Pirates’ Frenzy Slot: Overview
Pirates’ Frenzy from Blueprint partners Reel Time Gaming takes its inspiration from a classic slot in their back catalogue called Fishin Frenzy and which went on to spawn an updated Megaways version recently. It clearly struck a chord with a lot of fishermen who spun reels in their spare time, or wannabe anglers pining for some open-air action. Now the team is back with a another follow up which remains ocean bound, but revolves around the romanticised world of pirating.
For better or for worse, the developers have stuck with graphics that looked dated even when Fishin Frenzy was released several years ago. Yes it ties the two together, and it will please fans of the first, but for newer players used to flashy modern graphics, there’s a real danger of harming their eyes. For old school video gamers, the visuals will reawaken the pioneering days of the 1990s when ‘cutting edge’ VGA graphic cards could conjure up 256 colours at the most. That thought will either produce a frisson of delight or a shudder of fear. On an encouraging note, the background is bright, friendly, and a timely reminder of warmer climes.
Right on the beach lies the main game area made up initially of 5 reels and 3 rows. On the right-hand side is the optional 6th reel which we will get to soon. The 10 paylines are displayed on the sides of the reels, just like they used to have back in the day - an instant signal of retro status right there. Players bait up, sorry wrong slot, ante up by selecting an appropriate bet, and the choices are quite phenomenal. Low rollers can have a punt from 20 p/c a spin while high rollers will be in betting Nirvana with five reel bets as high as £/€400. Even that daring figure pales in comparison with what is possible when the 6th reel is activated.
The paytable once again reinforces the old school nature of Pirates’ Frenzy in look and layout. Starting things off are card royals 9 –A followed by bags of coins, a bottle of hooch, and some oranges to fend off the scurvy. Things heat up with an anchor symbol, and finally, a parrot – every prate needs one of those keeping their shoulder warm. In five-reel mode, a line of parrots pays out a jolly good 200 times the stake. Three of more symbols create a winning combo, except the trusty parrot who needs only two.
Our dashing Captain Sparrow lookalike has two jobs to do during Pirates' Frenzy, and one of them is as the wild. He can helpfully substitute for any other pay symbol and is worth a stack of coins as well. Get five of him on a payline during the five reel game, and he returns 500 times the stake. When it comes to mechanics, the original Fishin' Frenzy was a gentle, medium variance slot so it feels like Blueprint Gaming has turned that setting up a notch or two this time. RTP has remained the same though at 96.12%. The other elements that have remained relatively the same, albeit with in-theme tweaks and additions, are the features.
Pirates’ Frenzy Slot: Features
The most obvious addition is that mysterious 6th reel. It can be activated at any time and brings several benefits. When activated, it makes 6 symbol combinations possible - 6 symbol combos are worth double what their matching 5 symbol counterparts are worth. One other benefit of the 6th reel is that more gold bag symbols and scatters appear in the game.
As always, there is a cost for these game modifiers and in this case, it doubles the bet. For those on max bet that means an eye-watering 800 credits per spin. One thing to note is that while the stake is doubled, coin values remain the same. As an example, the minimum 5 reel bet is 20c which gives a coin value of 2c per line. Activate the 6th reel and the bet doubles to 40c, but coin value per line remains at 2c. Just something to keep in mind.
The final symbol is the boat scatter - land 3, 4, 5, or 6 of these to be awarded 10, 15, 20, or 50 Free Spins respectively. During free spins, the money bag symbols appear with values of 20, 50, 100, 150, 200, or 500 coins attached. When these symbols land at the same time as the Pirate Scatters, they are scooped up and paid out to the player. This feature ends when the free spins run down to zero, and they cannot be retriggered.
Pirates’ Frenzy Slot: Verdict
Pirate’s Frenzy is quite a polarising slot that won’t please everyone. Its graphics see to that. For the younger generation of players used to modern 3D spectaculars, the initial ocular assault takes a little time to get used to. Yeah okay, Reel Time Gaming has gone for a passé look on purpose in order to preserve its land-based feel, but some will find it pretty darn ugly. Maybe we are being tough on the looks, but they are so extreme the game might be best suited to hardcore fans of retro slots. Not only though, players that enjoyed reeling in fish with Fishin' Frenzy will get just as much joy out of scooping up sacks of gold during the bonus game too.
On the topic of features, it is worth taking the time to work out if the optional 6th reel is worth engaging. For players looking to go large it makes sense as it adds bigger combos, more scatters and gold bags which is a good thing. Yet, the extra cost can quickly add up. At its extreme, betting 800 credits a pop is truly heroic, and that’s not just because of cost but mathematics. Max potential is capped at £250,000 or 10,000 times the bet, whichever comes first. It’s a good figure to be sure, but it won’t take much for high rollers to breach that cap. Either way, it's really hard to imagine how anyone would ever come close to the 10,000x cap. Even a 1,000x win in this slot would seem like a miracle. Again, something to bear in mind.
Overall, it’s an ok game, if you can handle the old fashioned styling and simplistic nature of it. In saying that, it's not hard to find better looking, more exciting pirating themed slots on the market.
Pirates’ Frenzy is a retro extravaganza that quickly wears thin.