Put on your waders and reach for your finest fishing rod! It’s time to bait the hook and reel in some serious winnings in Big Bass Bonanza by Pragmatic Play. With a bit of luck, you’ll be able to spread your arms and tell your mates about the riches you caught without exaggerating too much.
I must say, I kind of like the ocean-blue backdrop in the game. It reminds me of a more innocent time before we decided that marine life should feed on plastic, but I digress. This is supposed to be about what you can expect when you fire up this fun, albeit not-so-rewarding slot.
Still, the free spins game with multipliers is really fun to play. No one told the boys and gals at Pragmatic Play that it’s not okay to go fishing with dynamite, which is good because it certainly helps with blowing up your win multipliers, but more about that a bit further down.
And before you ask, no, you don’t need a fishing license to play this slot.
There are a few pros and cons you should be aware of before you start playing. Obviously, these are my own opinions but I do believe I’ve played enough slots over the years to know the good from the bad and even the ugly.
In case you haven’t guessed it, Big Bass Bonanza is all about fishing. And it does its theme great justice, even more so than some slots that are based on rock bands, movies, or TV-series. The crystal clear water provides a great background and all symbols outside of the more or less standard card symbols 10 – Ace is also part of the theme.
In order from best to worst paying, you’re looking for the floater (not THAT floater), fishing rod, dragonfly, tackle box, price fish.
The price fish aren’t usually that helpful during the base game, but when you land three or more scatters to get to the free spins feature, you will want the entire screen covered in fish with one or two fisherman symbols to reel them in.
To be fair, the base game isn’t much more than a grind to get you to the free spins feature. Without wilds, there’s no real excitement there, unfortunately. Also, the prize fish symbol has money values on them, and sometimes when they are part of one or more winning paylines, you get a random cash win, but it doesn’t say anywhere in the rules how this value is determined.
Anyway, I will never say no to boosted cash prizes from any slot and Big Bass Bonanza is certainly not an exception from that rule. If you’ve stayed with me all this way down the review, then I have some good news; Just below is the section that makes this game so fun to play! Free spins!
This is where Big Bass Bonanza shines. Like, shines! You need to hit three or more Scatters to trigger the free spins feature. Scatters can appear on any reel which makes it possible to trigger the bonus game like this:
During the free spins feature, a wild symbol is added. It’s a fisherman holding a bass. He looks nothing like the guys from “Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel, more like if Santa dyed his hair brown and swapped his hat for a beanie.
The goal is to collect as many fisherman symbols as possible during the feature. Every time he lands anywhere on the reels, he will reel in the total money value of all prize fish symbols and add it to your winnings on that spin. He is then added to a bar on top of the reels and if you collect at least four of him, you will get 10 more free spins after your first round of free spins is over.
You will also get an upgraded 2x win multiplier to all the prize fish symbols caught by the fisherman during these 10 spins. Rack up another four fisherman symbols to get 10 more spins with a 3x win multiplier. Repeat again for another 10 spins BUT with a 10x multiplier.
Any fisherman collected above the needed four during a round of free spins is carried over to the next to help you advance easier to the next win multiplier level.
One more thing! The fisherman can also throw out a random dynamite stick on the screen and turn other symbols into prize fish symbols that he will reel in. This can lead to some seriously explosive winnings. Too bad the max winnings are capped at 2,100x. It feels like Big Bass Bonanza could, and should, be allowed to pay out so much more than that.
While the slot is captivating during the free spins feature, it leaves so much more to desire during the base game. The fisherman mechanic should’ve been kept during the base game to make it a little more exciting. As it is now, it feels like all you do is sit and wait for three or more Scatters to hit.
And what’s up with the payout capped at 2,100x!? This is pretty weak for a slot with high volatility and I don’t care that the RTP is above 96%. In my opinion, Big Bass Bonanza needs to be reworked a little. I would suggest more active paylines, increase the max payout, and make the wild and it’s mechanic available during the base game.