There really can’t be any UK online bingo players who aren’t aware of Fluffy Favourites, the wildly popular online slot, and its sequel Fluffy Too. Unlike Rainbow Riches, the other ubiquitous slot at UK bingo sites, Fluffy Favourites is not based on a physical slot machine but has always been online only.
Fluffy Favourites is the brainchild of Eyecon Pty, a software development company based in Brisbane, Australia that has been around since 1997. Fluffy Favourites was one of their earlier releases (later releases include Shaman’s Dream and Sugar Train) and it has been available to play at online bingo sites for what seems like forever. Its journey to world domination really got under way in Summer 2013 when the tablet and mobile version was released.
For many years prior to that the Eyecon slots were only found at 888/Cassava managed online bingo sites but these days it is very rare (and some would say foolhardy) for a bingo site to launch without at least having Fluffy Favourites. Cozy, Jumpman, Daub Alderney, Bede Gaming and even the mighty Virtue Fusion all have Eyecon slots now and although Gamesys and Microgaming bingo sites generally do not (Jackpot Joy recently added Fluffy Favourites) it has been quite some time since a bingo site launched on either of those platforms.
So what is all the fuss about? Well, the main thing that people absolutely love about Fluffy Favourites seems to be that it is all about cuddly toys, and has a fun bonus round where you get to choose cuddly toys via an amusement arcade style crane game. Compared to blockbuster slots like Microgaming’s Jurassic Park, it is very simple – but that can actually be a plus point if you want something to play on a tablet while waiting for a bingo game to start! It might also be something to do with the soundtrack; there is no background music, just the oddly compelling sound of the reels clicking to a stop – but a bass note plays when either of the two bonus symbols comes up and a musical flourish plays for a winning line.
The slot has 25 paylines (and you can select as many or as few as you like) and a line bet size of 1p – 50p – so any amount from 1p – £12.50 a spin can be played making it suitable for most pockets.
The symbol everyone wants to find on a payline is the pink elephant. It is wild, and substitutes for every other symbol apart from the claw (more about that later). When it forms part of a winning line, not only is the win doubled but a rainbow appears behind the elephant and it starts to dance to its own special music in a particularly cute way.
Three or more pink elephants anywhere on screen trigger the free spins bonus round which is 15 free spins for 3 elephants, 20 for 4 and 25 for 5 elephants. All wins are tripled, and if you are lucky enough to get three or more elephants again during the free spins, more free spins are added. The free spins play through automatically, but even if you aren’t watching the spin that triggers them you can’t possibly miss them (unless the sound is turned off on your device) due to the very jaunty fairground music that plays while they are going on! The background also changes from day to night to add to the party atmosphere.
The other bonus round, the toybox, is triggered by the appearance of 3 or more claw symbols anywhere on screen. More special fairground music starts to play and the crane game starts. Here, you get to pick one toy for each claw symbol in the triggering spin. Each toy awards a prize of up to 100x the triggering bet and this can result in some large wins.
Fluffy Favourites has an auto-play facility for 10, 20, 30 or 100 spins and there’s also a gamble facility which can be used after any win (up to the maximum prize).
Fluffy Favourites can be played as a regular slot or as a mini game inside a bingo room. The mini game version (shown actual size) retains all the special effects such as the dancing elephants.
There are actually two versions of Fluffy Favourites – the regular version and the progressive jackpot version – and although everyone and their dog now has the regular version available, the progressive jackpot version is still only to be found at 888/Cassava bingo and casino sites. Commonly with a progressive jackpot such as Playtech’s Marvel slots jackpot, Microgaming’s Mega Moolah and Net Ent’s Mega Fortune every instance of the slot at every casino is linked to all the others, with every single spin contributing to one central pot regardless of which site it is played at. With this arrangement the progressive jackpot can climb into the millions until one lucky player somewhere scoops the lot. The progressive jackpot version of Fluffy Favourites is NOT like this (and if you want that type of experience at an 888 site you’ll need to play the 888 house slot Millionaire Genie instead) as there are several distinct jackpot servers, some serving single sites and some serving groups of sites (such as the Mandalay Media/Intertain sites).
The Fluffy Favourites progressive jackpot consists of 3 jackpots – mini, maxi and mega and these all drop randomly during play. Each jackpot has a preset maximum and must drop before it exceeds this amount. Not only does each jackpot server have its own pots, but the preset maximums vary from server to server. The seed amounts (the amount to which the jackpot is reset immediately after dropping) also vary and while there is no information available about exactly what the probability of each jackpot dropping on any given spin is, it is presumably set to a value which makes the chance of it NOT dropping in N spins, where N is the number of spins required for the jackpot to approach its preset maximum, infinitesimally small. The seed amounts and the progressive contribution all come out of player stakes and that contribution remains the same whichever server you are on; it is the balance between the three jackpots that is different.
Version 2 is found at the Mandalay Media sites and also at Bingo Hollywood, although Bingo Hollywood is clearly NOT on the same server as the Mandalay sites – the actual amounts that can be won at any particular time do not match.
The rather less exciting looking Version 3 is found at Gossip Bingo (and presumably other sites on the same network).
Version 4 has a huge upper limit for the mega jackpot and is found at Joy of Bingo sites such as Wink Bingo.
The RTP (the percentage of total stakes returned to the players averaged over tens or hundreds of thousands of spins) of all these instances of the Fluffy Favourites jackpot version is the same – 90% – and if it were not the game would not have regulatory approval – but what these differences do mean is that it potentially makes a difference where and when you play the slot which is not the case with the normal type of progressive jackpot slots. The preset maximums affect the amount you could win and the closeness of the amounts in the pots to the preset maximums sets an upper limit to the number of spins that can take place without the jackpot dropping (although the chance of the jackpot dropping on any particular spin remains the same apart from the last spin before it would exceed the maximum, in the extremely unlikely event of it not having dropped previously) . The preset maximums also affect how frequently the jackpots drop – the mini jackpot is clearly going to have more frequent but smaller drops if it has to drop before it reaches £70 rather than being able to go up to £750. So while the probability that a jackpot will drop on your next spin stays constant and so does the long term payout percentage of the slot, the expected return on your next spin varies depending on what the current progressive jackpot amount is. In other words, supposing that the Mandalay Media maxi jackpot is at £15K and the Bingo Hollywood one at £20K, it is slightly better to play at Bingo Hollywood on the grounds that while your (admittedly absolutely tiny) chance of winning the jackpot with your next spin is exactly the same at both places, the actual payout for winning the jackpot is higher at Bingo Hollywood.
Enticing as the jackpots may be, it is NOT necessary to play the progressive version in order to have a chance at a big win; in the regular game, spin 5 hippos (including at least one pink elephant wild) to win 10,000 x line bet (which would be tripled if it happened in the bonus round). The regular game has RTP 95.39%.
Fluffy Favourites and bingo go together like fish and chips, and it is at UK bingo sites that this slot’s popularity remains truly phenomenal. In fact some of the best known European online casinos such as Guts and LeoVegas and even UK ones such as Grosvenor Casinos do not have it at all!
The only snag with playing Fluffy Favourites at a bingo site is that in most cases you won’t be able to play with bonus funds as they are for bingo only. If you are looking for a site where you can play Fluffy Favourites with bonus you could:
- Choose a bingo site that offers a slots bonus as well as or instead of a bingo bonus (but do check the terms and conditions to ensure Fluffy Favourites is included in the promotion)
- Choose a Wheel of Slots bingo site. These do not offer any bingo bonuses but instead, whenever you deposit £10 you get to spin the wheel and win either free slots spins or free bingo tickets. Get really lucky and you’ll walk away with 500 free spins on Fluffy Favourites! (The other slots involved are also by Eyecon – Shaman’s Dream and Temple of Isis)
- Choose a UK oriented slots site that is part of a group that also includes bingo sites – such as Moon Games or Wicked Jackpots (United Bingo) , Costa Games (Mandalay Media), Magical Vegas (Daub Alderney), Total Gold or Spin Genie (Gaming Realms)
At the end of 2015, the sequel to Fluffy Favourites began to be rolled out to the market, starting with 888/Cassava licensed sites and 15 Network. Fluffy Too is very similar to the original and although the claw bonus round has been replaced by a coin pusher bonus round, it is still a pick me type bonus with each pick awarding up to 100 x bet. The main difference between the two games occurs in the base game and is visual – just look at what that cheeky elephant does this time round!
In summer 2016 the progressive version of Fluffy Too was rolled out and at sites where this is offered, original and sequel share the same jackpot allowing players to choose whether they like to see the elephant doing its original dance or prefer to see it twerking.