Free Hocus Pocus Deluxe slot
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Hocus Pocus Deluxe slot conjures up (ahem!) thoughts of wizardry and magic with its title and that is exactly what you get. With gentle basic musical sounds as the reels spin and animated premium symbols the game gives a good impression immediately you open it, along with the Merkur trademark of a woman's voice announcing the slot's name as it finishes loading, in case you need reminding of the game you've chosen to play. It is a member of the 'Deluxe' category of games, joining another Merkur favourite - Magic Mirror Deluxe. So why would you focus on Hocus Pocus?
Unlike Merkur's usual high volatility slots like the gothic-themed Vampires, we have something more gentle here. For a start there are 40 pay lines and we have cascading reels, in other words all winning symbols are removed for further symbols to drop from the top to replace them. This is a popular feature seen in many other slots such as Microgaming's Jungle Jim El Dorado and Da Vinci Diamond's Dual Play. We see the Wizard as the top-pay at 125x bet for a 5-of-a-kind and there is quite a gap down to the other three picture symbols, the Book, Scroll and Hat at 15, 12.5 and 10x stake respectively. We don't have card symbols which is a welcome change but have the shapes of Telepathy: Circles, Squares, Triangles and Pyramids at 5 down to 2x bet for a 5-of-a-kind.
On the all reels bar the first we have a very elaborate Wild consisting of two wringing hands performing magic when involved in any win, and the Wizard's Crystal Ball appears on the first 3 reels as a scatter to trigger the Hocus Pocus bonus. There is no multiplier for successive winning cascades like on Netent's Gonzo's Quest but there is an added enhancement for the free games as we will see.
The three Crystal Balls may either drop straight in or build up during successive cascades, but either way the result is the same - 6 free games. The Ball scatters are removed and replaced by the Wizard's dice on all reels and these award 2-4 extra spins for 3 in view, 4-10 for 4 in view and 6-15 for all 5 in view. The enhancement for the spins is that the premium symbols of the Hat, Scroll and Book all pay scattered for 3 or more. You may now have spotted that you are in fact playing a 40-line version of IGT's Da Vinci Diamonds slot!
Hocus Pocus Deluxe slot will never pay you wins of hundreds times your bet but that is the appeal of the game. You can accumulate good runs of wins and the slot is gentle on your balance especially due to the fact you have the math divided over 40 pay lines unlike its slightly more volatile IGT cousin. The RTP is a magical 97.47% which is in the very high range for any online slot and it's good that the sounds and graphics are easy because your balance will take you a long way on this slot. So will you be off to see the wonderful Wizard of Merkur? I think I may be giving it a few spins and hopefully releasing some magic...