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Lightning Link Pokies and Casinos

Designed by Aristocrat, Lightning Link is a novelty concept in the world of pokies. Almost every Australian casino and pub features Lightning Link, but we have a different thing in mind.

Are there games already available online that might bring a similar gaming experience to a pokie lover who gambles remotely?

Aristocrat is an Australian company with an impeccable reputation and record of accomplishment, so there must be software out there inspired by it.

We’ve taken a deep dive into the interweb and found interesting alternatives to the 16 pokie machines currently in the Lightning Link family.

Since we can all agree that one of the most exciting developments in Aussie gambling over the recent years is the appearance of Lightning Link pokies, let’s have a look at some similar treats available in online Australian casinos.

Raging Bull Lightning Link is another vessel for the popular Hold & Spin mechanic and its theme should appeal to hot-blooded players looking for action. The reels are set in a bullring and the gameplay takes place during a bullfight (corrida de torros), a famous cultural event originating from Spain.

You spin 5 reels and land symbols onto 3 horizontal rows. There are 5 to 50 paying lines to complete and the symbols include a red rose, the matador’s red cape, corrida tickets, the star of the show – the bull itself, a guitar, the matador and the animated raging bull.

During the Free Games feature, reels 1 and 2, as well as 4 and 5 spin simultaneously, while the middle reel remains static (known as the Twin Spins feature). The Hold & Spin is where you need to collect special symbols (capes in this case) to win one of the jackpots.

For a similar thematic experience, try out La Fiesta by Relax Gaming. Sadly, there are no jackpots in this one, but the visual style is remarkable and there is a plethora of features to enjoy, including four different Free Spins rounds, Mega Stacked symbols and progressive win multipliers.

If you care more for similar gameplay rather than a similar theme, look out for Titan Thunder Wrath of Hades by Quickspin. Hades takes on the role of the “horned” character and the game features the Lightning Link Jackpots bonus feature and Free Spin, just like Raging Bull Lightning Link.

Mine Mine Mine Lightning Link is, in case you haven’t been able to deduce from the title, a slot machine game about mining for gold.

As you launch this pokie, you become friends with a cheeky little miner, determined to dig all the gold he can get his hands on, but you have to help him.

Collect matching symbols across the 5×3 grid to receive payouts. These symbols can be card royals, but they can also be theme related – donkeys, tools, lamps, the old miner himself, as well as sparkling lumps of gold.

These golden nuggets will play the key role in the Hold & Spin feature, the main highlight of the entire series. Fill all the reels to win the Grand jackpot, shared among all Lightning Link games at a casino venue.

In an online environment, you could try Diamond Mine Megaways by Big Time Gaming. While Mine Mine Mine can have up to 50 paying lines, Diamond Mine Megaways offers 117,649 ways to win.

After all, it has 6 reels instead of the standard 5, and it also features cascades, free spins and unlimited win multipliers. The visuals bear a striking resemblance to Mine Mine Mine, although they are undeniably more polished.

Dragon’s Riches Lightning Link follow the same match model as other games in the series, yet offers a unique Asian theme inspired by prosperity and success.

Arguably, it is the one that most evokes the experience of being on a Macau casino floor, spinning away for the jackpot. This one comes either in the 25 or in the 50-line format, sporting a wide range of betting options.

The symbols are mostly theme related – objects such as bonsai trees and golden statues will flood the 5 reels in play. Pay attention to the golden dragon and the golden coins, as these will provide bigger wins and play crucial roles in the special features.

Like all Lightning Link games, Dragon’s Riches benefits from the Hold & Spin feature and the linked jackpots. What makes this game stand out is the addition of Expanding Wilds and Wild Multipliers. Land three golden dragon spheres and you will trigger 6 Free Games with x2 Wild Multipliers on reels 2, 3, 4 and 5.

If you want a taste of a fiery online slot like this, we suggest you try your luck with Dragon Chase by Quickspin. It is a 5×3 slot with 20 bet lines that comes complete with a Wildfire feature (triggers randomly and adds Wilds onto the reels), 10 freebies and a Dragon Pearl Respin feature.

It is this feature that most resembles Dragon’s Riches Lightning Link, apart from the apparent Asian theme and design style. In this round, you must collect from 4 to 15 Dragon Pearl symbols to win the Mini, Minor, Major or Grand Jackpot, respectively.

Fire Idol Lightning Link is a tropical-themed instalment, often viewed as the sequel to the Tiki Fire machine from the same line. The setup can include 5, 25 or 50 lines, yet the symbols and the theme remain the same.

We observe an overview of the culture of the Pacific Islands, represented by a girl ready for a fire festival. The tropical nature of the pokie is expressed through symbols of palm trees, fish and butterflies, as well as a tiki totem and an erupting volcano.

The totem is the Wild and when its animations start to light up, know you’ve got a win coming your way. During the Free Games feature, every x2 Wild that acts as substitute will double the pay for that combination. In other words, players can win up to x16 their bet multiple double Wilds on a win line.

When you go online in search for similar gameplay and theme, check out games like Krakatoa: Lucky Break by Ainsworth or Volcano Riches by Quickspin. Krakatoa: Lucky Break is a volcanic adventure taking place across 5 reels and 30 paying lines. It offers a Wild and a Scatter, which activates the Lucky Break feature and one of the 4 jackpot prizes.

Furthermore, Ainsworth included upgraded symbols for the free spins round where the players can acquire multipliers and the Wild symbol can appear in stacks.

As for Volcano Riches, it is a 5×4 slot machine with additional Wild symbols forming through eruptions and Free Spins. There are no jackpots, but the Polynesian culture is represented through gorgeous graphics in this one.

Magic Totem Lightning Link is based on indigenous cultures of North America. The game features 25 or 50 paylines and nice, mystical graphics.

You will encounter symbols like the tribal chief, an eagle, a buffalo, a hut and a colourful totem that connects the spirits of the tribe with the animals and the nature around them.

Quite an inspirational theme, but don’t forget about lucrative prizes you can win with this pokie!

It incorporates the popular Hold & Spin jackpot model (here the special symbols are dreamcatchers) and Free Games with Expanding Wilds. The Wild totem symbol only appears on reels 2 through 5. In the base game, it can land in stacks, yet during free games (you initially get 6 free spins) it will expand to cover entire reels.

The Lightning Link series is not yet available online, so if you want to experience something similar to Magic Totem at a web-based casino your best bet would probably be Eagle Sun by Lightning Box or Turning Totems by Thunderkick.

None of the two have jackpots, but Eagle Sun is strong with the Native American theme and comes with creative features like the Super Eagle Spin feature (final spin to a free games round, all collected Wilds are dropped randomly for a final payout).

Turning Totems is a marvel to look at, going full on totem with the theme. It brings on respins and free spins along with two types of Wilds.

Eyes of Fortune Lightning Link takes on the oriental jungle theme, focusing on the majestic wildlife and nature of Asian rainforests.

The main protagonist is the tiger, accompanied by lotus flowers, koi fish, cranes and typical Asian symbols like red lanterns and golden coins.

This is the 11th game to join the family, sporting 25 and 50-line configurations.

The Hold & Spin feature leads to cash and jackpot awards (Mini, Minor, Major and Grand), whereas Scatters activate 6 free spins in the Free Games round.

During this special feature, Wilds will expand and cover entire reels.

They appear on all reels except the first one. Wilds can merge into enormous 3×3 symbols for the Free Games bonus.

Should you be on the lookout for something alike in the online pokie world, make sure to give Lotus Land (Konami) and Wild Orient (Microgaming) a try. Lotus Land features a white tiger to represent power and fearlessness.

The main feature in the game are free spins (from 8 to 20 can be won). Bonus orbs will appear only during this feature and bring multiplied wins for Wild-powered combinations.

Wild Orient is fully inspired by the animals of the Far East. Its notable features include Free Spins and Respins available at the end of any spin.

Bengal Treasures Lightning Link is inspired by India – its culture, landmarks and animals. The machine boasts 25 or 50 paylines and you can form winning combinations across 5 reels and 3 rows.

The special symbol here is the ruby gemstone and other theme-related icons include the Bengal tiger, the Taj Mahal, a Hindu man in celebratory attire, elephants, cobras and peacocks. Hit 3 or more Taj Mahal Scatter icons and you will enter the Free Games round.

You’ll get to play 8 free spins and you’ll need to pay attention to the ornate doors which appear during this feature exclusively.

They hide a “reveal symbol”, a randomly picked icon. When the reels come to a stop, all doors will open, revealing the symbol and introducing winning combos or a set of rubies even for the Hold & Spin engine.

If you want to experience Lightning Link pokies, Bengal Treasures is definitely one you should not miss.

Until you can reach a physical casino floor, you can spin the reels of Tiger Stone by Booongo. It is set in an Indian jungle, praising the majestic feline predator.

The accent is on Indian wildlife and the game mimics some of the Bengal Treasures features quite successfully.

For instance, you must collect 15 precious stone symbols to win a x1,000 Grand Jackpot in the bonus game powered by a Hold and Win mechanic. Minor (x50) and Major (x100) Jackpots are also available and the pokie has 25 win lines to offer across a 5×3 board.

The 10th product in the series, Wild Chuco Lightning Link is a land-based pokie inspired by robberies taking place during the Wild West era.

There were many bandits at the time, and Wild Chuco was apparently one of them, a Mexican outlaw prepared to become the king of heists.

As you play, you will see symbols of crossed pistols, dynamite sticks and a locked safe lining up, as well as the entrance to the bank and Chuco himself as the Wild.

Much like Bengal Treasures, Wild Chuco also benefits from the “reveal symbol” mechanic. In this case, “Wanted” posters will hide the mystery icon. Once revealed, the matching symbols will cover a significant area on the board and facilitate the creation of wins and the activation of bonus features such as the Hold & Spin.

The bank symbols act as Scatters and you need to hit at least three to trigger Free Games. The prize🥇Eight spins free of charge.

If you are feeling like a bandido, look for online pokies such as Dead or Alive II by NetEnt or Sticky Bandits by Quickspin. Both are fine alternatives to Wild Chuco, although they lack the jackpots.

Dead or Alive II is a visually stunning online pokie machine and the outlaw/robbery theme is on point, not to mention features like Multiplier Wilds, Sticky Wilds and 3 different Free Spins games.

Sticky Bandits has an interesting 5×5 board, delivering Massive Wild symbols and Free Spins.

Tiki Fire Lightning Link appeared as the 8th game in the series, glorifying the culture of the Pacific Islands. Like all Aristocrat pokies from this line, it includes the Hold & Spin mechanic, the four jackpots and cash on reels.

The visuals are traditional, yet spiced up with nice animations. The symbols come down to playing card denominations from 9 through Ace, a red flower, a parrot, a butterfly, a Hawaiian luau dancer, a tiki totem (Wild) and an erupting volcano (Scatter).

The configuration supports either 25 or 50 win lines, available across a standard 5×3 reel grid. The Wild appears on reels 2, 3, 4 and 5 only, substituting all regular icons except for the volcano bonus and the fireball special symbol.

To win the biggest (Grand) jackpot, you need to fill all 15 positions on the reels with special symbols during the Hold & Spin feature. Free Games award 6 free plays with Wilds that double the win if they help form the combination.

Tiki Fire doesn’t have an exact replica in the online world of pokie machines, but we suggest you give Blazing Goddess by Lightning Box a go, as it is a similar option in various aspects. It is also a 5-reel game set in the tropics.

The erupting volcano is the Scatter, awarding from 6 to 30 free spins. During Free Games Wild Fireball symbols are added to reel 2, 3 and 4. The goddess Wild substitute doubles wins and appears in reels 2 and 4 only.

Heart Throb Lightning Link turns to romance, delivering a set of love-inspiring symbols such as red roses, boxes of chocolate, doves and nicely wrapped presents. According to this pokie, Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you should let yourself be emotional – about big wins!

It is the seventh Lightning Link machine to join the series, marching in with a full arsenal of 4 jackpots in the Hold & Spin feature. You will fall in love with the Wild wins in the Free Games round – they are instantly doubled compared to the base game.

If you had the chance to try Tiki Fire, you will find it to be functionally identical to Heart Throb. Ultimately, it comes to your theme preferences.

Heart Throb can be played with 25 or 50 active lines and the stakes are affordable. The special symbol you will be filling the board with in the Hold & Spin round is the heart.

Aristocrat released a similar game for the online market called More Hearts. It doesn’t feature jackpot rewards, but the theme fits and there is a similar choice of symbols to encounter on the reels.

During free spins you need to collect heart symbols to add another set of reels to the game. Microgaming’s Burning Desire belongs to the same romance genre, featuring roses and diamonds, but also a more traditional feel. Despite its classic appearance, Burning Desire offers 243 ways to win.

Best Bet Lightning Link was the 6th title to appear in the jackpot series. It sports a horse racing theme, another interesting gambling activity that has somewhat fallen out of favour ever since casinos became dominant in the industry.

Prepare for a day at the races, where you can also win multiple jackpots within a single feature (Hold & Spin). Either 25 or 50 lines are in play, and the symbols in the paytable include a jockey, a spectator lady, binoculars, a bag full of cash, a golden horseshoe and a lovely horse.

During Hold & Spin, the special symbol is the champion cup. The horseshoe is the Scatter, triggering Free Games and up to 25 free plays with low-paying icons removed from the board.

If you are a fan of horse racing, but you can’t seem to find a good online pokie that emulates the atmosphere of Aristocrat’s Best Bet, make sure you try Scudamore’s Super Stakes by NetEnt.

It is also a 5×3 machine, offering 20 paying lines in the base game and up to 32 paylines during the Peter’s Classic Cup Bonus.

One of the highlights of this branded game is the Lucky Horseshoe Wilds feature, consisting of 2 to 5 Wilds landing randomly in the main game.

Moon Race Lightning Link benefits from the same setup as Best Bet. These two were launched one after the other, proudly offering the Hold & Spin mechanic like all Lightning Link titles.

This bonus is enhanced by the Free Games feature, which can award up to 25 free spins with only high-value symbols on the reels (royals are removed).

Moon Race was inspired by space exploration, more accurately by the Moon landing. That’s why you will see icons such as astronauts, rovers, shuttles and footprints on the surface of the Moon.

The astronaut, which is the Wild, can appear in stacks, covering entire reels. As per usual, the Wild only lands on reels 2, 3, 4 and 5.

During Hold & Spin, make sure you collect as many planets as possible; no less than 15 are needed for the Grand Jackpot.

We find Space Race by Play’n GO to be a great online alternative to Moon Race. It is a 5-reel, 3-row, 20-payline slot with creative, interactive bonuses.

It doesn’t come with progressive jackpots, but boasts similar graphics and awesome features such as Meteor Shower Free Spins and the Moon Landing Bonus.

Upon activating the free spins round, players receive 15 free plays and all Scatters symbols will start acting as Wilds until the feature ends.

Happy Lantern Lightning Link is an Asian-themed addition to the family, drawing inspiration from the Chinese New Year celebrations and other festival-like events. There are 5 reels in the game, each with 3 rows of symbols in view.

The number of win lines can be 50 or 25, and most symbols are theme-related. Apart from the generic playing card icons, you will see symbols like the lucky cat, firecrackers, red envelopes and a dancing lion mask.

The lion dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year, so the developers incorporated a lovely animation of it into the game since you need to touch one of the two dancing lions to trigger Hold & Spin. During the feature, you must catch the lanterns and hold as many as possible to maximise your reward.

There are many Asian-based online pokies around, yet if you seek out something similar to Happy Lantern, Play’n GO’s Celebration of Wealth fits the profile quite nicely. Celebration of Wealth relies on a 5-reel, 3-row grid providing 243 ways to win.

The pokie offers 4 progressive jackpot prizes (Mini, Minor, Major and Grand), available through a Gold Reel random feature. Once the Wild lands on a Gold Reel, the jackpot picking game initiates. Match three jackpot symbols and light up the firecrackers!

Sahara Gold Lightning Link takes place in the Sahara desert. One might think Aussies have enough of their deserts, but this particular pokie is quite popular nonetheless.

The graphics may not be the most contemporary, but they pain the desert ambience quite well.

The symbols you will encounter include a scorpion, the pyramids, a group of Arabian dancers, an oasis and a lavish palace acting as the Scatter.

A mysterious man riding a camel represents the Wild; as is the case with all Lightning Link machines, the Wild appears on all reels except the first one.  The main bonus is the Golden Palace feature.

Once the player activates it, they must choose a treasure chest to reveal Free Games or Hold & Spin. If Free Games are awarded, the player can receive a various amount of free spins and additional Wilds.

There is no equivalent to Sahara Gold in the online pokie collection yet, but games like Magic of Sahara (Microgaming) and Desert Treasure (bGaming) could count as solid replacements.

The Arabian theme is strong with both of these; while Magic of Sahara introduces you with the Tuareg Tribe Traders and rewarding features such as stacked Wilds and free spins with multipliers, Desert Treasure is more about princesses and thieves combating the desert heat across 10, 25 or 50 free spins with tripled wins.

High Stakes Lightning Link glorifies the pompous Vegas shows that make Sin City like no other place on Earth.

It makes use of a Hold & Spin feature and offers a Free Games bonus too, complete with giant symbols on the central reels.

Wins are easy if you play on the 50-line machine. Reels 2, 3 and 4 merge into one reel, fitting 3×3 symbols for top payouts.

The jackpots are symbol driven too, and the special symbols you need to keep an eye out is the casino chip. Get 6 of them and activate the Hold & Spin engine. Collect more of them to grab a jackpot – that’s how Vegas works.

What other symbols does High Stakes hold? You will see the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, a dancer, a luxury sports car, a roulette wheel, a hand of cards and a golden briefcase.

Vegas High Roller by iSoftBet and Vegas Night Life by NetEnt take on the same theme and are available for real money online play.

Vegas High Roller is a 5-reel pokie with a random Cash Chip Spin feature.

During this bonus, normal symbols leave the reels and get replaced by chips with different cash prizes awarded once the feature ends.

Vegas Night Life is a 5-reel, 3-row video pokie with a Cash Stacker feature with Mini, Midi and a progressive Mega Jackpot. The famous NetEnt graphics are gorgeous, perfectly depicting Vegas by night.

Magic Pearl Lightning Link was the very first pokie in the series, embracing the beautifully executed underwater theme. Dive in and you will meet a lovely mermaid and her aquatic friends, the tortoise, the striped fish and the starfish.

To complete the paytable, the devs added a treasure chest, standard playing card symbols, the special pearl symbol and a dolphin as the Scatter.

The Hold & Spin feature is the main treat. You need at least 6 pearls to trigger it, but there is also an alternative way – land a big pearl during free spins. Yes, Magic Pearl includes giant 3×3 symbols.

Even the mermaid Wilds can appear as giant or stacked/expanded symbols. There are 4 different jackpot prizes to be won; 2 are progressive and 2 of them are fixed, and this is the magic formula every following Lightning Link pokie adopted.

Mermaid’s Diamond (Play’n GO) can provide a similar online experience, although it surpasses the land-based Magic Pearl in terms of visuals and innovative features (Trident Wilds, Divine Intervention). Both titles share the attractive mermaid across entire reels.

Alternatively, consider Mermaids Millions by Microgaming, a true classic. The game conveys the underwater theme well, sporting a blonde mermaid, lobsters, seahorses and clams.

King Triton is the Wild, whereas treasure chests activate the pick-me feature that pays cash prizes. Beauty!

What are you waiting for, blokes and sheilas? Go on and have a crack at these Lightning Link-wannabe online pokies, Aussie-style!

Want Pokies With Progressive Jackpots? Choose BetSoft!

Just like you see all the Lightning Link pokies share multiple jackpots, these online suppliers also offer multiple step progressive jackpots on a group of contributing pokie games.

Online pokies powered by BetSoft are available at most Aussie friendly online casinos and their latest titles are real solid.

Here’s an overview of where the jackpots were at when we last checked at BitStarz Casino – 5 to 6 figure payday in the making!

Lightning Link pokies all have similar setups, yet there are specific feature elements that appear in some games but not others.

Overall, the main bonuses and features connect them into a solid network of games loved across the Land Down Under.

Let’s take a look at the shared characteristics and mechanics showcased in all Lightning Link games:

Hold & Spin

The Hold & Spin feature crowns the series. Every Lightning Link game features special symbols with numbers or words written on them. They are designed differently in accordance with the theme of a specific game, but their role is the same across the collection.

If you can manage to get 6 or more of these special icons from a single spin, the Hold & Spin bonus activates. This is very popular among Aussie pokie players and many other suppliers like IGTech with their Wolf Treasure pokie have successfully ridden this trendy wave.

During this round, the player gets 3 free spins during which special symbols can land. The goal is to collect as many as possible. However, getting even one special icon resets the free spin counter to 3 again.

When you spend all the spins, the special icon values you have collected will be paid. A lightning strike effect accompanies the payout.

Free Games Bonus

The Free Games Bonus is also a constant feature in all the Lightning Link pokies, but they can come with certain variations.

You can always trigger the Free Games round with 3 or more Scatters, no matter which game you are playing.

The number of free spins you start with varies from game to game, and in some retriggers are also possible.

Each Free Games bonus includes some sort of a modifier, whether it’s Expanding Wilds, Extra Wilds, Reveal Symbols, Giant Symbols or Richer Reels (low-paying icons are removed during the round).

Wilds Appearing on Reels 2 Through 5

Each game benefits from Wilds which typically appear only on reels 2, 3, 4 and 5. Most pokies from the series will display them landing in stacks, as well.

Another shared characteristic for Lightning Link machines is that higher payouts belong to theme-related icons, whereas all the games use playing cards for low-end wins.

Four Jackpots

Every Lightning Link pokie machine includes 4 jackpot rewards. The highlight is the Grand Jackpot, a progressive prize starting at $10,000.

To win this ever-growing prize, you need to completely fill the screen with special symbols of the given game during the Hold & Spin bonus.

Alternatively, the Grand Jackpot can also be won randomly on any paid spin, but 0-5 special symbols need to make an appearance.

The next biggest prize is the Major Jackpot, also a progressive starting at $500 and going up to $1,000. It can also hit land randomly or during the Hold & Spin round.

The Minor and Mini Jackpots are fixed prizes established according to the coin size.

Upon our search for the truth in regards to the return to player percentages on Lightning Link pokies we stumbled upon a .pdf document titled  “Gaming Machine Approval 2015” released by the Australian government that included the following data.

So RTP’s of these poker machines are around 90% and in some cases go up to 91%. This is still quite far away from online pokies, where RTPs are almost always higher than 95% and even 98-99% is somewhat common.

Consensus? Find an online alternative to your favourite Lightning Link pokie, claim a casino bonus and enjoy much more playing time!

Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson
Pokies Expert
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Ryan is our resident pokies expert. Not only does he provide readers with the latest insights, innovations and technology news related to pokies, but he also knows all there is to know about pokies game developers.

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