Ever since Charles Fey invented the first slot machine in 1895, generations of casino gamers have succumbed to the mesmerising pleasure of watching the reels spin in the hope of landing a winning combination. Fey’s machine had playing cards for symbols, but when gambling for money was briefly banned at the turn of the 20th century, the symbols changed to what you could win instead of cash: packets of gum and... fruit. Cute, right? You actually won fruit. Eventually King Cash made a comeback but the charming fruit symbols were here to stay and the so-called “fruit machines” remained popular in Vegas casinos and everywhere else.
Online casinos have since totally rejuvenated the slot game market with a plethora of creative themes, but NetEnt has given the classic fruit machine a fresh treatment that delivers a cheerful, no-frills basic formula: no fancy features, no popping graphics or crazy sounds, just loads and loads of free spins.
The set-up could not be simpler: 5 reels, 3 rows, 15 fixed paylines beneath a striped fruit-stall awning framed by a backdrop reminiscent of the verdant countryside on a clear blue day. Simple blue 10, J, Q, K and A symbols award lower-value payouts, while the oranges, lemons, watermelons, plums, watermelons and cherries pay out high.
The game logo is the Wild, which not only raises your chance of forming a winning combination by substituting for any other symbol on the reels, but also doubles your payout. There are no Scatters. You can switch the bet level box between 1 and 10 and change coin values between 0.01 and 1. To place the maximum overall wager of 150 per spin, just hit the “Max Bet” button. The Return To Player is a tempting 96.7%. Fully compatible with iPhone and Android platforms, the Fruit Shop video slot game is available to play on all desktop and mobile devices.
Fruit Shop’s Free Spins feature is a bit different from other games, which normally require you to spin 3 or more Scatters. Well, Fruit Shop doesn’t have Scatters – instead, all you have to do to get Free Spins is form winning combinations of fruit symbols. Two matching cherries get you one Free Spin, while you’ll have to combine three or more of the other fruits to squeeze more Free Spins out of them.
Landing any three matching fruit symbols will award you with 1 Free Spin, while four will give you 2 more, and 5 matching fruit symbols will give you the maximum of 5 Free Spins. You can give your Free Spins another whirl with re-spins triggered by more matching fruit combinations, for the same pay-out amounts. During the Free Spins round, you can also get more Free Spins by forming matching combinations of the lower-value 10, J, Q, K and A symbols.
Although NetEnt is famous for producing some of the most feature-packed video slot games on the entire online casino market, Fruit Shop remains a winner because of the frequency with which you get Free Spins. You begin to anticipate the zany yet refreshing circus music that starts up with the Free Spin rounds.
Even though you only get 1 to 5 Free Spins each time, it’s worth it because they come around so often, much more frequently than is the case with most other online slot games of this nature. Casinos will always have a place for the classics, and Fruit Shop is one of the best.