Aristocrat has been playing mix and match with their various themes to a degree as of late. One such pairing is the Buffalo theme with their Lightning Link model, yielding Buffalo Link. They’ve been popping up everywhere fast, and getting popular fast as would be expected given the combining of two very popular game types.
Unlike the other Link games, there aren’t multiple themes and bonuses – it’s a single game, mashing the two themes together.
So what does this mean for the player? You get the Buffalo model of three or more coins to trigger a bonus, with two coins being the minimum to retrigger. You also get the x2 and x3 multipliers in the bonus. Buffalo is an all ways pays game series, and that is carried forward here also.
On the Link side you get the four jackpots, two of which are progressives, and you get the hold and spin mechanic.
But the merging of these themes also brings out some changes. Hold and Spin now takes eight amounts to trigger, given the larger 5×4 reel set that Buffalo is accustomed to having. So now you need 20 prizes to land the grand, vs. 15 on the Lightning Link/Dragon Link/Dollar Storm model.
Another change: The wilds, traditionally on the middle three reels of Buffalo games, also appear on reel 5, so four multipliers can theoretically be achieved, however rare.
This tends to amp up the volatility in a number of ways. For instance, it’s not uncommon to get a lot more 1x and 2x prizes given the number of additional spaces. The jackpots will increase in frequency proportionally on a denomination by bet size, as per normal, so on minimum bet the mini will still be a bit tougher to see.
The Mini and Minor sizes have been bumped up at each denomination (although the minimum bet is double Lightning Link, at $1 a spin on pennies vs. 50 cents, so that balances that out a bit.
The major is now different for each denomination, another change for this particular game, so changing denominations around may reveal better or worse majors. This is not unlike Ultimate Fire Link, where the denomination and the progressives were linked.
Finally, a persistent state accumulator exists in a buffalo head counter, which has a must hit by component. Each denomination/bet level combination has its own, and it must hit by 1800. It triggers a random bonus, which on Buffalo can be great or garbage given the game’s volatility.
I’ve given the game a number of sessions, and it seems much of the money is in the Hold and Spin feature – if you don’t get that it’s going to be a really tough go. With the potential for a 200x prize to land, which I achieved in one of mine, it can be a strong bonus, but of course that doesn’t happen as often and shows how much of a swing can be possible on these games.
The free spins bonus has potential too with the multipliers, retriggers and the chance for a Hold and Spin bonus in the bonus. But like other Buffalo games it has the ability to disappoint as well.
Most of the link games are tough, and this won’t be any different, but I can say with confidence this is much better than I’ve done on Dollar Storm or Lightning Link. (Dragon Link has traditionally treated me a bit better.)
Overall, this should continue to scratch the itch of fans of the two game types with a game that has real potential but can also be really difficult. Initially I was down on the game because of how hard it seemed, but having had some success more recently I get the appeal a bit better now.
Watch and Learn
Here’s TheBigPayback with not one, but two handpays on the game:
Here is a high limit attempt with $5,000 on Buffalo Cash (like other Aristocrat Link games the Cash variation isn’t linked) by Brian Christopher: