Big Bad Wolf Christmas Special: Slot Overview
Released in 2013, Big Bad Wolf was one Quickspin's first releases, and an instant hit for the up and coming studio. It could have been a risk using a kids' story to theme a slot, but Big Bad Wolf mixed just the right features, looks, and rewards to see past that to the playable game beneath. It's since garnered a cult status and is just as fun to play as ever. It's no high powered thrill ride, back then slots weren't generally quite as brutally volatile as they are today, yet it remains a guilty pleasure for many all the same. In a move many other developers have made, Big Bad Wolf has been converted into a holiday-friendly version. Like countless TV-shows before it, we now have the Big Bad Wolf Christmas Special.
At first glance not too much seems to have changed. Players get the same timber framed 5-reel, 25 payline grid, set somewhere out in the countryside. Even the same barrel of apples sits next to it. This time, however, everything is covered in snow with sprinkles of the season here there such as gift ribbons and the like. One minor change is the payline numbers have gone to make way for decorative lights instead – perhaps the look was too old school. Birds chirp away in the background, making it all feel very familiar. At this point, we should warn players looking for new enhancements; the visual changes will be the only ones found in the game.
When it comes to maths and stats, all remains untouched. That means a bet range from 25 p/c to £/€100, medium volatility, and the same excellent 97.34% RTP that played a major part in the success of the original. Again, the math model was one of the original's highlights, so players get the identical gameplay as before.
To win, there are 11 regular symbols which pay left to right when at least three land on a payline. The five low win symbols are 10-A card royals, speckled in snow and still look like they've been nailed to the side of crates. Then there are what is termed the four medium win symbols – a soft toy and the three piggy stars of the story. Land 5 of these symbols to cause a payout of 8 to 12 times the stake.
It is possible to have up to four different wild symbols in play, but to start with there is just one. This is the beehive wild which substitutes for all symbols except the Wolf Scatter and Moon symbols. The wild also carries a value of its own, paying out when at least two land in a line, or up to 40x the bet for five of a kind.
Big Bad Wolf Christmas Special: Slot Features
Part of Big Bad Wolf's charm was its features. Not only were there a good number of them, but they worked together to enhance each other's effects well. The snowball roll starts with Swooping Reels, leading to Pigs Turn Wild, then Free Spins and finally the Blowing Down the House feature.
Pretty common now, a little less so back in 2013, is the Swooping Reels style of feature (more commonly known as 'cascades'). All winning combinations trigger it, which starts by removing the winning symbols from the grid. Empty spaces are then filled by symbols dropping in from above, creating new chances to win from the same spin. Swooping Reels keep on swooping until there are no new winning combinations.
Pigs Turn Wild does pretty much what the label suggests. Every 2nd win in a sequence turns a pig into a wild symbol. So the 2nd, 4th, then 6th win turns pig 1, 2, then 3 wild. When no more wins land the piggy wilds revert back to their normal state. This feature appears in the base game as well as free spins.
You can tell you are playing the Christmas version because the wolf scatter now wears a Santa hat - 3 or more of these symbols on the reels activates 10 free spins plus pays out 3x the bet as well. Should three scatters land in the bonus game, then 10 more free spins are added to the tally.
In free spins, a new moon symbol is introduced on the last reel, to be collected when they land. When 3 are collected, the Big Bad Wolf blows down the house to award +2 free spins. When 6 moons are collected, 2 more spins are added plus an x2 multiplier is applied to any win from then on in the feature.
Big Bad Wolf Christmas Special: Slot Verdict
It's fair to say Quickspin has taken the quick and painless route when it came to designing this Christmas remake. Aside from a few graphical changes, everything even down to the second decimal place of the RTP is exactly the same as the original, meaning this is merely a reskin. Few fans of the original will be complaining too loudly though, as they now get the perfect excuse to blow houses down again in a re-release.
Quite a lot of time has passed between the two games, yet the experience actually feels pretty contemporary. Cascades, reactions, swoops, or whatever you want to call them, are still red hot, appearing in countless games. What's interesting is with the proliferation of Megaways and the like, operating Swoops on a 25-payline grid should feel more restrictive than it does. On the contrary, the mechanic works just as well in Big Bad Wolf Christmas Special as anywhere else. Where the game might fail to ignite the fire of modern big win chasers is in potential, which tops out around 1,200 times your bet.
But hey, it's nice to have a range of options to choose from, especially if you're stuck inside for the holiday season looking for something to play that isn't quite brutal enough to wreck your holiday spirit. For many, Big Bad Wolf Christmas Special is sure to be a pleasant trip down memory lane, a snowy one this time.
Being such a straight-out copy means everything that made the first Big Bad Wolf slot a hit is here, virtually unchanged in this Christmas clone of a Quickspin classic.