Valentine’s Day; the time of the year where flowers, chocolate and cheesy pick-up lines reign supreme. It may be a while away at the minute, but it’s a surprisingly popular niche in the slots world. So much so, that it earns its own category in our End of the Year Awards, the first instalment of which you can find here. This is the second part in the series and we’re looking at the best Valentines slots of the year.
We begin with a mythical slot centred around the literal gods of beauty, love, and passion; not the worst place to start! Golden Goddess is a game based on the world of ancient Greece and features a fantastical setting and aesthetic as a result. Expect to see more than your fair share of pantheons, togas, and Grecian design, as the game sticks very closely to its theme. The Developer has done a great job here in terms of the look, but what about the bonus features?
First off, there is the free spins mode, which is triggered by landing nine of the scatters on reels two, three, and four. You will then receive seven spins and be asked to choose from several roses. Each one will hide a mystery symbol, which will then turn into one of the base game icons and land stacked on the reels. Speaking of stacks, the next feature in this game is the Super Stacked symbols, which will fall randomly during your gameplay, increasing the chances of a win. Additionally, if you land three of these adjacent to each other, they will merge to form a giant a 3×3 symbol. If you are playing the Megajackpots variant of this game, you will have a chance at winning one of three progressive totals. However, this doesn’t work in the same way as other slots with this feature, since there is no triggering combination. Instead, the Super Stacked Wilds can trigger the jackpot by transforming into the icon as they land, though this is entirely random.
Masques of San Marco
For our second slot, we’re jetting off to one of the most romantic locales in the world in Masques of San Marco. Venice is a beautiful city, and IGT has done its best to capture this in slot form. The background is a wonderfully illustrated landscape of the San Marco Square, with an orange sunset, candlelit streets, and a couple sailing along the bank. It’s a scene that could have been lifted directly from a romance movie and it isn’t hard to see why we’ve included it on this list. That said, looks aren’t everything and there is plenty under the hood to enjoy in this game.
When looking at the features, the first one we must talk about is the dual play system, which you may have seen before in one of the Da Vinci Diamonds series. This essentially means two separate reel sets will spin simultaneously, giving you a better chance of landing a win than if there were just the one. On top of this, both sets will have the Tumbling reels mechanic applied. Any winning combinations you land will see the symbols involved removed from play, before being replaced by new ones. This can potentially create new wins, so it can be quite a rewarding mechanic. There is also a free spins round, which you can trigger by landing the scatter on reels 1, 2, and 3, for which six spins will be granted. On top of this, 20 new paylines will be added to the board and the spins can be re-triggered to award the same benefits.
Da Vinci Diamonds
Our third game is potentially the most popular on the list and it’s not hard to see why. Da Vinci Diamonds is a classic slot, based on classic art, with a focus on some of the most celebrated pieces of art ever created. It’s probably obvious from the name, but all the works shown in the slot were made by the famed inventor, painter, and all-round genius Leonardo Da Vinci. The graphical quality is great, and the virtual versions of the artist’s work look quite authentic. The best bit, though, is that the gameplay features the same level of excellence.
There are two feature mechanics in this game; Tumbling Reels and a free spins round. The former we’ve already mentioned in our Masques of San Marco section, but we’ll cover it here again briefly. As you land wins, the symbols in those combinations will blast out of play and be replaced by new ones, potentially making new wins. The latter will ensue when three bonus symbols land on the first, second, and third reels. This will award several spins and, although there are no-win multipliers in this bonus round, the Tumbling Reels stay in effect and can give some pretty big payouts. The number of paylines will also double and you can retrigger this bonus to attain up to a maximum of 300 spins.
Few things are as romantic as a starry night sky, so it’s only right that we include a game all about nocturnal skyscapes. Starburst is an intriguing mix of intergalactic visuals and old school inspirations, as it is essentially a fruit machine set in space. Because of that, you can expect to see plenty of sci-fi influenced images, such as the brilliant purple galaxy in the background and the millions of stars littered around it. The animations are top-notch too, with glowing effects that ‘pop’ out from the screen. Of course, that isn’t the only reason for the game’s success.
Now, despite the game’s immense popularity, Starburst doesn’t offer too much in the way of bonus features, but the ones that are there can be greatly rewarding. The wild is the first we’ll look at, since it can provide some extra benefits outside of the usual substituting. To start, they will expand whenever you land one to cover the whole reel, which can lead to extra wins. It will also initiate a re-spin and if any other wilds land, they too will expand, and another re-spin will ensue, with all the wilds stuck in place. Land three and you will be treated to a tasty jackpot of £50,000.
Pixies of the Forest 2
One of the most famous motifs of Valentine’s Day is that of cherubs, the winged babies whose arrows cause people to fall in love. Well, unfortunately, there aren’t any games focused on these mythical infants, but we do have something that comes pretty close; Pixies of the Forest 2 – see here. This sequel to one of IGT’s best properties takes players on a magical journey through enchanted tundra and mystical landscapes. It has a fantasy theme and features a host of suitably fitting visuals, including the pixies themselves and animations of colourful spells. However, despite the impressive display, it’s the bonuses that catch the eye here.
This is the third slot that features Tumbling Reels, so we think you’ve probably got that bonus down to a tee! However, there are a couple more bonuses that could make the world of difference, if you’re lucky. The first of these is the Feature Wilds mechanic, which has to do with a little bar at the bottom of your screen. Each time you win through Tumbling Reels, it will fill up by one and will unlock when you hit a trio. Afterwards, one of three modifiers will be applied; either stacked wilds added to certain reels, random wilds added to the centre reels, or sticky wilds paced in the same area.
That’s not all, though, as the game does feature a free spins round. Landing the scatter on reels one, two, and three will see it unlocked, with a new screen filled with pixies appearing after you do. Pick one and a number between 5 and 11 will be revealed and converted into spins for you. Additional wilds will land in for the duration and pixies symbols will serve as 2x wilds. What’s more, the Pixies Queen will sometimes show up to give you more spins, add points to the Spirit Metre, or removing symbols to form a win. There are also three progressive jackpots to be won, so this is a jam-packed slot!
All of these ‘lovely’ slots are available to play at Kerching online casino, along with a whole host of titles from a variety of top developers.