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Buffalo Link: Two Tough Slot Themes Come Together for a Really Volatile Ride

Buffalo Link by Aristocrat jackpots
Written by Joshua

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.

Buffalo Link by Aristocrat 78x hold and spin

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.

Buffalo Link by Aristocrat 218x hold and spin

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:

About the author

Joshua

My name is Joshua, and I’m a 30-something who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, games that give you a potential edge, casino promotions and systems and how you can get the most out of it.

8 Comments

  • I was playing 5 cent denomination $5 a spin and got the hold and spin feature. I was surprised to see that at the end nothing was multiplied by 5. But then I just watched a video and the guy was playing 5 cent denomination, $15 a spin, and all of his coins in the round were multiplied by 5. This is really confusing. Domes it multiplies and sometimes it doesn’t? How does the hold and spin feature really work. My first coin was $50. In other link games that would have been 5×50. It only paid me what each coin said, nothing more. What a disappointment!

    • Hi LuGenie – you may be noting the difference between when the machine is showing credits, vs. when it’s showing actual cash. I haven’t paid enough attention to know for sure on this particular game, but the credits meter can of course be switched to show cash, and it’s possible the game is configured to show credits on one machine vs. cash on another. If it shows $50 and not 50 credits, the multiplication has already been done before you as $50 cash is $50 cash regardless of denomination, whereas 50 credits would be $2.50 written out as cash. Hope that makes sense!

  • I hit a very nice bonus on this game a few days ago.

    I hit the free spins feature on a $15 bet ($.05 denomination), and it retriggered a whole bunch of times, and hit the hold and spin bonus three times, for a total win of $3,997.80.

  • I’ve been playing Buffalo Link a lot lately and racking up wins (such as the one I previously mentioned on this page betting $15), and generally I have found that (as expected) I win larger amounts at higher denominations and the higher-value symbols appear more often with higher bet multipliers. I’ve even seen seen buffalos pop up with huge numbers on them at those denominations and multipliers, and even caught one for $1,200 in the bonus as part of that big $3,997.80 win.

    However… The other day I saw the guaranteed bonus feature meter for the $25 ($.05 x 5) bet level was getting pretty high, and thought it would be worth a shot at a huge bonus at that bet level and denomination. I managed to hit it, but it took a few thousand to hit, and when it did, all I got were oddly-low amounts like $10 and $15, for a total win of $1,000.

    Was I just really unlucky, or could there be some other reason why I ended up getting lower-than-expected values for a max bet on the $.05 denomination that could have otherwise been a huge win?

    • The minimum prize for the hold and spin spaces is 1x your bet, and the next up is 2x your bet, according to the pay table. Without being able to look at it, my only guess is you might have been betting a different amount than you thought you were? But I can only venture a guess.

      • I must not have taken a picture of video of that time, because I couldn’t find it in my phone, but I did just get another surprisingly low win on this game.

        I bet $50, which is the max bet of any denomination on the machine ($.05 x 10), filled 14 out of 20 squares, one of which was the $1,000 Minor, and I only won $1,800, which I was glad to win considering I hit it on my first bet at that level and hadn’t spent a lot of money, but I was expecting to win more than that for a $50 bet, especially considering I’ve won larger prizes at lower bet levels on this game (although some of those did involve the free spins feature and re-triggers), and $50 bets tend to yield large prizes in general, especially on “link” type games . Also, aside from the $1,000 Minor, I didn’t see any of those crazy huge numbers popping up that I tend to see when I place max bets at lower denominations (even $.01). Then again, $.05 is still a relatively low denomination, and I guess part of Buffalo’s volatility is that you can win unusually high or unusually low prizes.

  • Sorry for having to leave an additional comment here, but I can’t see my post because it hasn’t been approved yet and I think I may have typed the wrong thing.
    The bet was $.10 denomination x5 for $50. I think I may have said something else.
    But yeah, I’m looking at my video now, and that $50 bet definitely landed me 10 $50s, 3 $100s, and a $1,000 minor bonus for a total of $1,800.

    • One thing to remember about Buffalo Link is given there’s 20 reel space spaces vs. the standard 15 on Lightning Link, I think adjustments were made to favor those smaller prizes more often, with more rare big prizes, because you can get 19 prizes vs. 14 prizes to almost fill the board. So I think the distribution of prize sizes is just different. I’ve had a lot of experiences on the game where most/all of the prizes are 1x and 2x so it doesn’t sound off to me – just the way they balanced out hold and spin for that game.

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