Rudolph Gone Wild: Slot Overview
Developer SG Digital leaps on the holiday bandwagon by releasing a Christmas themed slot to entertain players on those long winter nights. Each studio picks an angle – cloning old games, Santa, Christmas trees, whatever, to provide some sort of hook. SG Digital has gone for the reindeer who was initially shunned for his unusual nose, then went on to save Christmas. We are of course talking about Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, who is joined by elves, jolly old Saint Nick, and as the title says, a stack of wilds.
Rudolph Gone Wild is a 5-reel, 50-payline slot set at the frigid North Pole outside Santa’s house. The game is big, bright and cheerful, possessing a sort of Blueprint Gaming vibe, both in look and humorous feel, along with a touch of Santa vs Rudolf. Snow is provided by a Snow-o-Matic device next to the reels, while Rudolph stands on the opposite side looking pretty grumpy for some reason. Perhaps it all takes place during the time when other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. Extra cheer is provided by the soundtrack, and the overall impression is light, breezy, if not a little at odds with the math model.
Player can join in the reindeer games on mobile, tablet or desktop deceives, choosing bets from 10 p/c to £/€25 per spin. One Grinchy aspect of Rudolph Gone Wild is a lower than average RTP of 95.33%, though the Rudolph Buy In option does raise it to 96.13%. A medium/high volatility rating means the game may look sweet and innocent, but it can be surprisingly tough, even when features are triggered. On the bright side, the potential isn't too shabby.
There are quite a lot of symbols involved crowding the paytable. They begin by using plain white 9-A card royals, followed by gingerbread men, trees, houses, elves, Father Christmas, and his sleigh. Land five of a kind from the premium section to win 6 to 50 times the bet. Players get not one but two wilds helping pull in wins – a standard and a Rudolph Wild. Both can substitute for any regular pay symbols to make a combination, or pay up to 50x the bet for combos of five. The Rudolph variety is covered next in the features section.
Rudolph Gone Wild: Slot Features
In keeping with the Blueprint vibe, SG Digital has crammed quite a few features into Rudolph Gone Wild. As the game alludes to, all of them include wilds in some shape or form, from wild respins to lucky dip free spins.
One is the Snow Machine Wilds feature which activates at random on any base game spin. A rumbling alerts players that something is about to happen, then jets of snow are blasted across the reels. This transforms 1 to 4 symbols on 1 to 5 reels into wilds for a greater chance of winning.
Another random is the Flying Elves feature. In this one, a troop of the wee guys march in front of the grid, adding a bunch of random wilds to the reels. This one also occurs arbitrarily on any base game spin.
Everyone’s favourite reindeer appears on one of the wild symbols. Each time these Rudolph Wilds land, they trigger the Rudolph Wilds feature which begins with a respin. Any Rudolph Wilds on the reels move one position to the left. Respins continue until all of the walking wilds have fallen off the grid. New Rudolph Wilds can land on a respin, extending the life of the feature.
The main event in Rudolph Gone Wild is its free spins, triggered when 3 scatters land on the middle reels. Each time a scatter lands, Santa lets off a hearty ‘Ho!’ so when you hear a trio of ‘Hoes’, you know the bonus is about to begin. Before it does, 9 boxes pop up on the screen - 5 containing spins, 4 possessing wild stack heights. Players click one of each to win 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, or 20 free spins, and 3, 4, 6, or 8 for the height of Rudolph Wild stacks. In free spins, Rudolph Wilds continue to trigger Rudolph Wilds Respins meaning the bonus round can last a good long wild should the red nose chap appear in great numbers.
Lastly, any non-UK player who doesn’t want to wait for scatters to land on their own, has the Rudolph Buy In option. It costs 100x the stake and lets players pick spins plus Rudolph Wild stacks in the same manner as when the feature is triggered 'organically'.
Rudolph Gone Wild: Slot Verdict
Rudolph Gone Wild produced some entertaining moments during testing, yet there are some stumbling blocks. One is RTP, especially when compared to slots like Big Bad Wolf Christmas Special which is more than 2% higher. It might not be outrageously low, yet it does seem a tad unnecessary. Obviously, the bonus buy mitigates that if payers are willing and able to shell out for it. Other figures aren’t so disheartening. Overall potential should be enough for most with 5,000 times the stake up for grabs.
Judging by what occurred in test runs it will be tough to get near that amount. Snow Machine Wilds tended to spray the last three reels struggling to link up much. The same can be said about Flying Elves. However, there are a lot of paylines, so you just need one moment of good fortune to get decent results. Rudolph Wild stacks not only extend free spins, but can lead to the odd good win. The best case is a full screen of sleighs and/or wilds worth an instant 2,500 times the bet.
Getting there is a challenge. It takes more than just being good to be rewarded by this Santa/Rudolph combo. The stats could have been more user friendly, especially for a Christmas slot, and the cute appearance is skin deep, stretched tight to hide the rather pitiless maths operating beneath it. Still, if you’re okay with the shortcomings, Rudolph Gone Wild might be alright for some amusing Christmas themed gaming during the season.
If the lower than average RTP isn’t a problem, players can enjoy some light-hearted gaming at the North Pole with Rudolph and pals while spinning for respectable wins.