We had the action packed “Warriors: Crystals of Power™”, the progressive Greek-mythology “Divine Fortune”, the retro-like “Joker Pro™” and the cartoon-like “Wild Wild West: The Great Train Heist™” as new creations from the Swedish studios of Netent to devour in the past months and have been waiting with anticipation as to what would be next up their sleeves. Surprise, surprise it is “Scruffy Duck™” reminiscent of the famous “The Ugly Duckling” tale from H.C. Andersen with a cartoon-like family of ducks and of course the ugly one turning into the most beautiful swan princess complete with tiara.
Seems to become a new trend at Netent to appeal to the very young generation of gamers, especially Warriors, Wild Wild West and now Scruffy Duck certainly point into that direction. On top the so called ‘in-feature’ features are becoming a standard addition to provide more suspense and excitement. Want to know what that means? Recently Netent has been adding extra features into Free Spins or Bonus rounds. Scruffy Duck comes with no less than five of those which are randomly selected before the Free Spins round starts.
But let’s not judge the book by its cover and take a closer look at the game before making our minds up. The slot is set in front of a lake pond complete with frogs, sea flowers as well as humming bees that are flying through the screen. Overall clear and crisp graphics, animations seem to be flawless, especially the expanding Wild. Sounds and music are though a letdown, a constant tune played with a tuba plus the occasional frog ribbit do not make for pleasant listening, I switched it off after a few seconds.
The game is in the meanwhile standard HTML5 format ready to be played on desktop and mobile alike. It comes with 5 reels, 3 rows and 25 fixed pay lines boasting Expanding Wilds and Free Spins with extra ‘in-feature” Wild features. Bet sizes can go from a mere $0.25 to a whopping $250 with coin denominations ranging from 0.01 – 1.00 and bet levels 1 – 10. TRTP is a comfortable 96.38% making it a medium variance game that should give ample entertainment and regular big wins.
Low paying symbols are the traditional J’s to A’s held in broken egg shells and high paying symbols are characters of a duck family, namely baby duck, big brother duck, mummy duck and daddy duck in ascending value order. Scatters appearing on reel 3, 4 and 5 only are the words “Free Spins” and Wild is the Scruffy Duck expanding and transforming into the said beautiful swan princess when completing a winning combination.
Free Spins Bonus Round
Having three Scatters land anywhere on reels 3, 4 and 5 will award the Free Spins with the amount dependent on the extra feature that will be randomly selected before the start. Five ducklings will splash into the pond burying their heads into the water and offering their backsides to click on and reveal the extra Wild feature for the round. Who at Netent thought it would be a good idea to click on a duck’s rear end must be totally into the cartoon story. Just look at the image below, absolutely hilarious.
Either way, some of the extra feature are certainly good enough to produce mega or even super mega wins, the top pay for a single spin being 1,200 x stake. The player only gets one pick from the five ducklings which will then reveal the extra Wild feature for the Free Spins. For verification the other four will lift their heads after the selection to show where the other four Wild features were placed.
Following is a summary of all five extra Wild features, actually only four as number five will award double features randomly selecting two from the four options:
- Multiplier Feature: 15 Free Spins with all wins multiplied by 3
- Symbol Removal: 12 Free Spins with the low paying symbols removed
- Colossal Wild: 10 Free Spins with a 2 x 2 or 3 x 3 Wild symbol that appears on reels 2, 3 and 4 only
- Random Wilds: 8 Free Spins with 2 – 5 randomly placed Wilds on each spin
- Double Feature: 6 Free Spins with two of the four features, chosen randomly
Not really sure what to think of this latest Netent slot. While it is appealing to the eye, well-designed with flawless animations and what seem to be set for entertaining gaming sessions I am still wondering why Netent insists on going for the cartoon-like style. Most gamers are well out of their kids shoes and years, hence my thought is that they are directing the latest releases at the very young generation who are just old enough to enter the gaming market. Whilst there is nothing wrong with that it still has a somewhat awkward feel.
Other than that, the slot is well made, plenty of entertaining features which seem to hit frequently enough to avoid boredom and quick busts and even has good win potential when the Expanding or Colossal Wilds are in play.
Quack, Quack…Good Luck!