Under the Radar: Sakura Fortune by Quickspin
When we discovered the Sakura Fortune slot was next on our Under the Radar schedule for slot reviews, it instantly got us stomping on the well-trodden path of ‘what would you do if you won a fortune?’
‘I’d buy Manchester United FC and appoint myself Chairman’ (Tom)
‘Go travelling round the world in luxury yachts and private jets till the cash ran out.’ (Emma)
‘Buy a mansion in Beverley Hill and throw the sickest house-warming party ever.’ (Luke)
‘Purchase a diamond so big it hurt people’s eyes when they looked directly at it.’ (Lucy)
‘Invest some of it in Government premium bonds, purchase real estate in up-and-coming residential areas, put a good chunk in guaranteed albeit low-interest savings accounts and buy a varied portfolio of investment funds mixed between safer European-based options and somewhat more volatile Far Easter opportunities.’ (Jason).
Geez, spot the Economics Graduate who goes out of his way to take the element of fun and risk out of anything. Hardly the first name on our invitee’s list the next time we throw a party within the LeoVegas Blog team.
But let’s move away from far too sensible ways to spend a fortune and towards the Sakura Fortune video slot.
Sakura Fortune boasts Quickspin’s magic touch
Quickspin are big believers in the ‘less is more’ way of working. To date they’ve only made 20 mobile slots, though according to their website, they’re going to release 10 more this year.
They’re something of a boutique maker of slots. Think of it this way. If Microgaming or NetEnt made cakes, biscuits or doughnuts they’d be Krispy Crème or Cadbury’s, providing lots of varieties of their product which they’d make available to as many fans of baked goods as possible.
Quickspin would be a tiny little tea room-come-bakery making beautiful hand-made macaroons and Amaretti biscuits to a select few discerning customers.
Their slots Phoenix Sun and Leprachaun Hills have already featured in Under the Radar on the LeoVegas Blog and we’re also big fans of the likes of Three Musketeers, all beautifully designed mobile slots with Quickspin’s superbly crafted artwork and fun-to-play features. Some of the best slots we’ve played recently are theirs and Quickspin are certainly going places quickly.
It’s not a progressive Jackpot slot- how much you can win on the Jackpot is a constant number not affected by how much other players add to the Jackpot – but there is a Jackpot to be won to the tune of 1,087 times (no, we don’t know how they come up with these random numbers either) your stake.
Chinese-themed games are two-a-penny with former Under the Radar entries Gong Xi Fa Cai and 1421 Voyages of Zheng He just two of the many available ones. The jury is still out as to whether Astro Cat is Chinese or Japanese-themed. Japanese-themed slots are far rarer with only the sumptuous Koi Princess being one of the few high-profile ones from amongst new online slot releases.
It’s Japanese-themed through and through…
It’s a 5-reel slot with 40 paylines and if you’ve been reading what we’ve said so far, it should come as no surprise to you that the graphics are simply stunning.
There are low-value symbols in the form of gold and silver coins (not dissimilar to those in Gong Xi Fa Cai) and some Sakura trees, or Cherry Blossom… if your Japanese is a little rusty these days.
Then there are a couple of Japanese ornaments in the form of a golden dragon statue and a weird little green creature that looks pretty mean. The sort of guy who would ask to take a sip of your Dry Martini and eat the one and only olive in it without apologizing.
Then there are two Japanese guys who look like they might be baddies (evil Wizards maybe?), one quite young, the other older with one of those brilliant long beards that grow all around your mouth. The last (but one) character is a lady wearing a wonderful headgear who just looks a little disillusioned with life. Like it rained on her wedding day or they stopped stocking her favourite flavor of tea at the local grocery store.
Last but one because we couldn’t of course forget about the beautiful Princess. She reminds us a bit of a much taller Lucy Liu and has a Samurai sword that wouldn’t look out of place in that ill-fated scene in Pulp Fiction where Bruce Willis tries out a whole arsenal of deadly weapons before settling on the sword. You know the one.
In the Sakura Fortune slot, she can appear on Reels 2, 3 and 4 and she’s the Wild, substituting for all symbols. Except she’s also the Scatter, because if you get two of her as a Stacked Wild she’ll instigate a free re-spin. We’ll talk about those in a second.
Finally, there’s the main Scatter symbol. It’s a Japanese-style fan with Bonus written on it.
There’s some Japanese-themed music playing in the background as you spin but that should come to you as much of a surprise as the hearing that Coldplay’s Chris Martin has several mirrors and posters of himself in his bedroom.
The slot is available on desktop and mobile. To enjoy at its fullest head to Japan and play it there. Failing that, Google the nearest Japanese Garden in town, sit down amongst the manicured grass and pebbles and immerse yourself in the garden’s Zen-like vibe while you play this wonderful game.
A little help from the Mystery Nudge feature
Shall we go through how to play Sakura Fortune in terms of its features? Let’s do it.
Sakura Fortune re-spin feature
Two full stacks of the Princess Wild symbol anywhere on the reels and you trigger the above feature. The norm is to get two re-spins (given there were two stacked Wilds) but you can get more if extra Wilds appear during the re-spins. You can also activate the free spins during the re-spins. The feature ends when you’ve had your re-spins without further Wilds appearing.
Lots of slots have the re-spins feature but a good example is Sam on the Beach. A quick reminder that the difference between free spins and re-spins are that in re-spins the symbols that activated them staying in the same position during the re-spins. In free spins all symbols spin again.
Mystery Nudge Feature
Reminiscent of how nudges work on old-school English fruit machines (with the difference being that here they’re always automatic rather than manually controlled by the player), sometimes the Stacked Wild symbol of the Princess can end up occupying the whole reel even if it didn’t to start with.
The game itself decides if it’s going to do that when it only partially covers the reels to start with…or not. In which case it’s a case of ‘Close but no Monte Cristo.’ If it does, it could obviously lead to the re-spins being activated.
The Sakura Fortune feature that can really see those Yen fill your account balance.
Get three Bonus symbols anywhere on the reels (as long as one of them is on Reel 1) and you’ll activate 5 free spins. The key here is to hope to get the Princess Wild symbol anywhere on the reels because she’ll occupy the whole reel for the duration of the remaining free spins. Oh yeah, if she appears you’ll also get an additional free spin. So it’s a sort of bonus within a bonus.
Filling the reels with a few Princess Wild symbols is obviously the path to hitting that big Jackpot.
Beautiful, delicate, volatile…
We’ve gone on and on about the artwork and crispness and delicacy of symbols, graphics and all-round appearance of the slot. No more than we’ve come to expect from Quickspin.
What we haven’t really mentioned is that this is a highly volatile slot, so of interest to the high-rollers amongst you. You may go a while without winning anything substantial but a couple of those Princess Wild symbols during free spins and that will all change pretty quickly.
We enjoyed this slot and welcome the far-less-seen Japanese theme present here. Ultimately you’ll enjoy it thoroughly if a game’s design is very important to you. But just how much you’ll enjoy it from a monetary point of view will almost come solely down to how many of those Princess Wild symbols you get during the base game and bonus rounds.
To play Sakura Fortune for real money you’ll first need a real-money LeoVegas account. Opening one should take you as long as singing your favourite Karaoke song.