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Spooks & Ladders Pokie

Halloween themed pokies can often be popular throughout the year and Spooks & Ladders, from Microgaming is a colourful, action packed game that players will be enjoying well after the end of October.

With a classic 3-reel and 1 win line layout, this game sees ghouls, bats, vampires and even a haunted tree filling the screen, while unusually for this type of pokie, all the symbols are related to the theme, which gives it a unique look.

One aspect of Spooks & Ladders that may be new to players, is that winnings don’t come from playing the main game, instead different combinations of symbols win dice rolls that are then played out on a board game, similar to Snakes and Ladders and this is where actual cash prizes are won. It’s not a new idea, but it’s relatively rare and works pretty well once the concept is understood.

Playing Spooks & Ladders

Those brave enough to enter the graveyard where Spooks & Ladders is based, will find a background image of a haunted house, flying witches, a ghostly tree and several old gravestones, but it’s all done in a pleasing cartoon style and isn’t going to give anyone sleepless nights.

The reels have a dark green background and are surrounded by a list of symbols that reveal how many rolls of the dice will be awarded when 3 of a kind stop across the win line. A bloodshot eyeball is worth 3 rolls, the headstone is worth 4 and a cheerful green spider awards 5 rolls. The bat will grant players 6 rolls of the dice and the vampire landing across the line equals 7 rolls. Next up is the happy ghost who awards 8 rolls and the most valuable symbol in the base game is the Spooks & Ladders logo that will start 9 rolls.

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Spooks & Ladders

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Spooks & Ladders
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Demonic Dice Game

Players are taken to the board game after every winning combination that lands on the reels, and the aim is clearly to get as far up the board, which is laid out in a 6 x 6 grid to make it a bit easier to get up to the top. Clearly, the more rolls of the dice that symbols have triggered, the more chance there is of getting to the jackpot at the top of the game.

There’s the usual ladders to help along the way, but the ghosts send players sliding down their tails back down the board. Prizes get bigger and better as they progress but however far they get, there’s guaranteed wins to collect, so getting symbols to line up on the reels will still result in a win.

Prizes include cash awards, but there’s also a new set of symbols that will award bigger payouts whenever 3 are landed on in the same round. The ladders award 10x the bet amount, ghosts are worth 20x, the laughing skulls pay 50x and landing on 3 examples of the pumpkin is worth a payout of 100x the triggering bet.

In theory, it’s possible to progress all the way to the top of the board, where a jackpot symbol, will pay out 2000x the amount bet per spin.

Microgaming have added a couple of randomly triggered bonus features which are common across much of their range. Holds allow players to keep a reel or 2 in place and spin the remaining ones for free, for an extra chance of a win, while Nudges let them move a reel up or down a bit to try for another prize. Nudges can be held over for another spin or gambled for a bigger payout.

Shifta’s are simply a random spin of the reels that’s sure to result in a win, which in this case takes players to the board game again, but that’s not a bad thing as they will still get a guaranteed cash award.

The Verdict

Spooks & Ladders is a fun twist on an old game. It’s nicely presented, with well-designed cartoon characters across the reels, while the background images across both parts of this pokie are equally impressive.

Players just need to be aware of the way in which the main part of the game only awards rolls of the dice, but as there are guaranteed wins in the board game, lining symbols up on the reels is in all respects a winning spin. There’s just another step to go through before they can collect their prizes, and as it’s a fun round that shouldn’t be an issue.

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