Barb’s Best Bets: Suspense Never Lets Up In Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds
Do you love the suspense and intrigue of a good mystery? I bet you do because every time you spin the reels on your favorite slot game, you have no idea how the symbols will line up.
Even when you come up empty, the last thing you want to do is stop because, at any time, that elusive big payday you’re after could be right around the corner. Also, some of the most popular special offers on NJ gambling websites are mystery bonuses, where everyone is guaranteed a bonus, but you have no idea how much.
Perhaps some of you reading this post are big Agatha Christie fans. Or, maybe like me, you’re an avid soap opera fan and regular viewer of “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold in the Beautiful” on CBS. On both soaps, a much-maligned central character with many enemies is currently fighting for his life because someone tried to do him in. But wait — that’s only the beginning.
On both soaps, the inept police have zeroed in on and arrested the wrong suspect! Viewers know this person didn’t do it, but for now are also in the dark about who really did. That’s the mystery that makes watching these shows every day super exciting.
The two soap opera mysteries plus some equally intriguing mystery bonuses this past weekend at Borgata, Caesars, and Harrah’s online casinos (check them out) got me thinking that this would be the perfect time to make my Best Bet of the Week a slot with a mystery theme. Anytime you start one of Agatha Christie’s books, it’s almost impossible to put down. And once you start playing Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds, you’ll be riveted to the screen.
Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds
A product of Gamesys
Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds is a video slot by the London-based company Gamesys with five reels, four visible rows, and 50 fixed paylines. While the name Gamesys might not be as well known as the giant companies like IGT and NetEnt, if you currently play at Tropicana and/or Virgin online casino, whether you realize it or not, you have probably been playing Gamesys games.
Gamesys is no newcomer to the online gambling industry; the company has been operating overseas since 2001. In fact, it provides software and games not only for the original Virgin Casino for UK and Irish players but also for several other reputable foreign online casinos. In 2013, Virgin NJ actually became a subsidiary of Gamesys, thereby opening the door for Gamesys software and games to be introduced as well at both Virgin Online Casino NJ and its affiliate, Tropicana Online Casino NJ
Not all of the slot games at these two casinos are Gamesys products, but many of them are. Gamesys has an exclusive arrangement with Virgin NJ and Tropicana NJ to provide games for those online casinos. They are the only two NJ online casinos where Gamesys games are available.
What to expect when you play Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds
If you’re a fan of Agatha Christie mystery stories, you won’t be disappointed. Miss Marple and Poirot both appear as symbols on the reels, working together not only to unravel their latest case, but to help make your own involvement in the mystery rewarding. More importantly, as in any good mystery, this is a game where you can always expect the unexpected.
The mystery element is what makes this slot game great for those who are not familiar with Agatha Christie, too. Get ready to take a trip back in time to the 1920s, an era when computers and cell phones didn’t exist and people still used typewriters. The reels are set in a room with art deco purple carpeting and green wallpaper.
Each spin is accompanied by the music of a harp, which fits in perfectly with the eerily retro setting. Appropriately, the soundtrack intensifies each time wilds or mystery symbols make their appearance and you wait to see if they will pay off or not. Then the music quiets down to a lull when you don’t win, or does the exact opposite when you do win, especially if it’s a big win. That’s when you’ll hear a joyful roaring crescendo, but of course, it’s short-lived, with the sequence starting all over again on the next spin.
Despite the sinister vibe, this slot game is surprisingly easy on the eyes. It is a game you are almost certain to enjoy playing often.
Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds Symbols
The two highest paying symbols are Miss Marple and the wild symbol, which is a green square with a gold-rimmed magnifying glass and the word “wild” also printed in gold. Five of either of these symbols on the reels pay 200x your coin size. In addition, whenever possible, the wild symbol is used in conjunction with a regular symbol to help form winning combinations.
The next highest paying symbol is Poirot, which pays 150 coins for five matching symbols, followed by the woman with red hair and a man with brown hair couple, which pays 100 coins for five matching symbols.
A set of Agatha Christie books, a bottle of green poison, a typewriter, a hunk of cheese, and a mousetrap comprise the game’s lower paying symbols, each of which pays 20x coins if you get five of them across the reels.
Getting five like symbols across the reels doesn’t happen often. A much more frequent occurrence is three or four matching symbols on adjacent reels from left to right, where the payout is much smaller.
There is no scatter symbol. However, there is one additional symbol, a Question Mark, which acts as the game’s Mystery Wild. Anytime a bunch of them appear on the reels, they change either into another random symbol or into a regular wild. While sometimes the Mystery Wild symbol helps to form winning combinations, as with the regular wild symbol, that is not always the case. Quite often, in fact, it is of no help at all.
“Clues” and how they can help you
Every time a wild symbol appears on the reels, a magnifying glass symbol registers on the meter on the right side of the screen, accompanied by a twirling sound. For reasons not clear to me, these magnifying glass symbols are referred to as “clues.” But if you’re expecting, as I was, the first time I played, to be given any actual clues to solve a murder mystery, there are none. In fact, if a crime was even committed, the player isn’t privy to it. The object of this game is purely and simply to make winning combinations, hopefully amounting to a lot of money.
Getting the magnifying glass symbols can definitely help you toward that end, but only if all eight of the spaces fill up. There are three ways this can happen:
- Eight wild symbols show up simultaneously on a single spin of the reels.
- The wild symbols from a previous spin are “locked in,” in which case the meter does not reset to zero and can fill up on the next spin even if it produces less than eight wild symbols.
- You are awarded “clues” at the start of or during the Free Spins feature.
Otherwise, at the start of your next spin, all of your “clues” disappear from the meter and are of no benefit to you.
Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds special features
Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds game has three special features: Free Spins, Sticky Wilds, and a Lock feature, all of which offer additional opportunities to win. The Free Spins feature is especially lucrative, rewarding the player who is patient enough to wait for it, not only with extra wins, but huge wins up to 10,000 coins.
Free Spins feature
You need for the meter to completely fill up with eight magnifying glasses to activate the Free Spins feature. You are then taken to a new screen where you have to pick five Agatha Christie books. Each book in the collection awards a different number of free spins and/or “clues.” The maximum number of free spins you can win is 18, while each clue adds one magnifying glass to the meter.
Another way for the meter to fill up with “clues” is by having the wild symbol show up during the free spins. Each wild symbol adds another “clue” to the meter, and every time the meter fills up, it turns one of the wild symbols into a “Sticky Wild.” If you’re lucky, you will trigger the free spins feature often, then pick the right books, so you get lots of free spins and lots of “clues,” adding up to big winnings.
Sticky Wilds feature
When the meter fills up during the base game, it triggers the Free Spins feature, but when the meter fills up during the free spins, rather than retriggering that feature, you get a different reward–a sticky wild! Sticky wilds can be told apart from regular wild symbols because they are purple rather than green. Each sticky wild remains in place for all remaining free spins, thereby giving you many more chances to win.
The lock feature can be randomly triggered after any spin. You know when it has been triggered by the little lock that appears above the clue meter and the sound of a bell ringing. That sound is music to your ears because it means that all of the magnifying glasses from the last spin remain intact for the next spin. Therefore, instead of needing eight wild symbols to appear on the next spin to fill up the meter, like you would ordinarily, you would need less than that since you are already partially there.
Bet size and return to player
Because the number of paylines is fixed at 50, you automatically have all 50 lines working for you on every spin. It is impossible to reduce the size of your wager by selecting fewer paylines. However, you can choose from a wide range of coin sizes. The minimum coin size is a penny and the maximum is $1. Thus, the minimum bet per spin is 50 cents and the maximum bet per spin is $50.
This game has a published return to player (RTP) of 95.87 percent. While slightly below my recommended minimum of 96 percent, it is close enough to warrant including here as a best bet, especially since Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds is not only highly entertaining, but also has the potential to produce some very nice payouts.
Verdict and conclusion
Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds is a highly entertaining slot game that can be enjoyed by players at most betting levels. Like other Gamesys slots, it has been optimized for both desktop and mobile device play.
Small players are advised to select a low betting limit because it may take some time before you trigger the Free Spins feature, which is your most likely source of big wins. Meanwhile, you shouldn’t get discouraged if your balance takes a dip, as the chances are good you will bounce back. But as with all slot games, patience, betting within your means, and knowing when to quit are the key.
If you’re a registered player at TropicanaCasino.com and/or VirginCasino.com, you should give Agatha Christie’s Mystery Wilds a try. If not, use our exclusive links for Virgin NJ and Tropicana NJ to get free cash and see where Agatha Christie takes you.