Happy Lantern was one of the early Lightning Link pokies to go live across land-based casinos with Aristocrat machines. The game joined the Lightning Link line-up presenting the power of the Asian thematic. It’s not only its theme that attracts gamblers to bet real money on it, it is also the combination of special features it provides.
The Hold & Spin mechanic is irreplaceable. However, it makes up for a portion of the game’s overall appeal. Its remaining advantages include a pick-me feature and a Free Games round. Of course, the jackpots contribute to Happy Lantern’s attractiveness, without a doubt.
As you can deduce from the titles, the lanterns in this game are happy – they are practically dancing in the background. Why? Well, because luck is on your side and you are about to win a big payout. Most of Asian beliefs do revolve around summoning good fortune and prosperity. A bit of that is incorporated in Happy Lantern, too.
It is safe to assume that the main celebration here is the Chinese New Year. The symbols range from firecrackers and red envelopes to lucky cats and dancing lion masks. The Wild is some sort of deity or nobleperson, appearing on every reel but the first one from the left. There are 5 reels in the game, each with 3 rows of symbols. The number of win lines can be 50 or 25.
The Core Functionality of Happy Lantern Deconstructed
Happy Lantern is one of the two pokies in the Lightning Link series to offer a unique picking game (the other one being Sahara Gold). To kick-start this pick-me feature, you need to collect at least 3 Scatters (represented by the lion mask).
Two animated lions will start dancing, and you must choose one to reveal your bonus. You can either enter the Free Spin game with additional Wilds (number randomly awarded) or trigger Hold & Spin. This feature is called Golden Palace.
If you choose the Free Games bonus, you can count on 6, 9 or 15 free spins. These come with 25, 100 or 200 extra Wilds. Alternatively, you may enter the Hold & Spin round, which can also be activated the traditional way – by landing 6+ of the special symbols (in this case, the golden lantern).
Once the Hold & Spin is triggered, you get to play 3 games for free. Only the golden lantern symbols appear and you must collect as many as you can to benefit from the feature. Cash prizes are awarded when the round ends. The good this is, each time you hit more lanterns, the spins restart and you get another set of 3 to play through.
Fill in the entire board with special icons and the main progressive jackpot is yours. Apart from the Grand, Happy Lantern offers Major, Minor and Mini Jackpots. These require that you collect their matching symbols during Hold & Spin.
Casinos offering Happy Lantern
Great Online Alternatives To Happy Lantern
Happy Lantern Lightning Link is unavailable for online play, which drove us to conduct a search of the best online pokies just like it. Until we get an exact equivalent from Aristocrat, check out these video slots from other providers we find to be notably similar. They sport an Asian theme and offer you a chance to enhance the gameplay through special features, just like Happy Lantern.
Matsuri (Play’n GO)
Matsuri is a non-progressive jackpot slot with high volatility, developed by Play’n GO. It allows you to explore the amazing culture of East Asia by bringing one of Japanese festivals to your screen.
Matsuri is a 5-reel, 3-row, 25-payline machine with Wilds, Scatters, free spins and a bonus game.
The graphics are gorgeous, so make sure you play this pokie on the big screen. The free spins mode generates up to 20 free spins; it is triggered when 3 festival masks appear on reels 1, 3 and 5.
In addition, if you collect 3 goldfish symbols on the middle reels, you will be awarded the Kingyo Sukui Bonus. During this round, you’ll have to scoop goldfish with a paper spoon for cash prizes. It won’t be easy, but it will be fun!
Lights is a visually stunning pokie by NetEnt that centres around the Japanese festival of lanterns. We find this game to be perfect for gamblers looking for a soothing, serene experience.
The 5-reel 3-row slot comes complete with 9 fixed paylines and offers medium-variance gameplay. The main feature is the Free Spins round. Trigger it and you can enjoy up to 30 free games with 3-6 floating Wilds each spin.
Floating Wilds come from fireflies that drift across the reels. They will descend on a random position on the reels and create Wilds. They will do this both in base game and during free spins. Lights has an average RTP of 96.1%.
Celebration of Wealth (Play’n GO)
The Celebration of Wealth pokie is powered by Play‘n GO and it is part of the Asian-themed trilogy called The Wealth series.
The game has 5 reels and 243 ways to win. It takes place in a rich Asian setting during a festive period.
Players get two main features while playing Celebration of Wealth. On any base game spin, one to five reels may randomly become Gold Reels. If a Wild appears on a Gold Reel, bettors get a chance to win one of the jackpots.
There are 4 progressive jackpots to be won – the Mini, Minor, Major and Grand.
In the Free Spins feature, you will choose from 5 options. Depending on the option, you will be awarded with a different number of free spins, played on a different configuration.
Long and Happy Life (Ainsworth)
Long and Happy Life belongs to the Ainsworth-powered collection of Chinese-themed pokie machines. In this game, the players faces typically Asian visuals – lucky coins and red lanterns included.
Playing card symbols share both the paytable and the reels with themed icons. The ones you should pay most attention to are the dragon Scatters, the Wild substitute and red lantern.
The red lantern special symbol can light the way towards the Mini, Minor or Major jackpots, as well as the Pan Chang Bonus and the Lucky Lantern feature.
You need to fill all positions with the lantern if you hope to bag the Grand Jackpot with the Lucky Lantern feature active.