Free Heidi’s Bierhaus slot
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Heidi's Bierhaus should ring a few bells for many readers who no doubt have played or at least seen WMS's classic Bierhaus game with it's distinctive German Accordion and Oompah music and Lederhosen-clad beer drinkers! For those not familiar with the German language, Bierhaus literally means 'pub' or 'bar', although the translation is pretty simple and we get reels spinning over a backdrop of a Bierkeller with Heidi above them at the taps, ministering to our wishes for refreshment. So will Heidi's Bierhaus add golden nectar to our play, or will it leave a nasty hangover?
On the reels...
The slot is oddly elongated as firstly it is mobile-firendly and secondly we need to fit Heidi in above the reels, where on any spin she may pull on the taps above each reel and fill 1 to 6 of them with beer and make them Wild. Yes, you heard right, we have 6 reels here as opposed to 5 on the original and they are also 6-rows high with icons appearing singly or in pairs, sometimes stacked pairs. On every spin a single icon including the beer glass Wilds but not the Heidi scatters will turn super-stacked too to increase our chances of wins across our 50 pay lines, for which we pay 75 coins per spin.
Pays aren't high at all due to the stacks and 50 lines: Wilds award 200 coins as the best one (2.67x bet), Hans 150 coins, Accordion or house or Bierstein 100, Trumper or hat or Pretzel 75 and finally the 4 card suits 50 coins each. We do still get the potential for large numbers of free games though, as we shall see!
Heidi appears on all reels stacked in pairs and in 3 different colours of which you need to land any mix on 5 or 6 consecutive reels left-to-right. Green Heidi's are just normal scatters, Purple Heidi's will stay in place as sticky Wilds once the free games begin, and a Red Heidi only appears on reel 4 and if part of the trigger gives you a spin on the bonus wheel before you games start. If you trigger with just 5 Heidi's in view you get 5 spins, but with 6 you get 10 spins, 7 for 15 and 8 for 20 right up to 100 for 20 or more.
The bonus wheel can land on one of four internal jackpot amounts if it lands on one of the 4 characters, 5, 7 or 10 extra free spins or 3 'Hans Spins' which mean that randomly 3 separate free spins will be overlaid with Hans' beer Wilds. You will also notice a higher frequency of Heidi's random Wild reel(s) feature although this tends to give only 1 usually. You can retrigger the spins in the same way and numbers as the original trigger does. You get sung a shonky Germanic version of 'Roll Out The Barrel' while the free games are played, which I found quite amusing!
Heidi's Bierhaus slot is a decent effort by WMS to improve upon an original idea that was a success and they haven't done a bad job. The graphics are better as are the sounds and effects although the volatility seems a bit lower which some may not approve of. The random Wild reels is a nice addition but by having such a big reel-set with so many lines the maximum pay for a full screen of wilds would only be 133.3x bet. Essentially you are relying on the feature to accumulate plenty of low-medium wins by triggering with more and more scatters and it's my impression that the internal jackpots they have installed (same as with Wishing You Fortune) have been taken from the free spins returns. That said, I did enjoy myself at Heidi's and will drop by hers for another round of biers for sure...