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Every so often you load up a slot and you aren’t sure what to expect.
Sometimes the slot can be a bit of a disappointment and you feel somewhat cheated. Other times, you are pleasantly surprised to find a slot that exceeds all your expectations.
Which one of these categories does Reel ‘Em In Big Bass Bucks slot by WMS (now part of Scientific Games) fall under?
Well, we decided to take a look and find out, so we donned our fishing gear, grabbed our rod and some bait, and headed on down to the waterfront to see if the fish were nibbling.
Overview: Reel ’Em In Big Bass Bucks
Reel ‘Em In is a rather unusual looking 5×3 reel set against the backdrop of what looks like an aquarium. Bubbles in between the five reels and a variety of colorful fish flitting to and fro behind the reels give the slot a distinct look.
Spins cost from as little as $0.20 up to a maximum bet of $40.
The symbols are an assortment of fishing items including rods, lures, bait, a fishing hat, plus an assortment of fish that are the higher paying symbols in the game.
One of the pleasing aspects of the slot is that you only need to land two of the bigger paying fish symbols in the first two reel payline slots to trigger a win.
Who will the Reel ’Em In Big Bass Bucks slot appeal to?
Bass fishing is a popular pastime in America and there is no doubt that anybody with an interest in the sport will be attracted to give the Reel ‘Em In slot a try. The game also has a rather quirky sense of humor built into it.
Perhaps most pleasing is the surprising level of detail and number of features on the Reel ‘Em In slot. These make it one that regular New Jersey internet slot players will enjoy.
Add to this the clever background details, amusing presentation, and all-around underwater appeal and it is hard to think who wouldn’t like this slot.
Where to play Reel ’Em In Big Bass Bucks In New Jersey
Just as there are many fish in a school, there are also many legal NJ online gambling sites where players can hope to hook a big one. If you’ve haven’t tried Tropicana or sister site Virgin online casino, those are two places where the fish may be biting.
Gameplay: Reel ’Em In Big Bass Bucks
At first glance, Reel ‘Em In looks a little underwhelming graphically. While the characters are clearly identifiable as the symbols, the resolution of the slot and the quality of the graphics isn’t that great.
There’s an almost 8-bit look to the slot, which gives it a far more dated feel than it deserves.
So, it won’t win any awards for graphics, although the animations excellently enhance the gameplay when you land a win using one of the fish-themed characters.
Another nice touch is the ability to switch the panel. You can move between the traditional panel, where you select the number of lines in action and the amount of money you want to bet per line, or you can opt for a quick bet panel which gives you a number of preset bets of different values which you can simply click to play or set a price while you click the main spin button.
The game is a 20-payline, 5×3 reel game which features the usual number of high and low symbols all based on a bass-fishing theme. However, there is a comical and cartoon element that lifts it above the norm.
The music is suitably country-sounding and when you unlock the fishing-themed bonuses, that feeling is only enhanced.
Reel ‘Em In is a reasonably low variance game and offers consistent wins in the base game.
Some are lower than your total bet, but occasionally you’ll hit some bigger paying wins and that keeps your bankroll topped up nicely as you play. The pink-and-purple fish is the wild in the game and this can be used to land some useful base game wins.
However, it is the special bonus games that really keep the game flowing. These are unlocked by landing three or more scatter symbols (the fishing lure) across the reels.
When this happens, you enter the Fishing Hole bonus, although by landing different bonus symbols on Reel Five, you can unlock the Fishing Contest and Big Bass Fishing Hole features.
Add to this the Fly Fishin’ feature, which sees a fly appear above reel five offering you a random base game reward of up to 10x your total bet, and you have all the ingredients not just for a fine days fishing but one of the most surprisingly enjoyable slots I have played in some time.
Special features: Reel ’Em In Big Bass Bucks
Land three or more of the lure scatters to access the fishing hole where you select one fisherman (who has a stated number of casts) within which to catch you fish of different cash values. If you are lucky, they may hook a chest that can award you a larger cash prize.
Land the lure scatter twice or more with the Fishing Contest Lure on reel five and you can pick a character to enter into the fishing contest. They have five casts to win the competition and if they can, you could win up to 50x your line stake.
Big Bass Fishing Hole
Land two or more scatters with the Big Bass Hole lure on reel five and you receive between two and five casts to land some of the really big bass, with the really big cash amounts to be won.
Sound and setting
The setting of an aquarium, with bubbles between the reels, is fabulous.
And the sound that goes along with the game, including the sound effects, musical interludes, and the sounds accompanying the animations when you hit a win, are superb.
Add to this some genuinely funny cut scenes in the bonus games and this is one of the best parts of the slot.
Balance of small/large wins
Reel ‘Em In enjoys a lovely balance of wins. This isn’t a game that should wipe you out in a short period of time.
It rewards players with regular smaller wins, but there’s a healthy jackpot available to chase too .
Enjoyable feature games
Although none of the feature games are free spins, they are all based on a bass fishing theme and they fit the slot perfectly. It is nice to see some bonus games that have been imaginatively created and fit in so well with the whole feeling of the slot.
The symbol graphics on the reels look rather dated, as if they were taken from a slot made in the late 1990s. The definition and quality of the symbols are sadly lacking when compared to other slots of this era.
No free spins
While the bonus games are, I believe, one of the best features of the slot, many people may be put off by the fact that there isn’t a dedicated free spins bonus game.
Personally, I don’t feel it matters as the bonus games are so good.
Few bigger wins
While you are unlikely to go broke playing the Reel ‘Em In slot, it is also fair to say that the really big wins are very difficult to come by.
Even the “big wins” tend to be around 20-30x your total stake, which is nice, but not up there with the 1000x your stake wins.
Graphics and soundtrack: 3/5
Despite poor graphics on the reels, the setting of the slot, some genuinely clever cut scenes, and a fantastic soundtrack mean that you don’t mind the ancient-looking symbols too much.
That said, I can’t give this slot much more than half marks due to the quality of the key symbols.
Originality and creativity: 5/5
A modern slot without free spins and it scores highly for creativity? Yes!
Because Reel ‘Em In has a great balance between an enjoyable and fair base game, combined with a trio of fantastic bonus games, plus a randomly triggered base game feature that offers you up to 10x your total bet, it scores well here.
Play value: 5/5
Whether I just hit lucky on Reel ‘Em In or not I am not sure, but this is a slot which didn’t eat into my bankroll anywhere near as much as other slots.
In fact, played at a sensible level for your bankroll, you could probably play Reel ‘Em In longer than most other slots before you ran out of cash.
Jackpot potential: 5/5
It is not that Reel ‘Em In doesn’t have a decent jackpot potential (it certainly does), but it’s difficult to hit.
Of course, all jackpots are tough to land, but even the bigger fish on this bass-themed slot don’t seem to take the bait that often.
Repeat play: 5/5
I loved playing this game as it has so many unusual features in keeping with the theme. The soundtrack and cut scenes made me want to keep spinning to unlock more. I’d be very surprised if you don’t play this and want to play it again almost immediately.
Total score: 23/25
Reel ‘Em In should certainly do the trick for WMS and NJ online casinos; this is a fantastic slot. Don’t be put off by the ancient-looking graphics on the reels, because there’s a lot of fishy business going on in this game that makes it a joy to play.