As the name says, Wonders of Christmas is a festive online slot from developer NetEnt with a strong Xmas feel. Like many that preceded it, Wonders of Christmas is essentially an Xmas reskin of an older game; in this case, it has branched off from Rome: The Golden Age. A lot of these sorts of Christmas remakes have questionable origins. Sometimes, the most random subject matter is transformed into an Xmas game and has a shedload of snow dumped on them. Wonders of Christmas actually makes a bit more sense since the first recorded celebration of Christmas was at Rome in 336 AD, on, of course, 25 December. With that historical link ticked off, why don’t we take a look at what else Wonders of Christmas has to offer?
Visually, the base game offers a wintery outdoor scene as if players are part of a troupe of carolers, knocking on doors and singing festive songs for charitable donations. The game’s 3-4-5-4-3 aligned game grid sits against a door next to a couple of wreaths, snow, and golden lamp light. Trigger the bonus round, and the action moves inside, where there’s even more golden light provided by a roaring fire, heating a room with a cosy armchair decked out with a Christmas tree and stockings ready to be filled with gifts. The overall effect is nice, captures much of the season’s spirit, and supplies a warm environment to get down to business.
Traditional visions of modern Christmas are miles away from the Colosseum, but Wonders of Christmas’ stats are basically the same as before. This means stake selection of 10 p/c to £/€50 to get the ball rolling in a game that is playable on any device. It’s a highly volatile one, too, coming in a quartet of available RTP models, the highest of which is 96.06%. Lining the diamond-shaped grid are 20 fixed paylines for landing winning combinations across, while the game shifts to a hold & win style during the bonus round.
Until that happens, wins are triggered by landing winning combinations of matching symbols. These include 10-A royals as the low pays and stockings, snow globes, gingerbread houses, trains, and sleighs as the high pays. Landing a five-of-a-kind winning line pays 0.4-0.5x the bet for five royals or 1.2 to 5 times the stake for five premiums. Wilds appear on all reels, too, substituting for any regular paying tile. If Wilds create a five-wild winning line, they are worth 5 times the stake like the highest value pay symbol.
Wonders of Christmas: Slot Features
Wonders of Christmas comes with three features which can work quite impressively well when firing in conjunction with each other. They are Frame Collections, multipliers, and free spins.
One symbol to look out for is the Gift Symbol. When these hit, they place a frame around their respective position. Randomly, Gift symbols may transform into Golden Gift symbols, thereby activating their frames. This position turns wild on the following spin while turning connecting framed positions into wilds as well. Frames are removed after this occurs.
Gift Symbols add 1 point to the progress bar if they do not land in a Frame or an Active Frame. If they land in a Frame or an Active Frame, they add 1-4 points to the progress bar. When 200 points have been accrued, the Free Spins Multiplier is increased. Its possible values are x1, x2, x3, x5, x7, x10, x12, x15, x20, x30, x40, x50, x75, x100, x200, x300, x500, x750, or, x1,000. In the base game, the multiplier has no effect. Instead, it comes into play during the free spins round.
Landing 3 bonus symbols on reels 2, 3, and 4 triggers the bonus round. It starts with 3 free spins, and any framed positions that did not turn wild on the triggering spin turn into sticky coins worth 0.5-50 times the bet. Only coins are present on the reels during the bonus round, and landing new ones not only sticks them to the grid but resets the spin count back to 3. When no more spins are left, or the grid is full, the feature ends. Each coin value is tallied up, and the multiplier from the base game is applied to the total before being awarded. The multiplier then resets.
Wonders of Christmas: Slot Verdict
As you might have guessed, whatever your reaction to Rome: The Golden Age was is pretty much going to be bang on, or very similar, when putting Wonders of Christmas to work. NetEnt has kept most things the same as it was in the Ancient Rome outing for its Christmassy shindig, too. The main exception, of course, is the Xmas atmos instead of the previous game’s classical Roman stylings. Now the only thing in danger of being hacked with a sharp instrument is the turkey roast dinner when it hits the table.
Put aside the change of window dressing, and everything else has sorta remained the same. This means a game where you want to trigger the bonus round, but kinda not too soon, since doing so utilises whatever multiplier has been achieved during the main game. So, the longer you can spend battling it out in the base game, the higher the potential multiplier might well be. As before, the multiplier can technically get rather high indeed, maxing out at a dramatic x1,000. Naturally, reaching as dizzying a height as that ain’t a piece of cake – even building a modest multiplier might take its sweet time. Rewards are there, on paper at least (we are yet to so evidence of a max win on this, or even close to it), to the tune of 100,000 times the bet at full whack. Wonders of Christmas doesn’t come across as a game which delivers devastating one-hit results, so squeezing it as tightly as possible may well require a sizable dollop of patience, and fortitude, to go along with luck.
And so, NetEnt pads out the march of the Christmas clones with another reskin job. Not a bad one either, for players looking for a festive slot that comes with some eye-catching numbers. Wonders of Christmas hitting its impressive max win isn’t going to be a regular occurrence, but the theoretical opportunities are there in a game drenched in seasonal good cheer.
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