Multiple Bonus Games and Traditional 3 Reel Action
Willy Wonka was a character created in the 1964 novel ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl. As well as classic books, this has been adapted for movies. The best known of these stared Gene Wilder as Willy.
WMS have adapted this theme into some amazing casino slots. This review is for the 3-reel version – Willy Wonka Golden Ticket. This combines traditional slot gaming with an impressive range of bonus features. The newest Willy Wonka slot – World of Wonka – can be found in a separate review.
You’ll find a video overlay on top of the mechanical reels on the original Willy Wonka WMS slot. This allows for a lot of different features.
Here are the highlights:
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Symbols on the reels are very much traditional. These include 7’s and bars. Some of these symbols have a small golden ticket icon on the bottom right. You need to get 3 of these anywhere in view to trigger a spin of a giant mechanical reel.
This wheel features various amounts of free spins. While a big amount of spins is always welcome, there is an extra benefit here. Each time you collect 3 golden tickets while your free spins are going (you can get them one or two at a time), you get a randomly assigned additional bonus. These are all themed on characters from the original book.
Here the upper part of the screen shows Charlie, in a video sequence where he is floating with bubbles. Big bubbles then appear, with an animated Charlie behind them. Each one contains a multiplier –between 3x and 25x. Charlie pops them one at a time. Whichever bubble is left is your win multiplier, which is applied to 3 extra free spins.
With a big multiplier, this would be an ideal time to hit the 2x wilds and high-paying red 7 symbols!
Veruca Salt Bonus
Here you see a sequence with the overly pushy young lady. She appears at the side of the reels, demanding that her daddy gives her wins. He obliges, sending winning combinations onto the reels. If you are lucky, she will then demand the same prize again!
This extra bonus involves wild reels. You get 4 additional spins, and each one will see an animation where gobstoppers appear to fall over the reels. These can turn between one and three reels completely wild.
Other bonuses involve the Oompa Loompas, and Grandad – who also add wilds to the reels.
With so many bonus games going on, the mechanical reel setup almost seems out of place. You can play over 9 win-lines, with wild symbols helping to connect wins. These show Wonka (Gene Wilder) and can cover all or part of a reel. There are also 2x multiplier wilds (both the Wonka ones and individual symbols).
Your biggest wins will come when you get a combination of the multiplier wilds and red 7’s. The other symbols are the traditional 3, 2 and 1 bars.
The overall feel of this slot reminds me of the Lord of the Rings slots from WMS. There is a video / animated overlay on top of mechanical reels. This comes to life during the bonus features and shows a screen full of candies when the features end.
There are also plenty of clips from the movie when the nested bonus games start. These take place on the upper area of the screen, with the wilds and characters also appearing by the reels at the bottom. The wheel on top of the cabinet is mechanical, adding to the traditional feel.
My pick of the bonus games is the Veruca Salt sequence. There is something entertaining about this girl demanding wins – and getting them!
WMS hits just the right balance between traditional and video slot gaming with Willy Wonka. There is plenty of bonus action to keep you entertained, though at its heart this is an old-style 3-reel slot. You really need to hit the 3 golden tickets before the game truly comes to life. Free spins are welcome on their own. Add 6 random bonuses, which trigger each time you collect 3 more tickets, and your bonus can be extended again and again. Watch the embedded video to see the thought process of a Willy Wonka Slots game designer.