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Barrel Bonanza: Slot Overview

1981 stands out as a particularly momentous year, marked by a series of significant events. Notably, it was the year President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II survived assassination attempts, the tragic mass killing in El Mozote by the Salvadoran Army took place, and the first known case of HIV/AIDS was reported in the USA. Despite these dark moments, 1981 also witnessed some brighter events, such as the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana, and a landmark in the world of video gaming: the release of Donkey Kong by Nintendo in July. This game not only marked Nintendo’s first major international success but also introduced the world to the now-iconic character Mario, forever changing the landscape of video gaming.

The legacy of Mario and Donkey Kong has extended far beyond the realm of traditional video games, influencing various aspects of culture and entertainment for decades, including the online gambling industry. A testament to their enduring influence is the online slot game Barrel Bonanza by Hacksaw Gaming’s partner, Backseat Gaming. This game pays homage to the classic Donkey Kong, featuring a muscular gorilla character who throws barrels onto the game grid, generating wilds and wild multipliers. Set against a tropical backdrop, complete with swaying palm trees and a laid-back soundtrack, Barrel Bonanza captures the essence of the original game’s charm without directly invoking the copyrighted characters of Mario and Kong. This creative adaptation demonstrates the broad and lasting impact of these video game icons on entertainment and pop culture.

In Barrel Bonanza, crafted by Backseat Gaming, the game’s architecture is uniquely designed, featuring a bamboo-constructed gaming grid that encompasses 5 reels, 4 rows, and 14 paylines. This slot game is categorized as having medium volatility, with the potential for volatility and Return to Player (RTP) rates to vary when feature buys are activated. The base RTP is set at 96.23%, accommodating bets ranging from 10 cents to $/€100 per spin, with other specific values outlined separately.

The symbols within Barrel Bonanza are a blend of traditional card royals and vibrant fruits. The lower-value symbols are represented by the card royals ranging from 10 to Ace, while higher-value symbols consist of cherries, watermelons, pineapples, and bananas. A sequence of 5 matching card symbols results in a payout of 1-2 times the stake, whereas aligning 5 matching fruit symbols can yield rewards of 4-10 times the stake. Wild symbols, which can substitute for any regular pay symbols, are also present on all reels, with a line of 5 wilds awarding a payout equivalent to that of the highest-paying fruit, the bananas.

Barrel Bonanza: Slot Features

In Barrel Bonanza, unlike in Mario’s adventures where barrels were obstacles, barrels serve as a significant advantage. They generate wilds and wild multipliers, which become even more beneficial during the free spins bonus round, as they turn sticky. Additionally, the game features a bonus buy option, allowing players to directly activate various features at a cost.

Going Bananas Feature This feature sees Kong throwing between one to five wild barrels onto random positions on the reels, with each barrel potentially unveiling a multiplier upon landing. The barrels are categorized into three tiers—low, medium, and high. The low-tier barrels can reveal multipliers ranging from none up to x10, medium-tier barrels from x5 to x50, and high-tier barrels from x30 to x100. Should a barrel land on another, it bounces off and duplicates, sending two barrels to new positions on the grid. This bouncing and duplicating action continues until all barrels settle on unoccupied positions.

Bonus Game The bonus game is initiated by landing 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols, awarding 10, 12, or 14 free spins, respectively. In this round, all barrels remain in place and unveil a new random value from their respective tier with each spin. The Going Bananas feature is also triggered more frequently within the bonus game, although scatter symbols are absent during the free spins.

Bonus Buy Option Barrel Bonanza offers players the ability to purchase features directly from the bonus buy section, all of which exhibit high volatility:

  • BonusHunt FeatureSpins: Costs 3x the bet for a spin that has a 5 times higher likelihood of triggering the bonus game, with an RTP of 96.36%.
  • Kong FeatureSpins: Costs 25x the bet for a spin that guarantees the activation of the Going Bananas feature, with an RTP of 96.29%.
  • Bonus Game: Costs 100x the bet for direct access to 10, 12, or 14 free spins, with an RTP of 96.26%.

These features offer a strategic layer for players seeking to maximize their winning potential in Barrel Bonanza.

Barrel Bonanza: Slot Verdict

Barrel Bonanza may not have been poised to revolutionize the iGaming world in the same monumental way Donkey Kong did for video gaming, yet it stands as a commendable slot overall. The pacing can slow in the base game, particularly during the stretches between activations of the Going Bananas feature, which does not trigger as often as some might hope. These intervals tend to be marked by a succession of non-winning spins or modest payouts, lacking in significant enhancements or bonuses to enrich the gameplay. The excitement ebbs and flows until Kong decides to infuse the game with energy by hurling barrels onto the grid.

However, the game does hit peaks of exhilaration, notably outside of the BonusHunt FeatureSpins, which itself can generate intense excitement. Unlike Donkey Kong, where barrels cascade with relentless frequency, Barrel Bonanza offers its own unique moments of thrill. These occur especially when barrels collide and replicate, reminiscent of the scene in Harry Potter where treasure in Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault begins to multiply uncontrollably. Such instances in Barrel Bonanza are infrequent but delightful, particularly when a successful chain reaction occurs during the free spins round, where wilds become sticky, enhancing their utility significantly.

Notably, the maximum win potential in Barrel Bonanza is an impressive 10,000 times the stake, a goal that is not solely reliant on amassing sticky wilds in the free spins phase. This peak payout is attainable across all modes of play, a fact underscored on the game’s information page. Ultimately, Barrel Bonanza presents itself as a thoroughly enjoyable slot that shines brightest when Kong unleashes chaos with his barrels, demonstrating the game’s capacity for spontaneous and rewarding fun.


I began my journey into the world of online casino slot games in the spring of 2016. Over the years, my experience has expanded significantly, playing at more than 80 top Dama N.V. Casinos Sites. This extensive gaming experience has given me a deep understanding and appreciation for the diversity and intricacies of online slot games. My journey through various casino platforms has not only been about entertainment but also about exploring the evolving trends and technological advancements in the online casino industry. My expertise spans across a wide range of games and casinos, making me well-versed in the nuances of online slot gaming.