The Red Queen

If you happen to be a fan of online slots, or children’s stories, then there’s a good chance you’ll clock the connection between The Red Queen and the classic Lewis Carrol novel ‘Through the Looking-Glass‘. Interestingly, The Red Queen is not the Queen of Hearts from ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, though it’s easy to confuse the two. However, separate entities they are, and here she is honoured with an online slot from provider Pragmatic Play called, unsurprisingly, The Red Queen. While exploring the studio’s take on the creative world of Lewis Carroll, be on the lookout for Mystery symbols, an unlockable sixth reel, Queen Respins, wild multipliers, and free spins with a couple of random modifiers.

The designers of The Red Queen put their mysteriously minded thinking caps on when creating The Red Queen, making full use of the weird and wonderful imagery a place like this allows. This means towering fluorescent mushrooms and vines, playful butterflies flitting about them, and a soundtrack forever dropping hints that something bizarre may be just about to almost, not quite, but maybe, just maybe, happen. Not atypical for Pragmatic Play, The Red Queen makes good use of the Wonderland/Alice type of theme without being great exactly. The sights and sounds are aggregable to both eyes and ears, though the studio has stopped short of really squeezing every possible ounce of Alice-ness out of the game to take players somewhere truly baffling.

Played on a 5 (expandable to 6) reel, 3-row gaming grid, The Red Queen uses a ways system rather than a paylines mechanic for evaluating wins. Simply put, when 3 or more matching symbols land on adjacent reels from the leftmost side of the board, players collect a monetary award. This it does with the help of a medium-high volatile math model (rated 4 out of 5 lightning bolts) to generate a maximum return to player value of 96.06%. With no Ante Bet or feature buy on hand, players pick a stake of 20 p/c to £/€100 per game round and are able to get The Red Queen experience on any device.

Regular pay symbols generally land in 1×1 size, but they can also be split so up to four instances of the same symbol are displayed in the same cell. The paytable starts off with 10-A card ranks as the low pays, worth 0.3 to 0.5 times the bet for five of a kind, rising to 1 to 2.5 times the bet for a 5 OAK premium character symbol win – the highest paying symbol is the Queen. However, if the sixth reel is unlocked, six-of-a-kind payouts increase to 0.5 to 5 times the bet. Potentially helping out here is the wild, which is present on reels 2, 3, 4, and 5 to substitute for any of the pay symbols. In addition, Mystery symbols land with a fairly high regularity. When Mystery symbols are in view, they all transform into 1, 2 or 4 instances of the same random pay symbol.

The Red Queen: Slot Features

We mentioned the sixth reel already, and to activate it in the base game, you’ll need to land 2 or 3 scatter symbols to do so. When unlocked in the base game, the sixth reel only lands scatter symbols, Queen symbols, or blanks. If a scatter symbol hits, free spins are awarded. If a Queen symbol hits, the Queen Respin feature triggers.

Queen Respin

During this feature, the scatter symbols in view transform into wilds with a random multiplier of x2, x3, or x4. They remain on the reels for the following respin and apply to all winning combinations they are part of after the respin. If more than one wild is part of the same win, the multiplier values multiply each other.

Free Spins

In the base game, scatter symbols may land on reels 2, 3, 4, or 6. Hitting 3 or 4 of them triggers the free spins feature. A clock is used to work out how many free spins are awarded. If 3 scatter symbols triggered the feature, the area from 12 to 4 is coloured green. If 4 scatter symbols activate the round, then the area from 12 to 6 is green. The clock spins, awarding the number of free spins equal to the number it stops on. If it stops on a green segment, it spins again, stacking the awarded free spins.

During the free spins round, the sixth reel is always active and contains all regular paying symbols. As well, a reel with 4 soldiers appears up the top. On each spin, the soldiers may reveal modifiers:

  • +Ways – guarantees a split symbol lands on the reel below.
  • +Wild – guarantees a wild symbol with a multiplier of x2, x3, or x5 lands below.
  • +1 Spin – an extra free spin is awarded.

The Red Queen: Slot Verdict

‘Life, what is it but a dream?’ so said Lewis Carroll in his novel, ‘Through the Looking-Glass’. If life is a dream, best make it a good one and not a nightmare, as if willing it would make it so. Perhaps it does? Perhaps sending out positive thoughts, visualising scenarios we desire is the start of making them come true in the physical world? Kinda hard to judge this either way, yet it doesn’t hurt to have goals in life to work towards and all that. If your goal is to be entertained by a Wonderland-style online slot, then The Red Queen could be just the thing to sate those desires. It could be said, though, Alice is a little conspicuous by her absence.

Maybe she was left out on purpose to avoid the awkward situation of having a child star in an online slot? Maybe she was superfluous to requirements? Either way, Alice’s omission has little to no bearing on the entertainment which may be gleaned while playing The Red Queen. Its base game benefits from Mystery symbols which landed quite a lot, giving the main game a bit of variety compared to simply landing regular symbols, while also playing on the mystique of a Wonderland-type environment. The Red Queen would probably have been a lot plainer without the Mystery symbol feature since the sixth reel did not unlock super often, though, to its credit, Queen Respins technically have the ability to be pretty decent. Free spins, too, with their Nolimit City-esque elements such as split symbols and feature/enhancer reel bolt-on. At best, The Red Queen is good for wins of up to 5,000x the bet.

Still, The Red Queen isn’t the wildest of wondrous journeys, which is likely to leave players confused about what’s up and what’s down. If The Red Queen was a dream, it might be one you tell your partner about in the morning, but not necessarily one that leaves a deep scar in your psyche, recurring years later still possessing the power to trouble your perception of reality.

Provider: Pragmatic Play
RTP: 95.06%
Variance: High
Max Win: x5000.00
Betways: 243
Release Date: 2023.03.16


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