Lucky Oktoberfest (Red Tiger): Overview
Originally a land-based slot machine, Bier Haus was made available online by WMS back in 2015 when the studio was still riding high on its success. Like all iconic slots, it has inspired countless of imitators such as Freibier (Novomatic), Oktoberfest (Nolimit City), and Wunderfest (Booming Games), although none of them have even come close of reaching the same level of success as the original. With Red Tiger now also deciding to join the German folk festival, the question every old fan of Bier Haus will ask is whether they'll be able to do take the throne as top beer chuggers.
An important part of Bavarian culture, the Oktoberfest has been held since 1810. In this 5-reel, 10-payline video slot dubbed Lucky Oktoberfest developed by Red Tiger partners R7, we get to visit a beer hall packed with cultural references and high variance action. Playable from 0.10 to €/£20 per spin, the game benefits from a Bier Reels feature that can transform any symbols on the reels to matching symbols. The party really gets going once you enter the free spins round where Hans may help boost your win multiplier and Helga award you extra spins.
When it comes to the theoretical return to player, it seems we will have to get used to Red Tiger having settled on a value just shy of 96% so we might as well stop whining about it. Either way, they are not alone, and the way things are developing in the industry with increased taxes for operators, expensive licensing fees and heavy fines imposed left and right by the regulators, more game developers are likely to follow suit.
Visually, Lucky Oktoberfest looks quite good. Set inside a beer hall, people can be seen on both sides of the reels, socialising and enjoying each others company while the actual reel set is positioned on a bar top. The colors are dominated by a brown palette here, giving it a classic 1930s sort of feel. In total, there are 9 standard symbols included. These are represented by card suit royals styled as half full (or empty, depending your current mood) beer glasses, while the premiums are represented by an assortment of items strongly linked to Bavarian culture such as pretzels, Tyrolean hats, accordions, beer kegs and Bavarian crests. The latter is the most rewarding, giving you 30 times your stake for a five of a kind combination. No wild is available in the game.
Lucky Oktoberfest (Red Tiger): Features
Lucky Oktoberfest benefits from several features. In the base game, beer mug symbols may land on the first and last reels. When these land together, they toast (Prost!) to indicate that the Bier Reels feature has been activated. Next, random reels will fill up with beer from bottom to top with the beer-covered symbols then being swapped for matching winning symbols. Essentially, this is a mystery symbol feature.
It's hard to say what the Free Spins frequency is here, but having played it for a few hours it seems to be around 250-400 spins. Relatively high in other words, which is also expected from a game of relatively high volatility. To active the free spins round, you will have to land scatter symbols on reels 1, 3, and 5 simultaneously. If fewer than 3 scatters land on a spin, they will lock for the next spin, giving you a second chance to trigger the bonus.
Once in, you start with 10 free spins. During the round, special characters, namely Hans and Helga, may land together or with beer mugs on reels 1 and 5. If they do, this is what you can expect:
- When Hans lands on the first reel together with a beer mug or Helga on reel 5, he will increase your win multiplier randomly.
- When Helga lands on the last reel together with a beer mug or Hans on reel 1, she will award additional free spins.
Lucky Oktoberfest (Red Tiger): Verdict
Booting up Lucky Oktoberfest for the first time, we didn't expect much of it. After all, there are plenty of Oktoberfest themed slots out there, none of which have left us asking for a refill. But as it turns out, this R7 offering is quite good and, actually, possibly the best out of the bunch we have played, bar the original. Visually, it's hardly groundbreaking stuff, but its lighthearted, fun and loaded with charm. There's even a chance it'll inspire you to book a trip to Munich to experience the real thing.
Lucky Oktoberfest has plenty of things going for it in the technical department as well. The potential is quite good, offering a chance to pocket wins of well over 5,000 times your stake. The mechanics and features come together superbly as well, managing to keep you entertained throughout the session. It can be a bit hard to trigger the bonus, which is not unusual for Red Tiger, so that is something you have to take into account. After all, it's quite volatile. Overall, Lucky Oktoberfest is a solid game and one that captures the spirit of the German folk fest well.
Lucky Oktoberfest is a charming and fun video slot that should be able to keep both new and veteran gamers entertained.