Naughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe) has been played by children for generations – despite being a ‘solved’ game. This slot takes the idea of this game, and adds it to the middle 3 reels. The design is heavily influenced by tattoos. Whether that really ties in to ‘Naughty’ these days I’m not too sure. These designs, together with the blues music when you spin certainly make for a rich and vivid game.
There are two bonus games, one for naughts and the other for crosses. They are essentially the same, and can be extended for a long time. In addition, you’ll find stacked symbols, wilds and all ‘all-pays’ setup.
Either side of the reels, in among elaborate tattoo designs, you’ll see ‘All Pays’. This refers to the lack of regular win-lines in this game. Instead you will find an all-ways system. Here matching symbols on consecutive reels from the left trigger wins. There are 243 possible combinations over the 5 by 3 grid of reels. You can spin them all for 25 coins per spin. The smallest coin is just 1c.
A tattoo design heart with the slot name on it is the highest paying symbol. This is worth 1000 coins for 5 of a kind, which is high for an all-ways slot. Next come two more tattoo designs, a dragon and a horseshoe (with ‘lucky’ written on it). These are both worth 750 coins for the full 5. An abstract red tattoo makes up the final higher paying symbol – worth 500 coins for 5.
Smaller prizes come via the playing card symbols. These all have elaborate designs around them and feature small extras including a butterfly and fish.
Wild symbols have 2 dice on them. These are useful in an all-ways slot system – often creating wins with more than one type of symbol. When you win with these you will see an effective tumbling dice animation.
Naughts and crosses only appear on the middle reels. These fit into a 3×3 square – just like in the original game. You need to line up 3 of a single type, either horizontally or vertically, to trigger one of the free spins bonus games.
There are two bonus games, though other than the background graphics and backing music – these games are the same. You start with 5 free spins, plus 1 for each of the triggering symbols. Since you always need at least 3 triggering symbols, you’ll have a minimum of 8 spins.
Music (blues-rock!) then kicks in and the background changes color. You can earn extra free spins while you play with more of the X or O symbols (depending on which game you are playing). In my experience, these extra spins made a big difference. Since you will often get these symbols in 2’s and 3’s, you can end up accumulating free spins rather than spending them.
Note that you can’t retrigger – if you get 3 of your symbol in a line that is simply 3 extra spins. You also can’t trigger the opposite spins, for example you can’t trigger the 0 free spins while playing the X games.
Overall the design is rich and impressive – and looks distinctive from most other online slot games. There are elaborate shapes around the reels, and deep reds and oranges dominate the colors. On the reels the symbols are all detailed. There are also some good animations when you win, even the lower paying playing card symbols get involved in this.
It is the music which really sets this slot apart. You’ll hear a blue rock riff each time you spin the reels. There is more than one variation. During the free spins bonus games you will hear constant blues songs playing. These are looped, though long enough to feel like the real thing. There are single musical notes for your wins, and some clicks and beeps as you would expect from a slot game.
This slot stands out from the many generic online casino game titles – adding a unique feel. The game play is mostly solid, with an all-ways winning system in use. It is the naughts and crosses free spins bonus game which is the main attraction. You will start with a minimum of 8 free spins, and then have the opportunity to extend this much further. Tattoos may be mainstream, rather than ‘naughty’ these days, though the naughty crosses slot is still worth taking for a spin!