Review of Bally’s Chimney Stacks Slot Machine
Chimney Stacks is a 5-reel, 40-payline slot machine from Bally Technologies. Chimney Stacks offers two top jackpot symbols and one of the best bonus games in the video slots world. The scatter bonus game rivals anything you’ll find among the flat-tops, because the scatters act as 4x multipliers. Unlike so many multiplier games on the market, you don’t have to activate them as you proceed—you begin the bonus game with this advantage.
Chimney Stacks does not offer much in the way of artistry or creativity. It is a straightforward slot machine for players who prefer substance to style. In keeping with that idea, let’s discuss that substance.
The low-stakes coin denominations on Chimney Stacks Slots are €0.01, €0.02, €0.03, €0.04, €0.05, €0.06, €0.07, €0.08, €0.09, €0.10, €0.15, €0.20, €0.40, €0.60, and €0.80. Once you start getting into bets for full Euros, the options become €1.00, €2.00, €3.00, €4.00, €5.00, and €10.00.
The max payline on Chimney Stacks is 40. The max bet therefore is €400.00. This is a common set of coin denominations for Bally Technologies slot machine, offering a 400 Euro range on the bet limits. It’s the exact same set of denominations as Cash Wave Slots, which this site also reviews.
Chimney Stacks Theme
Chimney Stacks is one of the oddest theme choices I’ve seen from a slot machine designer in a while. The theme really is simply the chimney. When I read the title, I thought perhaps Bally had built a game around chimney sweeps. When I think of chimney sweeps, I think of the Mary Poppins film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.
The Mary Poppins film has a famous dance number involving Dick Van Dyke as a happy chimney sweep escorting a pair of British children across London, while singing the song “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. The movie’s plot is based around a chimney, because the children’s letter asking for a kinder nanny is torn up and tossed in the fireplace by their father. A magic wind picks up the letter, takes it through the chimney, and onwards to Mary Poppins (she presents the now-complete letter to their father the next day). Besides a top hat reel symbol, I see no sign that this game references chimney sweeps: no brooms, no street urchins, and nobody with a resemblance to Dick Van Dyke.
The reel symbols available on this game are the top hat, a hand bellows, a chimney, a weather vane in the shape of a rooster, a wild symbol, a free games symbol, and the card ranks. I have to admit, the inclusion of only three pictures on the reel symbols is a bit lazy and uncreative by the game designers, in my mind. That doesn’t mean Chimney Stacks doesn’t play well, but it lacks imagination in the art design.
Anyone who reads this site knows my scorn for the slot machines which offer card ranks as reel icons. I’d prefer fruit or gemstones or something a bit more visually intriguing, but maybe I’m in the minority. The wild symbol has the word “WILD” along with the London skyline, so perhaps the designers had in mind a more ambitious Mary Poppins theme and they never got the opportunity to implement it. Let’s talk about the good features, though.
The free games icon is a scatter bonus, meaning it can appear anywhere on the screen to trigger the free spin mode. That’s a big advantage, so I give points for that offering. The scatter symbol appears on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th reel. When three of them appear, the free game mode is triggered.
Even better, players are given 10 free spins in this bonus game. That’s stacks up quite well to the free game mode offered by several of the other Bally Technologies slot machines, which tend to offer 5 free spins. Chimney Sweeps is one of those games where function is better than form. Those slots players who don’t care as much about visuals, but prefer better game features, should like Chimney Stacks.
What makes the free games mode even better is the multiplier employed. Everything you win in the free mode is multiplied by a factor of 4. Many free spin multipliers have to be triggered, slowly stacking on one another (if you get lucky) during the free spin phase. On Chimney Stacks, the 4x multiplier is automatic.
The wild symbol substitutes for any other symbol on the reels, except the free games scatter symbol. The wild symbol also activates the top jackpot, though it is tied for that honor. When 5 wild symbols appear on the same active payline, you’ll win €20 for every coin wagered. The wild symbol is therefore the icon you want to see the most.
Top Hat Symbol
I wanted to mention that the top hat symbol also pays out at a €20.00 rate. That makes it the co-jackpot amount on the game. While it won’t substitute for other symbols the way the wild does, when five appear on the same payline, it’s every bit as good as the wild icon.
Free Games Symbol
The top hat is even better when you’re playing the free games. If you get 5 top hats on a winning reel in the free mode, you’ll win €5000. This activates with 4 top hats (€2000) and 3 top hats (€300), but not with two or one. Five bellows pays at €1,500 on the free game mode, while five weathervanes pay at €1,200. Five aces, 5 kings, or 5 queens pay €1,000 on this mode, while 5 jacks, 5 tens, or 5 nines pay out €500 when playing the free game. The free mode is therefore a very important part of Chimney Stacks Slots.
I should also mention the stacked wilds feature. Four stacked wild symbols appear on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th reels. The stacked wilds are found parts of a brick chimney with the big blue letters “W-I-L-D” on them. When these appear on the free game mode, they stacked wild remains in play until the free spins expire. It’s a nice bonus to activate in the free spin phase.