6 Wild Sharks: Overview
Developer 4ThePlayer are a curious bunch. They might not have a huge back catalogue of games at the moment, but what they do have is varied indeed. From the snowy 9k Yeti to the crypto crash game 1,000x Busta (which, unfortunately we didn't find interesting enough to cover), 4ThePlayer have their hands in all sorts of sticky pies. Speaking of sticky, 6 Wild Sharks comes loaded with sticky wilds, or as they call them here, Locked Wilds.
Taking inspiration from Jaws rather than Sharknado, the 6-reel, 4,096 win ways game area is located offshore amidst a vast animated ocean. The soundtrack has a distinct 'dun dun, dun dun' Jaws feel too, adding a touch of drama to the proceedings. Overall, the visuals are a little Spartan, but more than adequate for the task at hand.
Step one is deciding whether to play the game in Classic or Advanced mode. There is nothing special about Classic really, but in Advanced Mode, players get some options. Reels 1, 2, 5, and 6, are called Wild Zones. Here, you can add up to 6 Locked Wilds which remain in place for every spin. The first two reels are more expensive and the more Locked Wilds you add in general, the higher the cost becomes.
For example, fill the first reel with locked wilds and stakes are multiplied by x8. Or, putting 6 locked wilds in the first two reels increases the cost by 32x. That equates to €1,600 per spin at max bet. The paytable puts it like this – add wilds on reels 1 or 2 for frequent wins, add wilds on reels 5 or 6 for big wins. The choice is totally up to you.
In Classic Mode, 6 Wild Sharks is playable from 10 p/c to £/€50 per spin, on any device. If you're on a mobile, you can play the game on small reels or Big Reels Portrait mode, depending on your viewing preference. In Classic Mode RTP is 96.5%, while hits occur once every 3.8 spins. RTP rises to a whopping 97% setting in Advanced Mode, while the hit rate is affected by the specific Locked Wild configuration. Volatility will vary depending on your settings, but is quite high in general.
The symbols involved are a mix of generic 10-A royals worth 1.2 to 2 times the stake. Premiums are more theme-based, where you'll find fish, stingrays, octopi, a scuba diver, and a surfer girl. Values for the premiums range from 2.5 to 30 times the stake for a line of six. The final symbol to cover here is the shark wild which appears in the Wild Zones (reels 1, 2, 5, 6) to substitute for anything except the Buoy Scatter.
6 Wild Sharks: Features
Selecting Classic Mode or Advanced Mode not only affects the base game, but also influences the bonus game. In both Modes, free spins are triggered when scatter symbols land on reels 3 and 4 simultaneously.
If you are in Classic Mode you can trade free spins for up to 6 locked wilds. If you decide not to use any locked wilds, you start the feature with 15 free spins. At the other extreme, using all 6 locked wilds means you get just 1 free spin to try your luck. Or, you can use a combination in between. For example, if you fill the first reel in locked wilds, the bonus game starts with 6 free spins.
If you trigger the bonus game in Advanced Mode, you get 10 free spins and whatever locked wilds are already in place. In both modes, it is possible to retrigger the feature when 2 scatters land on the middle two reels, awarding 3 more free spins – without limit. Lastly, any new shark wild that lands becomes a Locked Wild for the remainder of free spins.
6 Wild Sharks: Verdict
In many ways, 4ThePlayer lives up to their name in 6 Wild Sharks. Players get a lot of say over how the game plays out, both in the base game and the bonus. Often these reel manipulation options come across overly gimmicky, but in 6 Wild Sharks, adding Locked Wilds can be quite useful. It is easy to get carried away and ram all six on the first two reels. Increasing the stake by 32x is pricey though, but doing so leads to a increased hit rate.
Then again, you could go for the cheaper option of sticking all six on the last two reels for a Hail Mary approach. Or mix it up, pop a couple on the front, a couple on the back - experimenting is half the fun. Demoing 6 Wild Sharks lets you work out the approach which matches your thrill meter and betting threshold best.
Some jurisdictions, including the UK, don't get Advanced Mode and Classic Mode isn't quite so revolutionary. In fact, it's pretty bog-standard waiting for the bonus game to drop style gaming. There are no modifiers, so it isn't anywhere near as exciting. Things pick up in free spins though. In either mode, the goal is to fill the wild zones with Locked Wilds for the magic to happen. Do that, and you're on your way to the full potential of 10,368 times the bet.
To conclude, 6 Wild Sharks is a real game of two halves. Classic Mode is a bit of a write-off unless you've got a penchant for the sea, but Advanced Mode has some genuinely interesting elements. As mentioned, demoing the game to experiment with wild configurations is the best way to get a feel for it. 6 Wild Sharks is all about player choice and player friendly stats, which is refreshing in itself as you feel like you have some control over the outcome. Finding the sweet spot between wilds and stake level can lead to some highly satisfying gaming.
Game title: 6 Wild Sharks
Reels: 6 | Rows: 4 | Paylines: 4,096 | RTP: 96.5% | Hit Freq: N/A | Max Win: 10,368x | Volatility: High | Min/Max Bet: 0.10/50 | Release Date: August 26, 2020