Finn’s Golden Tavern (NetEnt): Overview
Finn's Golden Tavern sees the return of NetEnt's cheerful flute-playing leprechaun Finn who we first got to meet in the 2017 title Finn and the Swirly Spin. Although it failed to charm the cork-sniffers, it did fare much better with the recreational players much thanks to its gentle volatility, happy visuals, and the use of a unique, never before seen, spiral spin mechanic. In our case, we lost interest almost instantly as we found the mechanic to be somewhat annoying, frustrating and the payouts too weak. But with its cutesy Nintendo-inspired visuals, it's likely to speak to a demographic that grew up playing Super Mario World, Kirby, and whatnot.
As will instantly become apparent to anyone that's ever played the original, the sequel builds on the same concept. The action still takes place on a 5-reel, 5-row layout, the spiral pattern is there as well, and the Avalanche mechanic and cluster pays system is still at the core of the game. In fact, most of the technical aspects are kept in line with Finn and the Swirly Spin to ensure it doesn't stray too far off the beaten path. The 96.1% RTP is a tad bit lower (96.62%), the volatility as well while the hit frequency is nearly the same. Although the max win potential is yet to be confirmed, that part seems to have increased as well, coming in at around 1,000 times your stake. Available across all devices, you can play Finn's Golden Tavern from 0.10 up to a staggering €/£500 per spin.
On the visual side of things, the sequel is not quite as colourful as the original. But there's a good reason for that. Finn, probably bored out of his mind from playing the flute all day long, has relocated himself from the outdoors to his tavern, hence why the game has a less cheerful feel. With the reels set on a table, you get to see a closeup of Finn's flute along with some other objects that include a compass, dice, a candle and beer mats.
Then, on the reels you'll see an assortment of beverage containers, all four of them being of the same value giving you 5 times your stake for a combination of 5 on a payline. There are also four different gold coins included in the game. Each coin symbol on the reels has a value assigned, and any match of 3 or more coin symbols pays out the sum of all the coin values in the match. The star is once again the wild, and to illustrate the drunken atmosphere of Finn's Tavern, we assume, it now wears an eyepatch.
Finn’s Golden Tavern (NetEnt): Features
Finn's Golden Tavern benefits from a Free Spins feature and two different random features. Here's what you can expect. In the main game on a no-win spin, the Fist Slam feature can be randomly triggered. You'll see Finn slam his fist on the table which will move a coin symbol so that a win is generated. The other random feature is known as the Random Coin feature - if the free spins chest symbol is in the direct loop of symbols around the central position, this feature will activate to turn low value symbols into coin symbols.
In the original version, the objective was to move a key scatter through a swirl to the central position - all in the same series of avalanches (in one spin basically). Here, it's the chest you have to get to the central position in order to trigger the Free Spins. With 5 spins awarded, the compass on the table is now transformed into a multiplier meter that goes up one step for each wild that is generated during avalanches. For every 5 steps in the meter, the multiplier is increased by 1x.
Moreover, during the free spin round, if the chest symbol is in central position on the reels after the completion of avalanches, it will activate the Coin Bonus feature. This feature places out several coin symbols onto the reels with random values assigned to them.
Finn’s Golden Tavern (NetEnt): Verdict
Now, the big question is - is Finn's Golden Tavern an improvement to the original? In our humble opinion, it is. Now, you won't see many hardcore gamers sit glued to the screen playing it, that's for sure. The volatility and potential is far too low to appeal to the thrill-seekers. With that said, there have been some improvements to make it slightly more appealing overall. First of all, it's far less complicated. Whereas the original was absolutely filled to the brim with features, Finn's Golden Tavern is more straightforward. There's a free spins game with an increasing win multiplier, and that's pretty much it. The slight boost in potential is also welcomed, of course.
Although it looks great and plays well, at the end of the day we didn't find Finn's Golden Tavern to be all that engaging. It doesn't have what we look for in a video slot which is the kind of excitement that will make your heart feel like beating out of your chest. It can still tickle you a bit, but it's more on the pastel end of the thrill-palette if that makes any sense. If that is enough to float your boat, then you'll probably enjoy this game.
Finn’s Golden Tavern can serve as a decent cluster slot on a rainy day, but if you’re in the market for one, it shouldn’t be your first choice.