Chain Reactors

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In 2006, OpenBet Technologies introduced the arcade game called “Chain Reactors” to online casinos. Modeled after the incredibly popular “Bejeweled,” not only was it an immediate hit, the game has since spawned an entire category of Reactor-style games, including Royal Reactors, Bingo Reactors and more. But there is something about the original Chain Reactors, with its 5 x 5 matrix of “reel” positions and cascading icons, that continues to attract players with mesmerizing affect.

A game of Chain Reactors begins with the player setting the stake. This is accomplished by using the up/down buttons adjacent to the “Stake” indicator in the lower left corner of the screen. Each click increases and decreases the stake, respectively, from £0.50 minimum up to a limit of £50.00, although some online casinos may have maximums as high as £1,000.

Once the Stake has been set, clicking on the “Bet” button in the lower right corner will cause all of the current 25 Chain Reactors icons to drop from the matrix. They will quickly be replaced by an avalanche of 25 new icons falling from the top of the display at random to fill all the empty positions. Whenever five or more matching icons appear in a cluster, adjacent to one another horizontally or vertically, they award a predetermined payout before exploding and disappearing to leave empty gaps in the matrix—a so-called “Reaction.”

The gaps are then immediately filled by a fresh cascade of icons falling from above. As long as Reactions occur, payouts are made and the “spin” continues. The turn ends only when there are no more clusters of five or more matching icons in proximity. A single spin can potentially go on for an endless number of Reactions. Payouts are recorded one by one in a column on the right side of the screen, just below the “Winnings” display, which shows the total amount won.

Perhaps the most amusing aspect of Chain Reactors is the charming little characters that make up its array of icons. They are certainly a rambunctious group, hooting, hollering and screaming as they fall, shouting out “uh-oh” when they are about to explode, rolling their eyes, blinking, changing colours, and pulling off all kinds of other stunts in the course of each turn.

A payout slideshow can be seen at the bottom left side of the display. The lowliest of the icons is red-coloured Spiky, paying a stake multiplier from 0.1X to 50X for 5 to 16 or more icons reacting. Much bigger awards are paid for orange-coloured Sunny, from 0.3X to 100X; the one-eyed green Cyclo, from 0.4X to 600X; and pink heart-shaped Flirty, from 5X to 6000X. The top-paying icon is the silver Zoid, worth from 1X to 100,000X.

The icon called “Goldie” is the most important one when playing the “Real Money” version of the game. It resembles a yellow smiley face, and its only value is to trigger one of three Progressive Jackpots. The Mini Jackpot is the lowest paying of the three, starting at £1,000 and requiring a minimum £1 qualifying stake; it is won by catching 5 Goldie icons in a cluster. A cluster of six Goldie icons wins the Midi Jackpot, worth at least £10,000 and the top prize Maxi Jackpot starts at £100,000, triggered by 7+ Goldie icons in a cluster.

Chain Reactors has a useful Auto Play function, too. The option is located at the bottom right corner of the screen and can be set to 5, 10 or 20 spins using the pop-up menu. Other controls can be found in the pull-down “Options” menu at the top of the display, including “Sound” on/off, graphic “Quality” low/medium/high/best, and a “Turbo” toggle for faster play.

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