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Santa Paws Pokie Machine

Thankfully nothing to do with the kids movie about puppies bringing joy at Christmas, Santa Paws is a 5-reel pokie from Microgaming that features a mix of Arctic creatures who bring joy in the form of free spins, multipliers, wild substitutions and a potentially rewarding gamble round to players.

With 20 paylines, a wide range of bet options and the opportunity for plenty of winning spins when players land 3 or more of the same symbol across an active line, the reception is anything but frosty when opening up this game.

Although it’s very much a seasonal theme, and has the European Xmas in winter combination, with the animals carrying presents and dressed in a fashion that would look kind of weird outside of their December, the game is available year-round, so anyone needing a reminder of the holiday season can play it whenever they want.

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Santa Paws

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Santa Paws
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Playing Santa Paws

With the fun cartoon style that Microgaming use across many of their games, Santa Paws has snow, snow everywhere, which could have made it a fairly plain looking pokie, but splashes of colour pop out from the reels and give it a pleasing appearance.

Santa Paws is a friendly polar bear in an Xmas hat and he makes up part of the title image that sits above the reels, while to either side are the payline indicators and below we see the control buttons, with each one sitting on a bit of floating ice.

Players use these buttons to set wagers that can start from as little as 0.01 per spin. For this, they play a single coin on a single line, so any winning lines of symbols that appear on the other 19 of them won’t be credited, except for scatter wins that can be anywhere.

The value of a coin can be raised to as much as 1.00, while up to 10 coins can be staked on each line, which all adds up to a maximum wager of 200.00 a spin when this amount is placed on all 20.

To see what players stand to win with each combination, they should head to the paytable. The lower value symbols are the typical playing card 10, J, Q, K and A, all covered in snow, while higher value symbols are the furry creatures that populate the polar regions.

There’s an Arctic Hare decorating his Christmas tree, a Snowy Owl carrying a present, a cheerful-looking Sealion and a white Wolf has been given the job of postman, delivering cards and gifts to the locals.

Some other examples of wildlife will enhance the game by triggering extra wins or bonus rounds. Santa Paws is a wild symbol, so he will act as all but the scatter if that will complete winning combinations. He’s also the highest value symbol, with just 2 on a line being worth 12x the line bet and a full line of 5 paying out 4000x.

The scatter symbol is a happy Penguin and like all the animals, he’s wearing his Santa hat and off delivering presents. There’s no need for this symbol to land in any particular places to create a win and all payouts are multiplied by the total bet, not just the bet per line.

Landing 2 scatters equals a 2x the bet win, while 5 of them appearing at once will be worth 100x, plus this is the trigger for a free spins game anytime 3 or more land.

The free spins are played out at the same stake as the triggering bet and players are initially awarded 12 spins with a random multiplier of up to 7x in effect throughout them. To help get more wins, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Killer Whale acts as an additional wild symbol, so players stand a good chance of getting some decent payouts, while the spins can be re-triggered by 3 or more scatters appearing again, with the new ones added to the end of any left to play.

Santa Paws also features a gamble round which can be played after any winning spin. Players will see a face-down playing card with our main character on it and the aim is to double the last win by guessing the correct colour of the card, or quadrupling it with the right suit.

The Verdict

This is a nice to look at and nice to play pokie with a couple of reasonable bonus features to maintain interest at Xmas and beyond. Anyone who misses the winter at that time of year may like to be reminded of it by playing this game which is clearly designed for the northern hemisphere, but it’s a quality pokie so we’ll let them off.

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