Sticky Bandits 3 Most Wanted: Slot Overview
Developer Quickspin’s popular Sticky Bandit range becomes a trilogy with the third instalment, Sticky Bandits 3: Most Wanted. This one is a complete departure from what came before it. Sure, there is plenty of sticky action going on, but for one thing, the massive symbols that featured so heavily in the past have been dropped. Secondly, instead of coming up with some wildly innovative concept to replace them, Quickspin has fallen back on copying one of the most iconic western classics of all time - NetEnt’s Dead or Alive.
Sticky Bandits 3: Most Wanted is played on the smallest reel set so far, consisting of 5 reels, 3 rows, and 9 fixed paylines. The action remains outdoors, on the steps leading up to a bank, built in a windswept middle of nowhere landscape bordered by rocky cliffs. Of the three, this one has the sunniest, most positive atmosphere, lacking any of the gunslinger grit or hint of danger the other two possessed. Sticky Bandits 3 does have a nice soundtrack though, including a vocal part and all.
Reflecting the number of pay ways, bets from 9 p/c to £/€90 per spin may be set on any device. As a mechanism designed to gamble with, Sticky Bandits 3 is by far the most high-powered of the bunch. Potential is massive, as its volatile nature, rated by Quickspin as 5 out of 5. The RTP has dipped, where now a figure of 95.82% is produced, though it does rise to 96.25% when buying free spins.
Western fonted 10-A card royals make up the lower end of the paytable, joined by higher value scarves, liquor bottles, dynamite sticks, horseshoes, and bags of loot. Premium wins range from 22.22 to 111.11 times the stake for a five-of-a-kind combination. More so, the wild symbols, which are worth 166.67 times the bet for a line of five, as well as being able to replace any pay symbol to complete a win. Just one standard wild shows during the base game, while five appear in free spins.
Sticky Bandits 3 Most Wanted: Slot Features
Sticky Bandits 3 keeps it straight shootin’ by offering a couple of features - a round of free spins using sticky wild symbols, and a bonus buy. If you’re familiar with Dead or Alive or Old Saloon Free Spins from the sequel, you’ll be on familiar territory playing Sticky Bandits 3. It starts when 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols land to award 12 free spins plus a payout of 4x, 25x, or a whopping 2,500x the bet. Then you’re led into the golden heart of the bank vault and introduced to 5 gun-slinging femme fatales.
Each one of the ladies has their own reel and wild symbol. When wilds land, they are sticky and remain locked in position until free spins conclude. If you manage to land a wild on each of the 5 reels, you’ll be rewarded with +5 extra free spins. One more thing, the value of every win is multiplied by x2 throughout free spins as well.
One thing Sticky Bandits 3 has, which DoA did not, is a feature buy function. For a fairly reasonable outlay of 60 times the total stake, at least 3 scatter symbols land on the next spin to trigger the free spins round. Though the RTP rises here, as mentioned earlier, the round remains just as volatile, so beware.
Sticky Bandits 3 Most Wanted: Slot Verdict
It’s kind of ironic a game based around robbing a bank vault should have so many of its own elements ‘borrowed’ from elsewhere. Seen in a bubble, Sticky Bandits 3 dishes up rock-solid Western-themed gaming. In free spins it does, at least, the base game isn’t anywhere near as entertaining. Triggering the bonus can be a bit of a chore too if you’re determined to do it organically or don’t have access to the feature buy. Once you’ve cracked the vault, however, Sticky Bandits 3 can be a rip-roaring, fast-paced adrenaline rush that takes a few moments to process what just happened when it’s over.
That’s the good news. The not-so-great perhaps, for those who care about such matters, is that Sticky Bandits 3 is a Dead or Alive knock-off, albeit with a higher potential of 22,000x the bet up for grabs. Even the legendary 5 scatter payout has been included in the bargain. It’s always a bit odd when studios are so blatant with their imitation of each other’s work and whether NetEnt will square up for a showdown remains to be seen.
One thing separating the two games is the bonus buy option which is sure to thrill players keen on shortcutting to the main event. It’s not hard to imagine this feature getting hammered in Sticky Bandits 3. For one, it’s quite reasonably priced. We are increasingly used to seeing price tags of 500x, 750x, or higher attached to a bonus game, so 60x feels like a bargain. The other reason why is because the bonus game can go nuclear in a heartbeat - a few wilds in the right spot, trigger +5 more free spins, and you’re cashing in on every single spin from then on out. Naturally, it doesn’t always go your way, but it can be sensational when it does.
And yet when you go back to the previous two Sticky Bandit games after playing this one, Sticky Bandits 3: Most Wanted seems out of place. Gone are the massive symbols characteristic of the other two; gone is any innovation whatsoever. Yes, it’s easily the most lucrative of the three, yet it doesn’t exactly evolve the series. There’s no denying Sticky Bandits 3 is a highly playable slot with excellent winning possibilities, though that’s a given if you’re going to copy an iconic game.
In summation, if you’re hankering for a bonus buy version of the original Dead or Alive, then Sticky Bandits 3 is the perfect remedy. It doesn’t manage to outdraw the superstars of the Western slot genre (Dead or Alive 2, Deadwood, etc.), but it certainly gets in a few good shots during free spins.
Although not exactly fresh, Sticky Bandits 3: Most Wanted’s solid production and substantial potential make it the best Sticky Bandits edition by a longshot.