About Rudolf Gone Wild
You know Christmas is just around the corner when all your favourite game studios start pumping out their festive hits. Play n Go’s Holiday Spirits and Quickspin’s Big Bad Wolf Christmas Edition are already looking like smashers this year, and NextGen are next in line with their red-nose romp, Rudolph Gone Wild.
This is a five-reel video slot with 50 fixed paylines active at all times. It’s got a really cheery look, with reds and greens, but a slightly narked-off looking Rudolf – maybe’s he’s spotted the measly 95% RTP?! Whatever the reason, he’s got Santa and his Elves to cheer him up and they are a happier bunch here for sure. Let’s hope they can help out with some decent wins.
To score a payout you’ll need to land three or more matching icons on a payline, starting from the leftmost reel. You can spin from just $0.10 per play.
RTP, Variance and Top Payout
Like their rivals, NextGen have set the variance in their Xmas game to a middle of the road medium, perhaps in the hope that the game will appeal to a broad audience, with a fairly even distribution of wins that will keep casual slots players happy whilst the top 5,000x prize is something the high variance fans will appreciate. Getting there will require good use of the abundance of wilds and free spins on offer – more on that in a minute. The only gripe we have about this game is the lower than average, 95.33% RTP. Hopefully this is not a trend we will see carrying on into 2021.
Symbols and Paytable
The good news is, NextGen got generous with the symbol values and premiums have a relatively high payout attached to them.
Low value icons on the reels are represented by the playing cards from 9 through to Ace, with payouts from 2x to 4x five of a kind available. The premium symbols are nicely drawn and include a Gingerbread House, Christmas Tree, and the Gingerbread Man. These three will get you from 6x to 8x stake for the maximum combo. There are also two elves, worth 10x, a Santa Clause character, at 12x your bet, and The Sleigh which is worth 50x for five of a kind.
The key icons though are the Wilds which are the main attraction in this slot. There are two kinds – the standard Wilds and the Rudolf Wilds. They both sub in for any other symbol to create a win line as well as triggering a 50x win if 5 appear on a line.
Keep your eye out for the scatters too, landing on the reels at regular intervals with a hearty, ‘Ho’ from Santa. You’ll need three for the free spins fun. More on that in a moment.
Gameplay and Features
As you can tell from the title, this game is a fantasy land for fans of wilds in slots. They seem to appear in every feature, including the super-cool Snow Machine one! Here is how it all works:
Snow Machine Wilds Feature
You’ll hear it before you see it – the noise of the snow machine precedes a blast of white powder across the reels at which point between 1 and 4 symbols transform into wilds to trigger wins.
Flying Wilds Feature
More random wilds can be added by the Elves, so be kind to these little fellows who come striding onto the reels to transform symbols at random again.
Rudolph Wilds Feature
This is a walking wilds feature. Every time you land a Rudolph Wild on the reels, it will trigger re-spins. With each re-spin, all Rudolph Wild icons on the reels will move one step to the left. This continues until there are no more Rudolph Wilds on the reels.
Free Spins Feature
Land three Scatters on the three middle reels at the same time and you will trigger the Free Spins feature with Rudolf Wild stacks.
Before it begins you must pick from 9 boxes on the screen to reveal how many spins you get, and how high the stacks of Rudolf Wilds are. Depending on how you pick, you will get 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, or even 20 free spins. Rudolph Wild stacks can be 3, 4, 6, or 8 symbols high.
The Rudolph Wild re-spins feature will also be active during free spins and any time you land a Rudolph Wild on the reels, free spins will be paused, and re-spins will be performed until there are no more Rudolph Wilds on the reels.
Rudolf Gone Wild is an entertaining little Xmas slot that should please most players this season. The best parts are the high value of the premium symbols, which when mixed with the high number of paylines at 50, suggests fairly regular wins are on the cards. But it’s the wilds that really are the stars of this show – we love the Snow Machine feature that looks and sounds fun, whilst the Wild Stacks and Re-Spins / Free Spins are surely the key to getting even close to that 5,000x top prize. In short, one of the better releases for Xmas 2020.