Stacks of Gifts: A Review of the Slot

How does warming your toes by the fire while playing Piles of Presents, a Christmas-themed slot machine from Just For The Win, sound? How quickly a year may pass; it seems like only yesterday that this studio released another holiday-themed slot also called Plenty of Presents. The two slots have more in common beyond just a similar name; they are both reskins of older slots that have been updated for the holiday season. Piles of Presents, in contrast to Plenty of Presents, which was based on Wolf Howl, was inspired by a completely other source: the pirate-themed Adventures of Captain Blackjack.

The seafaring milieu of Captain Blackjack’s stomping grounds is a far cry from the cozy domesticity of Piles of Presents. Just For The Win has gone all-in on the traditional for this game by designing the interface to resemble a greeting card. That calls for a tree in one corner, wrapped presents in the other, and stockings hung by the fireplace with pride. It’s really conventional, even corny, but it’s made all the cozier by the accompanying holiday music. There is nothing here that many gamers haven’t seen or experienced in the comfort of their own homes, and the same can be said of the gameplay. Therefore, Piles of Presents may be ideal for certain people while simultaneously being avoided by others.

From a statistical standpoint, things are roughly where they were in Adventures of Captain Blackjack. This corresponds to a wide range of RTP percentages, with a base RTP of 96.17 percent based on a very uncertain mathematical model. This 5-reel, 3-row slot game offers 20 paylines for landing winning combos, and players may wager anywhere from 20 pence to £/€50 every spin.

Piles of Presents features 8 standard pay symbols. The first four are the values from J to A, while the next four are drums, trains, soldiers, and teddy bears, in that order. When a winning line with five symbols appears, the payout ranges from 2.5x the wager for the royals to 20x the bet for the premiums. The wild card is another addition; it may be found anywhere on all five reels. A winning combination of five Wilds is worth twenty times the total wager.

Stacks of Gifts: Slot Machine Functions

Similarly to its predecessor, Piles of Presents features not one but two bonus games: the Christmas Wheel and Santa’s Free Spins.

Holiday Ferris Wheel

Mistletoe Christmas Tokens appear above random regular symbols in the main game. There is a risk that their appearance may set off the holiday wheel. The jackpot payout for this spin might be the Mini (15x the bet), Minor (40x the bet), Major (250x the bet), or Mega (5,000x the stake) jackpot.

Free Turns for Santa

The player is awarded 6 Santa Free Spins with 3, 4, or 5 extra feature picks when 3, 4, or 5 Santa scatter symbols appear in view. There are a total of 16 optional extras to select from, and they can yield:

Extra free spins of 3, 4, 5, 6, or 9 are available.

multiplier of one, two, or three.

A standard icon becomes a crazy one.

A low sign gets promoted to a symbol of intermediate status of the same color.

If a low symbol’s matching high and low symbols both have wilds, then the low symbol itself becomes a wild.

When Santa’s Free Spins is activated, the default multiplier for wins is x1, and players who land 2, 3, 4, or 5 Santa scatter symbols receive 1, 2, 3, or 4 feature picks, respectively. The first bonus feature selection is always more free spins if at least 2 scatter symbols appear on the last free spin. Only free spins may be given out once all 16 features have been given out.

Stacks of Gifts: A Case for the Slot

Now that this is Just For The Win’s second Christmas game in a row, the question arises as to whether or not this will become its own annual tradition. Will there still be dozens of Just For The Win Xmas reskins for gamers to go through in 10, twenty, or fifty years? Or have there only been two, in which case we should probably slow down a bit. In any case, as we near the end of the year and Santa checks his list to determine who gets presents, Piles of Presents provides a serving of conventionally designed, unimaginatively featured games.

If you’ve ever tried Captain Blackjack’s Adventures, you know the deal. The action of Piles of Presents remains consistent, switching between the standard game, the Christmas Wheels that can be activated, and the Santa Free Spins. The first is a standard wheel-of-fortune style game, while the second is a collection of free spins that can be enhanced by the show’s feature choice feature. Games like Wild Heist at Peacock Manor, Secret of the Stones MAX, and Golden Fish Tank 2 Gigablox demonstrate the exciting potential of using pick-and-click mechanics to sneak modifiers into a bonus round. There’s room for mischief in the Santa Claus theme throughout the free spins bonus round with to multipliers, symbol upgrades, and symbol to wild switches.

Since Piles of Presents is a clone, it’s safe to assume that Just For the Win wasn’t going for any groundbreaking originality with it. This holiday-themed game is, like the developer’s prior slot, perfect for those who like the tried-and-true versus any unexpected twists or turns that would shake things up.