Do you know the reality TV series Cake Boss? I find it somewhat amazing the cakes that they can make for all kinds of celebrations and events, although I do prefer it when Buddy is perplexed at something and says in his New Jersey drawl "I don't know what I'm gonna do..." which seems to happen about fourteen times in each episode.
Well if you like Cake Boss, then you will certainly be clamoring to become the latest player to try the delights on offer in Habanero's new slot Cake Valley. Set against a Willy Wonka inspired sweetie glade with candy canes growing in the grass. The new slot features something I've never come across before in a slot in a Jelly Selector.
So, what does selecting between the three types of jellies do and what impact does this have on the game as a whole? Read on to find out more about this rather attractive and cheery looking slot.
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The presentation of the Cake Valley slot is rather prettily done. The valley that gives the slot part of its name seems to have been taken straight from the pages of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a variety of sweet goodies growing all around and what appears to be two large cakes plonked unceremoniously in the middle. The musical accompaniment is very cheerful and rather nicely done and suits the style of the game perfectly. The sound effects on spins and wins are also very clean and well-chosen for the slot.
All the key controllers for the slot are at the foot of the screen with the exception of the Jelly Selector which is at the top. You can wager from $0.25 up to a massive $5,000 per spin, making this a slot perfect for all budgets. You can also increase the number of coins wagered on each pay line using the Bet Level buttons. There is an auto play feature available and the slot is available to play on mobile devices as well as desktop or laptop PCs.
What is on the reels?
On the reels are, as you would expect a number of delicious looking cakes, plus a couple of other items. The cakes range from the humble pink frosted doughnut, which is the lowest paying symbol on the reels, through an assortment of iced cakes, eclairs, cupcakes, ice cream and even what looks like a fruit pie. There are eight assorted cakes in total which offer pay outs ranging from 2 coins up to 250 coins.
Alongside them is the chef who is the only non-cake symbol on the reels and he is the highest paying standard symbol offering wins of up to 300 coins. There is just one other symbol on the reels and that is the Wild symbol, which we will look at in more detail below.
The Wild symbol is the large cake and when this lands it can substitute for any of the symbols on the reels to help create winning pay lines. In addition, if you can land five of the Wild symbols across the reels on a single spin, then you can win the jackpot prize of 400 coins.
What is a positive is that the Wild along with the standard symbol can be used to trigger the Free Spins bonus rounds, but to understand that we need to first understand what the Jelly Selector is and how it works.
Free Spins features
In Cake Valley there are no scatter symbols to trigger a free spins bonus round. Instead what you have is a Jelly Selector, which you can rotate through the Green, Yellow or Red jellies as you see fit and depending on which of the jellies you select, you will trigger the corresponding free spins game when you land the same symbol in all the jellies that are visible in changing positions on the reels as they spin.
The easiest option to trigger free spins is the Green Jelly mode which places two jellies on the second and fourth reels. With each spin, the jellies will move up and down the reels and when you land the same two symbols in the jelly spaces on the reels on a single spin, you will trigger the free games bonus.
For the green jelly, this sees your two triggering symbols held in place for the free spins round, along with the jelly, and you then have 15 free spins. One of the best features of the slot however is that during free spins, if you don't win from left to right across the reels on a spin, if you have a winning pay line from right to left, then this will pay out together with an 8x multiplier and this can result in some very sizeable wins.
The Yellow Jelly mode sees three jellies on the reels and it triggers the free spins round when you land three of the same symbols in the jelly spaces. Once again, the jelly spaces will move around the reels on each spin, although this time the jellies move horizontally, rather than vertically.
If you land three of the same symbol in the yellow jelly spaces then you trigger 12 free spins and you also have the right to left bonus on non-winning spins, but this time it pays out a 5x multiplier. In this feature though, the yellow jelly spaces continue to move on each free spin, meaning you could trigger additional spins in the bonus.
The Red Jelly mode is hardest to trigger as it has four jelly spaces in play on each spin and you need to land the same symbol in all four. Jellies move up and down the reels on each spin but will never cross each other.
Land four of the same symbol in all of the Red Jelly spaces and you trigger 8 free spins with the Red Jelly spaces continuing to move and with any non-winning spins also having the benefit of the right to left wins with a 3x multiplier.
Other bonus features
There is a simple Gamble feature you can use on the slot to increase the value of a win. It is a game of Beat the Dealer where you have to select from four cards on screen that are face down and pick a card that beats the dealers. If you pick a higher card than the dealer you win and double your money, if you don't then you lose the money wagered.
Best feature of the Cake Valley slot
What I like about the Cake Valley slot is that it has really tried hard to be innovative and for the main part it has succeeded. In truth, I am not sure whether the Jelly Selector really works as a way of triggering free spins. It seems to be you don't get enough of a bonus for trying to hit three or four symbols to trigger free spins, especially with the number of free spins you receive for these more difficult games to trigger, decreasing in number.
However, I like the fact that Habanero tried something new and when you do trigger the free spins bonus, the fact that if you don't win left to right, but you can win right to left with as much as an 8x multiplier applied to any winnings, is a big incentive. You can land some sizeable wins this way. I also feel that the presentation is excellent and the sound is particularly cheerful.
What does the Cake Valley slot lack?
In truth, what the Cake Valley slot lacks is clarity about what each of the three Free Spins bonuses have in terms of how they relate to each other and the benefits that one offers over the other. As I played it became clear to me that selecting the Green Jelly option offered me more spins (albeit I could not re-trigger them) and a far better multiplier if I hit the right to left wins option. The other jellies have their own bonuses, but it is not made clear what the benefits are of one selection over the other.
The Cake Valley slot is a very nicely put together game. It has some innovative features, some of which I have not seen on a slot before. I like the way Habanero have changed the way free spins are triggered and have allowed the player a degree of selection in how they can trigger free spins. This combined with a generally low variance base game means this is a slot where you can win big but it isn't going to put too big a hole in your bank balance while you play.
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