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Boat Bonanza[Playn' Go]

Hazel Wyatt

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Title: Boat Bonanza
Developer: Play'n Go
Reels: 5
Rows: 3
Paylines: 12
RTP: 96%
Max Win: 5,000x
Max Win Probability: N/A
Volatility: High
Min/Max Bet: 0.200/50
Release Date: October 13, 2022

Now Play : https://k8.io/games/slots/png_boatbonanza

Boat Bonanza: Slot Overview
Dust off the rod and tackle and take to the waters in Play'n GO's fishing-themed online slot Boat Bonanza. You don't need us to tell you fishing slots are popular, there are loads of them, and the collection is only getting bigger. Partly due to the saturation, and the stampede by developers to get in on the action, there is quite a lot of crossover going on. What we mean is the copying, borrowing, imitating of ideas, or whatever you would like to call it. Boat Bonanza appears to have a little bit of that going on. Is it enough to toss it back overboard like an undersize minnow, or let it slide?

One word used to describe Boat Bonanza that kept cropping up was 'simplicity'. This applied to the gameplay, and it also applied to the visuals. In Boat Bonanza, players get the usual view of a game grid floating beneath the water's surface, with a ribbon of the horizon in the upper part of the screen. Busting out a magnifying glass, or just squinting, reveals a tower, pier, and Ferris wheel, suggesting the game has been set in Blackpool, UK? Darting about above the five reels are a couple of boats which aren't just there for show but play an integral part in the game. It'd be hard to class Boat Bonanza as being an impressive game graphically, though it's not harsh on the eyes, either.

boat 1.PNG

From a more technical standpoint, Boat Bonanza is played on a 5-reel, 3-row game board, which supplies 12 paylines for landing winning combinations across. The RTP was not available at the time of testing, yet judging by Play'n GO's usual standards, players can expect a maximum value circa 96.2%, dropping to lower values when playing alternative models. Volatility is high, and players are able to select bets of 20 p/c to £/€50 to bait up and cast out with.

Boat Bonanza's main thrills are its Cash Symbol collections, but regular line wins are there too. They occur when matching symbols land across a payline on consecutive reels, starting from the first reel onwards. All pay symbols need at least three to form a win, except for the most valuable symbol, which pays out for two or more. On the lower side are 10-J card symbols, worth 10x the bet for five of a kind, while the higher side has nets, seagulls, reels, and buoys, paying 50 to 200 times the stake for five of a kind. Boat Bonanza does not have a wild.

boat 2.PNG

What it does have, though, is Catch Symbols, which appear on all reels displaying different denizens of the sea and different prize values – up to 1,000x. As an aside, Catch Symbols can also crate winning lines worth up to 40x the bet for five of a kind. To collect Catch Symbols, you'll need the boats above the reels to do so on your behalf. When the boats appear greyed out, they are considered to be inactive; when they are coloured, they are active. When Catch Symbols land on the reels beneath an active boat, the boat will collect all of them and award their values. Should two active boats happen to be above one reel, they trigger the Mega Catch, which collects all Catch Symbols appearing on the reels.

boat 3.PNG

Free Spin
Landing 3, 4, or 5 scatter symbols in the base game triggers 10, 15, or 20 free spins, respectively. In free spins, 2 multiplier boats are always active, catching symbols which award additional free spins, symbols that add multipliers to the boats, or Catch Symbols. Boats with multipliers multiply their catches, and if 2 boats are on the same reel, their multipliers are combined for the Mega Catch.

One key difference between the base game and free spins is that when boats collect Cash Symbols in the bonus round, respins are awarded. For the respins, only Catch Symbols appear on the reels and paylines are deactivated. As long as boats collect Cash Symbols, respins will continue. When no catch occurs, play moves back to regular free spins.
boat 4.PNG

Boat Bonanza: Slot Verdict
Okay, we said simple at the start, but Boat Bonanza has a bit more going on than first meets the eye. At least it does when free spins are triggered, which can then branch off into respins, and produce multipliers. When paddling through the main game, Boat Bonanza is about as laid back and undemanding as you could ask for in a fishing slot. Hit spin, land Catch Symbols, and hopefully, activated boats appear above them so they can be collected. Line wins are there too, yet they sort of faded out of the picture after a while, as it was easy to home in on the Catch Symbols and track boats, almost to the exclusion of all else.

Free spins are bolstered by two things, multipliers and respins. Whilst we never managed to haul in the catch of the day, you could see how it might be possible, for instance, if both boats had a decent multiplier on board and combined their powers for a Mega Catch or two. Potential is quite respectable for a mid-range fishing slot, coming in at 5,000x the bet, comparing favourably to many games in the Big Bass range, for comparison, when it comes to max win.

Gaming-wise, Play'n GO chose not to do the collect symbol accumulation system in free spins that Big Bass Bonanza and its ilk are famous for. However, what it has is not exactly a brand-new experience. Much of it may feel familiar to players who have had a crack at Big Time Gaming's piscine-populated slot Golden Catch. Boat Bonanza uses a similar concept which, on the whole, came across as a 'lighter' game for want of a better word. The potential rewards aren't as impressive as Golden Catch, but it's a game that triggers its features quite often and has a more laid-back feel to it. So, for players who enjoy a spot of fishing on the reels, and there is apparently quite a lot out there; Boat Bonanza is another option to try.

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