Saint Nicked: Slot Overview
Ever had a job where you just couldn't wait for knock-off time so you could get the gosh darn heck out of there to breathe and feel alive? If so, you're in good company because it appears Santa and sidekick Rudolph do, too, as witnessed in an online slot from Lucksome titled Saint Nicked. In Saint Nicked, the duo are fed up with festivities and have felt the call of their local drinking establishment… setting the scene for a game chock with irreverent humour, a stack of features, and of course, a healthy belt of Christmas cheer while you're there.
So you decide to make a Christmas slot, where do you set it? In a cosy living room next to a roaring fire, on a Christmas Tree, maybe at the North Pole? All solid choices, but one of Lucksome Games' first rejections of tradition is the alley setting for Saint Nicked's base game (not to mention the cell block for free spins). Yep, players find themselves presumably out the back of some watering hole next to a pile of whitish grey snow and a rubbish bin. The music injects plenty of cheer, though, providing the perfect counterbalance to the unorthodox visuals.
As for the technical side of things, pressing the bet menu button gives you betting options ranging from between 20 p/c to £/€40 per spin. Diving a bit deeper, we find a medium/high volatile math model which likes to keep players busy, churning out a maximum return to player value of 96.28%, rising to 96.43% when buying one of the two bonuses. Any device may be used to get the 'bad' Santa experience, occurring on a grid that starts at 5-reels, 3-rows in size, though this can expand during free spins.
At the default grid size, players have 243 ways to win by landing matching symbols from the first reel onwards across consecutive reels. 10 through A card royals make up the low pays, worth 1x the bet for five of a kind, while the highs are fluffy handcuffs, pressies, glasses of liquor and gingerbread men, and Rudolph. Landing a five-of-a-kind premium win pays 5-40 times the stake. Last but not least, Santa is the game's wild, appearing on all reels. He substitutes all normal pay tiles and is worth 40x the bet for a five Santa winning way.
Saint Nicked: Slot Features
Saint Nicked comes equipped with quite a lot of features, such as Santastic Multipliers, a Bar Meter, Happy Hour, an Advent Calendar, free games, and a potential Bonus Buy.
When Rudolph and Santa are part of a winning way, a random multiplier is awarded, which is applied to all ways wins on the current spin.
The Bar Meter sits to the side of reels and is filled when special Sub Symbols land overlaid on normal symbols. Sub Symbols have values which are collected by the Bar Meter. The Bar Meter also displays a trigger value and may display a safe point. When enough Sub Symbol values are collected on a single spin to reach or exceed the trigger value, the next Advent Calendar prize is awarded. The Bar Meter resets on the following spin, either back to zero or to a Safe Point if the Safe Point value was reached or exceeded on the current spin.
At random, Happy Hour may trigger on any base game spin, adding a number of Sub Symbols to the reels.
When the Advent Calendar is triggered from the Bar Meter, players click the lowest available number (from 1 to 25) to reveal a prize. This could be a cash prize or free games. Number 25 on the Advent Calendar is a star which completes the calendar. From then on, only the Star is available, and the Safe Point will be locked at 60.
Players win free games from the Advent Calendar, or, when 3, 4, or 5 scatters land in the base game to award 5, 10, or 20 free games, respectively. One of the benefits of free games is that the Santastic Multiplier can now go as high as x25. Also, free games begin with 2 extra locked rows of symbols. Landing a key symbol unlocks the position above it. At full un-lockdown, the 5x5 grid offers 3,125 ways to win. In addition, every landed key or soap symbol awards +1 extra spin.
That brings us to the final extra, the Bonus Buy. Option one is the Delux with a 9/10 volatility; it costs 100x the bet and triggers the free games features. Option two is the Double Lux, with a 7/10 volatility and a cost of 300x the bet to get free spins with a 2nd Chance Bonus if the total win is 60x the bet or less.
Saint Nicked: Slot Verdict
Saint Nicked is a testament to the creativity and hard-working nature of its maker Lucksome Games. We're used to the usual hose-down of Xmas-related slots as the end of the year draws near, which are often older games sprayed in snow or have had a skin change to be set in a scene of domesticity. While we're as keen on a well-made traditional Christmas-themed slot as any other, it is refreshing to see a studio do something new and have a bit of fun while they're at it. And hey, let's cut Santa a bit of slack, too. It can't be easy, looking up all the naughty or nice kids on a spreadsheet, traversing the globe each year with the final massive delivery list, and a colossal sack of gifts. The guy could be forgiven for wanting a bit of special me time with his pal Rudolph to hoist a few brewskies and let his hair down for a bit.
He does it in a humorous style, too, meaning Saint Nicked was a straight-up fun game to play. It's not a slot which holds back its goodies like Ebenezer Scrooge before he was shocked into being nice. Sub Symbols fell fairly regularly, topping up the Bar Meter, occasionally triggering through to the Advent Calendar. This often resulted in cash prize top-ups, but free spins are a possibility as well. Clicking the calendar with Santa's finger is fun, and the whole concept gives the game stickability. The free games were interesting as well. For one, it's possible to open up a whole lot more ways to win, and the Santa/Rudolph Santastic Multipliers could lead to surprisingly positive moments as well.
Saint Nicked is topped up by wins maxing out at 5,000x the bet, plus it's got a great balance of humour, gameplay, and attitude. There's a frequency to Saint Nicked's features that keeps the pace flowing, and it's a great pick for those after a Christmassy slot that gets into the spirit of the season without drenching itself in schmaltz.
If you want a highly playable Christmas slot that swaps out the seasonal cliches for fun, creative gaming with plenty of trimmings, Saint Nicked is the game for you.