It is a truth universally acknowledged that an online slots sequel will always be compared to its predecessor. Lightening Box’s Chilli Gold 2: Stellar Jackpots does enough even in its title to have us thinking that this five reel, 40 payline effort is definitely worth a taste. And when we hit that Stellar Jackpots Bonus Feature, all our space-age dreams are realised. Ice creams at the ready, then. This slot’s about to get loco.
With a few small tweaks to the game design Chilli Gold 2 already looks fresher than the original. The artwork seems more vibrant, more polished, though our chilli-brandishing Cabrone returns as the game’s highest-paying symbol. Now, though, he is offering his chilli to us (not a euphemism) rather than simply holding it aloft. His Mule, his Maracas, his Guitarrón and his friendly turquoise Macaw also return to ensure that Chilli Gold 2 provides continuity with the original.
While there is some continuity, there is also some change. And, frankly, change for the better. If the betting interface in the original title was simple, then the betting options in Chilli Gold 2 are as easy as pie. We have to play 40 paylines, so the only choice we need make in this simplified interface is how many coins per line we want to play. The more coins we play, the bigger the Stellar Jackpots become – visible at the top of the screen in the Mini, Minor and Major Jackpot boxes.
The Stacked Wild Chillis are back in Chilli Gold 2, only now the Chilli Wilds substitute for all symbols and also double any wins as they do so. The same is true of the Gold Chillis stacked on reels 2, 3, 4 and 5 in the Free Games bonus feature, again doubling all wins with up to 21 Free Games on offer, dependent on how many Stacked Red Chillis we land in the base game.
Aside from the main bonus game, the Stellar Jackpots feature quite literally takes us to whole new levels. Randomly triggered when we play 48 coins or more at 40 paylines, we are transported from Mexico into deep space where we begin a defence against invading alien ships, satellites and hurtling meteors in a Space Invaders-esque shoot-em-up! Should we blast green arrows we pass on to the next level. Pass through six levels and not only will we pick up bonus winnings along the way, but we also have a shot at the Jackpot Level. Here, all the planets hide jackpots. Blast these away and match three to win either the Mini, Minor or Major Jackpot. No guesses as to which one we all want to bag.
If Lightening Box was thinking outside the box when it came up with the very concept for Chilli Gold, then the outside-the-galaxy thinking that is present in Chilli Gold 2: Stellar Jackpots puts its predecessor to shame. The Stellar Jackpots feature elevates this game – quite literally! – and makes it one that we will play, share and shout about like the slots geeks we are.