Since going live in 2014, this game has carved out a niche as one of the industry’s more enchanting offerings. Of course, that’s not to say that other slots aren’t entertaining, but this one has a special place in the industry because it evokes memories of, as the song goes, 'the most wonderful time of the year'.
In our opinion, this slant towards entertainment is the reason the Merry Xmas slot is best suited to casual players. To support this idea, the payouts aren’t going to get high rollers in a spin. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can't win some healthy prizes. However, if we’re picking out a demographic that Merry Xmas is well suited to, it’s low-stakes players looking for a bit of festive fun.
Being a Play’n Go product, Merry Xmas is fully mobile compatible. In practice, this means you can set the five reels in motion via your desktop, iPhone or Android when you wager at least 0.01 coins. As we’ve said, the Merry Xmas slot is all about celebrating the festive season – and that means there’s a ton of detail. From the jingling bells in the background to flicking candles, falling snowflakes and bright, twinkling lights, there’s a lot going on. Fortunately, even if you’re active in the mobile arena, none of this detail is lost. In fact, thanks to the touch and swipe controls, the mobile experience is just as engaging as its desktop counterpart.
Another neat feature we loved was the adjustable paylines. Unlike some video slots that have a fixed number of lines, the Merry Xmas slot allows you to adjust the coin size, coins per line and number of ways you can win. This dynamic means you have full control over the amount you spend which, in turn, means you can play for payouts worth 2,500x your line bet regardless of how big your bankroll is.
In addition to standard wins ranging from 3x to 2,500x, the Merry Xmas slot has a sack full of surprises. Much like Santa dropping down the chimney with gifts, this game has a host of special features. Firstly, you’ll find wild symbols that are also multipliers. Instead of a character acting as the wild, Merry Xmas uses the following symbols: 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x. As well as substituting for every other emblem, these wilds will multiply your payout when they create a winning combination.
Beyond the innovative wilds, Christmas presents are used as bonus symbols. Three across any active payline will initiate a mystery pick’em round. As you’d expect, you’ll get to open one of the gifts and bank whatever's inside. Although the prizes will vary, the maximum payout is 150x your total bet.
Overall, these special features are simple yet effective. Although high-stakes players will probably want a few more extras, there’s enough added value to help you turn nothing into something. If there's one thing we'd like to see, it's free spins or re-spins. However, the wilds make up for the lack of gratis turns and certainly give Merry Xmas the edge on some of its peers.
Overall, Merry Xmas is a slot that’s better suited to casuals than seasoned spinners. The theme is one that will make you smile and the features are easy enough to understand, so newbies won’t get lost in the mix. Yes, if you’re someone who loves free spins or six-figure payouts, you might be left feeling a little disappointed. However, everyone loves Christmas (don't they?!) and that’s the real reason to give the Merry Xmas online slot a spin.
For those who love the festive theme but want a bit more in the way of features and payouts, Microgaming’s Secret Santa is a great alternative. Another option for those who want to spin in the snow is NetEnt's Fruit Shop Christmas edition. A novel take on an industry classic, this is a winter-themed version of Fruit Shop. However, if you want an all-out Christmas vibe, Play’n Go’s Merry Xmas is a slot that’s certainly worth unwrapping.
Senior content operations specialist at gambling.com
With over 12 years of experience in online gaming, Adam has seen, played, reviewed, and tested hundreds of slot games. He is always keeping an eye out for new features, themes, and potential jackpots by testing slot games even before they are released to the market.