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Christmas Bonanza [BIG TIME GAMING]


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Title: Christmas Bonanza
Developer: Big Time Gaming
Reels: 6
Rows: 2-7
Paylines: Up to 117,649
RTP: 96.0%-96.11%
Hit Freq: 37.45%
Max Win: 26,000x
Volatility: High
Release Date: December 1, 2022

Play Now: https://k8.io/games/slots/big_christmasbonanza

Christmas Bonanza: Slot Overview

Gold mining might not be the first thing which comes to mind when thinking about Christmas, but that might well change if developer Big Time Gaming has anything to say about it. To muscle in on the Xmas slot scene, the studio has gone and given one of its most beloved slots a Christmas makeover, adding a quintessential slot experience to the genre. They've done it with minimal interference as well, meaning the original game has its chance to shine while still producing some of the warm fuzzies the season is famous for. The result is Christmas Bonanza Megaways, and without any further ado, let's fire it up and see if it still retains the magic.

Bonanza was a game that helped put Megaways on the map and has gone on to be one of those sorts of rite-of-passage type slots. Kind of how students have to watch a movie like Pulp Fiction before going to film school. It just had a certain spark to it which captured the gambling imagination. It might not look as startling now, but Christmas Bonanza still lays on a captivating mine entrance scene, just this time with a load of snow on everything. As well as snow, another obvious clue it's Christmas time is the swapping out of high-pay gems for high-pay gift boxes tied up with ribbons. Other than the few touches like this, BTG hasn't gone wild with the Xmas angle, so you know what season it is without feeling like an overstuffed roast turkey.

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Christmas Bonanza's setup includes the main grid area of 6 reels as well as a horizontal 4-symbol bonus reel sitting above reels 2 to 5. Due to the Megaways game engine being dynamic, the precise number of symbols on the reels change on each spin, providing up to 117,649 ways to win. Similar to its non-Christmas brethren, Christmas Bonanza is a very highly volatile slot that produces an RTP of 96% when playing regularly.

Playable from between 20 p/c to £/€40 per spin, ways wins occur in Christmas Bonanza when matching symbols land from the leftmost side of the board across adjacent reels. For lows, we get 9-A card royals paying 0.8 to 1.75 times the stake for six-of-a-kind, then green, blue, red, and purple gift box premiums, worth 2 to 50x the bet for six-of-a-kind. Last up is the wild symbol, capable of replacing any of the regular pay symbols to help complete winning ways.

Christmas Bonanza: Slot Features

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Bonanza has served as the template for loads of Megaways slots which have followed, offering a classic batch of features such as reactions, free spins with an unlimited multiplier, and in certain jurisdictions, a bonus buy.

Reactions

A classic Megaways pairing, when a winning way hits, it is removed from the game board, and symbols fall down on the main reels or from the right on the top reel into the gaps. If another win is created after the symbols drop/move, it also vanishes from the board, and the process repeats itself as long as new wins continue to land.

Free Spins

Gold square symbols are the scatters, and spelling G. O. L. D with 4 of them triggers 12 free spins. Should more than 4 scatters land, each additional scatter adds +5 extra free spins to the pot. While the free spins round is active, landing 3 or 4 scatter symbols awards +5 or +10 extra free spins, respectively. One of the main benefits of free spins is the unlimited multiplier, starting at x1. The win multiplier increases by +1 for each reaction win, with no limit as to how high it can go.

Bonus Buy

If this feature is permissible where you live, then buying free spins is possible for the cost of 90 times the stake. When buying free spins, the RTP increases to 96.11%.

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Christmas Bonanza: Slot Verdict

Even if there had been negative reactions to Christmas Bonanza, what could you really say? Christmas Bonanza stays so close to the original that slinging criticisms at it is tantamount to committing an online slots faux pas. It would be like dissecting the Mona Lisa and pointing out the niggles, instead of just standing back and bathing in the glory of an iconic piece of art. Okay, we're going overboard a bit here, but you get the point. Bonanza was one of those landmark slots which might seem teensy yet dated now in some ways since so many imitators have popped up afterwards, travelling in its wake. However, even if you missed Bonanza the first time around, it's nigh on impossible to deny the contribution it has made to the evolution of online slots.

As such, there's not much to say about Christmas Bonanza which hasn't been said before about Bonanza on numerous occasions. It brings together the magic of Megaways, reactions, and win multipliers in a way that was practically unmissable at the time and which others have tried to greater or lesser success to cash in on ever since. Even its advertised potential stands up well in an industry that routinely trundles out games with 100,000x+ max wins.  Some on paper, some proven to perform. Christmas Bonanza has the goods to pop off wins worth up to 5,400x the bet in the base game and 26,000x in free spins for those who'd like the cold hard numbers. It has to be said though; if the original Bonanza is anything to go by, you have about a snowball's chance in hell of landing anything over 2,000x in the Christmas version.

Perhaps the only slight criticism, if we're digging deep, is that the game isn't hugely Christmassy; whether this was done on purpose or not, who knows? The lack of Santa, tinsel and mistletoe does not in any way detract from the core gaming experience, but if players are looking for a really immersive Christmas game which unloads everything the season is famous for might feel a little short-changed. Other than this potential gripe, Christmas Bonanza would make a fine choice for firing up on the day.

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