Under the Radar: Hong Kong Tower by Elk Studios
If our memories serve us right (that’s certainly not a given) we think (don’t quote us on that) that the Hong Kong Tower slot (yes, its name we’re sure about) is the first-ever mobile slot taking place in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a fascinating place. Its name translates as ‘fragrant harbour’ and it’s a hotbed for international trading, Financial institutions and tourism. But one aspect of it rarely talked about is its obsession with food.
With one restaurant per 300 people it boasts one of the highest per-capita concentrations of cafes and restaurants anywhere in the world, also possessing several Michelin-starred restaurants. One of Hong Kong’s specialties is Poon Choi, a meal made with 10 different layers of ingredients that’s enough to feed 10-12 people.
Or just about enough to feed our LeoVegas colleague Sam if he’s feeling particularly peckish. We love Sam and don’t care if he’s a couple of kilos overweight. But just recently he’s got a little too sensitive about it. This is what he got really annoyed about just last week.
‘I queued for half an hour at the chemist. I finally got to the counter and the woman looked at me and said ‘I’m really sorry about the wait’
Fuming and highly irritated I said ‘You’re not particularly skinny yourself.’
See what we mean?
But let’s find out if the Hong Kong Tower slot is like a delicious dish we can’t wait to tuck into or the slot equivalent of an abandoned and isolated Brussel sprout at a buffet.
Hong Tower slot has a 301k credit Jackpot
The problem with all these constant changes in technology is that certain expressions come out of use. For example, it’s a little unfashionable these days to say ‘we don’t want to sound like a broken record’.
Only the most hardcore hipsters of all still listen to Vinyl.
But we’re going to use it anyway.
We don’t mean to sound like a broken record but… Elk Studios really are a favourite amongst us, making some of the best slots we’ve had the privilege to play over the last year or so. Wild Toro kept us highly entertained for hours and Sam on the Beach combined endless fun features with an ample dose of comedy. And even though it wasn’t the feature of one of our slot reviews, Taco Brothers (speaking of food) was another gem made by this highly creative, innovative and fun-loving makers of slots.
The Hong Tower casino slot isn’t a Progressive Jackpot slot but when the biggest win you can secure is a Jackpot of 301, 650 credits, then you won’t be so fussed about the fact it’s not technically a Progressive game. As we’ll see in a bit, that can be secured during the Hong Kong Tower bonus game.
Given that Hong Kong produces a chunky proportion of mobile phones used around the world, it’s somewhat appropriate that this slot is brilliant on mobile. In fact, we’d go as far as saying that because of the types of graphics Elk slots have, how they look and the mechanics of their bonus rounds, Elk games are amongst the very best to play on mobile.
Beautiful graphics, in-built staking strategies
Despite the fact that the slot is called Hong Kong Tower, the Tower only really plays a part during the trailer and the bonus round. Meaning it’s fair to say that the Hong Tower slot is actually more to do with Hong Kong itself and its Chinese connections and culture, than it is the Tower. And the game’s symbols certainly back that up.
There’s a Bonsai Tree, a beautiful purple Chinese flower, symbols representing earth, wind and fire, a couple of more generic symbols and a diamond. The only thing more Chinese than the Yin and Yang symbol is arguably the Great Wall of China so it’s no surprise that’s the symbol that’s the Bonus symbol of the game. Or Scatter, if you prefer.
The game’s logo is the Wild. And not just any Wild, as we’ll soon find out.
As we’ve come to expect from Elk, the graphics are truly beautiful. There’s a very distinctive style to how everything’s drawn and as is so often the case with their slots, they’re filled with bright colours and cool lights. And in some slots, a winning spin looks very similar to a non-winning one but here there’s no doubt you’ve secured a win: there are thick, shiny lines going through all the symbols and the total of your win is displayed in big orange letters.
When reviewing Sam on the Beach we decided to talk about the in-built betting strategies in the features section but on second thought, it’s actually better to include it here, seeing as it’s part of the slot as a whole.
Click on the icon that looks like two stacks of coins with a + next to it. It will display four different staking strategies: Optimizer, Leveller, Booster and Jumper. They’re just different ways of automatically adjusting the size of your stake based on what’s happened. One tries to strike while the iron is hot so you bet more when you’re on a winning run, another adapts the size of your bet based on your current balance. Have a browse to see what the others do.
We’d probably need to play the Hong Tower slot for a full day to really have a good picture regarding whether one of the strategies is any better than the others and that’s just too long. Like an X-Factor Judge, we simply can’t show any bias towards one slot over another by playing it for that long.
You can of course just forget about all that entirely and adjust your stake manually as you please when you see fit. Either way, this unique characteristic, whether it works or not, is proof that Elk like to think outside the box and try to make their own mark on the slots landscape.
Wheels of the Sky feature is where the real money’s at
Irrespective of the staking strategies, this is actually a simple game so it shouldn’t take you long to learn how to play the Hong Kong Tower slot. Here’s what you need to know.
If we were to keep things simple, we’d just say it was the Wild in the game. But it actually works a little different to normal. If the Hong Kong Tower symbol appears on the reels, it will spin round a few times before deciding what to turn itself into. It can transform itself into any of the existing symbols present on the reels. What’s cool about it is that there could be several of them on the reels at any given time; not just 1 or 2 like you’d get in most slots.
Wheels of the Sky Bonus Feature
So this is where you get to see the Hong Tower itself and the magic paintbrush of the Elk Studio designers has made this a sight for sore eyes. You really do feel like you’re in the penthouse of one of the world’s tallest buildings with one of the buzziest places in the world right below you.
You activate this Hong Kong Tower slot feature by getting three or more red Bonus Ying or Yang symbols or alternatively, just one blue Mystery Bonus symbol anywhere on the reels. If you get the latter, you’ll automatically start with two extra lives. Alternatively, if you get four Bonus symbols you’ll start with one extra life and five bonus symbols gets you two extra lives.
There are three wheels here; the last one is unsurprisingly the most valuable. On the first and second wheels one of three things will happen when you spin. You’ll either win a cash prize, hit the ‘Level up’ arrow and move to the next wheel or find the wheel section.
That’s the one you don’t want. Your extra lives (if you have them) will bail you out and give you another chance. If you don’t have any left, that’s your lot.
Getting to the final wheel is where you can secure those huge wins. So similar to the bonus round in Wheel of Fortune.
Elk have delighted us again
Rather like movies with Jennifer Lawrence and meals at Pizza Express, Elk never disappoint us. This slot is beautifully designed with an original theme and everything about it looks modern, colourful, vibrant and exciting.
You should however be aware that this is a highly volatile slot. Getting to the Wheels of the Sky Bonus Feature can see you handsomely rewarded like a Hong Kong-based investment banker but it’s not so easy to get there. So you might need a decent-sized bank before you activate the feature for the first time. But all in all, this is a top quality slot.
To Play Hong Kong Tower for real money, you’ll first need to open an account. How long will it take? About the same amount of time as choosing your pizza at Pizza Express.