When I was in my schooling days, one of my favourite TV shows was 'The Thunderbirds', an animated puppet action series, with the heroes always going out on hazardous rescue missions, with incredible machines to match. Incredible, because those machines were like nothing I have ever seen before at that point in time. And I thought this Rival game was about those heroes, but it wasn't. The Thunderbird refers to an ancient tribe's spiritual and mythical bird, often symbolised onto the tribe's Totem Poles for worship. Hmm. Anyway, the game has icons that look like puppets, all very colourfully presented, but all drowned by the demanding background transparency, creating confusion and unpleasant viewing. I don't like it at all. The background scenario for the icons should have been so much more muted or opaque, to make the symbols more prominent.
The odd looking multi-coloured Bird is the Thunderbird, the Wild symbol, which doesn't pay anything for itself but doubles all wins with it. It appears only on reels 1, 2, 3 and 4, it substitutes for other symbols except the Scatter symbol, and expands into a Wild Reel in winning combinations during the free spins. It doesn't expand in the base game. Sheesh! That whatever-head is the Scatter symbol, it also doesn't pay anything for itself, and getting 3, 4 or 5 of them triggers 10, 20 or 50 free spins without any multiplier. Argh! During the free spins, getting 3 or more of the Super Spirit symbols trigger 5 Super Spirit Free Spins, with reel 1 as a Wild Reel in each spin, and doubling all wins with it. The Free Spins game cannot be retriggered. Dang! As for the other symbols, the Snake pays 2000x, the Flower pays 1500x, the Feathers pay 1000x, and the rest pay from 600x to 60x, all per line bet for 5 of each kind. Yet another very low paytable.
Apart from the very low paytable, the performance of Thunderbird as a game failed to impress me. The base game was boring, the payouts were very small and unexciting, and the Free Spins games can be absolutely terrifying, with regular payouts of like 0.5x to 5x the total bet amount! I did manage to get one of that 5 Super Spirit Free Spins game, but the final payout was a miserably low 35x bet amount win. The best single win would be getting 5 of the Snake symbols with a Wild, for a 4000x line bet win, or 80x the total bet. Sheesh! One more Rival game for my deep freezer!