NextGen's games almost always have great graphics, and that's the case with their Witch Pickings game. You'll find three different witches in this game, and you can tell them apart by their trademark colors: red, blue and green. The background of the game is the path through a vibrant, colorful nature scene towards a castle city in the background, and the background of the reels allows you to see through them, so you always have the landscape ahead of you.
Format and Layout
The normal video slot format with five reels, three rows and 25 paylines is used in this game. However, it has a different betting pattern than most slots (read more). Everything is based around a set of 40 coins, so your minimum bet size per spin is $0.40. This goes up to $80 per turn, and that's a pretty wide betting range. To make things clearer for the player, the payouts in this game are described based on the total bet size as a whole instead of simulated bet line sizes, and that makes it easier to handle this atypical betting arrangement.
Free Spins Bonus Round
The main feature in this game is the free spins bonus round, and it's based around the idea of the three different witches having a selection of three spells each that they can choose from to help you to get extra value in the game. You trigger this feature when you get three or more of the scatters on the screen at the same time (more on this scatter later), and NextGen (read more) has done an excellent job of making this game stand out compared to the hundreds of other free spins features available in the slots world.
You'll get five free spins in this bonus round. During those spins, the red witch gives you an option between extra wilds, expanding wilds or a wild multiplier worth up to 10x. The green witch will give you the option to have wins pay both ways, to have all wins hit with a multiplier worth up to 5x or to double the number of free spins you get up to 10 total. Finally, you have the blue witch that gives you a choice of three symbol-based features like having certain symbols award instant prizes for individual symbols that show up on the reels.
Wild and Scatter Payouts
The wild is the top win available in the base game. You'll get 1,000x for five of a kind, and it's represented by the purple crystal ball that glows pretty brightly. The scatters also pay out some significant wins including 625x for five of a kind, and both of those symbols pay for as few as two on the reels. These symbols add a lot of value to the game, and they are the two most important symbols that you'll find in the slot as a whole.
Regular payouts in this game are based on tiers of prizes. At the highest tier are the castle and cauldron symbols, and they pay 800x and 600x, respectively, for five of a kind. At the middle tier are the purple potion and the purple cat emblem. These pay 500x and 400x, respectively when you get four of a kind, so those are some pretty significant payouts.
The purple A and red K symbols have a third tier all to their own with a 200x win available for five of a kind in either of these symbols. Finally, you have the orange Q, blue J, yellow 10 and green 9 that all pay out 100x for five of a kind. It's cool to see that even the lowest symbols in the game still have three-figure line bet payouts for five, which means any five of a kind win will give you a significant prize.
There used to be a bit of a running joke that all you needed to create a decent video slot was a wild symbol that gave the top payout for five of a kind and a scatter symbol that triggered free spins with a multiplier. While Witch Pickings is a game that does follow this common formula to a large degree, its great graphics and strong hit-rate make it stand out quite a bit.
With that having been said, the star of the show is definitely the free spins feature, and having three different options for customizing it makes it stand out even more. Overall, this is definitely a great title by NextGen that will appeal to a wide audience with its medium volatility.