A dull riff on an old ballet, The Nutcracker does very little to justify its existence from poor visuals to bland gameplay. Keep on marching if I were you.
The Nutcracker was the third and final balletic composition by Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky and was based on a short story by E. T. A. Hoffman. Since the 1890s when it was first performed, the ballet has become a perennial classic, making its appearance on TVs and in theatres during the run-up to Christmas.
The Nutcracker slot machine riffs on the ballet with its mouse king, sugar plum fairy, and animated nutcracker who comes to life and goes on adventures. You can join him in this slot machine.
The graphics are not particularly well-rendered, with a somewhat unpleasant art style and a pink and purple colour scheme that clashes violently with itself. The animations are similarly crude and do not work visually although they are clear and easy to read.
For a slot based on a classic ballet, the real disappointment is the music which is as annoying as it is low rent – a pseudo-waltz with Christmas bell a-jangling.
The gameplay is uncomplicated, a 20 win line slot with five reels and three rows of symbols. There is no gamble feature to add some volatility, though for a little spice there are two bonus features – the Nutcracker Free Spins and Sugar Plum Fairy Free Spins – which are detailed below.
Overall the gameplay is fine but uninspired.
The Wild symbols substitute for all other symbols apart from the Bonus symbol.
If you land the stacked Wild across the whole of reel three, then you will trigger the Nutcracker Free Spins. During the Nutcracker Free spins, reel three remains as the stacked Wild symbols for the whole bonus. The number of spins is randomly assigned by a picking game which can reward 5, 7, 8 or 10 free spins.
The Bonus symbol, which presents us with the face of the Sugar Plum Fairy will award you 30 Fairy Free Spins for hitting five symbols, 20 for four and 10 for three.
Fairy Free Spins can be retriggered with 1, 2, 10, 20 or 30 spins for one, two, three, four or five symbols respectively.
If the Nutcracker Wild lands on reel 3 during the Fairy Free Spins, the winning symbols lock in place and a respin is awarded.
The return to player of this game is 95.97%. As our yardstick for average is roughly 96% this neither attracts nor detracts from a recommendation.
The range of bets on the site we tested ran from a minimum of $/£/€0.20 to a maximum bet per spin of $/£/€200.00.
The volatility of this game is medium.
The bland gameplay combines with poor visuals to make this game an unenjoyable prospect when compared to some of its competition. Its volatility is middling and its return to player is average. There is really very little to draw a player in to give it a chance.
Should you make the mistake of giving it a chance you will then find yourself stuck in something that feels much closer to a tangled rat king than the King of the Mice.