Games Related to Merry Bells
It's that time of the year again where Santa slips into his red suit, his elves are busy in the workshop making an assortment of toys and of course Rudolph and his team are getting ready for their busiest night of the year, it's Christmas once again folks and that means that it is time to review some of the more seasonal slots.
Next up we have the Merry Bells slot, which was developed by Octopus Gaming on behalf of Pragmatic Play and so it can be found in Casinos that offer Pragmatic's games. The name of the slot is somewhat odd, Bells don't' tend to be particularly merry, but we'll let that slide if the game proves to be a corker.
What Octopus have done is taken the standard view of Christmas and given it a little bit of a quirky twist. I felt that the initial design of the slot reminded me very much of a Christmas scene, like you would get on an advent calendar and that feeling doesn't dissipate when you see the symbols on the slot either.
So, does Merry Bells give you a pleasing jingle in the pocket after playing, or are you left standing under the mistletoe with your lips puckered up but not getting a single kiss in return? Let's take a closer look and find out.
Where can I play the Merry Bells slot?
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The presentation of the Merry Bells slot is very nice and a cartoon-style approach to the symbols has been adopted which gives the slot a quirkier look while still adhering to the Christmas theme. The reggae-styled version of Jingle Bells as you play is also a nice touch.
There isn't a huge amount of background defined in this slot, it is just a predominantly red background with some holly and tinsel around the reels as decorations. The main controls of the slot are at the bottom of the screen and everything is where you would expect it to be.
What I would say about the presentation is that it does the job, rather than being anything particularly spectacular.
What's on the reels?
There are a selection of different symbols on the reels in the Merry Bells slot. The lower value ones of these symbols are the items rather than the characters or animals. These include the present, the bauble, the gingerbread man, the Christmas stocking and the candle. With these symbols, you can win from 5 coins up to 200 coins.
The higher value symbols are the reindeer, penguin, snowman, carol singer carrying a lamp and of course Santa himself. These symbols offer pay-outs from 10 coins up to 1,000 coins and with Santa and the carol singer, you even get a pay-out for landing just two of these symbols on the reels.
These are not the only items on the reels however as there are some other symbols that each trigger a different bonus aspect of the game and these are outlined below.
The snow-covered house is the in game Wild symbol and it can substitute for any of the low, medium or high value standard symbols on the reels to create additional winning lines. However that is not all as if you land two, three, four or five of these Wild symbols on the reels then you win a cash prize.
The value of that prize increases tenfold with every Wild symbol landed on the line starting with 10 coins for 2 Wilds, 100 coins for three, 1,000 coins for four and the big jackpot of 10,000 coins for all five symbols on a line being Wild.
Free Spins features
If you land three or more of the Christmas Tree Scatter symbols then you will earn a chance at the Free Spins bonus. Three Scatters gives you 10 Free Spins, four will give you 20 and the maximum five Scatters will give you the maximum 50 Free Spins.
Furthermore, every winning line you land during this feature is subject to a 5x multiplier which can radically increase the value of your wins, while you can also re-trigger the bonus features of the slot to earn up to 100 Free Spins from within the Free Spins themselves.
You can also trigger the other bonus feature of the slot, the Santa's Present Bonus game from within your Free Spins too.
Other bonus features
The other bonus feature on the slot is the Santa's Presents Bonus which is triggered when you land three if the Santa's Sleigh symbols on the middle three reels. This is a simple Pick'em style game where you can win from between 300 and 2,700 coins on your selections.
Best feature of the Merry Bells slot
For me the best feature of the Merry Bells slot is when you eventually trigger the Free Spins bonus game. However, I would add that if you can land more than the standard three Scatters as the trigger for the bonus round, then your chances of ending up with a significantly sized win increase a great deal, especially with the 50 Free Spins on offer for five Scatters.
Not every free spin is a winner of course, but that 5x multiplier on wins does come in very handy for increasing the value of the wins you do get markedly and across 20 or even 50 Free Spins, those smaller wins do mount up to a much larger value return. This is really where you can see the bigger action in the Merry Bells slot and this is where your bankroll can be restored and even bettered fully if you hit a big win during this bonus feature.
What does the Merry Bells slot lack?
If there is something that the Merry Bells slot lacks then I would say it is a base game feature that could offer you a way to offset some of the losses you incur when trying to land the Free Spins bonus game. Perhaps a multiplier bonus on some of the Wild wins would be one possibility, or perhaps a randomly triggered game in the base game that offered you a chance of some bigger value wins, or improved the value of some of the lower value wins you land in the game. Either of these options would give Merry Bells more appeal to players, especially those who prefer lower variance games.
Merry Bells is a decent Christmas slot and it captures the Christmas spirit rather nicely. I like the rather different look the slot has gone for with how it is presented and I think that works nicely, without being overly technical or exceptional. The game itself is a tough one to love though as winning big in the base game is difficult and triggering the key bonus features, where the vast majority of cash is won on the slot can be very difficult at times. However, when you do trigger the bonuses, you are not guaranteed a bigger win, especially if you land the 10 Free Spins. However, if you get lucky then some sizeable wins can come from the Free Spins bonus in particular. The other bonus feature pays out more consistently, but the potential for bigger value wins is not the same on this game as the Free Spins round. All in all, this is a fun and enjoyable Xmas slot but perhaps one best reserved for higher variance slot fans.
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