Ghosts of Christmas

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Published: 07/01/2013

The characters of Charles Dickens’ classic novel, “A Christmas Carol,” come to life on the reels of Playtech’s new “Ghosts of Christmas” slots game. The animated introduction sets the pace, as Scrooge is seen counting his coins and gets interrupted by a glowing green apparition—the ghost of his old business partner, Marley.

A cold wind whips through the house as the doors fly open to reveal three shadowy visitors: Past, Present and Future. Then, Marley plugs two electrical cords together, a Christmas tree lights up, and clearly happier times are ahead as the game is ready to play, with Scrooge comfortably seated in his easy chair to the left of the slot reels, tapping his fingers, nodding his head and stretching out a leg in anticipation of the action to come.

Ghosts of Christmas follows Playtech’s standard 5-reel, 20-payline format. The wagering denominations range from €0.20 to €500 per line, thus making the maximum bet a sensational €10,000 per spin. Wagering values can be adjusted by using the controls located beneath the first two reels.

Clicking on “Bet Max” beneath the fourth reel will maximize the number of lines bet, but it does not affect the size of the wager per line, which must be set manually by the player. Also, there is no Autoplay function in this game.

The basic symbols appearing on the reels are the cards Ace, King and Queen displayed on scrolls of parchment. They pay a multiple of the line bet, from 3X to 100X, whenever three or more matching symbols occur on an active payline. Higher values are paid for matching the Goose, Tiny Tim/Bob Krachet Portrait or the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Pass (Future)—from 10X to 200X. Only two matches are required for a payout for the Present or Future Ghosts, worth 2X to 500X for up to five in a row in a winning combination.

The wild symbol on the reels of Ghosts of Christmas is Scrooge himself, holding a gold coin. He substitutes for all symbols except the Bonus Clock and the Marley scatter. Catching 2, 3, 4 or 5 Scrooges on an active payline awards 10X, 200X, 2000X or 10000X, respectively. When three or more appear, the Scrooge symbols animate and he tosses coins in the air.

Whenever 2, 3, 4 or 5 Marley scatter symbols are displayed anywhere on the reels, the reward is a multiplier of 1X, 5X, 50X or 500X, respectively, times the total wager. Three or more scatters will trigger the Marley’s Free Games bonus. The player must select one of the Marley symbols to reveal the number of free spins awarded, up to a maximum of 15 at triple value. Catching three or more additional Marleys awards 10 more free spins, which can be triggered indefinitely.

Another feature offered on this game is the Ghosts of Christmas Bonus. It is activated by catching three or more consecutive Clocks on an active payline in either the main slot game or the free spins mode. Three different bonus modes are available and they are initiated at random. Christmas Past shows a schoolroom setting with five desks; Christmas Present features five presents inside a living room; and Christmas Yet to Pass has five tombstones in a snow-covered graveyard. In each case, the player selects 3, 4 or 5 of the objects to reveal cash prizes, depending on the number of aligned Clocks that triggered the bonus.

Both the audio and the graphics are excellent on Ghosts of Christmas. An instrumental rendition of the song “Jingle Bells” plays in the background as the reels spin; the sound of a chill wind can be heard when the reels are still. Whenever bonuses are activated, huge wooden doors close and open to reveal new screens. All of the winning symbols animate during payouts, too, and there are lots of interesting details, such as a flickering candle in the game’s frame, to create a unique atmosphere for play.

Published on: 07/01/2013

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