Christmas Santa: Slot Overview
Out of the blizzard of Xmas themed slots comes Christmas Santa courtesy of Max Win Gaming, powered by Relax Gaming. Leaping into the giving mood, Max Win has made Christmas Santa by far their highest paying slot to date. Okay, there aren’t a huge number of games in their catalogue at the time of writing, but by most standards there are huge wins up for grabs in Christmas Santa. Of course, a headlining stat isn’t everything, so let’s see if the rest of the game is as heart-warming.
Max Win has designed a sort of artsy layered look to the background, made up of rolling snow-covered hills, and starry skies. A 5×5 grid sits in the middle of it all, offering 3,125 ways to win. On its left is a Santa Claus powered collection ladder, kept powered off during the base game, ready to light up when free spins are triggered. The initial impression is like opening a pop-up book and having a Christmassy scene bounce up in your face. Floating over the top, a jaunty, jangly soundtrack completes the scene, while Santa’s voice-over adds to the atmosphere. All up, Max Win has crafted a jolly scene, capturing the spirit of the season quite well.
Alongside the massive max win stat, the rest of the numbers aren’t too shabby either. Dedicated gamers should appreciate a highly volatile math model (5/5), while all can enjoy an RTP of 96.24%. Wins come thick and fast due to a hit frequency of 32.78%, meaning almost one in three spins pays out. Most are loose change, but not always. There are a few features in the base game augmenting wins though, like helpful wee elves. Christmas Santa’s festive frolicking can take place on any device, where bets from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin are available.
Scoring wins occurs when matching symbols land on three or more adjacent reels, from the leftmost on. Nine pay symbols are available, starting with 9-A card icons, followed by bulging stockings, Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, a carrot nosed snowman, and an elf carrying a stack of gold coins – premium wins are worth 2 to 15 times the bet for five of a kind. The game doesn’t have a wild symbol, which seems a pretty popular move at the moment, but a bunch of other symbols are on hand to pick up the slack.
Christmas Santa: Slot Features
Getting some of those big wins under your tree will only occur with the help of Christmas Santa’s features. The man in red is accompanied by Gift Multiplier symbols and an intriguing Collector Bonus Game.
Keep an eye out for the Gift symbols which come in three varieties, carrying a value associated with their colour – green, red, or gold gift symbols carry multipliers of x2, x3, or x5, respectively. More than one can land at the same time, multiplying each other’s value up to x30 at the most. Gift symbols are fairly regular and can quickly transform a so-so pay way win into something special.
There are two ways of accessing free spins, either by landing 3 or more Santa scatters or from the Bonus Wheel. The wheel is split into 16 sections, 15 dole out instant coin wins. The remaining segment is a Golden one which awards the bonus game.
However you get there, the free spins game starts with 5 spins and operates under a different set of rules to the base game. The goal is to climb the Santa Ladder in the left of the screen by hitting Santa Symbols. Regular symbols are removed, leaving just 4 special symbols in play:
- Santas turn sticky and are collected on the Ladder.
- Gift boxes are also sticky and work the same way as described in the base game.
- Snowflakes are simply placeholder symbols which do nothing and are removed for the next spin.
- The Enhanced Bonus Wheel is sticky, awarding wins of 2-50x the bet, 1 or 2 more spins, Santa symbols, or retriggers the bonus.
If Gifts, Wheels, or Santas hit, one more spin is added, while in any other case, one spin is removed. The bonus ends when spins run out, or when all tiles are full of symbols. In this case, the number of Santas on the Ladder produces a win from 5x to 1,000x the bet.
Christmas Santa: Slot Verdict
Christmas Santa offers the kind of risk/reward that should entertain hardcore gamblers looking for a thrill on the day. The gameplay is straight forward, not to mention tough at times, yet it has the sort of features which drop from nowhere to produce surprisingly good results. The higher than usual hit frequency also helps keep you occupied during the base while waiting for the three Santa symbols to arrive. Their payouts typically tended to the small side, though gift symbols occasionally sorted them out. Single win way premiums, for instance, can satisfy, when appearing side by side a juicy multiplier or two.
Like an extra shovel of coal on the burner, things heat up during free spins as they usually do. The bonus game might be simple, but it can quickly turn suspenseful when the right symbols build up – namely, Santas and Gifts. It is possible for a 30x multiplier to be present when the Ladder is full, equating to the considerable sum of 30,000x the bet. No easy task, but the fact you don’t need theoretical multi-spin wizardry to hit the top prize is a motivating factor.
On the downside, the free spins round is a bit slow, clunky and downright awkward. Going through a full spin sequence seems to take ages and often only brings with it placeholder snowflakes. It can be super tilting at times and have you screaming “rigged” at the screen when 25 tiles repeatedly only manage to produce those damn snowflakes.
Regardless of that little rant, Christmas Santa is a decent slot and one of Max Win’s biggest so far. Why they chose to go so large on a Xmas slot with limited playtime is an interesting question, yet one where players looking for massive festive gaming are unlikely to worry themselves with. Christmas Santa’s showpiece, its bonus round, is like the big mysterious box under the tree; the one everyone hopes is theirs to open on the day.