Chocolates: Slot Overview
Picking up where Donuts left off comes Chocolates from Big Time Gaming. Like its predecessor, Chocolates is dripping in the sweet stuff, on the surface at least, while bubbling away out of sight is a heavy-duty math model that can rip or let fly. Gamers who may have been waiting for more of a 'classic' Big Time Gaming title to come along, and who may have grown a bit weary of the experimental stuff, Chocolates will likely be a welcomed arrival. It might look smaller and unassuming when eyeballed next to its big-name 'Mega' cousins. Chocolates is nevertheless a lethal gambling machine which shouldn't be taken lightly.
Before we dive in, Big Time Gaming has provided a bit of a backstory to tie their games together:
The Bonanza mine to this day, is still pumping out GOLD, the Mexican Chilli Stand still has a good turnover, furthermore, the 321 Donuts diner is now in orbit. After trying his hand in Vegas and running out of options, our hero of the Mega-verse, Jose, has left nothing to chance with his next venture. Heading to the Swiss/German border to a small town, known only for its Cuckoo Clocks and Chocolates, a somewhat broken Jose begins once again to channel his entrepreneurial spirit into the making of the finest chocolates known to man, with the man, the legend José Cavadoré at the helm; you just know there’ll be some deliciously big wins afoot!
The graphics feel a lot more homely this time around. Gone is the arid desert to be replaced by an Alpine setting, the 4x4 grid now sitting in a quaint wooden structure, surrounded by meadows, forests, and mountains. Chirping birds provide extra tranquillity, at odds with the blast of slot noises when the reels are in motion. Alongside the bleeping intrusions, cogs and wheels fly into life beside the reels, giving the whole thing a cuckoo clock effect. In fact, a cuckoo actually springs out when the bonus is awarded. Overall, it's strangely warmer than Donuts, despite the colder climate.
Chocoholics can get their thrills on any device, by setting stakes from 10 p/c to £/€20. Donuts had a rep for being a volatile monster, and that characteristic can be felt in Chocolates as well, though toned down to an extent. Decent wins are there for the taking during the base game, mainly due to the box feature. However, it's still all about triggering free spins, which seems somewhat more frequent than Donuts, though far from being a cakewalk. A slight RTP increase to 96.6% might not be enough to make a noticeable difference, but is a positive uptick.
As before, combinations of three or four are possible, left to right from the first reel onwards. In its most basic form, there are 256 ways to win. When box symbols are in play, that figure can get as high as 2,401 win ways in the base game without increasing the number of rows or reels. It might sound like a pipe dream at first but bear with us through the features for it all to become clear.
Chocolates' paytable is made up of 10 pay symbols, a couple of wilds and a scatter. First up are the 9-A royals which only pay out when four of a kind land. Four premium chocolate symbols follow; several like the pyramidal shapes you see in a Toblerone bar. Premium wins start at 0.3x for the green choc up to 1x for the purple one. Values have taken a drop since Donuts, yet features can pep the payouts up. One way is via the two wild, appearing on reels 2-4 to replace any pay symbol. The Golden Ticket Wild is the one you want. Any Golden Ticket part of a win multiplies the amount by x6 each - three on the reels equates to a tidy x216 multiplier.
Chocolates: Slot Features
Chocolate's features are the very essence of effective simplicity. They might not sound incredible on paper, nor are they overly remarkable in small numbers, but they rack up quickly and can produce the kind of results to turn a session around.
Key to opening the game is the yellow boxes with 'BTG' stamped on them. They appear on any reel, and each one opens to reveal up to 4 premium chocolate symbols. More than one box in view always reveals the same chocolate symbol. This dynamic increases the win ways too. For example, if three boxes reveal 4 chocolates each, the produce 12 ways to win.
The next feature is activated by the rotating clock hands scatter - 3 or 4 in view award 7 or 10 free spins. When free spins begin, one or more of the triggering scatters randomly turns into a sticky box. All box symbols that land are sticky in free spins, so when they land, they remain locked in place for the duration of the bonus. If a full reel is covered in sticky boxes, 3 free spins are added to the remaining amount. Filling the reels with 4 symbol boxes can technically add up to 16 symbols per reel and create 65,656 ways to win.
Chocolates: Slot Verdict
If you've played Donuts, then you'll have a fair idea of what to expect from its Chocolates sibling. Both are highly volatility games which share similar pros and cons. The base game might seem uneventful, but massive wins are technically possible outside of the bonus round with the help of the x6 wilds which are the key to winning big here. Knowing huge rewards can arrive on literally any spin, as is the case for example in Danger! High Voltage with its x6 multipliers, certainly adds to the thrill.
In some ways, Chocolates is exactly the slot that is needed from Big Time Gaming at this point, a good appetiser to indulge in between their more experimental releases. As many of you already know, Donuts went on to become a huge hit for the studio. Chocolates will undoubtedly fair well with fans of the original as it comes with just the right tweaks and add-ons that one could have hoped for - it's not over the top and not underwhelming either.
For some straight up slots action with a harder edge, Chocolates should fit the bill. Its challenging gaming can blow up when the right pieces fall into place, offering potential of up to 65,536 times the stake on a single spin. Overall, it's an excellent alternative, even if it doesn't do a lot that Donuts didn't already serve up.
Deftly blending tried-and-true mechanics with brand-new elements, Chocolates is a fresh and highly exciting Donuts follow-up.