There has been some quality variation across ELK Studios’ first-quarter 2019 releases. While The Wiz, the company’s initial release, was forgettable at best, Ecuador Gold became a massive commercial success and is considered among the studio’s finest works. Based on this sequence, one would expect Chi to be a powerful game, considering it was followed by the much weaker Hit It Big slot. However, that remains to be seen.
You’ve definitely seen us complain about how tired we are of generic Chinese-themed slot machines in our most recent evaluations. It goes against the spirit of gaming and is a sign of laziness, annoyance, and a lack of originality. While some people just want to try their luck and see what happens, the majority of gamblers are searching for a way to relax and let their minds go to a place where their imaginations may run wild. Some people get it from movies, some from video games, and the degenerates among us get it from slot machines. What we wanted to say is this, though. Chi is not your typical Asian-themed slot machine. Chi features a story, recognizable characters, and, most significantly, an original aesthetic.
The narrative revolves around two fox-like beings (spirits) called Chi and Mow, who are symbolic of fire and wind (and no, not the type of symptoms you get after eating at Taco Bell). The action occurs on a reel set that looks unlike any other, featuring cylindrical wheels that revolve laterally. However, the real setting is not so fantastical. Chi is a slot machine with 5 reels and 3 rows, and it has 27 paylines that pay both left to right and right to left, for a grand total of 54 ways to win. It’s accessible on any platform, and wagers range from 20 cents to 20 Euros every spin.
You go with two ghosts named Chi and Mow over the Himalayan hills in search of a buried city filled with wealth. The game’s peaceful soundtrack adds to the game’s subtle Asian flavor. You’ll find symbols like cups, fans, flutes, golden gourds, jade stones, fire lanterns, and lotus flowers on the reels, all of which have lower values than the carp fish. A wild symbol is also provided, and it may be used in lieu of any other icon besides the scatter.
Chi (ELK Studios): Spectacular Scenes
The reel set is flanked by totems on either side. When the signs of a totem come together, the corresponding spirit is summoned. When Chi is roused by the red totem on the left, he will come and blast fireballs into the reels, adding anything from one to six wild symbols. Clicking the blue totem on the right will call upon Mow, who will strike the gong-gong, increasing your rewards by a factor of 2x-5x.
The game comes with two extras, both of which are welcome. When three, four, or five Free Spins symbols appear anywhere on the reels, the Free Spins feature is activated, awarding 10, 15, or 20 free games. The feature may be retriggered an infinite number of times, so you’ll have lots of opportunities to do so. Whenever Chi creates a wild during the free spins bonus, it remains in the game until the round ends. Further, the initial hit on Mow triggers a progressive multiplier that begins at x2 and can go as high as x5.
The Stairway to Fortune bonus, activated by getting three bonus symbols, is the game’s most valuable feature. Here, Chi and Mow must collaborate to access the Fortune Reels. Mow advances the appropriate number of steps along the cloud path of rising multipliers each time Chi chooses a random integer between 1 and 6. When Chi draws collect, Mow’s multiplier is released and your bet is multiplied by the amount you wagered.
However, there is a more desirable conclusion in which you succeed in accessing the heavenly Fortune Reels. Here, all of the accumulated multipliers are combined to the total and you get to spin all five reels once. If you are lucky and land on the arrow at the very top reel, you’ll be awarded a massive 10,000x multiplier on your total bet. You can win up to 12,500 times your initial wager in this bonus round.
Chi: The Final Say (ELK Studios)
Chi has many wonderful qualities. In addition to being a stunning story full of charm that has renewed our hope for the genre, it also features original gameplay, striking visuals, and enormous potential. While not everyone will enjoy the game’s central idea, ELK Studios has laid a solid groundwork with the game’s other aspects, which are interesting enough to pull us into Chi and Mow’s universe.
Some people will adore the Chi slot machine, while others will despise it. It’s a slot machine that we think you should try. But proceed with caution; the game can quickly turn dangerous. May the spirits be with you in your journey to uncover the hidden city of riches.