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When is a slot not a slot?
Well when it is Bubble Craze for one. This is one of the new form of slot games that doesn’t actually look like a slot or play like or slot, but which still pays out like a slot.
If it sounds somewhat confusing then all will be revealed in our detailed review below.
Overview: Bubble Craze
The Bubble Craze slot, created by well-known games company IGT, is a reworking of the slot genre where instead of three or five reels, you are presented with a screen of “bubbles” which float upwards into position on a hexagon-shaped matrix of three bubbles, four bubbles, five bubbles, four bubbles and lastly three bubbles.
The way you win, is by having four or more bubbles of the same color touching each other. Every time you ‘spin,’ the current set of bubbles displayed on screen and a new set of bubbles floats into view.
To help you win, there are special bubbles that can appear that will offer you a number of additional bonus features such as multipliers, free spins and transform bubbles which change the color of bubbles touching them to the same color.
You can wager 50 coins only on this slot, but you can select the coin value to suit your pocket wagering from $0.50 up to $10.00 per spin ($0.01 to $2.00 per coin). If you’re wondering where in the New Jersey online casino universe you can find Bubble Craze, the answer is at Betfair online casino.
Who will the Bubble Craze slot appeal to?
This is definitely a game for mid to lower stakes players as even at $10 per spin, the higher stakes gamblers are not going to find too much to keep themselves entertained here. The fact that Bubble Craze is not a “traditional” slot will also mean that players who like to play new and innovative forms of slots will also be tempted to give the game a try.
You can win up to 10,000 coins if you manage to turn all 19 bubbles the same color (silver) on a spin. While this is a decent amount, it isn’t as large a jackpot as some other games and it isn’t a jackpot likely to tempt people away from the big progressive games. However if you like new games and new ways to gamble, Bubble Craze offers precisely that in a very neatly presented package.
Gameplay: Bubble Craze
This is a low variance slot but it should be noted that the majority of wins in the base game are generally only the same value as your stake or lower and even with features playing a part, such as multipliers or the transform bubble, it is rare to hit a win of more than four times your stake. The bigger wins only tend to come when you hit the free spin round.
The different colored bubbles pay out different amounts with brown being the lowest value and silver being the highest, however to hit the really big wins in the base game, you are going to have to turn the majority of bubbles to one color on a single spin and that doesn’t happen often, even when one of the features is triggered.
You do win relatively frequently, which is nice. And it isn’t hugely difficult to trigger the free spins round, but you do need to be patient and with many of the smaller wins often not covering the cost of the stake, it can be expensive to play if you don’t hit that free spins round relatively quickly.
As such, it is good practice to choose your coin value carefully to ensure you have enough of a bankroll for a decent session.
The features of the slot do give it an extra twist and offer the player a chance of greater returns, especially if you can trigger two features or more together on the same spin. There are essentially three bonus features in Bubble Craze of which, the free spins bonus is definitely the most lucrative.
Special features: Bubble Craze
Some of the bubbles on screen will have a transform symbol in them. When these bubbles appear, they will automatically transform any bubble touching them to the same color.
These can turn up to seven bubbles to the same color depending where on the hexagon matrix it lands.
As you play the game, you will notice bubbles float into view with a multiplier (either 2x or 5x) amount in them.
If you can land these in a winning group of bubbles, then the multiplier is applied to the win.
Free spins bubble
This essentially acts as the Bubble Craze scatter. When landed on the same spin on the first, third and fifth rows of bubbles, you trigger five free spins.
During free spins, however, there are extra transform and multiplier bubbles in play and every spin is guaranteed to be a winner.
The design of the game makes it look very much like the popular games people play on social media sites. The sound is modern and the design innovative and appealing, yet the game remains simple to play and easy to understand, perhaps even more so than a traditional slot.
Having the stake set at 50 coins but being able to adjust the coin value from $0.01 to $2.00 makes this a simple slot to select the right wager for your budget.
This is more basic than on many slot games, but it does work better.
The free spins bonus when triggered really is the best way to give yourself a chance of a big win in the game, even with just five free spins you can win a considerable amount.
Low value base game wins
Too many wins in the base game are low value compared to your stake. The majority of wins are the same as your stake and often less than what you paid to spin.
Essentially that isn’t a “win” – you’ve just spent a little less money.
Feature payouts are too small too often
You hit the features in Bubble Craze relatively frequently, but in truth, unless you hit a high paying color of bubble (red or silver) then the payouts remain generally small and a tad disappointing.
Big payouts seem highly unlikely
What are the odds of having all 19 bubbles on screen turn silver to win the 10,000 top base game prize? The odds seem fantastically small that this can happen.
As such, the bigger wins seem a pipe dream, unless you can hit free spins.
Graphics and soundtrack: 3/5
There’s not a huge amount you can do with bubbles as a choice of subject matter but the game works well enough and the sound accompanying the game is generally good, though can get a tad repetitive after a while.
Originality and creativity: 4/5
Give IGT credit for developing a slot, that is not a slot, but which plays like a slot and is recognizable as a slot, despite not being a slot! It is an innovative take on a slot-type game, that is very easy to understand, even for non-slot playing individuals.
Play value: 2/5
Unless you can hit the free spins or one of the ultra-rare base game wins, then the frequency of low value payouts means that this is a game you can play, win a lot on, but still end the session considerably down on cash.
Jackpot potential: 2/5
If you are prepared to wager $10 per spin, then you could win up to $100,000, but for smaller stakes players, which we think the majority would be on this game, the chances of hitting a huge jackpot are nil.
Repeat play: 2/5
There is plenty of innovation in the Bubble Craze slot and that and its simple gameplay will have you coming back for more. Its appeal lies squarely in how often you can trigger the free spins round in our view. Fail to land it in a couple of sessions and we can see Bubble Craze sliding down your must play chart very quickly.
Total score: 13/25
There’s a lot to like about the Bubble Craze slot. It’s innovative, easy to play, features and wins are triggered frequently and although it doesn’t look like a slot, it plays very much like one.
However, the fact that you consistently win less than you stake and the relatively slim chances of bigger wins does diminish its appeal over the longer term.