Santa Strikes Back is a five-reel, twenty-five line online slot game that has very well-done, bright graphics. The artist’s style is comedic, highly detailed and cell-shaded, which is something that isn’t frequently seen in slot games. While there are the standard card symbols, there are also a voodoo elf, a tied-up Rudolph, a Santa-and-Rudolph symbol, a package containing green liquid and Santa with a sword.
Unlike many other slot games, a few of the symbols are animated; namely the Wild and Scatter symbols. The sword-wielding Santa symbol is Wild and in the animation, he swings his sword; there is music and sound effects that accompany the animation. The Scatter symbol is the Santa-and-Rudolph symbol; this one has screams as sound effects and is animated with a cloud of dust and a comic book or manga-style brawl. Even the tied-up Rudolph symbol is animated: he struggles against his bonds to get free.
One thing that players may find a bit odd is that there is no general background music when they are playing. Music is only heard when they trigger one of the bonus features– when one of the features are triggered, an altered version of Jingle Bells plays. The music compliments the bonus rounds very well and enhances the overall game-play by fitting the game’s theme nicely.
While it plays very similarly to other five-reel slot machines, one of the differences is that all twenty-five pay-lines must be activated in order for the game to play. However, the player can decide how much they want to wager, which varies from a penny to five dollars.
Another difference is in how the bonus games are triggered. When the Scatter symbol appears and the brawling animation plays, one of two things could happen. If two or more Scatter symbols are in play, once the animation sequence is over, if the symbols show Santa, the player will be awarded with a large Scatter pay. If there are three or more Santas after the animation sequence, the “Santa Strikes Back” bonus is triggered.
This bonus begins by awarding seven free spins and the winnings have a multiplier of 1X. However, as the feature is played, if candy cane symbols appear, the reel it is on lights up and a star will be above that reel. It will remain as such until the remaining four reels are illuminated, or the player runs out of free spins. Should all five reels be lit, that re-triggers the free spin bonus.
If the Scatter symbol animation ends with three or more Rudolph symbols, the player will receive a large Scatter pay and the “Rudolph’s Revenge” feature will be triggered. This bonus also awards seven free spins, but where it differentiates from the previous one is that if Santa symbols appear on the pay-lines, the multiplier increases. If three or more Scatter symbols appear during this free spin bonus, the feature will be re-triggered.
There is the potential to win a substantial amount of credits when either of the bonus features is triggered; for they pay out extremely well. There are also two jackpots that can be obtained; one is progressive, the other is static. Unlike many other slot games, the jackpots offered here can actually be obtained. New and experienced players alike will be pleased to know that there are no strange or unique controls that they have to learn, or a completely different game mechanic to figure out: it adheres to the standard five-reel slot game-play methods.
Santa Strikes Back is a game that will appeal to anyone who has a sense of humor. It was not designed to target any specific demographic group, though younger players will be more drawn to it than most older players, due to it being a very comedic game. It is not a game that people will get bored while playing, as it is easy to obtain large amounts of credits and the humorous aspects will ensure that the players enjoy the game for what it is: a very cute, funny slot game created by a team of designers with a sense of humor.