Christmas Tree: Slot Overview
Developer TrueLab Games gets their Christmas spirit well and truly on in the unimaginatively titled slot Christmas Tree. Released through Yggdrasil’s YGS Masters program, the slot celebrates the most recognisable icon of Xmas, the humble tree. Whether real, with an authentic smell, or synthetic from the pound saver, nothing says it’s Christmas like a big green tree in the corner of the room. TrueLab has plonked one on screen to host a grid slot offering an elves workshop of features.
Due to the similar shape, Christmas Tree is vaguely reminiscent of Play’n GO’s slot Gold Volcano since both are arranged in a triangular shape. TrueLab has gone for the full Winter Wonderland look, lavishing on purple-hued snow, a snowman, a warm cosy house in the background, and even a star like the one that led the three wise men to Bethlehem. It’s hard to think of much else Xmas related the studio could have stuffed in. It’s so in-season will anyone want to play this on boxing day (or later) when they are stuffed with roast meat, eggnog, and their presents have failed to live up to expectations?
Christmas Tree may be played on any device by first selecting the appropriate stake from 40 p/c up to £/€40 per spin. The relatively high minimum bet will likely be uninviting for some low-rollers who might feel inclined to celebrate Christmas elsewhere. An RTP rating of 96.4% is sure to please most people though, while the volatility can mirror Santa’s tendency to visit just once a year. Christmas Tree packs a surprisingly high potential, and while attempting to crack it, players theoretically enjoy a win every three spins or so where the hit frequency has been rated 31.6%.
Played using a 6 row high grid in a 2-3-4-5-6-7 formation, each ascending row has one less symbol than before until the top one holds just two. There are no paylines or win ways, TrueLab opting for a cluster pays system instead. When five or more matching symbols connect diagonally, you have a win on your hands, and the cascade feature is triggered.
Things stay festive for the paytable too, starting with three decorations in green, blue, and purple as the low pays, followed by candy canes, sweets and bells as the mids. Next, come two premium symbols – Santa and an Angel. The final regular symbol is a snow globe wild which substitutes for anything except the Mystery Symbols.
Christmas Tree: Slot Features
Cascades are the most common extra that can lead players onto most of the features if enough of them occur. On the side are two random extras popping off the odd win or two every so often.
Starting with the randoms, one is the Blizzard feature which appears when no more wins in a cascade sequence occur. A cold wind blows across the grid, dropping 3-9 mystery symbols in random positions. These mystery gift boxes then transform into the same symbol – pays or wilds. The second random event happens on any spin when the snowman on the left wakes up to throw snowballs at the grid, hitting one low or mid pay type. All instances of that symbol in view then turn wild.
Cascades are triggered after every win. This mechanic clears the winning symbols from the grid, so new ones can take their place possibly leading to another win off the same spin. Cascades continue until no more wins land. If three or more cascades occur in a row, the game gifts players with one of three presents:
- Coin win - a wheel spins to award a win of 5x to 1,000x the bet.
- Total win multiplier – a different wheel spins to apply a win multiplier of 2x to 30x.
- 5 free spins.
Free spins come with several benefits. The snowman is active on every single spin, hurling snowballs to convert symbols as described above. Also, a progressive win multiplier is introduced, starting at x1 and increasing by +1 after each cascade. Free spins cannot be retriggered.
Christmas Tree: Slot Verdict
If you’ve wanted to know what Xmas in a snow globe feels like, Christmas Tree the slot gives a pretty accurate taster. Infectious good cheer makes Christmas Tree an apt option for the season. The actual name ‘Christmas Tree’ might not exactly be overly dynamic, but the team’s commitment to the holidays is commendable.
So was it worth dedicating resources to a new Xmas game? For the most part, it’s not a bad effort. Christmas Tree has all the stats you could want, plus the gameplay is engaging at times. Like most grid slots it’s all about the getting the snowball rolling to reach the later, bigger stages of the game.
In some ways Christmas Tree feels like Yggdrasil’s own Carol of the Elves. You don’t get many free spins when you make it so far, though they can be intense. One main difference is Christmas Tree offers around 4 times as much potential at 25,000 times the bet although the likelihood of that happening has not been disclosed, so take that figure with a pinch of salt. Sure there can be a wait for free spins to appear, but at least the possibility is there to go a little wild. Like rushing to the tree on Christmas morning to find your name on the biggest gift, it’s a nice surprise when it happens.
True Lab’s first grid slot is a full-blown Christmas affair, which might also be tempting to play during the offseason due to its features and huge potential.