If ever there is a slot based around the Harry Potter franchise, it is surely to be this one. Saying that, however, Wintastic Beasts by PocketWin is based off the new Warner Bros. film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which is a spin-off of the the Harry Potter films. So this slot is based on a spin-off which is in turn based in the same world as a famous movie franchise which is based off a series of books… That's enough to give you a headache.
But Wintastic Beasts isn't based off the Fantastic Beasts film exactly; it's more like a fun parody of it. A parody that borders on being a rip-off. But we'll decide if that hinders the game later on in this review. For now, let us focus on what makes Wintastic Beasts a good slot.
Now, click to read whichever section tickles your fancy.
|Release Date||December 2016|
|Slot type||Video slot|
|Platform||Android App, iPhone App, Browser|
|Return to Player (RTP)||95%|
|Slot Reels/ Paylines||5 reels/ 15 paylines|
|Min/ Max Bets||2p – £5|
|Free Spins||80 Free Spins|
|Features||Mini-games, free spins, multipliers|
|Pros||Tons of fun, rewarding mini-games, full of character|
|Cons||Obvious cash-in, slightly unoriginal|
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This game is, without a doubt, tons of fun. A lot of that has to do with the theme and the performance of the slot itself. This is a quality of excellence we've to expect from PocketWin. It operates on a 5 by 3 reel and uses symbols of awesome magical creatures such as unicorns, dragons and werewolves. While it's not exactly like Harry Potter (or Fantastic Beasts for that matter), it does emulate it enough to provoke that reaction.
Gameplay is enhanced by two bonus mini-games which occur fairly often, not enough to interrupt gameplay but enough to stop it from becoming monotonous. The game does seem to favour one game over the other, however, and free spins (though a main feature) tend to be hard to come by.
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Wintastic Beasts has a number of features that make the gameplay that much better (like many of PocketWin's games). It features two bonus mini-games which are activated by the special symbols on the reel. The first of these mini-games is a Quidditch-like affair where you fly through several hoops to increase your multiplier until you reach the blue hoop at the end. You spin a wheel and, depending on what you land on, you will go through several hoops that will boost up that win.
The second mini-game is a potions class which operates on a secondary reel in which the player can also win multipliers to their stake. It's surprisingly much harder to make a win on this mini-game but when it happens, it's truly magical! Aside from these, the game also has free spins which can be earned through getting the symbols on the reel.
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Wintastic Beasts performs beautifully. It operates solely on mobile devices but the look, the animation, the music — all come together to form something that feels right and plays on people's nostalgia for Harry Potter beautifully. If it wasn't such a blatant cash-in, we would applaud it. Sadly, though, it is a rip-off and that's hard to ignore.
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The most unique features have to be the mini-games found in Wintastic Beasts, specifically the broomstick mini-game where you play as a wizard flying through hoops.
Like PocketWin's other slots, it's immensely satisfying seeing the wheel land on the multiplier that propels him forward towards that blue hoop at the end. It's even more satisfying watching your final score pop up on the screen. It just gives an extra dimension of fun to what could have been an otherwise pedestrian game.
Overall, Wintastic Beasts is a fun and charming mobile slot that performs exceedingly well, which is what we've come to expect from PocketWin after all they've been churning out. The mini-games are very reminiscent of the Harry Potter franchise and even capture some of the magic found there.
But it does come across as a bit of a rip-off — not enough of a rip-off for Warner Bros to file a law suit but enough for people to recognise that it's a thinly-veiled attempt at a cash-in on said franchise. It's hard to condone that but the fact that it's such a fun game that incorporates all the right elements from Harry Potter that it more than makes up for it.