Finn and the Swirly Spin Slots
Look, there’s nothing wrong with the classic five reel online slot machine, but we’re big fans of anyone who tries to do something different in order to shake up the gameplay dynamic. Lately, we’ve seen a lot of games that use cluster pay mechanics, where groups of symbols anywhere on screen can make prizes. But there’s a lot more than can be done with this match-three style of gameplay, and we’re hoping more developers will explore this design space.
One of the most recent games to play around with this idea is Finn and the Swirly Spin by NetEnt. Yes, this is a machine that uses a classic theme and some adorable icons, but there’s a lot more going on that you might expect. A swirling pattern on the reels is actually critical to how the game works, allowing players to feel a ton of anticipation as every cascading match gets them one step closer to unlocking the door to an amazing free spins round.
An Irish Twist
The Finn and the Swirly Spin video slot is the newest game from NetEnt, and can be found at online casinos that feature NetEnt software. The game is an Irish themed slot, featuring the main character (Finn, of course) playing some traditional tunes in front of the rolling green hills of Ireland. There’s a very cartoonish look to everything on the screen, making this a rather friendly and enticing game, and some light animations add life to the design.
If you’ve ever used software by NetEnt before, you know that they design all of their new titles in HTML5, which means that they are mobile-optimized from the day they are released. This allows for play on smartphones and tablets as well as desktop computers. Players can choose from several different denominations of coins as well as different betting levels, making this a game for both high limit and low limit gamblers. A play for free version is also available.
Three of a Kind
The Finn and the Swirly Spin video slot does not use a traditional reels and paylines format. Instead, the game takes place on a 5×5 grid on which wins can come either vertically or horizontally. Any three in a row combination of identical symbols will earn you a prize, regardless of where on the screen it occurs. Longer matches can provide larger payouts; however, this is not like a “cluster pays” game, in that big clumps of symbols do not all count toward the same win. Each line of at least three matching icons will generate its own prize.
The basic payouts come in six flavors, many of which have a rather rustic, natural look. Lower-value symbols include stone spades and wooden hearts, while clovers, acorns, and horseshoes can earn larger rewards. The biggest payouts come from large rubies; hitting five in a row can earn you 500 coins, multiplied by your betting level.
Swirling Towards the Middle
Every time you score a win, you’ll see the winning icons disappear from the screen, after which all the remaining symbols will “swirl” towards the center of the screen. There’s a spiral pattern that determines how this process works: new symbols start at the bottom left and travel clockwise around the outside until they make a full rotation, at which point they travel on an inner loop towards the center. In addition, every normal win will create a star. These wild symbols can substitute to help make winning combinations. A win including a wild doesn’t generate another star, but the stars involved will blow up, destroying all symbols adjacent to them. Once all of these effects are completed, you’ll see new icons added to the screen in order to fill the playing area again.
This is important, as eliminating what’s on the screen is how you’ll earn your way into the free spins round. At the start of each spin, there is a key frozen in ice in the bottom-left position. While this can never be matched with any other symbol, it has a very important purpose. Should it reach the keyhole at the center of the screen, it will send Finn upwards into the magical free spins land.
An Enviable Choice
When you first enter the free spins round, you’ll be presented with a choice of several features. However, initially only one of these special choices is available to you. However, others can be unlocked as you trigger this bonus more and more times over the course of a session. Once a feature is unlocked, you can choose it whenever you like – you don’t have to “spend” your keys each time.
In total, there are four free spins options to choose from. They are as follows:
The Star Bar: This is the initial option that is always available to players. You’ll get 7 free spins; at the start of each, two or more wild stars will automatically be added to the reels, and a win is guaranteed on each spin.
The Lava Lair: This game is unlocked with four keys, and offers players three games. During this game, normal wilds will be replaced by sticky wilds. In addition, the Dragon Destroy feature is always in play, destroying a number of symbols to create a win if your initial spin does not result in a prize.
The Lucky Mug: You’ll need nine keys for this game, which awards four free games. When no win is present, the Irish Luck feature is guaranteed to trigger, adding a full line of one symbol in order to ensure a big win.
Golden Pot: Only available with 16 keys, this game awards a paltry-sounding two free spins. However, you’ll see all of your heart and spades symbols transform into higher-paying icons thanks to the Magic Transform feature, making it likely that gamblers will enjoy some big wins.
All of the features described in these bonus rounds also have a chance of being triggered at random during a normal spin.
Luck of the Irish
Whether you love Irish-themed game, or you’re just in the mood for something unique to spice up your slots play, you’ll want to play Finn and the Swirly Spin. This is the first time we’ve seen this sort of spiral pattern in an online slot, and the fact that the progression towards the center plays a key role in gameplay – while still having simple to track straight line wins – keeps every single round exciting until the very end. With feature-rich gameplay and some massive payouts possible, we think lots of gamblers are going to want to spin with Finn.