Peaky Blinders: Overview
Players, here’s an iGaming landmark – the first-ever branded slot from developer Pragmatic Play. The studio has chosen the gritty British TV show Peaky Blinders for their debut which was an inspired choice. As well as being massively popular, the show has a tough mobster attitude that should translate well to the reels. Throw in a few Peaky Blinders gambling references, and you’re pretty much starting on third base, right? Let’s see.
If you haven’t seen the show, Peaky Blinders is a period drama set in Birmingham between the two World Wars. It follows the ambitious Shelby crime family as they use any means necessary to gain wealth and power. A sort of West Midlands mafia story with fantastic hats, if you ignore the razors sewn into them that is.
The game itself follows more of a formulaic pattern. Pragmatic Play has set the 5-reel, 20-payline game area on a back street, all grim grey housing and smoke. Music from the show plays in the background, giving the game a nice Peaky atmosphere. As to the overall design, we can't help but feel that Pragmatic have taken inspiration for their first branded slot from masters of the genre Microgaming.
Peaky Blinders is playable from 20 p/c to £/€100 per spin, on any device and comes with a respectable default RTP rating of 96.5%. We don’t get the usual lightning bolt volatility meter from Pragmatic this time around. Instead, they have used horseshoes, displaying a score of 4/5, or medium+ to high.
Characters from the show spill over into the paytable, making up the high pays. From low to high, we get Michael Gray, Polly Gray, Arthur Shelby, and hard man Thomas Shelby in his famous hat. Landing a full line of these premiums is worth 5x to 20x the stake. Rounding off the paytable is five low pay 10 –A symbols, designed in a muscular metallic style. Finally there is the wild, worth up to 20x for a line of five. The wild appears on all reels, substituting for any of the regular pay symbols to form a combination.
Peaky Blinders: Features
Unlike the characters it portrays, Peaky the slot plays it cautious when it comes to features. Players get a couple of simple base game bonuses to look out for as well as triggered rounds of free spins.
There are two scatters which appear on the last reel - the Shelby Betting Shop scatter and the By Order of the Peaker Blinders scatter. When they land, without any other bonus symbol in view, theiy trigger their respectively named bonus.
When the Shelby Betting Shop bonus is triggered, a monetary amount is applied to all high pay character symbols in view. Each is then added up and paid out.
If the By Order of the Peaky Blinders feature is triggered, any win lines on-screen are paid out. Then, a respin occurs where all character symbols or wilds in view transform into the same matching symbol for an additional payout.
There is also a logo bonus symbol which lands on reels 1 and 3. If two of these symbols are in view at the same time as one of the aforementioned scatters, then free spins are awarded.
The free spins rounds are more or less the same as the base game, aside from some extra scatters. Shelby Betting Shop Free Spins awards 8 free spins and adds additional Shelby Betting Shop scatters to reel five. By Order of the Peaky Blinders Free Spins comes with 10 free spins and adds extra By Order of the Peaker Blinders scatters to reel five. Neither of these features can be retriggered.
Peaky Blinders: Verdict
While Pragmatic Play has nailed some elements that make a great branded slot, the final product is lacking in other areas. For one, the studio has played it safe, perhaps too safe. Peaky Blinders uses a conventional format and doesn’t go overboard with the effects. Then again, if you’re shelling out to use a brand, you don’t want to do anything to alienate the target audience.
Pragmatic has made sure to sprinkle in plenty of references from the show to make sure you know what you’re playing. Fans should be well satisfied by the amount of imagery Pragmatic has squeezed in, and on the surface at least, the studio has ticked enough of the right boxes to justify the license.
Pragmatic has done a decent job of capturing a certain mood of interwar Britain quite well. A seedy undertone permeates the game, producing an ‘ends justify the means’ attitude. You can imagine an older Shelby family member sitting in a gentleman’s club enjoying expensive whisky and cigars while blotting out the memory of all the heinous acts they committed to get there. However, after a thorough review, it’s hard not to conclude that while Peaky Blinders might be suited to hardcore fans of the show, others will struggle to find any appeal.
As a slot, Peaky Blinders doesn’t have anything new or overly exciting to offer. The thrill from seeing familiar faces wears off pretty fast, and you’re not left with a whole lot after that. Features pop up quite regularly, more often than most other Pragmatic slots, but they don’t seem to do a whole heck of a lot. Much of the review was spent wallowing in the same place, rowing a boat with just one paddle and not ending up anywhere. It’s fine perhaps for a spot of casual gambling, but you’re unlikely to find anything more in Peaky Blinders. For the record, the max potential is 2,022 times the stake - not quite a reward the Shelby’s would walk over their adversaries for.
To sum up, Peaker Blinders is one for the fans, end of. If you liked the show, it makes sense to put the slot through its paces. Aside from a bit of character spotting don’t expect too much more from the game.
Peaky Blinders packs in enough from the show to please fans, but anyone else will struggle to find a reason to spin alongside the Brummie crime family.