If you go down to the woods today you’re sure to have a surprise! No seriously. If you’re hoping for teddy bears, you’re sure to be disappointed. If you’re hoping for goblins, fairies, elves and leprechauns from the dark depths of Microgaming’s imagination then you are in the right place, so you are.
With five reels but a single payline this game is much more in the Scratchcards category than an online slot, but Microgaming have given it the full treatment as only they could. The reel case shines in a dark, mysterious wood. Green light emanates from within, casting gloomy illumination across the magical beings that spin on our five reels. We have numerous coloured Fairies, an Elf, a Dwarf, a Goblin, a Toadstool and a Leprechaun.
The Purple Swinging Fairy is Wild – that is, the Purple Fairy sitting on a swing. Like I said, it’s not that kind of a game. But she does substitute for all other symbols when she makes an appearance. “But what is the point, I hear you ask, of having a Wild symbol when you only have a single row of symbols and a single payline?” Well, MacDuff, herein lies the beauty of this game, for Microgaming have pulled a rabbit out of the proverbial bag.
We do not receive a single spin of the reels, but two spins. After the first spin we can choose to “Hold” any and all of the five symbols for the next spin, thereby boosting our chances of wins on the second spin. It is not only a Masterstroke from Microgaming in terms of gameplay, but also in terms of gamesmanship. Soon, we start muttering to ourselves about holding Dwarves and spinning Leprechauns. Just don’t let your neighbours overhear.
With such simple, quick-fire gameplay (pun very much intended re. Microgaming’s Quickfire gaming system – sorry!) in a scratch card, albeit one that is intensely playable and a fiercely imaginative, there isn’t much room for a dedicated bonus feature. Or is there? Microgaming have somehow included a pick ’em style Bonus Feature, triggered when we land three or more toads across the reels. We are transported deeper into the forest to a clearing of toads. We must pick three, four or five of them to reveal inner prizes, dependent on how many Scatters launch the feature. We are left with the winnings in a bonus pot.
This slot-come-scratch card from Microgaming is a gem. It is playable, imaginative, striking, and it even has a dedicated bonus feature. Enchanted Woods is a keeper.