Friends 908 x 624

The concept is a good one. Take one of television’s most successful sitcoms and turn it into an immersive slot. What fan wouldn’t want to spend time with the gang and be in with the chance of scooping up a prize of up to 2,000 x the bet?

The 5 reel, 40 payline slot from WMS comes with multiple features that mainly revolve around the random selection of a bonus wheel. The Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, Chandler, and Monica encore runs on Medium volatility and offers a fairly flexible bet range between C$0.50 and C$100.. But is this reunion worth attending, or are the iconic characters simply better left to Netflix reruns?

FRIENDS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • The Wheel Bonus feature is fun and engaging
  • Small payouts during the base game will generally cover your bet spend
  • The maximum prize is decent for Medium volatility
  • Friends slot game is available to players in Canada
  • The game symbols don’t carry very high values
  • The game’s only real special feature doesn’t trigger often enough
  • The bonus wheel scatter only appears on 3 of the reels
TYPEVideo Slot
REELS AND PAYLINES5 Reels, 40 Paylines
GAME FEATURESBamboozled Bonus, Thanksgiving Bonus, Party Bonus, Wedding Bonus, Wheel Bonus, Wilds, Scatters, Free Spins
VOLATILITYMedium
RANGE OF BET0.50 - 100.00
COIN VALUES0.50, 1.00, 1.50, 2.00, 5.00, 10.00, 15.00, 20.00, 25.00, 50.00, 100.00
MAXIMUM WIN2,000 x your bet
PAYOUT96%
SOFTWARE PROVIDERWMS/Scientific Games

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FRIENDS - Theme and Background

I had such high hopes as I waited for the slot to load. I could think of a million ways the game could have been designed to really encapsulate the iconic TV show. So you can imagine my disappointment when the grid that filled my screen was something that strongly resembled an amateur slot design from a couple decades ago.

The photography and graphics aren’t exactly what you’d call sharp, which are a large part of why the slot has a slightly cheap feel. The backdrop is the New York skyline, which takes up the majority of the screen, leaving the unnecessarily small grid to float in the middle. The symbols are a combination of photographs of the characters, and other rendered symbols like Joey and Chandler’s duck, Phoebe’s guitar and a Central Perk coffee cup. Those that didn’t watch each episode religiously may very well miss the significance of some of the symbols.

The only real slot personality emerges when you land the Wheel Bonus feature, where you’ll be treated to episode clips after each spin. Exactly as you’d expect, the show’s “I’ll Be There For You” theme song plays on loop in the background. Bizarrely, it’s an instrumental version, which kind of steals away what magic is left.

Friends - Gameplay

The gameplay is exceptionally easy to follow. That’s because despite the fact that there are a number of bonuses which could become activated, most of them stem from the same special feature. Here’s how the friends unite to boost wins:

Friends Wheel Bonus

Wheel Bonus

This is undeniably the slot’s most important feature, and you’ll have to land 3 stacked Scatters in order to activate this. The Scatters only appear on the middle three reels (reels 2, 3 and 4) so it will take a little longer than you’d expect. When you activate the feature, a bonus wheel wedged with multiple features will fill the screen. Give it a spin for a guaranteed prize which could be a cash payout, or one of the following bonus features:

  • A Thanksgiving Bonus which gives the player 10 free spins with a 3 x multiplier attached. The Duck, guitar, cup and Central Perk symbols will also turn wild.
  • A Wedding Bonus for 10 free spins with persisting wilds (these act the same as sticky wilds) and the Duck, guitar, cup and Central Perk symbols will also turn wild.
  • The Party Bonus means you’ll win 11 free spins with walking wilds. The wild will expand to fill reels 1 and 2, then move across the reels on every spin. As with the previous two features, the duck, guitar, cup and Central Perk symbols stand in as wilds.
  • A Bamboozled Bonus offers players the chance to pick cards from the 20 which will fill the screen. If you match 2 or 3 identical symbols you’ll win a corresponding jackpot.
Friends Mystery Stacks Feature

Mystery Stacks Feature

On each reel there are stacked mystery symbol positions. When they land each space is filled with the same symbol at random, which really helps to increase chances of making winning combinations. The symbols are in play at all times, and land quite frequently.

Friends Jackpot

Jackpot

If you’re only here to land that 2,000 x prize then you’ll need a full stack of jackpot wilds (the group photo symbol) on reels 2, 3 and 4. But remember, that this can never happen while the Wheel Bonus feature is active.

Friends - Payouts and Wagering Limits

The game’s symbols come in at just about average in terms of value, and the Medium volatility ranking means that you’ll make winning combinations on a fairly regular basis. The guitar, Central Perk sign, ducks, coffee cup, and character symbols will fetch anything between 2 x and 15 x for 5 of a kind.

The image of Chandler, Ross and Joey together pays between 5 x and 25 x, while the three girls symbol pays 5 x to 30 x. The group photo of all the characters pays out between 8 x and 40 x for winning combinations. If you land a full stack of Jackpot Wild symbols on reels 2, 3 and 4 then yell a big hooray because that means you’ve unlocked the slot’s top prize in the form of a 2000 x your stake Jackpot.

Outside of waiting (and hoping) to land the jackpot, any other chances of decent wins are tucked away behind the Wheel Bonus, which is also the most entertaining part of the game. It doesn’t come around as often as I’d hoped, and you aren’t necessarily guaranteed a massive prize, but you’ll usually make up your bet spend in the least.

Friends - Final Verdict

Friends slot 320 x 320

Final Verdict

Friends

72%

Slot fans who enjoyed the series will be excited about this WMS game, but I fear it may come as something of a disappointment. Visually, it’s on the weak side of things. The gameplay, while not terrible, feels a little uninspired and makes the players work slightly too hard to access the real value features. And because the base game doesn’t pay out any big wins, everything pretty much rests on these special features. The variance is set to medium, but it sometimes felt a little higher than that. The friendly vibe somehow marred by a swiftly diminishing bank balance.

Clips from the show work pretty well to soothe bruised spirits, although I have no idea why these have been restricted to just the Bonus Wheel feature. The top prize of 2,000 x will also deter the really serious slot players, while more recreational ones will wish the smaller wins came in more frequently. In the spirit of Rachel Green, I would probably suggest that this slot and I go on a break (until v2).

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