Fishin’ Reels: Slot Overview
Since it was released in 2014, elements of Reel Time Gaming's classic Fishin’ Frenzy have popped up in numerous guises ever since. As well as receiving a mandatory Megaways makeover, its bonus game collection system continues to be a popular choice amongst developers as well as players. Pragmatic Play clearly liked the concept so much they've come up with what is basically Fishin' Frenzy two point oh – even the name is pretty much the same. Fishin' Reels, as it has been titled, offers all the gameplay that made the original a hit while adding a second bonus game into the mix.
Fishin' Reels uses 5 transparent reels, so we get a clear view of the undersea setting as fish swim, bubbles rise, and shadows gyrate on the ocean floor. The clarity of the water and the inviting sunlight makes it look really warm down there, like a tropical sea paradise that's ideal for snorkelling, maybe spearing a couple of Hogfish and grilling them on the beach later. The accompanying base game soundtrack gets monotonous, but triggering free spins lets the lead banjo player off the leash to go wild. It might not be cutting edge, yet Fishin' Reels is a clear step forward graphically, so if it’s big, bright, cuteness you're after rather than the old school look of the original, then this is the one to go for.
Statistically, the situation is pretty rosy as well, for the most part at least. Default RTP is quite high as it often is from Pragmatic Play, with a theoretical value of 96.5%. Volatility is high too, rated 5 out of 5. Playable from 10 p/c to £/€100 per spin, the game makes do with just 10 paylines to land winning combinations of three or more of a kind on. Symbols are as big and bright as the rest of the game, starting with 4 card suit icons, flippers, and snorkelling gear. 4 creatures make up the high pays – starfish, lobsters, and frogs worth 30 to 50 times your bet. The last symbol is a cheeky looking fish which pays out when at least 2 land, while giving you up to 100x the bet for 5 of a kind. Lastly, landing on reels 2, 3, or 4 is the wild, substituting all symbols except bonus, fisherman, or fish money symbols.
Fishin’ Reels: Slot Features
Players who get their kicks reeling in prizes will find this classic feature included in Fishin' Reels, as well as a newer addition. Don't worry, it also revolves around baiting up and pulling fish out of the water.
One of the ocean's trophy fish is the spiky nosed marlin, which is also what you want to see when playing Fishin' Reels. It is printed on the bonus symbol and lands on any reel. Hitting 3 or more triggers the free spins feature. To be precise, 3, 4, or 5 on the reels awards 10, 12, or 15 free spins, respectively. Now, Pragmatic Play has wedged in one of their most significant changes here. Instead of leaping straight into free spins, players choose 1 of 2 options which suit them best. On the left, we have Reel' Em In which pays less but more often, while on the right is The Big Catch, which pays less often but in larger amounts – theoretically speaking of course. Here's what you can expect;
- Reel 'Em In is the standard Fishin' Frenzy bonus game. Here, fish symbols land with a cash value of 0.5x to 250x the bet attached to them. If they hit at the same time as a fisherman symbol on reel 5, he reels in the values for players to collect. Can of worms symbols may also land. If the fisherman reels these in, they award +2 free spins each.
- The Big Catch introduces a Big Catch Symbol icon which appears randomly as an overlay on top of any other pay symbol. When 3 Big Catches hit, they trigger a fishing mini-game after any current wins are paid, also adding +2 extra free spins. In the bonus game, 8 fish displaying values of 0.2x to 250x the total bet are shown on screen. A fisherman casts off to catch one of them at random, adding its value to the prize pot. If all 8 fish are caught, overlay symbols no longer appear in the round.
Fishin’ Reels: Slot Verdict
If Pragmatic Play's goal was to release a modernised version of the classic Fishin' Frenzy slot, they’ve succeeded. Fishin' Reels is a clear progression, provided the copycat issue isn't a concern. Its graphics pop from the screen, assisted by cheerful, though slightly repetitive music, and a bunch of cute animations. Fishin' Reels is the very definition of a light-hearted game, despite being a technically highly volatile one. Aside from those who can't let go of the past, it's safe to say if you enjoy Fishin' Frenzy, you'll probably enjoy Pragmatic Play's update as well.
The main buzzkill for keen slots anglers is payouts aren’t up to much. While the bright aquatic graphics have a tinge of Razor Shark about them, it's a shame the connection to Push Gaming’s slot doesn’t extend to winning capabilities - the most you can score in Fishin’ Reels is 1,200x your bet. In that sense it stays relatively true to the original, but (as expected) offers far less potential than Fishin’ Frenzy Megaways for anyone who's counting. The figure of 1,200x isn't a guide either; the game will literally shut down should you hit this cap.
Setting aside the lack of originality, Fishin' Reels stays true to the magic of the original Fishin' Frenzy slot. Its extra bonus game adds something new, though it's the graphical upgrade that really separates the two games, making Fishin' Reels feel like a proper reboot. Though not a bad game as such, weak potential lets the game down and could prove to be a deal-breaker for those choosing between fishing themed slots.
Fishin’ Reels provides an alternative to Fishin’ Frenzy which could very well win players over.