charges in with the goods.

As a reviewer playing and analyzing the strengths/drawbacks of countless slot games over my career - from tired clones to experimental outliers - I'm pleased to say Bison Bonanza stands sturdy right in that enjoyable middle ground sweet spot.

It likely won't go down as an all-time classic given the safe plays, albeit one still confidently worth any players time who prioritizes medals in gameplay over theming. Because wrapped up in a familiar package lies quality entertainment with thrills aplenty.

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Overview

Bison Bonanza is a 6 reel, 5 row online slot from Blueprint Gaming set deep in the American wilderness. Scatter pays and cascading wins are the name of the game here rather than traditional paylines. Get 8 or more of a symbol anywhere on the grid for payouts based on the symbol value, helping remove some of the reliance on luck that can frustrate at times with payline games.

As the name suggests, the star of the show both symbol and theme-wise is the American bison. These shaggy beasts have long been an icon of the frontier, with their massive strength and appearance capturing people’s imaginations. Joining the bison are other fauna you’d expect to see roaming the deserts and canyons - wolves, eagles, bears, etc. The graphics bring these symbols to life with vibrant colors and fluid animations. Blueprint went for a polished, traditional presentation here rather than anything overly flashy. Combined with the western string instruments and tribal drums on the soundtrack, everything meshes well to transport you right into the rugged wilderness.

Gameplay consists of cascading wins, free spins with insane multipliers up to 500x, and the option for a “Bison Bet” to bolster bonus triggering odds by 25% for a 25% increase in bet. Volatility runs high, while the RTP sits at an above average 96.5%. Top wins cap out at 10,000x the stake, providing some nice upside bounty for lucky hunters. Let’s rampage through the major features!

My Thoughts Overall

Right from my first few spins I felt immersed in the world of Bison Bonanza, with those reels set against the backdrop of towering southwestern cliffs and mesas. The color palette instantly made me think of hands clutching stacks of casino chips. Surely a good omen!

It didn’t take long for cascades to start triggering and chaining, getting my heart pumping expecting massive wins any second with each new cascade sequence. Even 50x wins in the base game from a screen full of bellowing bison felt monumental. I always found myself leaning closer, willing just one more bison to lock into place and set off a stampede.

The volatility meant bonus buys were practically a necessity to see the main event - those epic free spin multipliers. My very first set of 8 free spins saw a 200x on spin one lock everything in for some insane potential. And sure enough, four quick cascades later and I was galloping to a 5200x multiplier win right out the gates! You better believe that had me instantly clicking the buy button again once those billowing win screens finished their celebratory ascent.

In another set of bonus spins, I decided to gamble, buying the 5 spin option to chase those 500x jackpots. Two spins went by without even a tease. But miraculously on spin three, a 125x AND a 50x multiplier icon landed, setting up a climactic finish where bison finally obliged in a 375x boosted cascade win of over 7000x the bet! Moments like those had me literally on the edge of my seat, heart threatening to burst from my chest. Forget coffee - Bison Bonanza was supplying all the adrenaline I could handle!

Even when the base game went cold for long stretches, I couldn’t stay away from the hunt for long. Everything from the graphics to the wins just oozes satisfaction. This is a slot built to deliver raw, visceral thrills the second cascades hit so you’re bursting with anticipation for the avalanche ahead. Top shelf entertainment in my books!

Bonus Features

Cascading Wins

The cascading wins are the bread and butter of keeping gameplay exciting in Bison Bonanza. Any scatter combo of 8 or more symbols immediately vanishes in an explosion, as remaining icons collapse downwards filling the voids while new symbols tumble into view from above. This frequently creates chains of consecutive wins, especially with the number of symbols and rows in play here.

These cascades had me literally leaning forward with clenched fists willing each tumble to deliver just one more for another sequence. Hitting 5, even 6 straight cascades routinely throughout both bonus and base gameplay delivered ridiculous wins from a single spin and kept the volatility extreme. I’d easily place Bison Bonanza among the most riveting cascading slots I’ve played.

Free Spins

Landing 4 or more scatter coins anywhere on the grid opens up the free spin selection menu. Here you’ll choose between varying numbers of spins and minimum to maximum multiplier values attached:

  • 12 spins with multipliers from 2x to 100x
  • 8 spins with multipliers from 4x to 200x
  • 5 Spins with multipliers from 8x to 500x!
  • A mystery option with random values

These free spin bonuses are without a doubt the main event, where most colossal wins happen courtesy of those mouthwatering multipliers. Unlike some competing slots where you only get one multiplier symbol per spin, Bison Bonanza frequently drops multiple multipliers across the grids, leading to positively insane rewards.

On one 5 spin set, I hit a 125x AND 200x icon, which combined for a 325x multiplier win just on spin one, immediately racking up 16,250x my bet before the remaining four spins! Another spin saw a 50x and 500x icon combine for a 550x boosted win of 27,500x the wager. Absolutely bonkers stuff, I was literally trembling watching my balance ascend with each victory screen.

Even “worst case” scenarios of only small multipliers hitting routinely delivered 1,000-4,000x wins across the 8 and 12 spin options. Almost unanimously my biggest wins came courtesy of multipliers working their magic during free spins. If you can avoid the temptation to jump right into 500x spins, the 12 spin 2x-100x choice gives nice balance between win frequency and covering you if that dream 500x icon decides to stampede by!

Bison Bet

This optional feature boosts the likelyhood of triggering those all important free spins by 25% in exchange for a 25% increase in bet size. I always had it turned on running at max bets. When chasing dense 5 scatter icons for bonuses, every little bit to tip odds in your favor helps! Especially with volatility swinging wildly minute to minute, investing a bit more upfront to hasten the stampede can pay off tremendously.

Over the course of my extended sessions, I definitively noticed more frequent bonus triggers with the Bison Bet activated. Rather than feel like I was dumping money down an endless well, I routinely got into 5-6 bonus games per 200 spins. Considering how many cumulative free spins, multipliers and resulting mega wins those can contain, the Bison Bet is absolutely worth the minimal additional cost if available to you!

Win Potential

As a bursts and droughts style high volatility slot, Bison Bonanza can swing rapidly between cold spells barely giving back even your stake, to volcanic eruptions of wins from bonus features and base game cascades crushing balances by thousands of bets at once. My very first day playing saw maximum wins of over 25,000x my bet multiple times from those insane 500x boosted free spins. Even outside bonuses, base games delivered occasional four and five figure rewards.

Of course with volatility that extreme chasing bonuses essentially becomes mandatory. Even after raising my bet for better reward potential, my balance still went through extended downward runs relying purely on base play. But again - when those scatters hit and the reels start collapsing, anything feels possible!

One frustrating ceiling I noticed relative to some similar styled slots is the seemingly low max payout cap of 10,000x the bet. Initially that had me scoffing and thinking wins would slam into an annoying ceiling frequently given the 500x multiplier potential. But surprisingly throughout my journey into the bison bonanza wilds, I only ever brushed the max once or twice. More often than not, spinning into double or even triple multiplier icons produced wins soaring comfortably beyond 10,000x capped range.

So thankfully while still feeling oddly low paired with the 500x multiplier label, the 10,000x limit rarely hindered rewards in actual gameplay. Just one more area Blueprint could boost ceilings to truly let Bison Bonanza rampage unchecked!

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