Bass Boss: Slot Overview
Grab a canvas hat and smear some zinc on your nose, players; we're out on the water in a fishing-themed slot from Red Tiger called Bass Boss. Fishing slots continue to prove their popularity, and for some reason, bass is again on the to-catch list. Is it because bass are a particularly satisfying fish to haul in, or because they can be found in numerous places throughout the world? Or is it simply because the name 'bass' goes well with other words like 'boss' or 'bonanza'? Anyway, enough pondering; let's hit the water and see what sort of catch we can heave up in Bass Boss.
At first, a little frisson of dread travelled up the spine after first glimpsing Bass Boss. Not because it looks bad or anything. Far from it, actually, as its light cerulean waters, hills, and trees were the very picture of healthy outdoor pursuits. It's just that the game brought back memories of Red Tigers' foray into the InfiniReels world with their ghastly Get the Gold game. It was probably all the blue water surrounding a 5-reel game panel, and the fisherman sitting in the upper right quadrant could pull off a classic prospector look with a quick wardrobe change. Fortunately, Bass Boss turned out to be a more positive experience, with a jangly country and western-style tune complimenting the game's bubbly persona.
Aside from games like 4 Fantastic Fish and Golden Catch, fishing slots don't tend to be massive potential slots, and Bass Boss is no exception. The 4,835x max win potential is positive compared to much of the competition, though how realistic it is, is another matter. The game is highly volatile and comes with a theoretical return to player value of 95.7%. Not a bad return as such, but it's noticeably lower than the default maximum values found in Pragmatic Play's hit Big Bass Bonanza range. Bait or stakes, or however you'd like to call them, start at 10 p/c, rising to $/€20 per cast-off, whilst being available to play on all devices.
To be honest, after a short while, line wins sort of faded in importance compared to snagging fish money symbols or scouting around for scatters. However, line wins do occur when three or more matching symbols land on adjacent reels from the left side across any of the 10 fixed win lines. Ten to ace card ranks are used as the low pays, worth 1-3x the bet for five of a kind, alongside spinning reels, hats, tackle boxes, and boats as the premium symbols, paying 10-30x the bet for five of a kind. Bass Boss does not make use of wild symbols.
Bass Boss: Slot Features
In a fishing-themed slot, there is often an assumption that some sort of symbol collection is going to take place. This is a tradition that started way back when by the legendary Fishin' Frenzy and continues on in Bass Boss. The first pieces of the puzzle are fish symbols, which land in any position and come in 4 types – Grey Fish worth 2x or 5x, Blue Fish worth 10x or 15x, Green Fish worth 30x or 50x, and Orange Fish worth 100x or 200x.
In the base game, the fisherman randomly drops a hook down, so it is level with one of the game grid's rows. If there are fish symbols in the row, they are collected, and their values are awarded. If the hook goes down and there are no fish symbols in view, or they are on other rows, no money is won. However, there is a Nudge feature, where the fisherman may move his hook to another row for a chance to catch additional fish. There is also a chance multipliers are added to the float in the base game, increasing the payout value of fish symbols. Multipliers can be x2, x3, x5, or x10.
Landing 3 or more Contest Spins symbols triggers a bonus round, awarding 10, 15, or 20 Contest Spins when 3, 4, or 5 Contest Spin symbols are in view. During Contest Spins, the fisherman holds his hook in the water the entire time. After every Contest Spin, the fisherman will either keep the hook in place or move it up or down to another row for a chance to catch fish.
Each fish caught during Contest Spins is tracked on a progress bar with 4 levels. Players move to the next level by catching 8 fish, and each time a new level is reached +10 extra Contest Spins are awarded along with a multiplier which applies to any future caught fish. The multiplier progresses like so – x2, x3, x5, and x10.
Bass Boss: Slot Verdict
If only real fishing was as easy as it can be at times in Bass Boss. Here, as long as you've dropped your hook to the right depth, and they are there, the fish will literally swim over and attach themselves to it. Well, catching the tiddlers is relatively easy. Landing one of the larger, more lucrative fish symbols won't happen each time the fisherman casts off. But they do happen, and amazingly, the 100x fish was hooked by one of the random Nudge row shifts the fisherman does every so often to lend a helping hand.
Bass Boss is no picnic, though, so don't expect massive money-bearing fish to just leap onto your boat. Even going all the way through Contest Spins to the fourth level on multiple occasions was no guarantee of major success. Technically, hitting one of those Orange 200x fish at level 4 with the x10 multiplier on the float is a juicy prospect and would get you nearly halfway to Bass Boss' 4,835x the bet max win. For the sake of comparison, that's more than double Big Bass Bonanza and more than Bigger Bass Bonanza or even Big Bass Bonanza Megaways. It is slightly less than Big Bass Splash, plus there are no monster trucks. Maybe a detail like that tips the scales for some outdoors folk.
How realistic Bass Boss' massive wins are might be up for debate, yet fishing is about the process too, isn't it, being outside with nature, doing the hunter-gather thing? If so, then Bass Boss is a solid addition to the growing range of fishing-related slots. It's got a chipper attitude, the sort of bright visuals characteristic of this type of game, and opportunities to reel in fish money symbols. They might not always be the sort of fish that leads to a lot of bragging, but there is room here for lucky anglers to find a level of glory, theoretically at least.
Bass Boss provides a solid outdoor experience with plenty of fish to be caught – to the exclusion of almost everything else.