Freaky Friday: Slot Overview
Back in 1976, Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster switched bodies in a comedy film called Freaky Friday, which returned to the big screen in 2003 when Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan reprised the roles. Bearing absolutely no relation whatsoever to either movie is an online slot also called Freaky Friday from software provider Stakelogic. As well as possessing a recognisable name, Freaky Friday is a Book of Ra spin-off, where expanding symbols appear in free spins, alongside an innovation called the Fixed Symbols Feature.
While Freaky Friday might have a familiar name and core game mechanics, it looks nothing like the movies or slot previously mentioned. In this game, players find themselves in a laboratory with a scientist who appears to have nefarious hypotheses in mind. As well as appearing as the highest value symbol, the scientist stands next to the reel-set holding a syringe containing a fluorescent green substance, making one wonder where he plans on sticking it. Random paraphernalia litters the rest of the lab as a suitably eccentric soundtrack caps off what is quite a diabolically devious scientific scene.
Freaky Friday is not what you would call a total Ra rip-off as Stakelogic has taken the time to push, prod, and pull at certain aspects of it in an effort to make something more original. One way they've done so is by adding an extra row to the reels and a few additional paylines. The result is a game board made up of 5 reels, 4 rows, and 20 fixed paylines. There are also two ways of playing the game, vastly different in both cost and opportunity. One is the regular mode, where stakes vary from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin; the other is by activating the Super Stake, which doubles the cost. The benefit of activating Super Stake is you get a Fixed Symbols Feature in free spins, though both ways of playing appear to generate the same return value of 95.82%.
Before getting all giddy at the prospect of having twice the standard number of paylines, Stakelogic has toned down symbol values as a compensator. For instance, landing a full line of the top premium scientist symbol is worth 125x the bet instead of the customary 500x. Following him down the chain are electrified hats, face masks, brains, and pill bottles, worth 50x to 10x the bet for five of a kind. Next are chaotic looking 10-A royals as the low pays, paying out 2.5-5 times the stake for a line of five.
Freaky Friday: Slot Features
As is usually the case in these sorts of games, the wild/scatter symbol is crucial. As wild, the book symbol can complete winning lines by substituting any pay symbol. As the scatter, landing 3, 4, or 5 book symbols awards 2.5x, 25x, or 125x the bet, plus 10 free spins.
Before free spins start, one pay symbol is randomly selected to be the expanding symbol. After regular evaluations have taken place, if the expanding symbols in view can make a win, they expand to cover all positions on their reels. Bear in mind that expanding symbols can form wins from any reel and do not have to be adjacent to each other to do so. Ten free spins will be awarded whenever three or more scatter symbols hit during the feature, and the expanding symbol remains the same for any retrigger.
Fixed Symbols Feature
If the Super Stake is active when free spins are triggered, then the Fixed Symbols Feature will be available. How it works is when a Golden Wild Scatter symbol lands on reels 2, 3, or 4, that reel becomes a Fixed Symbol Reel. This means whenever an Expanding Symbol win can occur; the Golden Reel fills with the expansion symbol – even if one did not land on the Golden Reel. For example, let's say 10s are the expanding symbols and reels 2 and 3 are Golden Reels. If a 10 symbol lands only on reel 5, then reels 2, 3, and 5 will fill with expanded 10 symbols for a payout.
Freaky Friday: Slot Verdict
Whether Stakelogic was unaware of the previous films or were banking on a bit of name recognition, we'll probably never know, but the game is somewhat freaky, as far as 'Book of' slots go. It's not majorly out there like Book of Shadow, on the cutting edge of science where the line between reality and illusion blur, yet it's got one or two innovations worth checking out if this is an area of interest. Yet, there is a case of one hand giveth, the other taking away going on, as many of the new elements have some sort of counterbalance going on that limits their overall effectiveness.
For example, the extra row and ways could've blown Freaky Friday up if Stakelogic had left the symbol values alone. Gone is the 5,000x (or more) full screen win these games are legendary for. In its place, a screen of scientists is worth half, at 2,500x the bet, even with double the paylines – some might consider the actual bet multiplier to be half that again when Super Stake is activated. It might be hard to play Freaky Friday without using the Super Stake, though, because the Fixed Symbol Feature is one of the game's main selling points and proved to be quite amusing during our test sessions.
Paying extra for a feature you don't get when betting normally isn't something every player will be hugely excited to do. The problem is that without the Fixed Symbol Feature, Freaky Friday is a pretty regular expanding symbols game, albeit one with a few numeral shifts and a new theme. At times it felt like a little too much shuffling went on to balance everything out, and Freaky Friday might have made more of a mark if Stakelogic had loosened the leash to really get freaky. However, if you can stomach coughing up extra for a chance to see all that Freaky Friday has to offer, it does provide something of a unique experience, as far as 'Book of' slots go.
Freaky Friday can feel like a juggling act as it balances its innovations out, but still provides something different for ‘Book of’ fans to experiment with.