While Oktoberfest Spins from 888 Games is an enjoyable game themed around the famous annual German beer festival – it is not the most famous. That accolade goes to Bier Haus, a slot from rival WMS. The games do share one feature, the reels filling with beer at certain points.
There is a lot to like about this 888 Games’ slot. It is ‘hosted’ by a cartoon of a traditional German serving maiden. You’ll also get to tap your toes to a traditional style tune during play. There are two notable features. First, if your first spin does not win – you’ll get a refill (respin). Second, there is a picks game which is triggered by hitting 3 dog bonus symbols. Keep an eye out for the progressive jackpot and the special wilds on the middle reels too.
Like most 888 Slots, 25 win-lines are in play. These cover a 5 reel by 3 row grid, and are non-adjustable. Auto play is offered in an unusual format – with 4 hearts in a fairground style game underneath the reels.
High paying symbols all depict eating and drinking. The top symbol is a blue tankard, which is worth 1000 coins for 5 of a kind, 250 for 4, 50 for 3 and 10 coins for just 2 from the left. A box containing what looks like some beer bottles comes next, worth 250 coins for 5 of a kind. There are pastries, sausages (bratwurst) and a wooden tankard to make up the smaller wins.
Playing card symbols, which like the unique symbols come in circles like place-mats, make up the smaller wins.
If you spin the reels and do not hit any wins, you’ll see a beer appear in front of the reels, with the word ‘Refill’. The reels then spin again (along with a pouring sound). This is a free respin, giving you another shot at winning. This idea has been used in the Big Lebowski slot. In that bowling-based game, the respin is known as a ‘Spare’.
There are two special symbols to cover, a dog and a keg of beer. The dog is a dachshund, and is wearing a traditional green hat. Three of these will trigger a picks game. This is not the most lucrative of bonus games – capped at 33x your total spin amount. There are 3 rounds. You get to pick Oktoberfest related items until you hit a ‘game over’ message.
Keg wilds will substitute for the regular symbols to create more wins. These can also expand on the middle reel. What happens is that one of them springs a leak, which fills the entire grid of the reels with beer. With wilds now filling all 3 spots on the middle reel, you will often find that more wins are possible.
The jackpot can be seen growing on what looks like a wooden pub sign above the reels. This is not tied to any of the symbols. Instead it is triggered at random, and can be won while betting any amount.
The cartoon hostess, holding a beer, is a nice touch to the design for this game. She sits on barrel with a Ferris wheel behind her. The reels are transparent, so you’ll see the party each time you spin. The music fits perfectly, and the beer pouring sound effects add to the overall atmosphere.
Symbols are all in circles and have detailed designs. The coloring is the easiest way to tell them apart. The standout is the dachshund bonus symbol. The refill and special bonus symbols which fill the reels with beer are the only notable animations – with most of the symbols static.
It is hard to compete with a classic game such as Bier Haus, though 888 Games have made a great effort with Oktoberfest Spins. The slot has a lively feel to it, and having a second chance every time you get a spin with no win adds to the positive feeling. The picks bonus game is entertaining, though the progressive jackpot is what everyone is hoping to trigger. While you are waiting, a leaking keg could come along and fill the reels with beer at any moment.