Min bet $0.10
Max bet $200
Max Win bet x 400
Game provider NetEnt
Release Date 4/2017
Game Technology HTML5
Min bet $0.10
Max bet $200
Max Win bet x 400
Gamble Feature Paylines from both sides, Bonus game or special game, Sticky re-spins, Stacked wilds, Multiplier
Devices Support all devices
Configurable Winlines No
Progressive Jackpot No
NetEnt’s Hansel and Gretel is part of the Fairytale Legends triplet of slots that are based on three popular fairy tales. All of the games in the series share similar features, however, I find Hansel and Gretel to be the most exciting.
The game is filled with extra features that entail multipliers, stacking wilds, respins, a free spins bonus and more. What I especially like about it is the low to medium variance and the theoretical return to player (RTP) of 96.71%, which is higher compared to Mirror Mirror and Red Riding Hood (the other two games in the series).
In my experience playing Hansel and Gretel, I’ve come across many small wins consisting of gems. As if by a rule, the medium-sized wins that I won were helped by the expanding wilds and respins, which aren’t that rare to crop up. The pick-me bonus game is probably the most lucrative because the win multipliers range from very low to very high.
The game’s premise contains the plot of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. The reel-set is flanked by the two siblings who have gone astray in the dark, foggy wood. The house made of gingerbread and candy isn’t too far down the path but worry not, the designers had made her doze off so that you can casually pick the candies that reveal cash prizes.
A good portion of the gameplay is filled with visual niceties and there are few video transitions that skip from the base game to the bonus features. The wispy fairy that appears every time there is a reel modifier or bonus feature. Also, winning outcomes are treated to a fair amount of stardust on the reel-set to celebrate the occasion.
Even though Hansel and Gretel is very similar in nature to Mirror Mirror and Red Riding Hood, I think it compares more favourably in terms of graphic design and gameplay. The differences are subtle, but it appears that more attention to detail has been paid to Hansel and Gretel than the other games.
There are a total of three-reel modifiers and three bonus features in Hansel and Gretel. The conventional logic goes, with that many features on the count, at least few of the lot are bound to trigger during a casual sitting on this game. To which I can agree. The low to medium variance seems to nudge the maths to trigger expanding wilds rather frequently, and that’s a start.
The wild comes as a single symbol, covering one square on the grid, however, it can crop up extended on the full reel, which prompts the game to hold the wild and set the remaining reels for a respin. The expanding wilds appear on reels two and four in the base game and reels one and five during the Stacked Wild Respin.
This random feature is similar to the above, however, it can do more for the potential payout as two fully stacked wilds can land on all but the third reel; both stacked wilds remain in place for the coming respin.
The fairy can pay a random visit to the reel-set and grace it with a guaranteed win by selecting any one of the paying symbols and converting a number of symbols to mirror it.
In a random event, the fairy conjures up clusters consisting of five to nine Fairytale Legends logos. This is the rarest of the random features, probably because it comes with the highest win potential, considering the logo is the highest-paying symbol that can bring 40x your bet for five of a kind.
I guess NetEnt has worked into this story one of the defining elements of all fairytales: the three wishes!
As there are three random modifiers, there are also three bonus features. I like the symbolism here. You need to land three scatter symbols before you get to choose between three treasure chests.
The Coin Win bonus is alright, but the least exciting of the three. It basically pays a guaranteed prize of 15x your bet. I can’t say that Coin Win appears more frequently because of that. In my experience playing Hansel and Gretel, I’ve gotten each of the three bonuses almost an equal number of times.
The Free Spins bonus starts you with ten spins, however, you get 2+ spins for each scatter symbol that stops on the reels. The potential benefit of getting this bonus is that Stacked Wilds and respins can trigger on any spin.
It’s impossible to be in Hansel and Gretel’s shoes and not get a taste of the candy house. The Candy House Bonus takes care of that by letting you pick three candies from the gingerbread wall. Once you’ve made your selection you get to choose whether to hold on to the average amount that consists of the prizes hidden behind the candies. Or, you can select one of them to reveal one of the three prizes that show on the list to your right.
In my opinion, every slots player has had a free spins bonus trigger, but this is a slightly different little beast because it lets you make the decision – not a feature that I get to see too often.
Like the iconic Starburst slot, Hansel and Gretel can produce payouts both left to right and the other way around, as well as when three matching symbols land on a payline(s) the middle three reels. The layout is quite standard, with three rows and five reels that spin across ten paylines.
There are three sets of symbols on the paytable: low-paying gems, high-paying picture symbols and the game’s logo, and the wilds and scatters.
In the gems category, wins for three matching symbols pay 0.5x your bet, which I think is quite decent compared to so many other games, including NetEnt games. Four of a kind return the full bet, while wins with five pay 4x your bet.
Hansel and Gretel’s symbols pay 1x for three, 2x for four and 10x for five. This kind of arrangement for the payouts reflects the game’s medium variance. Notice that wins for three and four symbols in both categories don’t differ much from one another.
Another exciting detail I’ve noticed is that gems can often come in blocks, both stacked on a full reel and across two or more rows. The most valuable symbol is the game’s logo, which can pay 40x your bet for five of a kind, 6x for four and 2x for three.
Here is a game that does everything perfectly. It has a nice graphic design, random number generator that rewards wins across the spectrum (small, medium and big), and extra features that can appear with any given spin. To the players who haven’t played Hansel and Gretel, I sincerely recommend it. Although it is most likely going to trigger small wins, a medium to high win may emerge from either the pick-me bonus game, the free spins feature or both.
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