Champion Raceway is going to be a game that’s dedicated to horse racing, a fairly popular gambling activity for people, though mostly offline since it’s more fun to go to the track yourself. There are a couple of slot machines already with a similar theme, but this is the only one that I know to have a classic layout and symbols. The setup in Champion Raceway is comprised of 3 reels with 5 active lines selected for them. You will benefit from the presence of a wild multiplier that can bring the prizes up significantly, plus there is a horse racing feature as well, in which you can advance and eventually win. The game even rewards you with free spins in certain situations. A jackpot of 10,000 coins is the big target that the game puts in your crosshairs.
Only 5 active lines were made available in Champion Raceway, and all of them have been activated, without an option to use only some of them. You obviously need 5 coins in your wagers at all times, but you are given the option to select the value of those coins, or of the line bet if you prefer.
The theme is an easy one, revolving around horse racing in theory, but it is not really visible on the reels. You can see the horse race taking place at the top, in a bonus game which you use for as long as you’re spinning the reels. On the reels though, the images are mostly those of the fruits, symbols that are a staple of the 3 reel slot category, and common enough in the 5 reel ones as well. As symbols in Champion Raceway, IGT chose to use a single related icon, the one with the flowers and the multiplier, while the others are with oranges, watermelon, grapes, lemons and a cherry. The game’s design actually holds promise, but that’s mostly due to the area at the top, where you see a horse racing track, with people on the sides and five horses at the starting line. It looks like a toy horse racing track to be honest, but it’s still a pretty good look for a slot machine with a classic layout. The symbols on the reels are a lot less exciting, and I’m not very happy about the quality of those images.
The Wild Multiplier feature is easy to spot, since it actually shows on it the multiplier that it can apply to its wins. It has a 3x on it, and any win that you get with a wild in the combo will be tripled for each symbol that participates. With one wild, the combo is at 3x the usual value, while if you have two wilds present you will get 9x the regular payout. Have the entire line with wilds on it, and you get the 10,000x jackpot. Now, in addition to the wild symbol, another feature that you can use here is the one called Raceway Derby. All regular symbols can have a Derby Ribbon appear next to them, at random. The ribbons are colored in one of five available colors and they correspond to one of the five horses racing in the top window. Each ribbon that appears will advance one of the horses by one position. Once one of those horses reaches the finishing line, you will get a prize. The red horse gives you a jackpot of 300x, the green one pays 100x, while the yellow horse pays 50x. The blue horse delivers 10 Victory Lap free spins, while from the pink one you receive 5 free spins. If you trigger the blue horse’s free spins, the 10 rounds will have wins with increasing multipliers in them, starting at 4x for the initial spin and ending up at 13x for the last one. The pink horse gives you fewer spins, only 5, and the increasing multipliers have a smaller range as well, between 2x and 10x.
By far, the best possible payout that you can get in Champion Raceway will be the 10,000 coins that are offered in exchange for a combination of three wilds present on the same line. It gets better during the free spins, if you manage to trigger them, since in theory you could be getting up to 130,000 coins then. All others are much smaller than that, even if you get the biggest multipliers to improve their value. The game has low value payouts if you discount the amount offered by the top jackpot. The average RTP isn’t that much better either, IGT announcing a theoretical range for it between 92% and 96%, which is not going to impress anyone.
I’d recommend Champion Raceway only to fans of horse racing slots, or of classic games with a bit more features inside. It’s not impressive enough otherwise, to be considered by everyone.