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Balloon Race Live: Our Review, How and Where to Play

Evolution by Evolution

Balloon Race Live is a live casino slot game released by Evolution in 2024. It’s one of several new live slots that Evo cooked up in recent years, combining RNG-based online slots with live casino bonus rounds. The live portion of the game is limited, but entertaining in the style of modern casino game shows. The game boasts 96.09% RTP with a minimum bet of $0.10 and a $2,550 maximum wager. It was released in late 2024 and is available on both desktop and mobile in any casino with Evolution software.

Evolution doubled down on its live slots in 2024, releasing several notable games in a genre they never really covered in the past. Spurred by the success of titles like Crazy Pachinko, Balloon Race Live seems to be more attractive for fans of classic online slots. Still, the robust bonus round holds quite a few surprises. Check out the rest of this review of the Balloon Race live casino game for more details and our expert opinion on how good the game is.

Balloon Race Live
  • Excitement
  • Design & Sound
  • Streaming Quality
  • Interactivity
  • Win Potential

Balloon Race Live Review

Game Specifications
Game nameBalloon Race Live
Game providerEvolution
Game typeLow Stakes
Streaming from
Bet range€0.10 - €2,500
Max win$500,000
Side betsNo
Supported platforms Desktop Mobile Tablet
Supported OS Android Apple Windows
Languages Arabic Arabic Chinese Chinese Czech Czech Danish Danish English English Finnish Finnish +14
All supported languages
  • Arabic Arabic
  • Chinese Chinese
  • Czech Czech
  • Danish Danish
  • English English
  • Finnish Finnish
  • French French
  • German German
  • Greek Greek
  • Hindi Hindi
  • Italian Italian
  • Norwegian Norwegian
  • Polish Polish
  • Portuguese Portuguese
  • Romanian Romanian
  • Russian Russian
  • Spanish Spanish
  • Swedish Swedish
  • Turkish Turkish
  • Ukrainian Ukrainian

Live slots seem to be causing quite a stir in the live gambling community. This relatively new form of gaming has caught the attention of many casino software providers, including the giant that is Evolution. As a quick reminder, live slots combine the simplicity and popular appeal of slot machines with the excitement and authenticity of live casino games. Although they were originally a niche product, it seems that the trend is picking up steam. Several high-budget live slot games have been released throughout 2023 and 2024, and Balloon Race Live is one of them.

If you want to know more about what live slots are, how they came to be, and what’s currently available, check out this article. It explains the concept and appear of live slots and lists some of the best examples we’ve seen so far.

Anyway, Balloon Race Live by Evolution seems to be a rather typical example of the genre. It combines relatively simple slot machine gameplay with a big, exciting bonus round that works like a casino game show. It’s not too different from other Evolution-made live slots such as Crazy Pachinko or Extra Chilli Epic Spins. That said, it seems Balloon Race tries to be a lot more original than many of its direct competitors. The slot part of the game is more complex than we’ve seen with many other live slots (though not quite at the level of Extra Chilli Epic Spins.) Similarly, the bonus round isn’t just a simple rehash of other features and games. It’s sort of inspired by bingo or a lottery but with some twists and turns.

If you want to know more about these Balloon Race features and how they work, check out the gameplay guide below.

Key Highlights

Combines an online slot machine with a lottery-based bonus round
Gameplay is divided into three distinct sections - slot spinning/qualification, the Top-Up round, and the bonus round
The qualification phase offers a fully-functioning online slot machine that players play individually
Players who qualify for the bonus round are taken to the truly Live part of the game, which is used to collect massive bonuses
Available 24/7 in full HD and streamed from a purpose-made Evolution studio
96.09% RTP, with slight variation depending on the current phase of the game

How to Play Balloon Race Live

Live slots are a relatively new type of game in live casinos, so there isn’t really an established norm in how these games work. Still, the gameplay of the Balloon Race live casino game is not too different from other live slots. Generally, it works the same way as Crazy Pachinko. Some of the elements and features of Balloon Race are different on the surface, but the actual gameplay is very similar.

Essentially, players all enjoy individual slot machines that are not really “live”. The goal is to qualify for the next bonus round, but the slot also has its own payouts. The bonus round’s live stream is not always active, though, which means there’s a single bonus round every few minutes or so. If you successfully qualify, you’ll participate in the next upcoming bonus round. If not, you can just keep playing the slots. Moreover, the Top-Up round allows players who have already qualified to have some fun (and profit!) while waiting for the live bonus round to begin.

If you haven’t had the chance to try Crazy Pachinko yet, no worries. Keep reading for a complete guide to the Balloon Race casino game, complete with strategy tips.

The game is divided into three major parts. Let’s go through each one and see how it works.

    Balloon Race tutorial


    Qualification Phase

    The qualification phase of Balloon Race Live is the “slot” part of the whole thing. It’s completely based on computer-generated random numbers (RNG) with no real “live” element. It’s also mostly seen as a way of qualifying for the bonus round.

    Generally, it’s very simple and fast-paced – just like most slot machines. The slot itself has 5 reels and 3 rows, so its layout is fairly common for modern online slots. It also has 10 fixed paylines.

    As is always the case with slots, your goal is to arrange three or more matching symbols along one or more of these paylines. Every time you do, you get a payout based on the number and value of the winning symbols.

    The slot contains 7 types of regular symbols and 2 special ones. The regular symbols, in order of increasing value, are 10, J, Q, K, A, Bronze Ribbon, and Silver Ribbon.

    The special symbols include Scatters and Expanding Wilds. Such special symbols are found in almost every slot nowadays. Here’s what they do:

    • Expanding Wilds can substitute for any other symbol to make winning lines. Every time one appears on the board, it expands and covers all three positions on its current reel.
    • Scatter Symbols can win anywhere on the board without regard to their positions or paylines. Hitting 3 in the same spin qualifies you for the next Bonus Round. Scatters may also come with random multipliers of up to 10x attached to them. If you qualify for the bonus round using one of these, the multiplier increases any resulting winnings.

    You can increase your chances of qualifying for the bonus round using the XXXTreme spin modes.

    • XXXTreme Spins cost 5x your stake with every spin. However, they guarantee at least 1 Wild or Scatter on every spin and increase the chances of Scatters having multipliers.
    • Super XXXTreme Spins cost a whopping 50x per spin, but guarantee at least 2 Scatter/Wild symbols and greatly increase Scatter multipliers.

    Top-Up Phase

    The Top-Up phase offers a chance to potentially increase your winnings in the Bonus Round. It is only available to players who have already qualified for the upcoming bonus round. Note that this phase is completely optional – you can just sit back and wait for the bonus round to kick off without doing anything. Similarly, if you want to play the Top-Up round but don’t have time because the bonus is about the begin, you can choose to “skip” the bonus round. You still get to participate, of course – you’ll just have to wait for the next bonus round while playing Top-Up in the meantime.

    As for the minigame in this phase, it’s quite simple. Whenever you click the “Top Up” button, 3-6 balloons are released. Each balloon contains a multiplier value. 

    The balloons float up to the top and end up in one of four positions – Yellow, Purple, Green, or Red. Each balloon increases the reward of that position by its own displayed value. Alternatively, balloons may pop while flying, in which case their multiplier is lost.

    Note that the Top Up game in Balloon Race Live does not actually have any direct prizes. Instead, it increases potential winnings in the upcoming bonus round.

    With that in mind, the “stake” you use for this round is not used for payouts. Instead, higher bets create balloons with bigger multipliers.

    Once the next Bonus Round is about to begin, you’ ‘ll get a pop-up message. Click “Bonus” to move onto the next phase, or “Top Up” to stay in this phase.

    After the Top-Up phase, a plane will unleash random multipliers for each colour. These multipliers will be multiplied by the scatter multipliers, then added to your Top-Up multiplier to determine the final multipliers for the live Bonus game.


    Balloon Race Bonus Round

    The Balloon Race bonus game takes you to the sky-high studio of the actual live casino game. This is the only part of the whole game that is actually live, using real presenters and a real bingo-style ball-drawing machine.

    After the Top-Up phase, a plane will unleash random multipliers for each colour. These multipliers are multiplied by any multipliers you had on your Scatter symbols, then added to any multipliers secured during the Top-Up phase. This results in four distinct prizes you can see at the top – Yellow, Purple, Green, and Red. Each of these positions also has a corresponding hot air balloon, which starts the bonus round at the bottom of the screen.

    The Bonus game features a ball drawing machine with 80 balls in yellow, purple, green and red. There are exactly 20 balls of each of the four colors.

    The presenter will start drawing these balls from the machine. Every time a ball is drawn, the hot air balloon of the corresponding color moves upwards. The game continues drawing balls and moving the balloons until one of them reaches the top.

    The first hot-air balloon to reach its prize wins. All participating players collect a payout based on the multipliers collected for the corresponding color. While the winning color is always the same for all qualified players, the prizes aren’t. Your actual payout depends on the results of the slot machine and Top-Up round.

    Balloon Race Strategy Tips
    • 1
      All phases of Ballloon Race are completely based on luck, and there's no real way to influence the outcome.
    • 2
      However, it allows you to control the game's volatility to a degree. Turning on XXXTreme or Super XXXTreme spins significantly increases the game's variance, but also comes with a slight decrease in RTP.
    • 3
      The Top-Up phase mini game has a similar effect, although it's less obvious. The more money you throw at it, the more volatile the whole game becomes.
    • 4
      With that in mind, the Top Up phase is best used if you get lucky and quickly qualify for the Bonus round without spending too much money. On the flip side, doubling down after spending a lot on qualifying slot bets is probably not a good idea.

    Payouts & RTP

    The slot in the qualification phase has its own paytable that works much like any online slot you may have seen before. Although the ultimate goal is to hit three Scatters, you can still secure smaller payouts the old-fashioned way – by combining three or more matching symbols.

    The five card symbols – 10, J, Q, K, and A – represent various degrees of low pays. They require 4 or 5 symbols on a line to break even. On the flip side, combinations of Bronze or Silver ribbons can pay solid rewards.

    The Top-up and Bonus rounds do not have a fixed paytable either. Instead, they both contribute to one big prize at the end, which depends on how the multipliers were stacked and which balloon ultimately wins. You can check out the gameplay guide above for more details on every step and contributing factor. The final formula for calculating Ballon Race payouts is this:

    (Scatter multipliers x Bonus round multipliers) + Top-Up multipliers = Final multipliers

    Balloon Race Live RTP is 96.09%. This is quite low by live casino game standards, but it’s actually decent when compared to most online slot machines. It’s also important to note that turning on XXXTreme Spins or Super XXXTreme Spins lowers the game’s overall RTP to 96.00% and 96.03%, respectively.

    Also, the Top-Up round offers an RTP rate of 96.05%. In other words, it’s okay to play it, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to burn through your bankroll too quickly.


    New to Live Slots?

    Our Verdict

    The current lineup of Evolution-made live slots presents a clear evolution (pun intended) of the genre. They’ve tried to implement several different ideas – from the five-spin buy-ins of Extra Chili Spins to the more independent method we see in the Balloon Race game. As we mentioned above, this game uses a similar system to Crazy Pachinko, which was a huge success and offers something we can compare Balloon Race to.

    Let’s start with the good. Thanks to its fleshed-out ideas and high production value, Evolution Balloon Race is easily one of the best live slot games online. The slot itself is simple but effective, and the bonus round is unique thanks to its ball drum and systems. Again, most things are similar to Crazy Pachinko, but with enough differences to keep things interesting.

    However, if we directly compare it to other live slots, things start to look a bit shaky. The Balloon Race game has lower RTP than Extra Chilli Epic spins, for example. It’s also not as innovative as, say, Everybody’s Jackpot by Playtech.

    All in all, the impression is that it’s just a slightly restyled variant of earlier live slot games. The genre is still going through some growing pains and is trying to appeal to fans of both slots and game shows, sometimes with mixed results. We can still say that it’s a good game, it’s just not very memorable or innovative.


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    Very Good


    The most you can win in a single round is $500,000, which is the standard Evolution cap. There is theoretically no maximum value to the multipliers, so the max win depends on the size of you stake too. If one or more of the multipliers exceed this $500,000 maximum, you can no longer play the Top Up round.
    The game's overall RTP is 96.09%, with small variations based on betting options.
    On any online casino with brand-new Evolution software. You can find our suggestions for the best Evolution casinos here.
    The game is completely based on luck, so there is no real strategy involved. However, we still have some tips on how to get the most out of the game, which you can find in our guide above.

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