Game: Li’l Red (Super Colossal Reels)
Manufacturer: Scientific Games (WMS)
Advantage Play Potential: Low
What Makes it Special: 100 lines for as little as 60 credits, with a full reel of wilds on the smaller reels transferring to the colossal reels. A persistent state wild element is introduced as part of the more/better bet structure.
The Colossal Reels games is a classic format that WMS developed a decade ago, and due to the hardware the games utilize being phased out in many casinos due to lack of parts, the games are slowly becoming harder to come by.
Scientific Games has been reactivating lots of their old IP in various ways so their classic games don’t disappear for good. For some games it’s a remake and re-release; for others they’re doing sequels that carry the game forward. It’s the latter approach they’ve taken for Li’l Red and its sibling, Spartacus, which they’re dubbing “Super Colossal Reels” to differentiate the two.
Understanding the Game
If you’ve never played the original Li’l Red, the new version has a lot in common with its predecessor. Let’s start there. The game is 100 lines, with two reel sets – the standard 5×4 Main Reel set with the first 25 lines, and a massive 5×12 Super Colossal Reels set that has the other 75 lines.
You get access to all 100 lines for a minimum bet of 60 credits; this has the tendency to offer some lower volatility. Of course, this being a sequel, they make up for it in other ways which we’ll get to in a second.
During the base game, if you get a reel full of wilds, which happens with relative frequency, that reel transfers the all wild property to the matching reel on the Super Colossal Reels set. If you get multiple wild reels, multiple reels transfer. This is one area where a lot of the pays can come from.
Where the game evolves relates to the betting structure rolled out on this version. New to this version of the game, and available on all bet levels, is a fifth reel on the Super Colossal Reels which includes giant symbols that feature standard pay table symbols, wild multipliers (part of the newly added volatility), and progressives (another volatility builder). Certain lower-end pay table symbols (specifically the poker symbols) are not present on the 5th Super Colassal Reels strip, but with the number of wilds/multipliers available, they can still line up just fine.
Like many sequels, you lose the ability to select how many lines you wish to bet. The sequel also increase the base game bet from 50 credits to 60 credits to account for this new reel, so the spend goes up 20 percent at a minimum over the original game.
Added to this version are two new bet levels; similar to Zeus/Kronos Unleashed, there’s three bet groupings in total. The middle bet level activates golden wilds. This is the persistent state element. When a golden wild or wilds lands on the base reels, they stick around for the following spin. If you get a reel of golden wilds, they too transfer to the Super Colossal Reels, and will do so again for the following spin. This bet level is 75 credits, so an additional 15 credits over the base game.
The third bet level adds Mega Wilds, which are a 2×2 space. They, too, can be golden, and therefore stick around for an additional spin, and only appear on reels 1-4, putting them closer to a line hit. Mega Wilds can stack one over the other to fill a reel, and therefore transfer over two reels to be wild on the Super Colossal Reels. This bet level is 100 credit increments, another third over the middle bet level.
I had a decent amount of time on this machine prior to writing this up, and I have to say the middle bet seemed to be the sweet spot for regular play – I didn’t see the mega wilds all that often, and they have to still lead to a good line hit or yielding to make up the substantial additional wager they bring in – this is where the volatility begins to go off the charts. At 75 credits/cents the game is a bit more down to earth.
Free Spins Bonus
Like the original, Grandma’s House appears on reels 1, 3 and 5 of both the Main Reels set and the Super Colossal Reels set. Getting three or more triggers the bonus. The free spins are awarded as follows:
- 3 Grandma’s House symbols: 8 free spins
- 4 Grandma’s House symbols: 12 free spins
- 5 or 6 Grandma’s House symbols: 20 free spins
The free spins work as they did on the original – if a wild appears in any part of the Main Reels during a free spin, the entire reel turns wild and then transfers to the Super Colossal Reels. If there’s at least one Golden Wild symbol, the reel turns Golden Wild and transfers, and then sticks around for the next spin, just like on the base game.
The ability for wilds to pile up in the bonus, connect with multipliers, and trigger a massive win means the bonus is hard to get; I gave the game a few hundred spins and didn’t have a bonus to show for it, although that was common for me on the original as well.
5th Reel Features (Progressives; Multipliers)
New to this version is progressives, but how you win them differs from most other games out there. The progressives are part of the fifth reel. Get a five-of-a-kind line hit that includes the progressive symbol, and you win that progressive. The progressive symbols replace some number of wild spaces, and also act as wilds (meaning it pays the five of a kind on top of the progressive).
The probability of progressive spaces (and more progressive spaces), and the values of said progressives placed on the reels, increase with bet, so higher bets have higher chances to win any progressive, as well as winning the higher progressives. This is pretty standard issue for progressives on modern machines. But this means you can win a progressive at any bet.
Multipliers also appear on that final reel, which can multiply line hits by 2x, 3x, 5x, 10x or 25x. These also act as wilds, so they match with any symbol. If you can line up the 25x, even with a basic pay table symbol, you can get a significant hit.
Understanding the Advantage
The persistent state wilds is the trick here; if you see a golden wild, you know that wild will exist for the next spin. It only sticks around for that one extra spin, so its advantage isn’t as strong as games like Golden Jungle or Golden Egypt, where you get multiple spins to take advantage.
However, there are some things here that if you get lucky and spot the right scenario, it could be valuable. First off, if you have a full reel of golden wilds, you know that will replicate to the Super Colossal Reels set. More golden wilds in the earlier reels will have value, and a Mega Golden Wild could be even moreso.
Furthermore, out of the three bet levels, two of the three have persistent state potential, being the upper two choices featuring the Golden Wilds and the Mega Wilds. So there’s still 10 opportunities to check.
Given any potential advantage is clear just by checking the reels, it’s worth a look if you’re nearby one, or especially if you’re playing on one bet level already.
Watch and Learn
Here is Scientific Games’ overview of the Super Colossal Reels series, which includes sister game Spartacus as well:
RandomSlots has an overview of the game, including the pay tables and a free spins bonus:
Here is Slotlady‘s session on the game: