Fat Santa, from Push Gaming, immediately reminded me of their earlier Fat Rabbit game, so I checked to see if this was simply a re-skin first. It turns out it isn’t – it’s more of a semi-sequel, with the volatility dialled down a few notches. Whether that’s what you want for Christmas will maybe decide if you wish to play this game or its bunny-related cousin.
Fat Santa Overview
Fat Santa looks a bit plain – maybe the developers threw this one together in a bit of a rush to cash in on the Christmas slots rush? Perhaps that is a little harsh – but playing this game directly after one of Microgaming or Yggdrasil’s game’s, for example, you certainly notice the difference in the quality of the artwork.
However, the animation is top-notch, and the cutesy style does match this type of game well. I also commend Push for stating on their website that the highest observed win from this game so far is just a 3,844x stake hit – far below the 10,223x maximum possible win they advertise.
Spinning the Reels for the First Time
Fat Santa has the look of a grid slot, but don’t be confused – this is a regular fifty-payline game. Like so many slots nowadays, there is no option to choose how many lines you want to play, so choosing your bet size is about as complicated as things get when sitting down to play the game for the first time.
I always appreciate when a game’s pay table updates following the currently selected bet size. This simple addition to the code makes it so much easier to see how much potential a game has—playing $1/spin? You immediately know that the top symbol (and the fat Santa wild) will pay you $20 for a full line of five.
Further south on the pay table, you’ve got Rudolph, a Snowman, and a Present, finishing off the high-pay symbols and a selection of colored baubles adorned with playing card symbols completing the setup.
During any spin, Santa can appear on his sleigh and fly across the reels. You could be forgiven for thinking he isn’t in a very generous mood tonight, as he drops Christmas Pies rather than presents. But, don’t panic – these are wild Christmas pie symbols he is dropping, which will help you complete additional combinations. How generous this turns out can vary wildly, though – sometimes this feature can be brilliant, whereas other times it can result in nothing at all.
Free Spins Feature
The free spins feature is triggered when a Santa symbol lands simultaneously with a wild Christmas pie. You are given five free spins to start with, and when the bonus begins, Santa will move across the reels to eat the Christmas pie.
Additional Christmas pie symbols are added to the reels during free spins, although these aren’t wild, sadly. Each time one does appear, though, Santa will again make his way across the reels to eat it, and Santa himself is wild too, and you have him for every free spin at least!
Collect an additional three Christmas pies during free spins, and Santa will grow from his regular size to a 2×2 sticky wild. You’ll also win an extra three free spins. If you can repeat this feat with a further five Christmas pies, Santa will once again grow into a 3×3 monster-sized wild.
It is possible to keep on fattening Santa up until he covers the entire screen, but the feature is cleverly designed here because as he grows, there are fewer spaces for the Christmas pies required to cause this to land. I imagine that’s why there is such a significant disparity between the maximum possible win and maximum observed win up to this point.
Bonus Buy Feature
The ever-popular bonus-buy feature costs 80x your current stake in Fat Santa. I didn’t find it too hard to enter the bonus during my game testing, and I never won more than 80x my stake whether I bought the feature or entered it the traditional way.
I have to admit, though, that I quickly became addicted to seeing Santa wandering around the grid eating his pies and was desperate to see what kind of wins would be achieved once he reached a size of 3×3 – alas, I couldn’t even get that far in around an hour of testing.
As there is no difference in RTP when purchasing the bonus in Fat Santa, I’d consider using the bonus-buy option sparingly in this one.
Fat Santa – Our Verdict:
I prefer higher variance slots myself, but perhaps I am greedier than most! Despite this, my impressions of this game gradually improved over time despite not winning anything significant, and that has to be the sign of a well-designed, fun to play slot machine.
Fat Santa is worth a look – but also consider trying the original Fat Rabbit too, which I think just inches it out for me personally.
|Released:||November 22nd, 2018|
|Special Features:||Bonus Buy, Free Spins, Random Wilds, Growing Wilds|
|RTP:||96.45% (Adjustable in specific markets)|
|RTP (Bonus Buy Feature Only):||As Above.|
|Maximum Win:||10,223x stake (3,844x maximum Observed as of 11/07/21)|