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Sometimes it does a soul good to wallow in a bout of nostalgia.
Should you decide to head to Virgin Casino and take a look at the Fruit Shop online slot, then there are plenty of reminders of the halcyon days of arcade slot gaming.
If you love retro gaming, but with the added benefits of a modern slot with modern features, then the Fruit Shop slot will fit the bill.
So does this NetEnt slot hit the mark, or has the fruit turned and gone a little sour? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
Overview: Fruit Shop
Fruit Shop certainly looks familiar when you load it up.
It is a 15-payline slot with the usual 5×3 reels in action. The playing card symbols are the low symbols in the game (10 through to ace) with the familiar retro-styled fruit symbols the higher value symbols.
The colors are bright and cheerful and the game plays along with a rather jaunty soundtrack, which cannot help put a smile on your face.
You can increase or decrease the size of the bet by changing the coin value and level size options, with the cheapest spins costing $0.15 and the maximum bet being $37.50.
Who will the Fruit Shop slot appeal to?
Having taken a closer look at the Fruit Shop slot it appears that there are definitely two types of slot players that the game will appeal to immediately.
The first is retro slot gamers, particularly those who played slots in the ’80s and ’90s and who will be familiar with the now-famous fruit machine symbols that are central to the game.
The other group is those who enjoy free spins gaming; Fruit Shop offers very easy access to free spins in a novel way.
There’s no scatter symbol – instead you trigger up to five free spins when you hit a winning payline win using fruit symbols in the base game. You can then trigger further free spins by landing winning paylines of any symbol on a free spin.
That said, there’s enough in this slot to appeal to most slot fans, both traditional gamers and those who prefer a more modern gaming experience.
Gameplay: Fruit Shop
Truth be told, there isn’t much to describe about the game play because you get all the features of the Fruit Shop slot within the base game.
This means that there are no dedicated free spins or pick ’em games to unlock, no progressive jackpot to chase, and the game is also light on reel features such as stacked symbols or similar.
That may not sound like an overly promising start, but don’t rush to judge. When you actually start to get the reels spinning, Fruit Shop offers you a pleasant surprise.
First off, the features are simple. There is a Fruit Shop logo wild symbol which substitutes for all symbols in the game and helps create winning paylines and which awards a 2x multiplier on any win in which the wild symbol is used.
Secondly, if during the base game you hit a winning payline involving the higher value fruit symbols, then you immediately trigger between one and five free spins, depending on the type of fruit and number of symbols that are on a payline.
The fewer the number of symbols on the payline, the fewer the number of free spins you are awarded.
Once this is triggered, your free spin will take place on the next spin.
The great news here is that if you land another win using either fruit symbols, or the lower value playing card symbols, then you will trigger between one and five additional free spins.
You play through all your free spins one after the other, including any additional ones you trigger, until the round is finished and the amount you win is displayed.
While wins are generally small if you hit just a couple of free spins, if you land a higher number and can add further free spins to it regularly, you can soon build up a sizable win.
That is really all there is to the Fruit Shop slot. It is a simple, easy-to-follow online casino game that is affordable for all players and which will have real appeal to a high percentage of slot players.
It does lack the features and some of the excitement of other slots, though. Perhaps those who prefer something a little more complex will find Fruit Shop a bit too basic.
Special features: Fruit Shop
Fruit Shop wild
The Fruit Shop wild can substitute for all high and low value symbols in the game to help create winning paylines. Any win achieved with a wild symbol sees the payout for that win automatically doubled.
Base game free spins
Fruit Shop takes a different approach to free spins. Land a winning payline using fruit symbols during the base game and, depending on the type of fruit and the number in the payline, you can win up to five free spins immediately every time you land a win.
Additional spins in free spins round
During free spins, any win (using the high fruit symbols, or the low playing card symbols) also triggers additional free spins. Furthermore, all wins during a free spin are automatically subject to a 2x multiplier.
Base game free spins
The fact that a winning payline involving fruit triggers a free spin is a nice touch. It adds a little extra excitement to the base game.
Fantastic presentation also spices up what could have been a somewhat uninteresting base game.
Additional free spins
If you can continue to hit winning paylines on your first spin and on subsequent spins, then you can keep triggering free spins. Remember, in free spins, fruit payline wins and low symbol wins all offer free spins.
There is absolutely no doubting that fans of fruit machine slots will love this game.
While the playing card lows are a bit disappointing to see on the reels, retro gamers will love the fruits being back on the reels, especially the cherry symbol that offers payouts (and free spins) when landed just twice on a payline.
Few other features
The wild symbol and free spins options do add a great deal to the Fruit Shop slot, but there are no other features in the game. Even the addition of just a few stacked symbols, or perhaps a bonus pick ’em round, would have given the game a little extra appeal.
No dedicated free spins round
Most modern slots have the promise of a dedicated free spins bonus round. This isn’t an option on Fruit Shop, so you don’t really have anything to aim for while playing.
After awhile, spinning the reels does become somewhat repetitive.
The jackpot in the game is around 2,000 coins, which is a decent-sized win. But when compared to other games that can offer a jackpot of 10,000 coins or more, it pales.
Graphics and soundtrack 2/5
The graphics are bright and cheerful and the fruit symbols are styled in a throwback fashion, making them easily recognizable.
The music is fun and suits the game well, but there is nothing groundbreaking about it, either. So, it’s difficult to award the game anything other than average marks.
Originality and creativity 3.5/5
I think Fruit Shop deserves credit here for tearing up the book when it comes to how free spins games are awarded to players.
You certainly get a lot more chances at free spins in this game, and I think that is a rare approach and certainly quite original. It just lacks some of the other creative features that drive the most popular slots.
Play value 3.5/5
Again, Fruit Shop isn’t a particularly difficult game to understand and its simplicity perhaps belies the fact that this is a generally fair game for players with medium to low variance, albeit with a chance of some decent-sized wins. As such, your bankroll shouldn’t take too big a hit when you play.
Jackpot potential 1.5/5
Two thousand coins is a decent amount when played at higher levels, but the jackpot isn’t huge. Even the bigger wins on the Fruit Shop slot are unlikely to change your life that much.
Repeat play 3.5/5
Although it doesn’t have much in terms of features, those that Fruit Shop does possess are well done and cleverly designed.
The game does get a tad repetitive at times, so it is best enjoyed in short sessions, but it is most definitely a slot you can check in on in the future.
Total score 14/25
Fruit Shop may look and play very simplistically, but it is a hugely enjoyable slot and offers stripped down and retro gaming, as well as some nice and unique features for how free spins come into play.