For a fairy-tale to succeed as an online video slot game theme without falling into the pit of tired clichés, designers have to dig deep. Having introduced fairy-tales into online casino games with Jack and the Beanstalk, NetEnt knew nothing short of magic would do – and they succeeded with Red Riding Hood, the first of their Fairytale Legends.
The basic set-up is standard – 3 rows, 5 reels, 20 fixed paylines. Coin sizes vary from 0.1 to 1, bet levels vary from 1 to 10, and bet sizes go from 0.20 – 200. Maximum payout is 80 000 coins and the Return To Player is 96.33%. Coded in HTML5 and compatible with iPhone and Android, Red Riding Hood is good for desktop, tablet and mobile casino gaming. What sets Red Riding Hood apart from your run-of-the-mill Vegas casino slot game is the craft NetEnt has lovingly lavished on the special features.
The base game follows a well-trodden path. Cute in her red suit at bottom left, Red Riding Hood walks through the forest in search of Grandma’s house ... As she walks, you notice the backdrop is moving along with her – each click of the Spin button takes her further into the enchanted forest, accompanied by a different musical phrase, all strings, harps and birdsong. (This is a nice touch: it’s pleasant to listen to the phrases combine into a melody on Autoplay).
And the reels spin. Low-value symbols are the familiar 10, J, Q, K, A. High-value symbols are fairy-tale artefacts – story-book, rose, coat-of-arms, shield, key, crown – , with the highest-value symbol being an ornate FL (400x your line stake for 5 on a payline). Red Riding Hood is Wild, treasure chests are Scatters, and the blue chests landing only on reels 1, 3 and 5 are the Bonus symbols. Fairies appear along the way, gifting random features.
In the Fairy Magic Spin feature, 5 to 9 medium-value symbols overlay the reels in a random cluster for 1 spin – a decent chance to land a winning combination. Randomly triggered by a non-winning spin, Fairy Surprise selects a symbol at random for the other symbols to transform into, until you get a win.
In Fairy Wild Spin, 3 or 4 Wilds land at random on the 3 middle reels, activating a Sticky Wild Re-Spin. The Sticky Wilds stay in place as the other reels re-spin. Should 1 or more Sticky Wilds materialise during the re-spin, another Sticky Wild Re-Spin is yours, until the new Wilds stop.
When 3 Treasure Chests land on reels 1, 3 and 5, the bonus round is activated. Pick and click one of 3 chests to reveal your bonus feature:
Beware the Wolf transports you to an animated board game, where each spin moves Red Riding Hood a random number of spaces along the path, landing on five different types of location. “Double” doubles your further multiplier wins. “Arrow” changes your direction. “Jackpot Coin Win” awards you 100x times your stake and concludes the feature – if you’ve already landed on “Double”, you win 200x! The bonus round ends when the Wolf pops out of one of his lurking places.
The Coin Win bonus is just a 15x win – probably the bonus you want least.
Free Spins has the biggest win potential. It starts with 10 Free Spins with Wilds on all reels – 2 or more Wilds trigger a Sticky Wild Re-Spin! Treasure Chests give 2, 4 or 10 extra spins for 1, 2 or 3 symbols. If more Wilds land anywhere, the Re-Spin continues until no new Wilds appear.