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I must admit, I’ve been avoiding reviewing this game for a little while. Not because I thought it may be an inferior product, but simply because I wasn’t sure how Scratchcard Shop could actually be classified as a slot game. Now after playing it, I can see how it’s lumped in with slots, but even so, I’m still not convinced slot fans will get an awful lot from it.
The premise is simple: you have entered the shop of the elderly and somewhat grizzled-looking scratchcard vendor and you purchase scratchcards from him. Each time you purchase a scratchcard (and there are several to pick from) that is essentially a “spin.” When you scratch the card off, that is essentially the result of the reels. Simple, eh? Well, yes and no, to be honest.
Overview: Scratchcard Shop
The first thing I have to ask is whether the Scratchcard Shop is a slot at all, even though it’s lumped together with the other slot games on the Tropicana Casino site. There are some elements that are shared with a slot. You can pick your stake size (the price of the scratchcard tickets does vary) and scratching the card to reveal the symbols is similar to the result of a slot, in that you either win or lose.
However, beyond those two factors the similarities are nonexistent. No reels are involved. Unfortunately, that means none of the bonus features you’d get with a slot game—such as a pick ’em game, free spins, multipliers, or similar—are present. Essentially what you have here is a game that will likely appeal to scratchcard players that has been designed to try and appeal to slot players too.
Who will the Scratchcard Shop slot appeal to?
It’s clear from the design of the game that the millions of people who enjoy playing scratchcards will certainly enjoy the Scratchcard Shop game. However, the attempts to make it play like a slot game are perhaps not enough, in my humble opinion, to make this game immediately appealing to a slot player. This is simply because there aren’t enough elements of a slot contained in the game.
That said, if you are a more general casino player who likes to try different types of games out and who spends their time playing more games than slots, then Scratchcard Shop is certainly one game that you should test. It’s very different to any other slot game I’ve played, but also different to other casino games I’ve played too. Indeed, its unique feel may be its most appealing attribute.
Gameplay: Scratchcard Shop
Usually in this section I would give you a more detailed breakdown of how the slot plays out, but with the Scratchcard Shop game things are very different. When you load up the “slot” you’re taken into the shop. Here you can browse through a number of different scratchcards before selecting one to play.
Each of the scratchcards on display is sold at a different price. There is a variety of different prizes available to be won on each card. Once you’ve selected your card to play, you purchase it from the vendor and there follows a neat little animation, where the vendor processes your payment on his till and you’re presented with the card to play.
At this point you can use the Buy New Card button as the Reveal All button to click once and rub off all the items on the screen at once. Alternatively, you can click on individual items and rub them off individually as you would a real world scratchcard. The choice is yours, but the Reveal All button does speed play up considerably.
Once you’ve revealed all the symbols on your card, then you can see if you’ve won a prize or not. If you’ve won a prize, the shop owner will celebrate with you and ring up your win on his till. If you lose, he’ll simply shrug his shoulders in sympathy. You can then buy another card and play again or scroll through the other cards available to find another to play.
There are a total of six scratchcards available to play. They range in value and, as a result, have a different array of top prizes available:
- Cash Crop – $0.20 per play, top prize of $200
- Crazy Fruits – $0.40 per play, top prize of $16
- Noughts and Crosses – $0.50 per play, top prize of $50
- Whole Lotta Luck – $1 per play, top prize of $800
- Moolah Machine – $2 per play, top prize of $1,600
- Gold Fever – $5 per play, top prize of $30,000
Clearly, some cards are more volatile to play than others. You can have more chance playing a less volatile slot (such as Crazy Fruits) than you would have playing a slot with a small entry fee but larger prize pool.
The only other thing to note is that the Gold Fever card actually has three, rather than one, game to play. As such, you have three chances to win on every turn of this card, compared to just one game to play on any of the other cards you elect to play.
Special features: Scratchcard Shop
Select from a choice of games
The best thing about the Scratchcard Shop game is that you can select from a choice of six different cards for any of your “spins.” You can tailor your play to a certain bet amount by selecting the card that suits your bankroll.
Reveal All button
The Reveal All button helps speed up play a little, as it is a much quicker option than clicking on each of the individual panels of a scratchcard to scrub off the top layer and see if you’ve won.
Various wins available
Regardless of the game you play, there is a good mix of wins available. They range from the higher value wins on the bigger jackpot games (Gold Fever offers a massive jackpot win of $30,000), down to the $16 jackpot available on the Crazy Fruits game.
The presentation on the Scratchcard Shop game is basic but cleverly done. The elderly shopkeeper is somewhat genial and the way he responds when you buy a card and then when you see whether you have won or not, is amusing initially. Over time the novelty of the animations does wear off.
Certainly, I’ve not come across a slot like the Scratchcard Shop game in the past, but that’s because I’m not really sure if it’s a slot or not. This is definitely more a scratchcard game dressed up as a slot. I think that it will certainly appeal to players of scratchcard games. As such, it is very original.
Depending on which card you play, you can find that you win relatively frequently on the scratchcard games, or you can find that the cards don’t fall that great for you and you can have many turns before you hit even a small win. However, those regular wins, especially when they are a decent amount are one of the game’s most appealing factors.
It’s not a slot
I can see why Scratchcard Shop is displayed alongside other slot games. Although the definition of a slot game has gotten broader with the advent of some unusual games, I still feel that Scratchcard Shop struggles to meet the definition of a slot game. It’s most certainly a gambling game, but to call it a slot stretches credibility to the limits. However that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun in its own way.
No bonus features
Unfortunately, unlike some of the better slots available today, there are no bonus features you can trigger on any of the games. Some tickets do offer a bonus reward, but there’s nothing additional you can trigger (such as free games on a card) as you play.
Due to a lack of bonus features, free spins or similar, this means that the whole process of playing these scratchcard games does tend to get very repetitive. With the vast majority of the wins you get less than 3x your wager, so this does tend to grate with you after a while.
Graphics & soundtrack: 2/5
Scratchcard Shop is a game that will certainly appeal initially thanks to its unusual setting and the clever use of animations to liven up the game. The graphics when the cards are scratched are decent and the sound is fine, but there’s nothing here to get too excited about. After a while, everything just seems very samey on every turn.
Originality & creativity: 4/5
I’ve given Scratchcard Shop a decent mark here as I think the way the game is put together, by offering six different games at six different wager levels and with different jackpot prizes is well done. And, of course, there isn’t any other game I’ve come across that is quite like this one.
Play value: 2/5
Having played all of the cards available on the Scratchcard Shop slot, I’m yet to have a really decent win. While you can win relatively frequently, you do tend to win in fits and bursts with long winless spells also commonplace. As such, this doesn’t make for a great play value for players.
Jackpot potential: 3/5
If you play the Gold Fever card, you wager $5 per game but can win up to $30,000 if you hit the jackpot. This game alone offers a prize that is almost 30x more than you will find on any other card. As such, it makes this worth a look if you like trying to win larger amounts.
Repeat play: 2/5
Even if you can get past the fact that this really isn’t a slot game, there just isn’t enough in the Scratchcard Shop to make you come back often. Gameplay is very repetitive and the game just isn’t involved enough to keep your interest piqued.
Total score: 13/25
Scratchcard Shop is an innovative game. While it does share some features with a slot game, it really isn’t presented as a slot, nor does it play as one. Neither does it have many of the top features that makes slots appealing. That said, it does have some positive aspects and it’s worth a few spins to at least try out.