With Christmas literally days away, it's time to look at Microgaming's answer to the barrage of Xmas-themed slots, Happy Holidays. Last month, we wrote a preview post based around this game and… well, we weren't raving about it. Dull aesthetics and rather basic gameplay, Happy Holidays isn't exactly Microgaming's Magnum Opus. Still, it does live up to being Christmassy despite not standing out much from the crowd. But is it fun to play? Read on to find out.
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|Release Date||November 2015|
|Slot type||Video slot|
|Platform||Android App, iPhone App, Browser|
|Return to Player (RTP)||96.7%|
|Slot Reels/ Paylines||5 reels/ 50 paylines|
|Min/ Max Bets||30p – £30|
|Free Spins||Up to 8 free spins|
|Features||Frosty Feature, Free Spins, Extra Wild|
|Pros||Christmassy, easy to play.|
|Cons||Visually unappealing, too bland.|
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So, considering its less than perfect graphics, can we forgive for being a somewhat enjoyable game to play? Short answer: no. Long answer: the game was so dull that I found it very hard not to fall asleep whilst playing. There's nothing special here. It feels very much like every other Christmas slot you've ever played. It's your bog-standard 5×3 slot reel with 243 ways to win.
There's nothing thrown in to spice things up a bit — no hexagonal layout, no spectacular features, nothing. It feels almost as if Microgaming through they ought to have a Christmas slot released so they went ahead and released one without putting any thought or originality into it. As a result, playing this slot title is a snooze-fest. You can't even say the Christmas theme is special.
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Okay, so what about features? Surely if the gameplay's not very engaging there must be some feature here to make things a little more interesting.
Sadly that's not the case. The features are, once again, dull, dull, dull. You have your run-of-the-mill Free Spins and Extra Wild feature which are pretty self-explanatory and neither are very Christmassy or unique to video slots even in the slightest way.
Perhaps the only feature here worth mentioning is the Frosty Feature, randomly activated with no triggers or wins necessary. You get one spin and if you land it right, the slot will pay out a bonus amount. Wow. Is that all? We want to like this game but so far it's not offering us much.
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Performance-wise, the slot looks slightly dated. The graphics aren't especially terrible but they could be a lot better. The reel-spin animation is competent but unspectacular and the spin button is surprisingly hard to find — probably because it's the same colour as the reel. However, like nearly all Microgaming titles, Happy Holidays works flawlessly on mobile and other handheld devices. It's quick to load and responsive, which make it perfect for having a little spin before the inevitable mid-christmas-day nap. The graphics are still a litle jarring, but not enough to ruin the gameplay. Overall good but not great.
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It's hard to call something ‘unique' when all it's got going for it is a half-baked frosty feature and a design that'll make Space Invaders look timeless. Can we just say that it looks slightly dated? We may sound like we're being mean but, honestly, we're surprised Mircogaming hasn't come out with something better than this. Even the title's generic. It is hard to make an Xmas-themed slot unique but at least try. There's no harm in it, honestly!
In case you couldn't already tell, our verdict of Happy Holidays isn't particularly favourable. Although it is, overall, a competent game, it's nothing to get excited about. With it's snooze-fest gameplay and it's very lacklustre design, the only thing going for it is the performance and even then it's not brilliant. The features could've more than made up for these things but even they fall short with nothing much to offer other than free spins. If you play it and enjoy it, more power to you but it's certainly not our favourite Christmas slot.