Emoticons are those strange little faces that you attach to your test messages or emails that convey your reaction or emotion when writing it. They are also sometimes called Emojis. I say this because there is a certain generation, for whom the mobile phone or tablet remains a mystery, who may love slots but have absolutely no idea what an Emoticon is.
Emoticoins however is the new slot by Microgaming which takes its cue from these rather cute little additions we can put in our text messages. Once you load up the slot then the look of the icons within the game will make it immediately apparent what this slot is about with the -coins suffix added to suggest a big win may be in the offing perhaps?
Well yes, there is as you can win over $72,000 playing the Emoticons game (albeit at the higher bet level) but there's plenty of other features that will appeal to lower stakes players too. Let's take a closer look now at the game itself by reviewing all its key features and where is best to play the game.
Where can I play the Emoticoins slot?
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Simply register your details with the site and you will earn yourself a fantastic 25 free spins simply for signing up. Then when you make your first deposit, you will qualify for a massive 200% deposit bonus, which will effectively treble the amount of money you have available to play with on the site immediately.
Yet that isn't all, on your next three deposits you will also get a great value double your money 100% bonus offer applied to your cash and then on your fifth deposit, that bonus size increases to a huge 175%, giving you another massive bonus when that fifth cash infusion hits your account.
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It's fair to say that Microgaming haven't gone overboard in the presentation of the Emoticoins slot. The backdrop is a series of speech bubbles behind the reels which are, to be truthful, somewhat dull and uninspiring. The music is also somewhat understated but strangely does seem to fit the slot quite nicely.
The sound effects when you land a winning pay line and the fact that the Emoticoins on the reels then animate when involved in a winning pay line is a nice touch, but in truth, this looks like a slot that was developed about 10 years ago.
All the main controls are at the foot of the screen apart from the information about the pay lines and the settings which are in a tab on the left. You can elect to have faster spins, which is a nice touch for players who don't have much time to play and the sound can be switched on or off if the looped music gets a bit too repetitive for you.
What's on the reels?
On the reels I was somewhat disappointed to find that the playing card low symbols from 10 through to the ace have been included once again. Given the number of potential emoticons there are in the world today, this is just a little lazy, even if it does help to differentiate between the lower value symbols and the higher value symbols on the reels.
As you would likely guess, the emoticons are the higher value symbols and there are a number of instantly recognizable ones including the blowing a kiss emoticon, the pulling tongue emoticon, the sunglasses emoticon and the smiling face emoticon.
Several of the lower value payouts don't offer a return equal to your wager, so it is worthwhile remembering that even if you win with these lines, you won't make a profit from the spin, just a slightly smaller loss.
It is easy to spot the wild in the Emoticoins game as it is the game logo. This symbol can substitute for any of the standard symbols outlined above to help create winning pay lines on a spin and in addition, if you land three, four or five Wilds on a pay line then this generates a win of over 40x your total bet.
Wilds are also used in the Wild Blast base game feature, which we will explore in more detail in the Other bonus features section below.
Free Spins features
To trigger the free spins bonus round you need to land the LOL Scatter symbol three or more times anywhere across the reels. Any combination of two to five scatters also triggers a bonus payment which ranges from winning back your stake to 100x your wagered amount.
When you land the Free Spins bonus feature you receive 10 free spins regardless of whether you landed three, four or five scatters. During free spins, you have a Wild Stickers feature in operation. What happens here is that on your first spin, you get a Sticky Wild added at random to the reels which remains in position for the duration of your free spins.
Then on the third, fifth, seventh and ninth spins, you get another Sticky Wild added to the reels at random on these spins, meaning on your 9th and 10th spins, you will have a total of five Sticky Wilds on the reels, offering you the chance of a big win or two if you are lucky.
The free spins bonus however cannot be re-triggered from within the bonus round.
Other bonus features
There is one additional bonus feature which is randomly triggered in the base game and this is the Wild Blast feature. On any spin, the bonus may trigger and when it does it will add up to five Sticky Wilds to the reels which will remain in place for the next spin before they disappear. The Sticky Wilds are added at random to the reels and if they land in a strong position, you could potentially earn a big win from a base game spin.
Best feature of the Emoticoins slot
Although the Wild Blast feature is good when it triggers, the Free Spins game is the best feature of this slot. The base game is rather dull to be honest with too many lower value wins, but when you trigger the Free Spins, then you can land yourself some great value wins, especially with your last few spins when you have more of the Sticky Wild symbols across the reels.
A word of warning here though is that the Free Spins bonus round is very volatile too, sometimes you can land some big payouts, and other times you only win a very small amount, often not as much as you win on some base game spins. However when Free Spins pays out big, you can find that it makes a massive difference to your bankroll.
What does the Emoticoins slot lack?
For me, the game just lacks a little excitement and appeal. The presentation doesn't help matters as while the music works well, the base game itself and how it is set up and presented just doesn't look that appealing. I assume this is meant to target the younger slot player, but these people are playing apps that are far more involved than this game and I feel it doesn't have the instant grab your attention factor needed to pull in the audience it is seeking.
Emoticoins is a slot game that is designed to appeal to perhaps a younger audience than most and while I can see the logic behind the use of emoticons in a slot game, they are after all a perfect choice as symbols on the reels, the game just doesn't have enough excitement initially to draw you in. That's a shame because the random base game bonus and the free spins round are generally pretty good, but the base game does lack a little glitz and glam in order to make it appealing to the masses that text each other their every thought hundreds of times a day.
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