Free Acorn Pixie slot
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Acorn Pixie slot is a graphically advanced production, one of the new generation of mobile-friendly games that attempts to replicate the spectacular tall-screened video cabinets and their graphics, seen in land-based casinos. The reels sit over a wooden cabinet set against a spectral golden forest background with a girl (presumably the Pixie?) lying deep in thought either side and it does indeed make a pretty picture. The soundtrack is gentle music with chimes when wins appear so will Acorn Pixie prove to have a fairytale ending for our money too?
The grid is the usual 5 reels and 3 rows and there are 30 pay lines although we must pay 50 coins to play. Bally are owned by Scientific Gaming along with WMS and Barcrest and we definitely see the influence of the latter here as there is a 'Big Bet' facility similar to that on Barkin' Mad and Ooh Aah Dracula whereby the feature can be bought every spin at a horrendous cost!
The icons are single-stacked on all reels and Wilds appear on all reels too, paying the top award of 20x bet for a 5-of-a-kind win. The Pixie can be found in 4 different poses paying 10, 7, 5 and 2.5x bet respectively for a full line with the lower values being Toadstools, Ladybirds, Dragonflies, Orchids, Orange Flowers and finally Yellow flowers offering between 2x and 0.5x as they descend in that order.
After any spin you may see a Golden Oak Leaf float down from above the game which will transform into an extra 2x2 block Wild to increase winning chances. The scatter here is the Pixie floating inside the entrance hall of a castle, so see these together on reels 2, 3 and 4 and you'll find yourself immersed into the fantasy forest for your bonus game!
Having landed 3 of those distinctive oval scatters your screen will transform into a giant reels set where the game doubles from 3 into 6 rows and your pay lines are increased from 30 to 50. The reels conceal the Magic Oak Tree behind them and during each spin one or more Golden Acorns will be placed over the grid, starting from the bottom row upwards. Each one will reveal a tile from the hidden tree and all subsequent Acorns will be adjacent to those already in place. These become an ever-growing sticky Wild block as the free games progress. You can't get any extra spins or retriggers and if you trigger the bonus 'normally' you get 7 spins.
If you use the 'Buy Bonus' you pay 40x minimum bet of 0.50 (20.00) for 6 games, 80x minimum bet (40.00) for 8 games or if you are extremely foolhardy 200x (100.00) for 12 games. The objective is to fill the grid with wilds which would reveal the whole tree and thus the game's maximum pay for that free spin. Just to make it more difficult to win, the normal base game Wilds aren't present during these spins and the 5 Wilds pay is a poor 1.5x base game 0.50 bet. I gained a full screen on the last spin of a 100.00 bet and the total round win was 127.10!!
If you thought the Barcrest 'Big Bets' were a scandalous way to play slots then believe it or not Bally's equivalent on Acorn Pixie is far, far worse! Bizarrely the rules state that the RTP is 96.00% then also say that at 20.00 it is 92.00%, at 40.00 it's 94.00% and finally at 100.00 it's 96.00%!! That tells me play it 'normally' or don't bother as you simply cannot even double that 100.00 top bet barring a miracle. So you have a great looking slot, with excellent graphics and sounds and the most pointless and utterly awful math model possible. If you play it at normal stakes the volatility is so low it's almost unplayable and there is simply no potentially big wins to be had. This is one Acorn I hope never, ever grows into the proverbial big tree...