Catch Phrase

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Catch Phrase

Catch Phrase Online Slot Machine Review

This Endemol slot is based on the Catch Phrase gameshow which started in the 1980’s. My first impression of the setup was that the slot also came from the 1980’s. To be fair there are 3 separate bonus games which are loosely based on the original game. The robot mascot of the original show (Mr. Chips) hosts them all. Though the most famous host – Roy Walker – is replaced by a more generic host symbol. While the overall feel is decidedly retro, the bonuses and other animations outside of the regular game give away the fact that this is a more modern slot.

As you might expect from a gameshow themed slot, the music soundtrack is decidedly cheesy. This is accompanied by mechanical reel spinning sounds, along with computer beeps. It is during the bonus games that the brass band short tunes really spring to life. Graphically, this game is blocky. Symbols are colourful, though not detailed or shaded, sitting on top of a dual tone backdrop. The reels are contained in a giant speech bubble – a classic from the game. Symbols are question mark symbols from the original game, along with a host, question cards and playing card symbols. All of the bonus symbols are different variations of Mr. Chips.

Slots like this have a lot to draw on for their bonus games, and each of these takes an idea from the show and simplifies it to work on a slot. These are the Catchphrase bonus, where contestants guess the phrases from pictures, the Ready Money bonus which is a free spins game, and the Super Catch Phrase bonus – which is a pyramid-based pick-em round.

Setup and Play for Catch Phrase

There are 20 win lines for this slot, though you can choose to play fewer if you wish. The stake per line starts at just 1p (the game I played was in British Pounds) and goes up to £10 per line. This gives a min and max spin of 20p through to a giant £200. Auto-play is available.

Your host is the top paying regular symbol, and is worth 500 coins for 5 on a line. The red question mark and blue come next – worth 300 and 200 respectively. Catch Phrase cards get you 125 for 5, and the playing card symbols make up the smaller wins.

Wild symbols are the best symbol of all in this game. These are the Catch Phrase logo, and will win you 5000 coins for 5 on a line. In addition this substitutes for all the regular symbols (not the scatter / bonus symbols). There are smaller scatter wins for the 3 different variations of Mr. Chips. 3+ of each type will trigger one of the features.

Catch Phrase Bonus Games

Hitting 3 of the single Mr. Chips symbols (the one holding the money!) takes you to the Ready Money bonus game. This is a free spins round, with a multiplier – though before the spins start there is a pick-em round based on the 3x3 grid from the original gameshow. Your involvement in this is simply to press your buzzer, at which point the squares on the board flicker, stopping and revealing what is behind one of them. This can be a number of free spins, or a multiplier. Once your picks are done your spins are totalled and you go back to the reels to start them.

3 of the double Mr. Chips symbols takes you to the Catch Phrase bonus. Again your involvement is limited to hitting a ‘buzzer’ spot on the reels. You will see puzzles on a screen on the left, and one contestant or the other will win by guessing each time you click. Prizes are accumulated as you answer correctly. The final bonus (triggered with 3 Mr. Chips superman symbols) is a pyramid game. You start on the lowest level, and keep picking for prizes or to move up to the higher levels. This game is at least a little more interactive than simply hitting a buzzer.

The ‘Housemates Tasks’ round is probably the least interactive bonus I have seen from Endemol. Here you have a 3x3 grid, each containing an envelope. You choose 3 of them by hitting a select button once. Each has a task and gives you a pay-out – which is totalled. I get that this is in keeping with the original show, though – really – there were so many opportunities to do better than this.

Catch Phrase – Conclusion

This slot gives me mixed feelings. While my initial impression of it being badly retro were wrong, the bonus games are not very interactive at all – and did get dull quite fast. There is nothing wrong with the standard game play of this slot, which like all Endemol games is smooth and professional. This would appeal to fans of the original show, and to those who remember it as a nostalgic gimmick. At the same time, despite there being 3 different bonus games, there is not really enough going on with this slot to make it especially compelling.

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