Finn and the Swirly Spin
For slot lovers who simply can’t get enough of the charm of the Emerald Isle and all things Irish, then NetEnt’s fantastical Finn and the Swirly Spin is a promising competitor to the Irish genre’s competitive crown, but could this swish new slot deliver or would it simply blend into a world of other games selling the dreamy world of Celtic storyland?
This game is bursting with extras in the base game so how would I fare? Would I enjoy a heady game of folkloric charm or would I just end up in an Irish Stew?
Look and feel
If you like a game that is a bit different to the rest like the Legend of Cleopatra slot with its asymmetric reels, then you will love this game because it takes innovative design too the next level. Finn and the Swirly Spin looks good enough to eat. The graphics are high quality and naturally themed by the magic of Leprechauns and Celtic myth.
Here our guide, Finn, the cheeky Leprechaun of the game’s title sits on the left of the reels playing his pipe, which make up the background sounds of slot play. The reels or grid are a giant stone monolith and the background to this massive rock formation is an idyllic scene of verdant green countryside with the mandatory rainbow to boot!
Finn and the Swirly Spin is a five by five grid slot game with a cluster win of three or more matching symbols in a row. So quite a bit different to their more traditional games like the Fruit Spin slot and even Guns ‘n Roses.
The icons of this creative slot are a ruby, a golden acorn, a lucky horseshoe, a shamrock leaf and a wooden-look heart and club from the card deck.
The Wild is a golden star with blue eyes (Irish eyes are smiling after all) and this subs for all icons, except for the Free spins icon which is a Celtic key in a crystal cube.
This slot has a brilliantly creative idea at its core, instead of reels that spin, here the reels move in a swirling shape, a 5 by 5 grid. To win you need to get 3 or more symbols in a row, either vertically or horizontally. I did warn you that this is something different. If you want to go back to straight pay-lines the we suggest you head over to games like the Poltava slot machine or something similar as Finn is way out there!
Finn and the Swirly Spin also delivers another intriguing feature with “avalanches,” which is potentially a real money-making feature. When you form a winning combo, those icons which helped you to win will then fall down from the grid so that new icons can take their place. This cascading effect means that there should be a much better chance of keeping up a winning streak, refreshing your chances of making more winning combos.
Base game boon
Apart from having some creative concepts, what attracted me to this game was its four side games that all take place at random in the base game.
First up there’s Starfalls Wilds, this is where a generous two Wilds are added onto the grid, these appear at random so if they don’t help to make a win, they stick around until they start to contribute to making a win.
Then there’s Irish Luck, this side game offers substitute icons to be added to the reels to help bring about a win.
Dragon Destroy is great fun; here non- winning combos are destroyed by a dragon creating a new cascade of symbols allowing a win to take place.
And last but not least, there’s Magic Transform. Here the club and heart icons are transformed into new higher value icons.
Spinning a magical yarn
After a win, if the special Free Spin icon, the key, is on the middle reel then the free spins feature is activated, this means that the player can get involved in one of the four original side games with free spins making for hybrid games in this mode. The first time the key is in position you get a single free spin but as it subsequently lands and you collect keys, you can then enter the different side games this mode offers at random.
One key gets you Star Bar Wins, that is a free spin and the Starfalls Wilds side game.
Four keys collected and you get the Lava Lair Spins, that is 3 free spins, the Dragon Destroy feature and a sticky Wild instead of the Free Spin icon.
Nine keys will take you to the Lucky Mug game, where you get four freebie spins and the Irish Luck game.
And with 16 bonus keys you trigger the Golden Pot, this is two spins and the Magic Transform side game.
I loved the originality of the Finn and the Swirly Spin slot, but I have to admit that I found it hard to move through the different stages of collecting the keys, for 16 keys. Maybe persistence pays here.
But this is a game with oodles of fun in the base game, and lots of features and it stands out from the crowd. Worth a spin.