Plunderin’ Pirates Hold & Win: Slot Overview
Like a tropical storm that just won’t quit, iSoftBet‘s Hold & Win series blows into harbour again, this time with a privateering flavour in the slot Plunderin’ Pirates Hold & Win. The title lays everything quite clearly, as players join a bearded pirate and immerse themselves in a high seas environment while spinning to trigger a central streak respin bonus game. This feature isn’t exactly a basic hold & win game; iSoftBet have imbued it with several Booty Boosters to add some spice. Don’t expect anything mind-blowingly original, though. If you’ve been following iSoftBet’s Hold & Win series, you’ll be acquainted with most of the extras from Gold Digger. If not, let’s hoist the jibby thing, or whatever, and set sail.
Graphically, Plunderin’ Pirates is quite a decent-looking slot. It’s neither cartoonish nor grim as all heck which pirate slots often tend to be. iSoftBet has forged a middle path, combining equal measures of both cartoon and grim into a pleasant game to behold. The demo version we reviewed wasn’t completely finished because the banjo-based soundtrack was completely out of space. Knowing iSoftBet’s attention to detail, no doubt this will be replaced with something suitably piraty for the full release. Otherwise, Plunderin’ Pirates is an attractive slot, being neither outstanding nor grievously lacking in any one area – an assessment that stretches to cover the game as a whole, really.
On to the nuts and bolts, starting with the game’s 5-reel, 3-row grid where regular wins hit across 10 fixed paylines. At least three matching symbols are needed, starting from the leftmost reel to do so. Volatility leans towards the medium-high area of the meter, while the theoretical return value hovers around 96%. Any device may be used to play Plunderin’ Pirates on, where players can select bets from 20 p/c to £/€20 per paid game round.
Moving on to the paytable, eight regular pay symbols appear throughout the base game, as do wild symbols and gold coins. Paying symbols are split between J-A low pays and high pay parrots, monkeys, lady pirates and male pirates. Values aren’t great, considering there are just 10 paylines. Landing five premium symbols, for example, generates wins worth 4x to 10x the stake. Wilds do not have values of their own but do substitute any other symbol except gold coins.
Plunderin’ Pirates Hold & Win: Slot Features
Plunderin’ Respins are where players are most likely to strike the bigger bucks in Plunderin’ Pirates and are full of Booty Booster modifiers. In the base game, Explosive Modifiers have been added to break up the flow.
During normal spins, the captain on the side of the screen may randomly throw bombs onto the grid, thereby transforming symbols. As a result of his actions, bombs may add 3-5 wilds, upgrade all low paying symbols to a high paying symbol, or add 1-3 gold coins to help trigger the bonus game.
Landing at least 5 gold coin symbols in the base game triggers the Plunderin’ Respins feature, awarding 3 respins. In Plunderin’ Respins, any new gold coin symbols that hit, lock to the reels and reset the number of respins back to 3. The feature is over once all respins have been used or all available positions are filled. When this happens, the values displayed on the gold coins are awarded. Values on coins can be anything from 1x to 100x the bet.
As well as gold coins, other coloured coins may hit. When they do, each one modifies the round in some way, like so:
- Silver coins – collect the values from any gold coin symbol in view and open more positions for coins.
- Green coins – increase the value of any adjacent coins, connecting horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
- Blue coins – unlocks up to 3 extra rows.
- Purple coins – collects the values from any gold or silver coins in view and opens more positions for coins.
Plunderin’ Pirates Hold & Win: Slot Verdict
Unless you are absolutely pirate crazy, there isn’t much about Plunderin’ Pirates that is especially tempting. The gameplay is fine, base game modifiers fine, and the respin bonus game, yeah, it’s fine as well. Everything functions okay without being exceptional. The game has a nice appearance, but the graphics are a little hard done by since everything else is so average. Looks alone are hardly enough to tempt a spin – unless, as stated, pirates are your jam.
There’s not really a whole lot to add about the gameplay that wasn’t covered above in the features section either. Such is the game’s humdrum regularity. iSoftBet hit paydirt with Gold Digger, which is very similar; however, a couple of differences manage to lose Plunderin’ Pirates a few cool points. These are things like halving the paylines and lowering the symbols’ values. Another is the lack of multiplier in the streak respin bonus game, which could ratchet up thrills in Gold Digger. Much does remain familiar, though. Even the Explosive modifiers in the base game are the same as what Gus tossed on to the reels in Gold Digger.
The issue with Plunderin’ Pirates isn’t that it closely models Gold Digger as such. The tweaks and theme set the two games far apart enough. The main problem is Plunderin’ Pirates doesn’t feel like it progresses iSoftBet’s Hold & Win range or is an improvement over the previous slot – the opposite, actually. As alluded to, Plunderin’ Pirates could be alright if you’re into hold & wins and happen to be a raging pirate-phile. Otherwise, there’s little else in Plunderin’ Pirates to encourage many virtual ocean-going antics.
Plunderin’ Pirates could be alright if you’re into hold & win style gaming and happen to be a raging pirate-phile. Otherwise, there’s little else to encourage many virtual ocean-going antics.