Back in 2011, director Paul Feig, the man who has been entrusted with the reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise, directed an unheralded romantic comedy starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne and Wendi McLendon-Covey. The name of the film was Bridesmaids, with Maya Rudolph cast in the role as bride, and the other actresses the eponymous stars of the film.
The film proved to be an unexpected hit in the cinemas as Feig skilfully directed the tale of a bride and her group of friends, two of whom are desperate to be the leading bridesmaid at the expense of the other.
With an ensemble cast that featured Terry Crews, Matt Lucas, Chris O'Dowd, not to mention the band Wilson Phillips, Bridesmaids was one of the successes of 2011, although it took considerably longer for the slot version of the movie to be released.
That happened several years later after Universal Pictures signed a deal with Microgaming to develop a range of film-tie in slots back in 2014, and the first of these to be released in casinos was, of course, Bridesmaids.
5x4 slot format with 40 paylines
The first thing that is immediately apparent about this slot is that it is a very different look to the usual 5x3 slot that are typical of the games offered by Microgaming, instead this is a 5x4 slot that offers 40 paylines to win on every spin.
Prices range from 0.40 per spin, up to a maximum bet of 60.00 and there is a potential jackpot to be won of 105,000 coins, which certainly adds to the games appeal. There's a huge choice of stakes to play for too which makes the game ideally suited either to the smaller stakes player, or those who like to wager considerably more.
One of the first things that is immediately apparent with the Bridesmaids slot is the livery. There is a perfect reason to explain the gaudy pink and that is simply that it was the colour of the Bridesmaids dresses in the film. It does make sense somewhat in terms of remaining faithful to the look of the film, but there's no denying that unless Barbie pink is your thing, it is a little harsh on the eyes after a while.
What is certainly not harsh on the eyes after a while though are the in game high and low symbols. The low symbols are not the usual playing cards, but instead the four suits from a deck of cards. A small but subtle difference. They offer a number of smaller payline wins when hit, but the bigger wins come from the high symbols.
The bride plus her five bridesmaids are the high symbols and the bride, plus her two warring bridesmaids, Helen and Annie are stacked two symbols high across the reels with the other Bridesmaids having their own high symbol.
There are bigger wins available when you land a winning payline using the high symbols, especially if you can land four or five, rather than three, across the payline.
The base game itself plays rather nicely and you do tend to win relatively frequently. One of the best features is to see clips from the film interspersed with the spinning reels. There is a surprising amount of video footage from the film included in the game and in general, it is rare to see a clip repeated when you play a session.
The clips really bring the Bridesmaids theme to life as they are some of the iconic and funniest moments from the film, but they are short enough to enjoy and then allow you to refocus back on what is happening on the reels.
While the base game in Bridesmaids is enjoyable enough and certainly keeps your bankroll topped up, it is when you get into the large number of bonus features on the slot that the action kicks up a notch.
The key to unlocking these bonus features is the Cupcake symbol, which is a reference to the fact that Lillian's best friend Annie is a struggling baker who specialises in this particular form of offering. When you land three or more of Annie's Cupcakes on the reel then you launch the first bonus game, which is the Wheel Bonus round.
Before the Wheel Bonus starts, you have to pick from one of the four cupcakes shown. This then gives you Annie's Booster bonus, which can increase the value of either the pink or blue multipliers, or both sets of multipliers can be increased on the wheel, or it can give your wheel two additional pointers to give you three times the chance of success.
Now the Wheel Bonus round can actually do one of three things. The wheel itself is split into many different sectors. Ten of the sectors has a cash prize, expressed as a multiple of your usual stake on a spin. There is a Jackpot prize, which awards you the Wedding Jackpot and the four remaining slots on the wheel each represent one of the four sub-games.
Free Spins features
The four sub games are Flying High Free Spins and Friendship Free Spins, both of which see the player receive 10 free spins. In Flying High Free Spins, Rolling Reels and Growing Wilds can help increase your win, while Friendship Free Spins sees you paid out both left to right and right to left across the reels.
The other two games are Boutique Bonus and Magic Moments, which are both selection games where cash prizes are revealed until the player picks the card that ends the game. The more options you can reveal before selecting the card to end the game, the more money you can earn from the round.
It is fair to say that Bridesmaids is lots of fun to play and the sheer number of bonus features in the game do make it attractive, especially if you are keen on playing mini-games away from the base game slot. However, if there is one criticism is that it does tend to be a good while before you land the scatters necessary to trigger the main game.
That said, once it is triggered, you can receive some very nice payouts, which make the wait all the more worthwhile.
Bridesmaids may have been four years in the making, but it was certainly worth the wait.