Rage of the Seas: Overview
Developer NetEnt navigates deep waters in their darkly atmospheric pirate slot Rage of the Seas. Pirate filled slots are nothing new, yet NetEnt has turned their considerable talent and expertise into creating something refreshingly different. From the look to the presentation of the buccaneering theme, to the treasure chest of features, there is bound to be elements here players haven't quite seen before.
The game's winning look begins at the back of a ship, where skulls, fish, and lanterns surround a 5-reel, 1,024 win all ways game area. When features are active, the camera zooms out to take in more of the ship, all masts and sails as it powers through murky waters towards ominous black clouds in the distance. Storms a brewing, or is it war? Only one way to find out.
As well as visuals, the backing track is a standout – reaching a dashing climax during win count ups. The music department has cobbled together one of the piratiest soundtracks to come along in a while. It's got an authentic, seedy Caribbean dockside tavern in foul weather feel to it. You can practically smell the rum and hear the tap of peg legs on every spin. Perhaps we're going a little overboard here (pun intended) but losing yourself in the game for a while is akin to reading a nautical classic like Moby Dick on a stormy winter night.
Playable from 20 p/c to £/€400 per spin, the math model runs on a medium volatility setting, while the RTP clocks in at the average default figure of 96.04%. In the default 5x4 mode, the game is played using 1,024 ways to win, but with the features activated the grid can also be expanded, increasing win ways dramatically as you will learn.
NetEnt has gone all out with pirate paraphernalia when it came time to design the symbols. There are 10 regular pays, 6 low, 4 high. The low pays consist of ship wheels, bottles of rum, anchors, barrels, parrots and hammerhead sharks. A line of the low pays is worth 0.4x to 0.75x the stake.
Things improve, a little with the 4 high pays which are made up of two male pirates and two female pirates - one who looks a lot like Cameron Diaz with dark hair. Premiums are worth 1.25x to 2.5x the stake. Symbol values are low across the paytable, but fortunately, the expanded reels and features go a long way to mitigating them.
Rage of the Seas: Features
Rage of the Seas is not only heavy on the pirating imagery, but bristles with features like cannons on a galleon. It's another slot that possibly won't make a whole lot of sense in words, but we'll do our best to convey everything as clearly as possible. Features can be grouped into three main areas – the Boost feature, modifiers, and free spins.
The Boost symbol lands on reels 2, 3, or 4, and when they appear, they triggers the Boost feature. When activated, a monkey appears to open a windown above the reel where the boost symbol landed, expanding it to 7 rows in height whilst also award 4 Feature Spins. Feature Spins are basically paid spins with a random modifier active.
If more Boost symbols lands on another reel during Feature Spins, it also expands. In addition, 4 more Feature Spins are added and a new modifier is activated. If Boost symbols land on a reel that has already expanded, 2 more Feature Spins are added to the remaining amount. Expanded reels mean more win ways, so 1, 2, or 3 expanded reels opens up 1,792, 3,136, or 5,488 ways to win.
Rage of the Seven Seas also comes with 5 modifier extras. Each modifier has a corresponding flag which flies from the side of the boat when they are active. We get:
- Spreading wilds – 1x1 sized wilds which land on reels 2, 3 or 4 and add up to 2 more wilds anywhere except on reels 1 or 5.
- Stacked wilds – a 1x4 stacked wild which can land on reels 2, 3, or 4.
- Major reel upgrade – removes anchor and barrel symbols to make way for bigger possible wins.
- Minor reel upgrade – removes steering wheel and bottle symbols.
- Multiplier – multiplies all wins by x2.
The highlight is the free spins round (hit rate of 1/337 spins) which can be triggered in two ways; either when all 3 Boost symbols are collected in the base game or Feature Spins, or when 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols land anywhere on the reels to award 5, 8, or 12 free spins respectively.
During free spins, players benefit from the reels being fully expanded for the duration of the round. Moreover, 3 random modifiers remain active as well. If you had Feature Spins remaining when free spins were triggered, the number is added to the amount of free spins.
Rage of the Seas: Verdict
In some ways, Rage of the Seas has echoes of NetEnt's Hotline 2 to it, which can be attributed to the expanding reels and the excellent graphics backed by an epic soundtrack. There the similarities end as Rage of the Seas ends up being quite a unique gaming experience. The studio has created a delicious world to immerse yourself in, one much darker than you usually find in a pirate slot. In some ways, it's the Dead or Alive 2 of the pirating world in that regard.
The gameplay is a complete departure, and for the most part, it works well. The base game is a little under-gunned a lot of the time thanks to low symbol values, but the stack of features land frequently enough to keep things interesting. Expanded reels make full use of the win-all-ways mechanic to balance the low symbol values. Also, while modifiers aren’t huge game changers on their own, they do work quite well when several are brought together as they are in free spins.
Rage of the Seas is one of those games that might be a little complicated at first, but nothing a few spins won't clear up. NetEnt makes the learning curve fun too thanks to stunning graphics and the fascinating environment. For a rich game world that draws you effortlessly in, while entertaining via a multitude of features, Rage of the Seas is worth getting on board.
Rage of the Seas is one of the saltiest pirate-themed slots you’ll come across, with a dark, brooding tone has been favourably paired with a long list of interesting features.