Sweet themed slots have always been loved by players, and this year Stakelogic, along with their partner Hurricane Games, have decided to capitalise on the love that we have for sweets, even as adults, with the release of Candy Links Bonanza. Visually, this new release is bright and colourful, with the gameplay grid not too much larger than the Hurricane Links grid to the left. This causes our attention to be divided equally between the two, and at first glance I was just as curious about the Hurricane Links as I was about the jackpot values at the top of the grid, so the design works well to divide our attention between all important aspects. Upbeat sounds ring through in the background, and the puffy white clouds move across the screen, keeping things lighthearted and interesting.
Played out on a 5×5 grid, Candy Links Bonanza offers players up to 3,125 ways to win, rather than adopting the expected cluster pays mechanic that we've come to associate with grid based games. Instead, wins are formed by matching 3 or more symbols on adjacent reels from left to right. RTP on Candy Links Bonanza is 94.04% and the maximum win is 8,500x.
Candy Links Bonanza Base Features
The pay table of Candy Links Bonanza consists of 10 brightly coloured symbols: blue, dark green, pink, light green, turquoise, orange, light purple, red, dark purple, and yellow, in ascending order. Although some colours are easily confused, shapes help to distinguish between the symbols, including hearts, stars and hexagons. Symbols pay between 0.4 and 5x for 5 of a kind. Alongside regular pay symbols, there is a pink striped wild symbol, substituting for all symbols except coins, and the scatter symbol, represented by a chocolate candy bomb covered in smaller versions of our pay symbols.
Candy Links Bonanza is playable on a range of devices, with stakes between 0.20 and 20 as standard. On offer, however, is the Super Stake™, which increases bets by 25% resulting in stakes between 0.25 and 25 with Super Stake activated. Additional bonus symbols are added to the reels and the chance of landing a feature is doubled when Super Stake is activated.
Hurricane Links Collection
Once all reels come to a stop after a spin, any coin values that have landed on the reels are transferred to the equivalent position on the Hurricane Links Collection grid. Coin symbols can land on any position, except the centre reel position. The centre reel position on the Hurricane Links Collection contains a multicoloured wheel. If coins transfer atop already existing coins, the values are added together.
Once you have filled any of the 12 lines horizontally, vertically or diagonally with coins on the Hurricane Links Collection, the coin values on that line are awarded as a win, and the entire grid resets. Positions you are waiting to fill to award coin values will be highlighted yellow both on the Hurricane Links Collection and the main game grid. Multiple lines can be awarded at once, and coin values are cash prizes, rather than ‘x-stake values'.
If the line formed on the Hurricane Links Collection includes the middle, coloured wheel, symbol, Wheel of Fortune is triggered, which consists of 3 wheels. Players can upgrade to the second or third wheel, but begin by spinning the first wheel. Each wheel consists of jackpot prizes, or x-stake values:
- Mini Wheel: 5x, 10x, 20x, Mini Jackpot or Upgrade
- Major Wheel: 10x, 20x, Mini or Major Jackpot, or Upgrade
- Grand Wheel: Mini, Major or Grand Jackpots.
Mini, Major and Grand Jackpots are 30x, 100x and 1,000x stake, respectively.
Landing 2 scatters in the base game triggers the Respin feature, in which all symbols hold their place except the centre position, which respins for the chance to land the third scatter symbol.
Candy Links Bonanza Bonus
Landing 3, 4 or 5 scatter symbols triggers 10, 15 or 12 free spins respectively. Hurricane Links Collection continues into the free spins. There is a multiplier within free spins, which can be increased by landing multiplier wild symbols. When wild symbols land, they can have a multiplier between x1-3 attached, which is then added to the cumulative multiplier meter. This multiplier is then applied to each win for the remainder of spins. During free spins, it is possible to form a line on the Hurricane Links Collection, where the win will still be awarded as normal, but will not have the cumulative multiplier applied. Free Spins cannot be re-triggered.
For players in appropriate regions, it is possible to buy the feature at a cost of 100x stake. This is 100x your regular bet value, not the Super Stake value. Free spins that are purchased through a feature buy have their own dedicated Hurricane Links Collection, and a new collection will be awarded for every feature buy. Once the feature purchased has ended, the Hurricane Links Collection will reset to it's base positions before the feature buy.
Candy Links Bonanza is an interesting release from Stakelogic. The addition of the Hurricane Links Collection gives players something to look for, although I did originally think it would be a more common feature of smaller wins. In my experience, the Hurricane Links aren't awarded all too regularly, but they are relatively big wins when they do come. What will inevitably be frustrating for players is sacrificing the entire board once a line is formed, as there can be some huge amounts on there, or a Wheel of Fortune line can be one symbol away. Free Spins are exciting enough, with a randomly building multiplier rather than a standard incrementing multiplier, and it's clear to see that the potential is here for some huge wins. RTP is on the lower side at 94.04%, and the maximum win of 8,500x isn't the biggest we've seen, so this is a slot more than likely aimed at the casual gambler, rather than the thrill seekers shooting for 100,000x plus wins. The addition of jackpots continues to keep things exciting, with the potential to land the jackpot wheels just within grasp. Overall, a nice, fun addition to Stakelogic's catalogue.
*The screenshots taken of games reviewed on this site are taken from Demo Play, as reviews are often written before games are released for real play.