Take a wild ride with a gritty reboot of everyone’s favourite Father on Microgaming’s Santa’s Wild Ride. This is a 243 payline slot designed to celebrate the season in style, with a wide stake range to suit gamblers of all levels, some exciting bonus rounds, big multipliers and a great deal more.
Looking a little more Hell’s Angel than Father Christmas, this Santa Claus has dropped the persona of a bubbly, kind-hearted and soft-natured old man, and assumed one of a fun-loving speed-freak who has swapped out his sleigh for a motorbike. The theme actually works really well, and whilst there is a strong seasonal aesthetic, it is not too cliched and it’s definitely not something you will have seen before.
The symbols are not of bow-tied presents, happy elves and cute reindeer, but of pints of beer, wild girls, fried sandwiches and truck stops. This Santa Claus would turn his nose up at an offering of sherry and a bite to eat, and head out for a drink, a dance and a ride instead.
Getting to the meat of this pokie, the symbols pay well and these are bolstered by an impressive wild. There is a high RTP on Santa’s Wild Ride, which means that big wins are never too far away. However, like all of the best pokies, the biggest action here is in the bonus rounds, and there are several of these to aim for.
The game symbol on Santa’s Wild Ride acts as a wild multiplier, and if you land this in a payline then you will trigger a random multiplier of anything up to 4x. There is also a simple but fairly generous feature, which is activated via the key symbol. This returns an instant scatter payout, but it also sends you into the free spins round, where you will be given anywhere up to 25 free spins. You will be able to choose from a selection of wilds for this round, including Stacked Wilds, Expanding Wilds and Trailing Wilds. You will have probably encountered variants of all of these wilds on other pokies, in which case you will have a good idea of which one you prefer. Personally, we prefer the Expanding Wild feature, but as all wins in the free spins round are doubled, you’ll get a big return regardless of which one you choose.
The free spins round is the main bonus round on Santa’s Wild Ride and there is no big graphical 3D round here. However, there is another smaller round, which is unlocked via the gift symbol. These appear on reels 2 and 4, so you can only ever trigger two at a time, and the payout for these is typically around 10x your total stake. As soon as you get these symbols then you will trigger an instant win.
Overall, this is a great pokie and one that should be played regardless of the season. Developers often try to cash-in on the holidays by creating low quality pokies, attaching a good screenshot and then watching the players roll in. Santa’s Wild Ride definitely does not do that, which is a credit to Microgaming and to the casino that use their license.
Where to Play
Santa’s Wild Ride is available on most Microgaming casinos, but not on all of them. The Microgaming licensees can pick and choose the pokies that they want to include and many of them stick with a limited selection. However, you can find a wider selection on the bigger casinos, one that includes everything Microgaming have ever released.
One of the better of these is Royal Vegas Casino, which has remained loyal to Microgaming since it was founded at the turn of the century. As well as offering a staggering $1,200 in free cash to all new members, there are also 75 free spins on offer to begin with. These can all be used on Santa’s Wild Ride, or they can be used on many different pokies if you would prefer. All of the winnings you generate using these free spins will be credited to your account as real cash, but if you are still playing through your new member bonus then you will need to clear the play-through rate before you can qualify for a withdrawal. Luckily, this rate is fairly small when compared to other sites.