Ah Begorrah! We're heading off to the Emerald Isle once again as we take a closer look at Betsoft's popular and unusual Charms and Clovers slot, one of the most consistently popular slots in terms of spins played each month for the company.
Now as you will likely be aware, whenever we review a slot that has something to do with Ireland, we tend to find the same old stereotypes trotted out of green scenery, Ceilidh music, good fortune and the odd leprechaun thrown in for good measure. I'd like to tell you that Betsoft have eschewed this approach to go in a different direction, but in reality, that is precisely what they have done with their slot too.
Still, Betsoft do have a reputation of offering some high-quality presentation for their games so while not the biggest fan of the Irish stereotype as we see in most slots, I was happy to give the slot a try to see what the company had made with their game.
In truth, it was a pleasant surprise as beyond the theme, there is a very complex and very clever slot game here that really does have long term appeal. Let's take a look now as to why this slot is one of Betsoft's most popular releases.
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OK, well I'll admit, I am still living in hope that one day we won't have an Irish-themed slot that doesn't involve a Leprechaun, green scenery and a fiddle playing away in the background, but to be fair to Betsoft few slots I have played in any category are quite as nicely presented as their Charms and Clovers slot.
The backdrop for the slot is a rather nice wooded glade with a sunny green meadow running through the middle of it behind the reels. To the side of the reels is a rather cheery Leprechaun who tends to spend most of time laughing, flipping a coin and then announcing "Yes!" after you land a win. It's amusing at first but after a little while he does begin to get on your nerves a little.
Musically, we have a jaunty Irish jig playing as you spin, with more exciting and dramatic music kicking in once the reels are spun. The graphics are high quality and well designed and are very easy on the eye on the unusual 6x4 reel set, although the sixth reel is set apart from the main five. All in all, the presentation of the slot is very pleasing and does enhance the game considerably.
What's on the reels?
There are essentially three sets of symbols across the reels. The lower value symbols are the playing card low symbols from the jack through to the Ace and they offer pays from just 5 coins up to 150 coins. It is at this point I should point out that you can increase the value of a win significantly by landing a sixth symbol on the sixth reel on a line and the top wins quoted here are for six-symbol wins, not five.
The medium value symbols are the Bar sign, the flagon of ale, the horse shoe, the pot of gold and the four-leafed clover and these pay between 25 coins and 800 coins. Higher value symbols are the golden 7, the rainbow and the Leprechaun symbol and these pay between 100 coins and 5,000 coins depending on the symbol and how many are landed on a line across the reels.
There are a couple of other symbols on the first five reels and some more unusual symbols on that additional sixth reel and we will learn more about these in the features section below.
The Wild symbol can substitute for all of the symbols outlined above and when it does it can lead to some sizeable wins in the base game. In addition, you can also land consecutive Wilds across a line to trigger the biggest value base game wins of between 150 coins and 10,000 coins if you hit six wilds across the reels.
The good news is that the Wild does appear regularly on the reels and often you will land several on the screen at once which does increase your chances of landing a win, and perhaps a decent sized win, considerably.
Free Spins features
The Free Spins feature is part of a broader set of features that are all triggered by a series of special stacked bonus symbols that appear on the 6th bonus reel. Depending on which of the four different stacked bonus symbols you land in full on the sixth reel, you will trigger a corresponding bonus game, two of which are based on Free Spins.
The first of these is the Mega Symbol bonus game and this is triggered when you land an entire reel of Mega Symbol bonus Scatters on the sixth reel. In this bonus game you will find that large 3x3 Leprechaun symbols will be added to the reels for your 8 Free Spins and you can combine the giant symbols with smaller Leprechaun symbol sand Wilds to give you a chance at some big value wins.
The second of these bonus games is the Pots of Gold bonus and in this game you will receive 8 Free Spins and on each of your Free Spins, the Leprechaun will add additional Wilds to the reels for you in the hope of you landing a bigger value win. To trigger this bonus you need to land four Pots of Gold Scatters on the sixth reel, filling it entirely.
Other bonus features
There are two other bonus features you can land from the sixth reel. A full reel of Money Wheel symbols launches the Money Wheel bonus game and here you will spin the Money Reel which has on it a number of prizes 4x, 5x and 15x your stake. One space on the reel is the Super Wheel sector and if you land on this you get to spin the Super Wheel and a chance to win up to 40x your bet.
On the Super Wheel though you can earn a chance to spin the Mega Wheel and if you manage to get this far you can win up to 100x your bet, or the Giant or the Colossal progressive Jackpots that are part of the game.
The final bonus game starts when you fill the sixth reel with the Golden Bonus symbol and this is a simple Pick'em Bonus game where you get to select from five pots of gold on screen which will see you win a cash prize of up to 20x your total bet.
Another bonus feature is that you can elect to Double Up any win by clicking the button after a cash win. This allows you to play a simple heads or tails game with the Leprechaun. Win and you double your winnings, guess incorrectly and you lose what you had won previously. You can elect to wager all your winnings, or just 50% of what you won on the spin.
There are also three progressive jackpot bonuses in the game which can be won on the Money Wheel bonus game as outlined above.
Best feature of the Charms and Clovers slot
Although the high production values make the Charms and Clover slot one to enjoy, it is the wide array of different bonus features, allied to a more unusual 6x4 reel set up that really makes the slot so playable. Wins are not that easy to come by but you do trigger them in enough size and quantity so that your bankroll doesn't take too much of a beating if you play at the right bet size for your bankroll. The four different bonus games are the crown jewels and although they offer varying rewards, the Mega Wheel obviously offers the best chance of a bigger win, each is playable and enjoyable in its own way.
What does the Charms and Clovers slot lack?
Given that Betsoft have packed so much into the Charms and Clovers slot, it is hard to say that this slot is particularly lacking anything. What I would say is that while 40 pay lines does sound a lot, on a 6x4 reel slot it isn't that many and there are times when you think you may have landed a win but nothing triggers and these can be a little frustrating, especially when they occur during a longer run without a winning spin.
Having reviewed the slot it is easy to see why Charms and Clovers has so many devoted players each month. The game is packed to the brim with features and has a very different set up to most standard slot games. It has a medium variance in my view, although it can feel at times like it is a higher variance game, especially when played at a higher stake. This is a fun slot that is packed with great features and which offers any medium variance slot fan a slot with plenty of depth and a scope to win some fantastic jackpot prizes, including a very tidy progressive prize.
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