Developer With their early breakout hit Razor Shark, a notoriously unpredictable slot that helped put the company on the map, Push Gaming clearly has a good connection with the ocean. Booty Bay is a pirate-themed slot that takes place above the water, in contrast to Razor Shark, which carried players below the surface. Booty, here, refers to a prize, not the body part that fitness bloggers are so preoccupied with to the point of obsession. Pirates are a familiar theme in slot machines, but in true Push form, the studio has created a smart game that deviates from the norm.
Booty Bay is a 5-reel, 5-row grid slot that features a cluster payout mechanism. The Hotzone is a highlighted 3×3 area in the middle of the grid that, when combined with wild symbols, can result in additional bonuses (such as multipliers or respin opportunities; these will be discussed in further depth below). In terms of setting, Push Gaming has opted for a bright and cheery interpretation of pirate life. The visual style is reminiscent of Relax Gaming or Peter & Sons, and the music is as upbeat as anything you’d hear in the Caribbean. Even if there are some gruff-looking rogues at the cashier, they’re more likely to serve you a drink than force you to walk the plank.
Bets range from 10 pence to £/€100 every spin, and players may take on the loot on whatever device they choose. The volatility/potential pairing is as consistently high as we’ve come to expect from the Push team, and while the game supports variable RTP, it only comes with one preset, a perfectly good number of 96.41%.
When 6 or more identical symbols land next to one other, horizontally or vertically, regular wins occur and treasure can be collected. Keep in mind that there is no cascade mechanism employed at any part of the game; if you win, you collect. Bronze coins, silver coins, gold coins, telescopes, compasses, and barrels are only few of the nine typical paying symbols. For clusters 18+ in size, the premiums range from 10x to 50x the initial investment, depending on which of three piraty types is chosen.
Before we get into the bonus features, there is one more symbol to look out for: the Booty Wild. The amount of a win that contains a Booty Wild is multiplied by the linked multiplier.
Slot Bonuses in Booty Bay
Since Booty Bay isn’t a standard grid slot, there is no need to string together cascade wins in order to activate bonus features or free games. Booty Bay’s sandy Hotzone, Swirling Rapids, Locking Wilds, Treasure Map, and Triple Wild Lock features are all substitutes for traditional respin awards.
A respin is granted if the Hotzone still includes a wild after a spin or respin. All wilds will shift to a nearby location at random while the reels are spinning. After relocating, if a wild is still within the Hotzone, its multiplier will increase by 1. As long as a wild remains in the Hotzone, respins will occur indefinitely.
Locking Wilds are denoted by the presence of a chain surrounding the Wild. The Locking Wilds function is activated if one lands anywhere on the grid. All Hotzone wilds stay put for three more spins. They’re going to be seated throughout, with their multiplier rising with each round. An unlocked wild that enters the Hotzone will remain there until the end of the spins.
The Swirling Rapids feature is activated by landing the Swirling Rapids symbol in any position and awards 1 re-spin. For the respin, all active Booty Wilds will be relocated to the Hotzone, and the multiplier of any Wilds in the Hotzone will be increased by 1.
The Treasure Map feature is one of the fast-paced bonuses that is activated whenever there is at least one Treasure Map sign in view. Then, the player is presented six rewards, all of which have been mixed up and concealed. Players select one of the upside-down coins to reveal a wild symbol, Locking Wilds, or Swirling Rapids, or a coin win of 1 to 5,000 times their wager.
The last bonus is the Triple Wild Lock feature, which is activated if there are three wilds on the grid and at least one of them is in the Hotzone. As long as any wilds remain in the Hotzone, the round will re-spin, with the wild multipliers rising by 1. At least in theory, there is no maximum number of respin attempts.
Judgment in Slot, Booty Bay
Booty Bay has clearly received a lot of consideration, and its elements cleverly play off of each other, but given the high expectations placed on Push Gaming, you can’t help but feel like you’re missing something. Compared to other Push Gaming titles like Land of Zenith or Dinopolis, Booty Bay’s theme treatment is quite subdued. Although the gameplay is capable of providing exciting drama, it lacks the insane replayability of, say, Jammin’ Jars, to use a grid slot comparison.
Without a free-spins bonus round to aim for, players must instead focus on triggering as many linked features as possible in order to generate as many respins and as large a multiplier as possible during the base game. It might be difficult to make progress if there is a lack of modifiers who are willing to get into the fray in large numbers. Because you need six symbols to construct clusters on a 5×5 sized game board, there isn’t a ton of area to maneuver, and the symbol values are low for clusters under 10. Fair play, but, these factors are not a hindrance to huge numbers, and with the perfect amount of wind in its sails, Booty Bay will cruise to 20,000x the bet.
Perhaps we moaned a little bit like jaded old sea dogs back then, but such is the reputation of Push Gaming, that you want to be wowed by their games whenever they are released. If you’re a lover of grid slot machines, you’ll still find much to like in Booty Bay despite the fact that it doesn’t shine as brilliantly as some of their previous efforts. Although Booty Bay may not have the staying power of past Push classics, it nevertheless offers some fine gaming.