There was a time when the height of comedy in the United States revolved around the antics of Larry, Curly and Moe, better known as The Three Stooges. Their real names, Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard, their films spanned five decades of cinema from their initial releases in the 1930's to their final release in 1970.
This slot is based on the 101st short film released by the trio in 1947 entitled Brideless Groom, which tells the story of Shemp trying to find a bride after being bequeathed $500,000 in a will, on the proviso that he is married. What follows is a selection of crazy misadventures and stunts as the Three Stooges do their best to try and marry Shemp off so he can claim his inheritance.
Boasting 3D graphics, the slot brings together elements of the film very nicely with updated graphics and sounds, whilst retaining the type of comedy that made the Three Stooges so popular across many decades in the US. So the question is, will this slot leave you smiling with happiness, or grimacing in disdain? Let's take a closer look and find out.
Where can I play the Three Stooges slot?
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What you have here is a 5x4 reel slot which features 33 selectable paylines and of course, the slot takes its cue from the Short of the same name. That means that throughout the slot you are treated to enhanced visuals and sound taken direct from the film, digitally enhanced for the modern era.
There's a jaunty musical track that plays along as you play the base game and the backdrop of the slot is part of one of the sets taken from the film. The music changes as you trigger different features of the game and that is a nice touch as it stops things becoming repetitive.
One nice touch is that you can alter the speed that you spin the reels allowing you to play through more spins more quickly if you prefer. You can also alter the number of paylines in play on each spin and the size of your wager. There's an auto-play button and of course the spin button at the foot of the slot console too.
What's on the reels?
When it comes to the symbols on the reels there are a number of different items. The general theme of the film is that of a wedding, so most of the lower value symbols are all items to do with a wedding day including marriage certificate, wedding rings, wedding cake, a suitcase, a bouquet and also some items to do with the film, Shemp's black book, Shemp-pagne and glasses and of course the big pile of inheritance money.
Each of the Three Stooges also appears on the reels as the higher value symbols and these symbols are stacked up to four high across the reels. These symbols can also trigger some additional bonus features, which we will explain in the Other Bonus Features section below.
The game itself is a more medium volatility slot when played as you don't win that frequently, but the wins you do get tend to be a nice mix of sizes, with the generally smaller wins bolstered by some larger value wins, especially when you can hit some of the bonus features of the slot.
There is one Wild symbol in the game and that is the Three Stooges symbol and like the high value three separate Stooges symbols, it is also stacked on all of the reels. The Wild can be used to substitute for any high or low value symbol on the reels to give you more chance of winning paylines on a spin, but it can also replace any of the stacked Stooges symbols to unlock some bonus features too.
The only symbol the Wild cannot be substituted for is the Scattered Rings scatter symbol.
Free Spins Features
The Free Spins bonus feature is triggered after the additional bonus feature (The Stooge Picks bonus) but once you have triggered it with your selected number of spins, multipliers and Wacky Wilds in play, then the reels background will change to signify you are in the free spins round and you will then play through your free spins until you complete the bonus round.
This is the bonus feature where some of the biggest value wins on the slot can be found and it is also somewhat variable when it comes to paying out as sometimes you can win a considerable amount on your free spins and other times, you will win only a small amount. This adds to the volatility of the slot.
The Stacked Wild and Stooges symbols are your best chance of triggering bigger value wins in both the base game and free spins.
Other Bonus Features
All the bonus features, bar one, in the Three Stooges slot are linked together and the action starts when you land any of the Stacked Wild or Stooges symbols on any of the second, third or fourth reels. When this occurs, you receive between one and three free re-spins and if the triggering symbol was a Wild, then this symbol is held in place for that re-spin.
However, if you cover reels two, three and four with the Stacked Stooges and/or the Stacked Wild symbols then you trigger a different bonus, this is the Stooge Picks bonus and this is the prelude to the free spins round.
In the Stooge Picks bonus you get to select from 20 different symbols each of which hides either a number of free spins, an increase in the multiplier, Wacky Wilds (which are added to the reels) or one of two pieces of a broken heart. You simply keep picking from the symbols to earn free spins and other bonuses until you uncover both pieces of the broken heart, at which point the Stooges Picks round ends and you now head into the Free Spins bonus.
All the free spins you earned, plus the multiplier and any Wacky Wilds are now put into place on the Free Spins reels and you will play through your bonus at this juncture as outlined in the Free Spins Feature section above.
There is one other random bonus on this slot and this is the Lucky Stooges Feature. This is triggered completely at random in the base game and when triggered will award the player between 9 and 33 free spins and in addition, all winnings from this bonus round are subject to a 3x multiplier if they include a Wild symbol as part of the payline.
Best Feature of the Three Stooges slot
Although the Free Spins round is good and the Stooge Picks round preceding it is a nice way to earn your bonus, the best bonus feature of the slot for me is the Lucky Stooges Feature as it can be triggered at any point and often you will earn just as many free spins from this bonus as you would the Stooge Picks bonus, plus Wilds pay 3x the win during the Lucky Stooges feature.
This means you could hit several wins during your 9 to 33 free spins that see you earn three times what the standard amount would be. And if you can get lucky and hit a decent sized win on that spin and include a Stacked Wild in that amount, then this will result in a sizeable return.
There's also no doubt that fans of the Three Stooges inimitable brand of comedy will find lots to enjoy from the slot with plenty of dialogue and scenes taken direct from the movie itself.
What does the Three Stooges slot lack?
If there's one thing that the Three Stooges Brideless Groom slot lacks, then it is quite simply something to get you hooked playing the game and wanting to play more spins. The game itself is perfectly fine and the bonuses, when triggered, can be generous however the game just doesn't grab you and make you want to have that one more spin.
Whether that is because I'm not a great Three Stooges fan, I'm not sure, but I just felt this slot lacked the pulling power of some others because the wins tend to be more middle of the road and the rewards a real mish-mash of low to medium rewards without anything ever getting too exciting.
The Three Stooges is a perfectly acceptable and enjoyable slot, particularly if you like the Three Stooges films and their brand of slapstick comedy. The slot has some good features, notably the Lucky Stooges Bonus and the Free Spins round is potentially rewarding too.
However, there isn't enough pulling power for this slot to me. Wins are generally on the smaller side and don't come along that often. Bonus feature wins are a real mixed bag, some are decent sized but others are disappointingly small at times and that can quickly become frustrating, especially if you have played through many spins to trigger the bonus.
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