Reel Nightmare

Reel Nightmare Slot Review

Slot Provider: Quickspin

RTP: 96.23% | Variance: High | Maximum Win: 17,279x

Our Score: 7.8

Play at Grand Ivy Casino

WHY YOU CAN TRUST THIS REVIEW: The information and opinions on this page are the result of an comprehensive process of information gathering and live game testing by the gambling experts who work at Find out more here.

About Reel Nightmare

Reviewed by:

Published Date: 10th June 2024

How We Review Slot Games

We test and rate all slot games across 5 criteria, assigning a score out of 10 for each and an overall score that is an average of the 5. To build an accurate assessment of each game we gather information from the supplier and play in real play or demo mode. Find out more.

Reel Nightmare is a horror slot from Quickspin with the same gameplay as Sticky Bandits Trail of Blood. Land 3 or more wilds on one spin to trigger Revenge Free Spins where all wilds are sticky. Each additional wild to land earns 1 extra spin, and landing 5 on a line creates a ‘Trail of Blood’ that pays out 300x on every subsequent spin. It’s simple, high variance slots play with a top payout of 17,279x. Spins start at 10p per play.

Reel Nightmare Game Information

  • RTP: 96.23% | 94.19% | 92.07% | 87.15%
  • Variance: High
  • Maximum Win: 17,279x
  • Progressive Jackpot: No
  • Reels: 5
  • Rows: 3
  • Paylines: 10
  • Minimum Stake: £0.10
  • Theme: Horror
  • Features: Wilds, Sticky Wilds, Free Spins

Testing Notes: Here’s What Happened When We Played Reel Nightmare

IMPORTANT: To give you an accurate assessment of the games we review our writers play 200 spins. Whilst this is a useful tool to help us review games and to give an example of what might happen when you play, keep in mind that 200 spins is only a very small sample and cannot be used to accurately predict what might happen over another 200 spins. The outcome of all slots play is always random.

Boom Or Bust? Our Session By The Numbers

I played 300 spins on Reel Nightmare on Quickspin’s test server prior to release to test the game. This is what happened.

  • Stake Size: 1
  • Start balance: 5,000
  • End balance: 4,913.70
  • Win Rate: 44.3% (133 winning spins in 300)
  • Biggest Win: 10.8x
  • Free Spins Round: 0

Tough as nails as expected! But one thing stood out a mile from this test session – a 44.3% win rate. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a slot pay out that frequently. However, these were all small wins, the biggest of which was a 10.8x. So it was an attritional battle with the game gradually beating down the balance rather than the sharp drops you see when a game goes 10 or 15 spins without a win. The free spins round never triggered in 300 spins which was disappointing, though games like this can sometimes take up to 500 goes. In short, it’s a grind, but the production is excellent and the sound affects particularly good.

A winning spin on Reel Nightmare
A winning spin in testing

What We Liked

  • Top production creates a really creepy atmosphere
  • Simple gameplay with one objective - free spins with sticky wilds
  • Chance to land 'trail of blood' repeat 300x paylines
  • ALL wilds are sticky in free spins
  • Nice top payout

What We Didn't like

  • Low RTP at some slot sites
  • Can be a long wait for free spins to drop

Reel Nightmare Review Scores

  • Theme and Design 9
  • RTP and Variance 7
  • Maximum Win 7
  • Symbols and Paytable 8
  • Features and Gameplay 8

What Our Reviewer Says ...

"Excellent production from Quickspin with a really creepy atmosphere, but it takes a lot of patience to reach the best part of the game - that free spins round."

Overall Score: 7.8

Theme & Design

Our Score 9

Chilling Audio and Visual Production In This Slasher-Flick Slot

Reel Nightmare is a slasher-movie turned online slot with a distinctly creepy vibe. The setting is the classic American suburban street at night, a shadowy figure passing across the foreground as a phone rings off the hook on the soundtrack. The atmosphere borrows from many 80s films, most notably Halloween, whilst graphically the Quickspin team have clearly been checking out Nolimit City games like Serial and Loner. It’s certainly more scary than Sticky Bandits Trial of Blood and a well-produced slot that horror fans should enjoy.

Reel Nightmare by Quickspin
Reel Nightmare – 80s horror movie vibes

RTP and Variance

Our Score 7

What is RTP?

RTP (Return to Player) refers to the amount a game will pay out in cash prizes expressed as a percentage of all the money wagered on that game. For example, a 96% RTP means a game will pay out £96 for every £100 wagered. This is an average number and will vary from one session to the next.  Read more here.

What is Variance?

Variance refers to how far a game will deviate from its RTP over time. High variance games deviate a lot and produce uneven win distributions and unexpected windfalls. Low variance games provide a more stable and even distribution of wins. Read more here.

Reel Nightmare has 4 RTP rates – 96.23%, 94.19%, 92.07% and 87.15%. Which rate you play at will be at the discretion of your casino operator. The top rate of 96.23% is good – about average for an online slot – but the lower rates are to be avoided. Wherever you play you can check the RTP by hitting the settings icon in the bottom left of the screen, then the ? icon.

My recommendation is to play at MrQ from Lindar Media who consistently run Quickspin slots at the max RTP rates.

This is also a high variance slot. And we know from experience that Quickspin create some really volatile games so set your stake to a sensible level because this might be one that burns your balance fast.

Maximum Win

Our Score 7

What Is Maximum Win?

Maximum win refers to the maximum amount a player can win from one spin. It is expressed as a multiple of the stake. For example, where the maximum win is 100,000x, from a £1 stake, the maximum win would be £100,000.  

The max payout from one spin is 17,279x. That’s not a bad max win to play for. Quickspin have been pushing up the top payouts in their games recently and you’ll find good potential in slots like Sticky Bandits Unchained (30,000x), Cash Truck 3 Turbo (40,000x) and Beastwood (29,541x) too.

Symbols and Paytable

Our Score 8

The mechanics of Reel Nightmare are simple. 5 reels, 3 rows and just 10 paylines. Wins are triggered by landing 2 or more identical symbols across the reels from left to right, starting at the left most reel.

Reel Nightmare Paytable
The paytable – land 5 wilds in a row for a 300x payout

There are 8 pay symbols in the table with really good value at the top end. The 4 low values ones are the cards, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, valued at from 0.2x for 3 Jacks up to 10x for 5 Aces. The 4 premiums are the boot, the hook, the axe and the chainsaw. These are valued at from 0.2x for 2 boots up to 75x for 5 chainsaws.

There is also a Wild – represented by the character pictures – that is key to the gameplay as explained below. It will substitute for any pay symbol to complete a line AND pays out at 1x, 2.5x, 15x or 300x for 2, 3, 4 or 5 on a line.

Features and Gameplay

Our Score 8

Reel Nightmare uses the exact same game engine as Sticky Bandits Trail of Blood, even using the same ‘Trail of Blood’ phrases to describe the moment in the game when lines of Wilds are created on the grid.

It’s not tricky to understand. Here is how it works.

Wilds and Revenge Free Spins

The wild in Reel Nightmare doubles up as the scatter. You need 3 or more on one spin to trigger the Revenge Free Spins round as follows:

  • 3 Wilds: 10 Revenge Free Spins
  • 4 Wilds: 12 Revenge Free Spins
  • 5 Wilds: 15 Revenge Free Spins

During the free spins ALL wilds stick, including those that triggered the round in the first place. When new ones land they also extend the round by 1 spin.

The holy grail is to land 5 wilds across a payline during the round because that means they will pay out the max 300x on EVERY remaining spin.

The Final Verdict

Just like Sticky Bandits Trail of Blood, Reel Nightmare is as simple as they come and it appeals to a certain type of slots player – those who don’t mind the long wait for the bonus round if it means the chance of something spectacular at the end of it. In this case, that is the sticky wilds and the potential for repeat payouts they bring. What’s nice is that any frustration that comes with waiting is partly offset by a high base game win rate of above 40%, and some excellent production too. Altogether, a quality game then, though it won’t appeal to everyone.

Useful Tips When Playing Reel Nightmare

Remember, online slots are games of chance, there is NO strategy that can improve your odds of winning. However, reading our review and following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing this slot game.

1. Look Out For The Wild Symbol

This is a really simple slot – you want to break into that free spins round by landing 3 or more wilds, then keep landing as many wilds as possible to extend the round.

2. Play At Low Stakes

You need to use bankroll management and play at low stakes to avoid burning out too quickly. This game is volatile so you can be the victim of a long streak of little or no return.

3. Check The RTP Before You Play

To give yourself the best chance of a positive return on your wagering ALWAYS play at slot sites where the game runs at max RTP or close.

4. Play At Our Recommended Slot Sites

We have chosen the sites on this page because they all scored high in our reviews and they are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. That makes them fair and safe places to play slots.

Who Made Reel Nightmare?

  • Name: Quickspin
  • Established: 2011
  • UK License: 38516 (under Playtech)
  • Total Games: 100 +
  • Known For: Great artwork, fairytale slots, slots with wilds and sticky wilds, high variance
  • Popular Slots: Sticky Bandits Wild Return, Big Bad Wolf, Golden Glyph 2, Wild Luchador
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