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Scrooge Pokie Machine

Themed around the famous tale by Charles Dickens, Scrooge is a Christmassy pokie from Microgaming that sees the ghosts of past, present and future haunting the 5 reels, along with Ebenezer Scrooge himself and Tiny Tim.

It also features a couple of unique features, like a free spins round that gets triggered when a calendar gets to December 25th and an Xmas Dinner bonus game that can equal some big multiplier payouts.

Players don’t really need to know the story behind this game to enjoy it, but briefly it involves a miserly old guy who hates Christmas turned into a more friendly character when ghosts visit him to see what made him who he is and how the world would be without him. A simple story which explains some of the characters and symbols.

Playing Scrooge

To complement the interesting features, we also have an interesting design, with a snow-filled backdrop of old-style gas lamps and the skyline of London behind the reels. A clear set of control buttons, designed to look like paving slabs as part of the street scene, let players adjust their stakes.

It’s possible to activate a single payline for just 0.01 but as there are 50 lines in total, players who take this option could be waiting a long time for any wins to land on it, although it’s possible to play all 50 for a total bet of 0.50. The maximum that can be staked per spin, by having coins at 0.50 and 10 coins on each line, is 250.00.

The payout table shows players how much they can win when 3 or more of the same type of symbol come to a stop across an active line, on adjacent reels running from left to right. All symbols are related to the theme, with a set of keys being the lowest value symbol, paying 12 times the amount bet per line when 3 appear in the right places, 20x for 4 of them and a full line of 5 will be worth 60x.

Other symbols that pay progressively more are the clock, ledger, a bag of cash and the safe, while higher wins are created by the various character symbols landing across active lines.

We have Tiny Tim, several ghosts and a miserable-looking Scrooge who is the most valuable of the regular symbols and is worth 40x, 250x or 600x the amount staked per line when 3, 4 or 5 stop across one.

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Festive Features

The bonus features are anything but Humbug here, as they are both unusual and potentially rewarding, with certain ones guaranteed to be triggered when the game is played for long enough.

Firstly, there’s a wild symbol that’s the game title set against a coin-covered wreath, and not only does it pay the biggest wins when making up a line on its own, with up to 6000x to collect, it also acts as all but the scatter to help complete additional combinations. On top of this, it will double the base value of a symbol when it does so, with an example being the 12x the line bet for landing 3 keys being doubled to 24x when 2 keys and the wild land in the right places.

The door knocker scatter symbol also has a couple of duties in this game, with scatter wins being multiplied by the total bet, not just the line bet, whenever 3 or more land in any positions. Up to 200x is paid when 5 appear at once, while this symbol is also the trigger for an Xmas Dinner game where players can win up to 10,000 coins.

The game takes place at the dinner table and the task is to drag the 5 meals across to the 5 characters. Once this is done, a multiplier will be awarded at random and although the 10,000x may not be the one selected, some sort of payout is guaranteed.

Another guaranteed feature, that pays up to 120,000 coins, is the free spins round. Above the reels there’s a calendar and a free spins counter. Every time players get a win, they pick any symbol that made up the combination to reveal ‘Plus One Day’ or ‘Free Spin.’ Either the calendar gets closer to December 25th, or an extra spin is added to the total, and once the 25th is reached, the number of spins that have been collected will play out.

The Verdict

Scrooge is a high-quality game that comes with good graphics and some rewarding bonus rounds. In fact, the worst thing about this game is that it’s a seasonal one and although it is available year-round, few people will spin these reels outside of December.

It’s a shame the same software isn’t used on a game that’s likely to be played throughout the year.

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