October’s slot of the month is TED by Blueprint Gaming. Based on the 2012 film and its 2015 sequel, this slot game is themed on Ted the “mildly offensive” stuffed bear. This extremely naughty plushie spends the base game slumped in front of the reels in a drunken stupor (going by the empty beer cans and other detritus that surround him).
TED has a classic 5 x 3 reels array with 20 paylines (running from left to right only) and a stated RTP of 95.805%. The minimum line bet is 1p and since there is no option to play fewer than 20 lines the minimum bet per spin is 20p. The maximum spin varies from site to site – £200 seems to be usual but a few have £500.
The TED symbol – which is one of the higher scoring symbols offering the opportunity to win 500x line bet on 5 of a kind – appears stacked in the base game which means when it scores, it frequently does so on multiple lines, but apart from this the base game plays conventionally.
TED is a medium to high variance slot and this means that although wins in the base game are not too uncommon, they are very small – unless 5 of a kind is spun!
TED has much more to offer than just the base game – there are no fewer than 6 randomly triggered modifiers and 5 bonus rounds.
The randomly triggered modifiers can come into effect during any spin and in each case Ted wakes up and does something mildly unsavory.
Lazer Gun Infectious Wilds – Ted jumps up and fires a laser gun at the reels while they are spinning; the beam bounces around the screen turning symbols wild and freezing them in place.
Beer Shuffle – this modifier activates after the reels stop on a winning spin. Ted sprays beer over the reels covering them in bubbles. The symbols shuffle themselves into new winning combos until the bubbles pop.
TV Streak – another modifier that activates after the reels stop on a winning spin. Ted points the TV remote at the reels and starts bashing the buttons, causing the winning symbols to stay in place for a respin -and respins continue until there are no fresh winning combos.
Psychedelic Super Spin – Ted picks up a bong and blows smoke over the spinning reels. This adds a large number of special Ted symbols to the reels – when the reels stop they all change to the same symbol for lots of line wins.
Psychedelic Colossal Spin – again, Ted blows smoke over the spinning reels and this time, three of the reels combine into one colossal reel, covering a 3 x 3 area with a single symbol for a big win.
Psychedelic Bonus Boost – this time, the smoke blown over the spinning reels adds extra bonus symbols making it much more likely (but not certain) that a bonus round will be triggered.
The modifiers alone make TED extremely entertaining, but the real excitement is to be had in the bonus rounds, of which there are 5 – Wheel of Fortune, Bar Crawl Bonus, Super Mart Free Spins, Ted Free Spins and Big Money Bonus (the last two are where the really big wins lurk).
A bonus round is triggered by the appearance of three or more Thunder Buddies Bonus symbols anywhere on the reels. The player then gets to spin the wheel to reveal which bonus round will be played.
Wheel of Fortune (called Wheel of Fartune in non UK versions of the game) – this involves a multi level wheel and possible outcomes of a spin are a multiplier, a feature or an arrow (which moves the player to the next level in). The round starts with a pick-me where the reveals are Arrow (adding an extra arrow to the wheel), Multiplier Boost (which increases the value of one or more of the multipliers shown on the wheel) and Spin (which starts the wheel spin part of the round), and the player continues to make picks until they get Spin. The round ends when the player lands on a multiplier (for a payout), triggers another feature or makes it to the middle of the wheel which triggers the Big Money Bonus.
Bar Crawl Bonus – this looks like a board game. Select bottles to move around the board and increase the multiplier. Land on special board positions to collect multipliers, bonus prizes and Big Money Counters (5 of which are needed to trigger the Big Money Bonus), but landing on Arrested can end the feature.
Super Mart Free Spins – this bonus round consists of 5 free spins (which can’t be retriggered). During the free spins Ted walks past shelves of Ted toys. Each toy that lines up next to a position on the reels when he stops becomes a sticky wild for that spin. Unlike in the other bonus rounds, there is no possible progression to Big Money.
Ted Free Spins (called Flash Free Spins in non UK versions of the game for reasons to do with plot points in the film) – these free spins play out on a different set of reels with a 5 x 4 array and 40 lines instead of 20. Special symbols which appear on the reels enable the player to climb the special bonus pyramid to collect cash prizes, extra free spins, extra paylines and extra wilds; reaching the top of the pyramid awards the Big Money Bonus which plays after the free spins finish.
Big Money Bonus – In this bonus round Ted sits in the middle of the screen in a ring of multiplier values, with Sale signs down both sides. After the first spin of the ring to award a multiplier, the player picks a sign to reveal either Respin (to win another multiplier) or Collect (which ends the bonus round).
The bonus rounds also have a Gamble feature. If awarded any bonus round other than Big Money you can gamble to move to a better bonus round (they are ranked in order of average payout). An unsuccessful gamble awards a mystery payout instead of a bonus round.
TED’s maximum payout is 10,000 x bet up to £250,000 and it isn’t hard to see how a really lucky bonus round could deliver that much. With so much going on in the game, the potential for such a big win and of course the sweary bear himself, it’s no wonder this slot is so popular.