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Shiver me timbers and ahoy there me hearties! It is with a “yo ho ho,” and may I also venture a bottle of rum, that we man the decks to take a look at one of WMS’ most unusual slot games, Red Flag Fleet.
Featuring an uncommon combination of reels and 192 paylines, will this unique New Jersey online slot rule the seven seas or sink to the bottom of Davy Jones’ Locker?
To find out the answer, let’s take a few spins aboard the Red Flag Fleet.
Overview: Red Flag Fleet
The name Red Flag Fleet may seem a little confusing, but given the look and feel of the slot (plus the design of some of the ships and characters in the game), it seems to refer to pirates who once sailed in Chinese waters (hence red flag).
So if you are expecting something similar to Pirates of the Caribbean, think again.
What really sets this slot apart is the setup. There are six reels running from left to right.
The first reel on the left has just two symbols; the second reel has three; third reel four; and so on up to the sixth reel, which has seven symbols. In addition, all the symbols are stacked two, three, four, five, six, and seven symbols high (respectively) across the reels.
There are 192 paylines in operation, but you can get the reels spinning from just $0.40 up to $80 if you want to play for more money.
Who will the Red Flag Fleet slot appeal to?
Traditionalists may look at Red Flag Fleet and wonder how it all works, but the good news is the game actually plays very simply.
The fact that the symbols are stacked does help you hit multiple line wins, but despite this, Red Flag Fleet is definitely a slot for the medium to high variance player.
Red Flag Fleet will appeal to punters who enjoy chasing big money wins. Indeed, playing the slot at $40 per spin, we hit lucky on one spin and ended up taking home $4,000 when we hit the same symbol (using wilds) across all six reels.
Where to play Red Flag Fleet in New Jersey
There are a number of legal New Jersey online gambling sites that have Red Flag Fleet as part of their slots lineup.
Gameplay: Red Flag Fleet
Despite the unusual setup, the gameplay here is actually very similar to a traditional slot; only the paylines, payout size, and regularity are slightly different.
Before we explore how the slot plays in more detail, we must take time here to comment on the excellent production value. The graphics have been beautifully realized and capture the dark, fearful theme.
Combine that with the Chinese elements and a soundtrack that transports you onto the South China Sea.
In short, the presentation is among the best I’ve played for a while. However, there needs to be more to a slot than simply looking and sounding nice. In that respect, how does Red Flag Fleet shape up?
Well the gameplay is, as we have stated, easy to follow. Lines pay from left to right and there are 192 paylines on every spin. You can increase the value of your bet using the bet multiplier from $0.40 up to $80 per spin, but the amount of paylines in play remains fixed.
Once you have set your stake amount, simply click on the spin button and get the reels spinning. The symbols are the usual combination of highs and lows with the playing card symbols (jack through to ace) the in-game lows.
The high symbols are the pirate characters and for once, there is a nice mix of male and female pirates. More astute readers will have already realized that with just two symbols on the first reel, you have less chance of hitting a payline than on a traditional slot that has three symbols.
That is certainly true, but with all symbols stacked across all the reels, this does mean that you don’t hit wins as regularly as on a five-reel slot. When you do, you get a pleasant assortment of larger and smaller wins.
The Red Flag Fleet symbol acts as the in-game wild and substitutes for all high and low symbols to help create winning paylines. This wild symbol is also stacked across the reels. When landed with other symbols this can help create bigger base game wins.
The scatter symbol is the pirate ship and you need to land three, four, or five across the reels to trigger the free spins bonus.
Land three and you get five free spins; four sees you get 12 free spins and a 10x multiplier; but land all five and you get 40 free spins with a huge 50x multiplier. This is where some of the biggest wins can be found.
In the bonus game, the reels shift around, so the larger reel in the base game is the first reel in the bonus game, giving you a much greater chance of a win, especially when you consider that on every spin two to three reels will turn completely wild each time.
Special features: Red Flag Fleet
Unusual reel formation
Stacked symbols and wilds
Part of the reason it works is because all symbols on all reels are stacked, including the wild symbol. (Only the free spins bonus scatter symbol isn’t stacked.)
Free spins bonus
Hit three or more bonus symbols to enter the free spins round. The more scatters you hit, the greater the number of spins you receive and you also get a multiplier for four or five scatters (10x or 50x).
With 192 paylines this could be an expensive slot to play, but with stakes starting at $0.40 and going up to $80, this is a game that all players can enjoy.
Just click the “Bet Multiplier” to increase your bet, rather than messing around with coins, levels, or paylines.
Big base game wins
In addition to the bigger wins in free spins, you can also hit some sizable wins during the base game, especially if you hit five or even six symbols across the reels on multiple paylines.
When you get into the free spins game, the fact that the reels switch sides and that two or three reels turn completely wild makes hitting bigger wins much easier.
Very volatile game
Too many ‘near miss’ spins
All too often you will hit two similar symbols in the first two reels, but the third one seems to pause and then the symbols you require whizz by and a symbol you don’t need lands on the third reel.
Unfortunately, it happens an awful lot.
Hitting free spins
Hitting the three or more bonus symbols can take a good while to do. That said, we think it’s worth it to persevere most of the time.
Graphics and soundtrack: 4.5/5
The presentation values on this WMS slot are outstanding. It’s quite simply one of the best looking and sounding slots I’ve played in a while.
Originality and creativity: 4.5/5
With a six-reel slot of increasing symbol sizes, stacked symbols, and an East Asian pirate theme, there aren’t too many slots like this around. Only the free spins bonus is a little derivative.
This is a very original slot.
Play value: 2/5
If you play Red Flag Fleet at the right stake level for your bankroll, you can enjoy a great slot, but one that is volatile and may not always pay out.
Play it at too high a level for your bankroll and this slot could wipe you out. However, it can also play very generously at times.
Jackpot potential: 4/5
Although the in-game jackpot isn’t on par with the big progressives, you can win a considerable amount of money if you wager at the higher end of the stake spectrum.
That said, even on lower stakes, the potential to earn 1,000 times your wager is there thanks to the stacked reels and multiple payline wins.
Repeat play: 5/5
I think Red Flag Fleet, if you play at a sensible stake for your bankroll, is a game that players will absolutely love.
The unusual layout and great mix of payouts – including some big money prizes – means that players will definitely keep loading up the slot to give it another try.
Total score: 20/25
This is an excellent, innovative, and unusual slot that will appeal to medium/high variance slot fans and those who are looking for a game that could offer them a big payday, but which is a little different to the usual 5×3 slot action.