Xmas Magic

With a release date of 21st November 2019, Play‘n GO’s Christmas themed slot ‘Xmas Magic’ has just over a month to prove its worth before the decorations are packed away for another year, along with the festive slots.

This slot has a 5x4 reel set with up to 50 paylines and comes with an RTP of 96.50%. Wins of up to 4,000 times the bet size are up for grabs on this highly volatile video slot, with the big wins likely to come from a free spins round during which dozens of wild are added to the reels.

If this is all starting to sound a little familiar to those of you who have been around online slots for a while that’s because this is a reskin of PnG’s popular Autumn 2015 release, Happy Halloween. By trading one annual holiday with another the Swedish developer have saved a bit of time and effort in a bid to cash in on what is likely to be a seasonal slot with a limited shelf-life.

Assuming you are playing all 50 lines spins cost from €0.50 to €100 a pop.

Design & Symbols

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It’s fairly standard fare here on the design front. Play'n GO produce great-looking slots, and while Xmas Magic is not poorly designed, there’s nothing that sticks out.

The action takes place at night in the centre of a town close to the snowy mountains. The town’s large decorated and illuminated Christmas tree is the focal point in the village square (or circle) until the gameboard comes down to cover the centre of the screen. Either side of the gameboard and beyond the board are rows of houses, flats and offices. The buildings surrounding the tree in the town square are all decorated with fairy lights and garlands. Beyond the buildings and streets, you can see a range of snow-capped mountains in the distance.

The scene becomes infinity more Christmassy during the free spins round; there is snow on the rooftops, the Northern Lights dance above the mountains, and Santa’s reindeer fly across the sky. All the while a festive ditty accompanies play – a generic piece which you could imagine playing in the background at the start of any Christmas movie. The gameboard itself takes the shape of a standard brick building in keeping with the town. The reels have a dark but translucent background. The ‘roof’ of the gameboard has chimneys above each of the reels which come into play during the bonus round.

Low-value symbols are the standard card values 9-A. Medium value symbols are a snow globe and a creamy mug of hot chocolate. High-value symbols are candy canes, Christmas stockings, a mistletoe decoration. The Mistletoe is the highest value symbol, and it also comes stacked on the reels. Five Mistletoe on a payline awards 20x the bet size. The wild is a gift-wrapped golden present, and the scatter is Santa himself.

Free Spins with Stacked Wilds

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As any fans of Happy Halloween will know, this game is all about the free spins round. 3 scatters landing on reels 1-3 triggers 10 free spins. During every free spin, Santa’s reindeer and sledge fly overhear and drop two wild symbols down the chimneys above reels 2-5. These wilds stack alongside the other wilds on the reels so that by the end of the round a stack of at least 20 wilds are present on each reel. It is also possible to fully retrigger the bonus round making it possible to earn 20 free spins in total.

Our Thoughts on Xmas Magic

Happy Halloween was a hit back in 2015 so it is obvious that this format has something going for it. Having said that, slots have moved on at a pace over the last few years and Xmas Magic is somewhat lacking in features which may put people off a little. Although this is clearly a bit of a Xmas money grab, Play'n GO can be forgiven for this as it is a practice common among developers at this time of year. It’s certainly atmospheric enough with a decent, Christmassy soundtrack and a solid if unremarkable design. I’m sure this slot will do ok for Christmas, which I guess is the aim here from PnG. Don’t go expecting a Christmas miracle of a slot though, it is distinctly average.

My picks for top Xmas slots would be NetEnt’s Jingle Spin, Push Gaming’s Fat Santa, and NetEnt’s more recent release, the wonderful Santa vs Rudolf.

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