Sugar Train Xmas might seem like a fluffy, Christmas-themed game from the outset, but delve a little deeper and you’ll soon find that there’s a bit more going on that you first imagined. Delving deeper is exactly what we love to do, so give our in-depth review a read to see what you make of it all.
There are a couple of special features that you’ll come across during your time playing Sugar Train Xmas, so it’s always a good idea to read about them ahead of time so you know what to expect. Here we’ll talk you through each one, including what needs to happen to trigger them:
The Gummy Bear is the symbol that perhaps sums of this game best: it’s a Christmas themed offering with a penchant for sweeties. The Gummy Bear Scatter actually serves two purposes and we’ll explain the second one in a moment. The first one is a feature that you’ll likely have come across plenty of times before, with the symbol acting as a Wild when it’s in a winning line. It will substitute in for any symbol apart from the Present Scatter and the good news is that prizes are doubled if a Gummy Bear Wild helps to make it a winner.
As we’ve just mentioned, the Gummy Bear serves more than one purpose when playing Sugar Train Xmas, meaning that what it’s being used for will depend entirely on how many appear on your reels. If there are one of two of them then they’ll be Wilds, but if there are three or more then it will trigger a series of Free Spins. How many Free Spins depends entirely on the number of Gummy Bears on your active pay lines.
Three Gummy Bears, for example, will mean that you’ll receive fifteen Free Spins. You’ll get twenty Free Spins if there are four Gummy Bears, whilst five of the Scatters will be rewarded with twenty-five Free Spins. The games are played immediately and you’ll find that the same number of pay lines and the same wager amount counts towards each of the Free Spins. You can re-trigger Free Spins up to fifteen times, which means that you could well see a decent amount of prize money heading your way if the Scatters fall in the right way.
Present Pick Bonus Round
If three or more Present Scatters land on your active pay lines then you’ll trigger the Present Pick Bonus Round. The number of picks that you’ll get is dictated by the number of Present Scatters you get, with three meaning two picks, four meaning three Present selections and five Present Scatters getting the same number of picks. You’ll be asked to pick a Present and each one will have an associated prize, with the possibility of winning up to one hundred times your total stake. It’s worth noting that you can trigger this bonus round during your Free Spins.
Santa’s Station Bonus Round
When you sit down to play the game you’ll notice that there’s a train track running underneath the reels, with carriages one them that contain Presents. At any point during your playing of Sugar Train Xmas it’s possible that the Santa’s Station Bonus Round will be triggered, indicated by the red indicator on the righthand side of the game reaching the top level. At that point a new train will arrive on the tracks and a claw will retrieve five Cookies from within it.
Each Cookie can contain a prize of up to one hundred times your original stake and you’ll win that prize if the cookie manages to keep hold of the cookie without dropping it. Because there a five cookies it’s entirely possible that the Santa’s Station Bonus Round will see you win as much as five-hundred times your initial stake, which could amount to a decent amount of money all told.
Quite a number of games now feature a Gamble Bonus, which presents you with an opportunity to play a ‘Double or Quits’ style game. The Gamble Bonus button will flash on the bottom row of buttons, at which point you’ll be asked to correctly predict which of two possible options is going to appear. If you’re correct then you’ll keep going until you decide to select the ‘Take Win’ option. Alternatively, play will come to an end when your next selection would see you win over £32,000, you’ve made five correct predictions or you guess incorrectly.
Gameplay & RTP
Are you the sort of person that loves Christmas all year round? If so then Sugar Train Xmas will be right up your alley, given that it’s unrelenting in its holiday cheer. As soon as you load the game up you’ll see what you mean, with the reels seemingly located in the North Pole. There’s a mountain of snow to one side of them, a snowman with a gum drop hat and Christmas cookies everywhere you look. The blue-grey sky is punctuated with falling snow drops, giving the entire game the look and feel of something that will make you shiver and wish you had a hot cup of cocoa. The theme even extends down to the Spin, Lines, Bet and other buttons, which are all located on some candy-covered gingerbread. In fact, that only parts of the entire slot that don’t seem to fit in with the theme are the line numbers and the soundscape. The symbols on the reels are particularly Christmassy in their appearance, thanks to icing dusted Cookies, Christmas Tree shaped Cupcakes and Bunches of Candy Canes, to name but a few.
Christmas isn’t a theme that everyone will be able to get on board with all year round, for all sorts of reasons. Really the word shouldn’t even be muttered before December the first and it’s definitely not a theme that will feel right on a warm summer’s eve. It’s important, therefore, to ask if the gameplay is good enough to make even Scrooge head over to play it at any point other than Christmas Day. The answer to that question is ‘probably’. The reels spin perfectly smoothly, landing without issue and not blurring in the slightest. The graphics are actually quite impressive in their own way, meaning that the ‘under-the-hood’ system is able to cope with everything that the game can throw at it. The thing that elevates it above the level of similar games, though, is the number of special features that come into play as the game goes on. Santa’s Station is a little bit random, but the use of Gummy Bears as Free Spin Scatters and Wilds means that you’re always pleased to see them.
Even the Return To Player average is decent enough to mean that there’ll be few complaints about how often you’re able to pick up some wins. 95% is better than the 94% we see with most slots on the Virtue Fusion network, even if it’s not as good as the 98% that you’ll find on the very best games out there. If you’re the sort of person that thinks a game’s RTP average is the most important thing then you’ll be a little disappointed with Sugar Train Xmas, but we’d recommend at least giving it a go before ruling it out altogether. The truth is that there are much worse games out there with a higher RTP, but do you want to be playing a slot that isn’t all that much fun just because you might get a slightly better return on your investment? That said, Sugar Train Xmas isn’t perfect. The special features are fun but there are better slots on the Virtue Fusion network with much more interesting mini-games, plus they have the added bonus of being playable all year round without the feeling that you’re going to anger the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.